I’d say congratulations are in order, dear readers! Cheers to each one of you for making it through yet another extra-long season of Dance Moms with the always controversial Abby Lee Miller at the helm. Last night was the last reunion before Abby packs her bags and opens an ALDC franchise in Los Angeles. As always, executive producer Jeff Collins rules the sofa roost, but this time, the once silver fox has died his hair a special shade of carrot and gotten himself a spray tan. Fame, y’all!
Abby is the first one who joins Jeff on the stage, and he brings up her now contentious relationship with Holly. Abby feels Holly’s jealousy runs deep, and she believes that her dancers are a success because every last one of them is chasing Maddie’s fame. Nia’s turn will come, she admonishes. Jeff summons Holly to the couch, and Jeff shows footage of Abby lying about saying Maddie and Kalani were the only ones who would ever book jobs. Holly cites her frustrations stemming from Abby attacking the children to retaliate when she’s upset with the mothers. All Holly wants is for her daughter to be treated with respect, but Abby doesn’t care to try to repair their relationship. Holly has several fond memories with Abby that she holds dear, but Abby remains stone-faced. Thankfully, the girls take the stage to perform their Stomp the Yard group number inspired by Orange is the New Black. More dancing, less mindless bickering please!
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Jeff brings out Jill and Melissa and questions while Holly doesn’t feel supported by her former friends. He produces the show, right? Holly reveals that her friends are more fearful of Abby then they’ve ever been in the past. Jill is adamant that she isn’t scared of Abby. She’s just terrified of the consequences for her daughter if she goes against Abby. Because that’s different. Geez! Melissa screams that she’s just grateful for the opportunities that Abby has given her daughters. Also, she’s hurt that Holly thinks she’s more educated than the other mothers. Melissa accuses Holly of telling Nia that their daughters were “simple.” Jill heard her say that. Hold up! Jill doesn’t want to be put in the middle of something may or may not admit to saying. Melissa credits Abby for bringing fame to her daughters, and Holly doesn’t discount Abby’s great part in Nia’s success. At least Jill backs up Holly on this point.
The screeching conversation turns to Nia and Kendall’s competing video. Abby admonishes Nia’s video as inappropriate…she wasn’t dressed like Nia nor did she perform in the way Nia likes to perform. Don’t get me wrong, I am mildly obsessed with Sia’s videos featuring Maddie (from a creepy, artistic standpoint), but that’s not really how Maddie looks or acts in her day to day life, is it? When Jeff questions Melissa as to whether it’s a double standard, Melissa hedges that she isn’t her daughters’ manager, so she can’t speak to that issue. No, she’s not her daughters’ manager, but she is their MOTHER, so it’s safe to assume she has the final say. Melissa walks downs ALDC memory lane, and while she’ll miss the studio, she just loves Los Angeles. The girls take the stage to perform their Freak Show routine, which was one of my favorite group numbers of the season.
Kira and Jessalyn’s newbie mom status is revisited, and Jeff inquires as to if it was proper for Kira to make fun of JoJo’s speech impediment. Kira explains that she has a long history with Jessalyn and that JoJo still laughs about it to this day. Jessalyn counters that JoJo’s acceptance of Kira’s behavior doesn’t necessarily make it okay to poke fun at a child. Kira agrees, but Abby doesn’t. Sometimes kids need to be called out for things that are out of their control…like lisps and ears and eyes. I can’t with this woman. Abby loves JoJo and her ability, but she believes that Jessalyn is doing JoJo a huge disservice by not getting her a speech therapist. JoJo has a hearing problem according to Abby. With every hateful word Abby spews towards JoJo, I adore that child even more. Melissa knows her daughters would never talk back to Abby because they know how she is, save that one time that MacKenzie brazenly told Abby she wasn’t afraid of her. Abby is touched. No child should be afraid of her. They should just want to please her at all costs. Jill must know that she’s not a fan favorite, because she’s saying all the right things. She chastises Melissa for lauding her daughters’ good manners towards their teacher, and her favorite memories are those when the moms were relaxed and goofing off together, immune to the pressures of the studio.
JoJo takes the stage to reprise her role as Carrie, and I am so thankful the crown doesn’t fall off her head. This show has instilled in me an irrational fear of children losing headpieces. There is not enough dancing and too much complaining, in my humble opinion. When Jeff wonders how Kira feels about Abby’s management of Kalani’s career. Kira admits that she’s confused by the role of manager claims to play in her daughter’s career. Before Abby can respond, Jill interrupts to berate Kira, stating she’s only around because she’s piggy backing off their daughters’ fame. Give me a break. But not a break that involves Candy Apples Cathy channeling her inner Kenya Moore and entering stage right with a bullhorn. Please make is stop! Jill is appalled by Cathy’s entrance. Who comes out wielding a megaphone. Oh, Jill, don’t hold your breath waiting for Andy Cohen’s call! Cathy claims the bullhorn helps her be loud and obnoxious so she fits in perfectly with these annoys banshees. Cathy claims that pushing Abby’s buttons is better than winning any competition. Jeff recalls Cathy’s choice to feature daughter Vivi in a dance portraying her adoption and becoming an American citizen. And without further ado, let’s bring out Maddie to perform her award winning solo, All God’s Creatures. Fail on that segue, Jeff! Of course, I love watching Maddie dance, and it’s a nice reprieve from these silly biddies.
On again off again Abby/Cathy studio jumper (when not working in her own), Jeanette has arrived to confront Abby for the hateful and superficial things she spewed about her daughter Ava. Right off the bat, Jeanette accuses Abby of riding Maddie’s coattails for fame. Melissa is so confused. She squints her eyes and wonders if Abby is reaping any benefits from her daughter’s talent and good fortune. Certainly not! She’s just a good person! Jeanette despises that Abby talks so badly about her. After all they used to be friends! Remember who used to bring you Coney dogs and bottomless cones of cherry dipped ice cream, Abby? Here’s a hint–it was Jeanette! I’m confused…does Jeanette own a dance studio or a Sonic franchise? Jeanette defends her reputation as a stalker (not well, mind you), and she credits her daughter for rising above Abby’s hurtful words to succeed. Melissa agrees that Abby’s treatment of Ava was wrong, but Jeanette should have known better than to cross Abby. Holly face palms…she can’t understand why these ladies don’t see what is so wrong about humiliating a child to punish her parent. Thank goodness for the Frozen routine.
As the reunion draws to a close, Abby assures her fans that she will never sell or close her Pennsylvania studio. She opines about her love for teaching dance and her seventeen now semi-famous former students, hinting about another upcoming “big announcement.” Jeff bids us farewell with a dancing montage. Wait, that wasn’t the end. Cathy promises she’ll be a regular in Los Angeles, and Abby touts her upcoming experience to Australia, although Holly hates that Nia will be excluded for most of the trip. Cathy questions why Holly would even go…she’s not the only one! See you down unda, mates!
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE REUNION? DO Y’ALL THINK THE SEASON WAS INCREDIBLY SCRIPTED?
[Photo Credit: Lifetime]