I know I sound like a broken record season after season after season (or is it all just one neverending season?), but could this be the longest ever season of Dance Moms? After the great video showdown of 2015, the ALDC has returned to Pittsburgh after a victorious stint in Los Angeles. Abby Lee Miller is true to form with her nastiness and self-pity, but of course her bad behavior is magnified thanks to Lifetime adding Cathy’s Candy Apples into the mix. The moms are (surprisingly!) getting along, and while they don’t love the cold weather, they are happy to be home…for a week at least. Melissa wonders if it could be their last Pittsburgh pyramid. She seems to think that when Abby heads back to L.A. next week (we deserve frequent flier miles just for watching!), it will be for good.
Not only is there a competition this week, there is also a dance convention where the dancers could win scholarships. The moms inform their girls that not only will the Candy Apples be trying to beat them, but Ava and her mom Jeanette will be at the competition as well. Poor Kendall says what her teammates are thinking…it’s never a fun competition week with Abby when Cathy is involved. At pyramid, Abby gushes over Maddie’s Grammy’s performance (as she should, it was amazing), saying she got more applause than Madonna. Does she really want to get on Madge’s bad side? Maddie also dishes on behind the scenes of the awards show, and Holly feels the need to interrupt to proclaim that Nia will be having a premier party for her video at the dance convention thanks to her recent video? Really, Holly? Why? I try to defend you, but you’re not making it easy! Even Nia looks like she wants her mother to stop her one-upping. Holly extends an invitation to the studio, but Melissa can’t make it because she has dinner plans. Joke’s on you, Melissa–it’s a daytime event.
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Kendall is at the bottom of the pyramid for her tears, followed by MacKenzie for not competing in the group number. Nia rounds out the bottom with Abby citing technique, and JoJo and Kalani make up the middle tier. Abby hopes that Kalani will step into a leader role, much like pyramid topping Maddie who rocked the Grammys. Both Kendall and Kalani receive solos, and Abby describes the group routine–entitled “No Sign of Life”–as chilling. She hopes it will be freaky and haunting enough to cut the Candy Apples down to size. On a side note, what is up with Melissa’s hair in her talking head segments? Did she steal that wig from one of Maddie’s Sia video shoots? In the viewing room, Holly can’t read her audience, and she’s gushing over Nia’s video. Just. Stop. If you have to constantly remind your friends that you aren’t bragging, chances are…you’re bragging.
Before Holly and Jill can get into another tiff, Melissa interrupts to remind them that they need to be focused on the team. After all, it’s a Candy Apples week. Speaking of, Cathy and her revolving door of a team are in town, and she’s determined to bury both Abby and Jeanette. At the ALDS, Abby is paying more attention to her phone than the group number, but mind you, she’s not acting like mothers…who are very wary of her stress level, all things considered. Cathy is so proud that daughter Vivi is now a US citizen, and she plans to incorporate her excitement into her group routine with Vivi involved. Of course, poor Vivi can’t enjoy her accomplishment–or her ice cream–with her mom hemming and hawing about the importance of beating Abby. Cathy then tries to explain the emotion behind her choreography to her newly formed team, reminding them of Abby’s ugliness regarding Vivi’s adoption. Her group number is aptly titled “The Patriot.” The dance is interrupted by Jeanette, and Cathy is intrigued by the idea of them joining forces against their nemesis.
not bragging about Nia’s video, and she calls Jeanette to invite her to Nia’s premiere. As the moms cackle over Cathy’s craziness, it’s not lost on the crew that Holly is crossing enemy lines to make sure Nia’s event is full. Kira is concerned that Abby’s several distractions are taking away from Kalani’s rehearsal time, but at least she’s put away her phone. Why, oh why does Holly feel the need to call everyone under the sun about Nia’s party in front of the other moms? It’s scripted, Lauren. It’s totally scripted. Lifetime needs another villain besides Abby, remember? As Holly leaves to chat in private, Kira reveals that Nia’s video may be slightly age inappropriate. Jill is happy that Kendall stayed true to herself in her own video, and she’s not going to bend over backwards to make Nia’s premiere if Holly continues to alienate herself from the group. In the studio, Abby has Kendall channeling her inner video vixen to perfect her solo, but she’s less than pleased with the results. Across town, Ava is using Abby’s hurtful words about her technique and body image as inspiration for her solo. Regardless of the pettiness surrounding the mothers and the teachers, Ava is quite the talent.
Abby has called all of her ALDC family together to announce that she will be moving permanently to Los Angeles. Her Pittsburgh home studio isn’t going anywhere, but she needs to seize the West Coast opportunities. Who’s with her? Abby joins the mothers in the viewing room, and she hems and haws around whether she’ll be at Nia’s premiere. Truth be told, she wasn’t keen on how Nia was portrayed in the video. Holly equates Nia dancing with men in booty shorts to Maddie’s Sia video, and Jill retorts that there is no comparison. She’s going to quit while she’s ahead though so as not to appear jealous. As Kendall practices, Holly gives Nia a pep talk, warning her daughter that she may hear negative comments due to jealousy. Poor Nia. Let the girl shine…and Holly, she would shine regardless of your constant promotion!
Not surprisingly, Nia looks gorgeous at her premiere, and she hopes her friends and teammates will be in attendance to support her. The moms arrive, but the girls are too busy participating in the convention. It breaks my heart. Holly can’t dwell on those who are missing…she’s just happy Jeanette made time to come to the premiere. As the crowd chants for the girl of hour, Holly hijacks the mic to laud her daughter with thinly veiled digs towards the ALDC. Awkward! Abby slinks in right before Nia’s video airs, and, while it’s totally fierce, she doesn’t look thirteen. A thrilled Nia thanks her crew–including Abby–and it’s a heartfelt speech. Abby takes the time to congratulate her student, and it’s actually a sweet moment. Who knew?
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE? THOUGHTS ON NIA’S VIDEO?
[Photo Credit: Lifetime]