I don’t know about you, but last night’s parade of bump-its, spray tans, and grown-a$$ women dressed in prom dresses was exactly what I’d expect from the Dance Moms Reunion. As the mothers get dolled up pageant style, we learn that Abby Lee Miller has been texting them constantly, forbidding them from attending the reunion. Of course, when she finds out they are already there, she arrives and silently takes her seat, putting a slew of papers under the cushion.
As the show begins, Abby refuses to speak to anyone because she’s classy like that. I’m thrilled that Jeff Collins dialed back the orange tint in his hair from the last go-round. As the mom take the stage, Jeff rehashes the Nationals upset. Abby holds up a sign that reads, “Fixed!” Jill explains that the competition was orchestrated, and Holly interrupts to say that yes, the awards ceremony was a mess, but they’ve never complained when the ALDC won. No one cries “fixed” then! Jessalyn touts that it made their team seem like sore losers, and suddenly Abby has found her voice with Jill and Melissa co-signing her every word.
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Jeff shares footage of Abby complimenting the owner of the event before the girls danced and calls her out when she adamantly denies a friendship–or even the filmed exchange of niceties–between them. Now he’s corrupt. After the competition, there is a scene of the owner of Nationals apologizing for the unorganized awards ceremony but defending his reputation for putting on fair dance competitions. Jill reminds everyone that the ALDC has won Nationals the past four times, so something sinister had to have transpired. Jessalyn retorts that Jill never questioned the results when the ALDC was victorious. Abby vehemently defends her position that she’s never entered her team in this man’s other competitions, but she’s shut down by an executive producer who yells from offstage that the girls have competed in his events many times at Abby’s request.
Candy Apples Kathy’s name is mentioned, and Jill is fearful that Jeff is going to invite her to the stage. No, instead he calls upon her replacement, Jeanette who Melissa claims is ten times better than Kathy. Jeanette is hurt that her friend Melissa would show such poor sportsmanship after Ava beat Maddie. Regardless of how she’s felt about past outcomes, Jeanette has always congratulated Maddie upon besting Ava. Melissa rolls her eyes and mutters, “congratulations” as Jeanette thanks Jess and Holly for staying in the audience. Even Jeanette admits that the competition was chaotic, but Jill and Abby moan that the only reason it was a big win for Ava was because she beat Maddie. Abby keeps holding up random signs, and when the crowd cheers Jeanette, Melissa turns on them. “Oh really people?” Jessalyn suggests that when someone takes an issue with the judging, the best course of action would be to call the director with those concerns the following day. How hard is that? As quickly as she arrived, Jeanette is excused from the sofas.
The girls take the stage to perform “Don’t Fence Me In” which is a welcome break from this insanity. Jeff turns the discussion to the women’s beef with Abby, and he turns to Jill’s complaints about the lack of training. Abby blames the girls for not working on their technique outside of class. We’re treated to the screaming match between Abby and Jill over Kendall’s stretches. Jessalyn backs Jill, claiming that the girls didn’t stretch in class, and Abby bites that Jessalyn is a dance teacher so she should have JoJo stretching at home. Jess states that JoJo was practicing at home, but Abby wouldn’t know it as she never allowed her to perform. Abby is met with views when she implies that JoJo is the reason the group routine lost Nationals. JoJo’s master class is revisited (you know, the one JoJo participated in, not the one she taught!), and once again another young girl is in tears. Thankfully, Jeff interrupts Jess and Abby’s bickering to introduce a solo performance by Kendall.
Abby keeps rifling through her signs when Jeff brings up Kira inviting the choreographer from Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition to offer a class. Kira’s blow-up with Abby is highlighted after Abby refuses a hug from Kalani, and Abby screams about Kira’s sex life and the fact that Kalani would rather be with any other mom. Abby defends herself by saying she was just being hugged on my way too many children and she was over it by the time Kalani’s turn occurred. Six hugs will drain a person. Jessalyn advises that Abby’s best response would be to say that she was an emotional wreck and she made a mistake, but we all know Abby will never admit when she is wrong. We then learn that Abby disappeared for the week following that exchange because she was banned from the set…for stripping down. Holly accuses Abby of being extremely unprofessional, but we’ll have to wait for that battle until after the girls dance their “Panic Room” routine.
After the break, Jeff stirs the pot, having the group pinpoint Holly as the one “most changed” by Hollywood. It’s rich to see Jill attack Holly when she’s clearly just jealous. Holly argues that she was only trying to create opportunities for Nia. Jill states that Nia didn’t go to school, but Holly counters that Nia did the same amount of schoolwork, but just at a different time of day. Holly yells that Jill is a liar and storms off stage as Abby grins like a lunatic, bidding her farewell. The same poor producer convinces Holly to return to her seat so they can show previously unaired footage of Nia’s video premiere Slay at Nationals. I have to say it’s nice to see the other mothers (and even Abby…kind of) enjoying her song.
Next, Jessalyn targets Kira for quitting the team after Kalani was pulled from the group number. The debacle is rehashed and Kira reveals that it was Kalani’s decision to come back…not hers. Jeff congratulates Kira on her pregnancy but asks Abby why she has such a problem with Kira having a baby with a man to whom she isn’t married. Abby explains that she loves Kalani, Kalani is at an impressionable age, and as fond as she knows Kira is of her boyfriend, they need to make things official. At this point, Jeff (and Kira’s boyfriend) sink to an all time low of cliches when it’s announced that the baby daddy is in the building. The mothers and Abby shriek and cheer as Kira’s boyfriend bursts on the scene. A tearful Kira listens as her beau proposes surrounded by a bunch of middle aged women and tweens wielding iPhones. Kalani runs to hug Abby…and her mom and future step-father followed by a gaggle of ALDC members. As cheesy as it is, I’m thankful for a happy moment in this hateful, horrid reunion.
As the reunion concludes, Melissa is defending herself for her reaction to MacKenzie beating Maddie. She isn’t taking the win away from MacKenzie, she just believed that Maddie did a better job. Melissa argues that she felt the same way–and said as much–when MacKenzie beat JoJo. Jeff changes the subject by congratulating Abby on the LA studio. Abby rattles off her world tour in lieu of running her new studio and coyly suggests that she’s moving on from “what’s been going on” and she plans to exit while she’s on top. The previews made it seem like Abby was quitting for good, but apparently she’s just not planning to focus on the junior elite team. Sheesh. I want to bitch slap half the people on that panel for stealing an hour of my life, but I deserve the biggest smack in the face myself for getting so caught up in this madness!
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S DANCE MOMS REUNION? WHO GRATED ON YOUR NERVES THE MOST AND WHY?
[Photo Credit: Lifetime]