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Well played, Lifetime, well played. I’ll give the network a slow clap for sure after last night’s wrap up to the Dance Moms reunion. It had me bawling like a baby, but I appreciated that it focused on the only two redeeming qualities of the show: the girls’ genuine friendships and the amazing dancing. Plus, kudos for plugging the girls’ music videos and YouTube channels! Each of these young ladies has a bright future ahead of her, and Jai Rodriquez is yet again a breath of fresh air compared to ol’ Phil Collins.

The reunion begins with the girls joining The Boys of Temecula in a fabulous hip-hop number. After the dance, Maddie, MacKenzie, Nia, JoJo, Kalani, Kendall, and Brynn join to Jai to dish about the drama and the fun we’ve seen this season. Maddie recalls that she, her sister, and Nia were the only original ALDC team members remaining, and they have all grown up together. Jai shows a clip of the girls learning of Maddie and MacKenzie’s departure which starts the waterworks. You can tell how much these girls love each other. Don’t you remember being that age when when those kind of friendships were the only care in the world?

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Maddie tells Jai that it truly hit her she was leaving after the team performed its last group routine together. After watching a clip of the Ziegler sisters final awards ceremony, MacKenzie admits she was too choked up to speak. The girls discuss how strange it will be not to have Maddie in her permanent spot at the top of the pyramid, and Jai questions who they think will be the next Maddie. Abby Lee Miller has been building up Brynn for this role, but Maddie thinks whoever joins their team should be their own person, not a replacement. Are you listening, Abby? Brynn admits that it’s hard to be the new girl, and Kendall empathizes as she was also brought onto the team through a probationary period. The girls also remind Brynn that she was given lots of solos this season, although Brynn felt pressure from Abby to beat Maddie. MacKenzie and Brynn have gotten really close, and Mac calls her a great addition to their team.

The crew briefly chats about the minis (I’m not going to lie, every time I type “minis” I think of Chick-fil-A mini biscuits and I get incredibly hungry!) with JoJo calling them a hot mess (ha!) and MacKenzie saying she related to them. We’re then treated to a video reel comprised of every single one of Abby’s mortal enemies wishing Maddie and MacKenzie well in their future endeavors. You know Abby is seething as Candy Apple Cathy calls her an old crone while praising her proteges! Interspersed with Cathy’s rambling message are clips from Jeanette and Ava, Shangelica, as well as Black Patsy and NicayaGino is present in the clip to opine about his first kiss with Maddie, and she’s blushing just as much as when it first happened. Even Vivi is able to get a word in edgewise despite her chatty mother. 

After a performance of the group number Boss Ladies, Jai gushes about Kendall’s YouTube channel. They take a volunteer from the audience to play in Kendall’s version of Double Dare. She and Jai quiz the Ziegler sisters on Dance Moms trivia, and they douse the poor fan in Hawaiian Punch, salad dressing, and shredded cheese whenever Maddie or MacKenzie gives a wrong answer. I am having flashbacks of being hazed in my middle school girls’ club (it was a horrible idea then, and it’s a horrible idea now!). JoJo then discusses her friendships with Maddie and MacKenzie before debuting her video Boomerang, which is actually pretty cute. Kendall and Jill have parts in the video, which you know made Jill’s entire year. 

The girls dish on Abby, chastising her for leaving tissue trails, borrowing things and never returning them, and using JoJo’s sweatshirt as a napkin once. Only once? Next, MacKenzie shares her latest video for her song I Gotta Dance which is accompanied by The Temecula Boys. We’re then treated to more tears as we watch footage of the girls growing up together in the ALDC studio followed by a solo from Maddie. It’s crazy to think how little they were when the show began. The girls are crying as they share favorite memories and explain how much Maddie and MacKenzie mean to them. Thanks, girls. You have a grown woman nearly sobbing into her Pinot Noir. At least I’m not alone…Jai’s right there with me! To finish off the reunion, Todrick Hall joins the girls for one last epic routine.  

TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE SECOND PART OF THE REUNION? DID YOU GET TEARY AT THE GIRLS’ GOOD-BYES? 

[Photo Credit: Lifetime]

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