So remember years and year ago when Abby Lee Miller was just a teacher and Dance Moms was actually enjoyable to watch? Am I recalling it correctly, or have I clouded my memory with more positive thoughts in an effort to combat the negativity I have to watch now. It’s a total mind game. You know who else likes mind games? Sia. On last night’s episode, the world is finally introduced to this video. Many found it to be artistic, some found it to be highly inappropriate, but I was just happy to see Shia LeBeouf dancing around in a cage. People think he’s weird and controversial, but he’ll always be Louis Stevens to me. And now Louis Stevens is dancing around in a cage with Maddie the dirty wolf. What’s so wrong with that?
Maddie is excited about the video’s release, but she has a hard time explaining the concept to a confused Jill. Jill decides to just call it “artistic” and “open to interpretation” and be done with it. The other moms freak out when they learn that Kathy and her Candy Apples have assembled a brand new team of Abby’s “rejects” (Kira’s word, not mind), and they will be competing against the ALDC this week. Abby is livid, but she needs to focus on the pyramid. Kendall and Nia are on the bottom for not placing in their solos. JoJo, MacKenzie, and Kalani make up the second row for doing a wonderful job in their losing group number. Maddie maintains her place in the top spot. There will be no solos this week, as Abby wants to celebrate Maddie’s wonderful duet with Shia. She pairs Maddie with Kalani for one duet, and she pairs Kendall with JoJo for a Freaky Friday number. MacKenzie and Nia are partnered for a scary duet, which leads up to a murder in the group routine.
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In Ohio, Cathy is addressing her “new premium team” and she’s got the winner of So You Think You Can Dance choreographing the Candy Apples to Cathy’s first victory over the ALDC in two years. She’s more concerned with the mothers shunning Abby than actual dancing, and one especially crazy mom (she was kicked out of an audition for autographing Abby’s book) is ready for war. Back at the ALDC, the girls are working on a Clue-inspired group number. Jessalyn has had experience with these new Candy Apple recruits thanks to Abby’s competition show, and she confirms that they are five-star insane. She calls one just for laughs, and she’s cussed out and hung up on before she can even get out a sentence. At least the moms are united together against a common enemy this week instead of fighting among themselves.
At the studio, a local paper is interviewing Maddie regarding the Elastic Heart video, and Melissa is so proud about all the calls from People, GMA, and Entertainment Tonight. Maddie is extremely humble about the video, claiming it was the most tiring job she’s ever had and the dirtiest she’s ever been. She thinks it’s cool that the story of the wolf and the cage and Beans’ cohort leaves a lot to the imagination. While she’s handling the press like a pro, the Candy Apples are squealing like I would be if I ran into Aziz Ansari just because some TMZ reporter has called Cathy. Relax, it’s not a Bieber sighting…or even a Matty B sighting for that matter! The site wants to know Cathy’s opinion on the Sia video, and she replies that watching it made her want to vomit. It left her feeling very uncomfortable. Clearly, Cathy has never seen Holes.
Abby reveals that she paired Nia and MacKenzie together because she’s inspired by the bond and teamwork they had in the group routine Amber Alert. They partner very well, and they trust one another. I was literally typing that this is Lifetime’s way of making us forget how hateful Abby has been to Nia, but then the show cuts to a very scripted (Nia needs to give her mom some acting tips) Holly calling Aubrey O’Day in the lobby of the studio…as if we’re to believe she would do the one thing Abby warned her not to do right in Abby’s face. Holly then interrupts Nia’s rehearsal so she can chat with Aubrey. Melissa finds it to be incredibly unprofessional that Holly is using the groups’ time to have this phone call. She’d never pull Maddie from practice. Like a canary, Jessalyn sings this news loudly to Holly as she arrives in the viewing room, which warrants a big “F-You!” from Melissa. The other moms remind Melissa that she often has Maddie missing practice to capitalize on opportunities.
Of course, all is forgotten when Melissa reads Cathy’s interview on TMZ. How ridiculous is Cathy’s need for attention that she’d comment on the brilliance of the Sia video, wonders Melissa. Jill can’t wait to pounce. Well, Sia did just publicly apologize for offending anyone with the video. Sia apologized? No way. Melissa refuses to believe it. Who could possibly be offended? “People,” Jill and Jessalyn chirp in unison. Melissa has not seen anything negative about the video whatsoever. The moms don’t think Melissa needs to shelter Maddie from potential negative feedback. Melissa buries her head and covers her ears as Jill starts reading off blog stories about Sia’s great apology. It’s so anticlimactic this far after the fact. As the girls rehearse for their Clue number, ET comes in with cameras to interview Maddie with Abby shooing the other girls out of the room. Jill questions whether Melissa is going to put a stop to the video as it’s basically the same thing as Nia speaking to Aubrey O’Day…only it happens all the time. She admits she thinks this is the week that the ALDC will lose to the Candy Apples because the girls can’t compete with Abby’s need to promote Maddie at the expense of the team.
At the competition, the ALDC arrives to cheering crowds while Cathy and her creepy new moms hide in their dressing room. How old are they again? Abby doesn’t seem phased, and she’s hugging one of the Apple moms much to Cathy’s dismay. Jessalyn offers the Candy Apple mothers a chance to touch JoJo’s ALDC jacket, as it’s likely the closest they’ll ever get to the real team. She then gets into a screaming match with the book-signing mom. Hugging mom is then forced to define her allegiance to Cathy by warning Abby that the Apples are ready for war, and she’s a happy soldier. Abby should be thankful she didn’t get these doozies, and I am perturbed with myself for being happy for Abby in any capacity. Wait, did Cathy just accuse someone else of having an 80’s hairstyle. I just can’t with these women.
Kendall and JoJo’s adorable is very cute, and JoJo is quite the performer. However, I don’t get the Freaky Friday theme. It’s adorable, but nothing extraordinary. Nia and MacKenzie perform extremely well together, and their routine actually tells a story. Nia is a great actress, conveying jealousy through her facial expressions, but once again, Abby looks unimpressed. Book signing mom decides to take this time to yell about how sick Maddie’s video with Shia made her…a little girl with a grown man! Sure, I’ll suspend reality for long enough to pretend this could actually happen without any repercussions at a reputable competition. Jill is all “I told Melissa she shouldn’t let Maddie hear the negativity from the outside world first!” as Kira incites the auditorium to clap if they loved the video. Again, that’s surely a real thing that could happen. And to book signing mom I say, grown man? Let’s binge watch some Even Stevens, shall we? Like the professionals they are, Kalani and Maddie are exquisite in their duet.
Abby is beyond angry that the Candy Apples would be so tacky as to talk badly about another team at a competition. Um…okay? She warns that the outburst better not have rattled her group to the point where they won’t win. I hope not too because I love the Clue number. It’s one of my favorites. Holly agrees, but she wonders if it’s enough to beat the Candy Apples…a team that was hand picked by Abby. The Candy Apple group number is very good, but I tend to be more like Jill…if I don’t understand something, I am not going to like it as much (excluding all the Sia videos, of course!). They are graceful but not totally in sync, and the gold is distracting. Are the Greek goddesses? Swim team trophies? I just don’t know. At the awards ceremony, Kendall and JoJo’s duet places third with Nia and MacKenzie nabbing second. I am so happy for Nia! A deserving Kalani and Maddie take the top spot. A shocked Cathy seethes at her group number’s third place showing as ALDC’s Clue dance wins. Cathy cites Kendall and JoJo as being terrible. Really, Cathy? Abby is proud of her girls, but she hopes they can keep this momentum up as they head back to Los Angeles.
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE? HOW SCRIPTED IS THE BEEF BETWEEN CATHY AND ABBY?
[Photo Credit: Lifetime]