Dance Moms Recap: Big Girls Don’t Cry

Dance Moms recap

So, on a scale of one to without question, how happy is Maddie Ziegler to be out from under Abby Lee Miller’s thumb? Only time will tell, but if last night’s Dance Moms season premiere was any indicator, the rest of the ALDC elite team needs to follow suit.

Abby has amped up the crazy (with all her legal woes, can you blame her?), and the mini moms are instigating drama among the veteran mothers…as if those ladies really need any push to engage in ridiculous and horrendous behavior…on camera, no less. But those sweet girls…I have certainly missed them and their talent! 

The show begins with the girls and their mothers heading into the Los Angeles studio after a much needed break. JoJo Siwa believes that it seems incredibly different without the Ziegler sisters, and Kalani hopes that Abby will realize the elite team can hold their own without them…although she’s not holding her breath.


Brynn’s mom Ashlee isn’t as thrilled to be back as Jill and Kira have been assaulting her character on social media. She wishes they would understand that by feeding into such negativity their clucking makes the entire team look bad. Come on, Ashlee. You’ve seen this show before!

As Abby arrives to start their session, Kendall and Jill swoop in late. Abby can’t be bothered with Jill’s excuses, she just needs to remind the girls that the most important facet of the team is no longer with them. However, the show must go on. Good luck, girls. You’re going to need it. Abby finishes up her pep talk by hoping they take the opportunity to step into the spotlight that Maddie has left vacant. Who is this positive person and what has she done with Abby? Holly Frazier wants to know–she’s flabbergasted by Abby’s excitement over the elite team.

During pyramid, Abby recognizes the bottom tier by doling out compliments to Kalani and JoJo. She even gives Nia the opportunity to share all the exciting things she’s done over the break, which include performing at a movie premiere and dancing in a video that Beyonce posted on her Facebook page WITH A SHOUT OUT TO NIA! I’d be dead. Abby beams at Nia’s accomplishments. Kendall is on the second row, and Abby believes she held her own in the girls’ final group dance. The newbie is in the top spot, and Abby gushes over her two week travels to Europe with Brynn and Ashlee. Well that explains some of the Ashlee hate, doesn’t it?

This week, the girls are traveling to San Jose, and Holly interrupts to say she’ll be absent on Friday but will be front and center at Saturday’s competition. Abby offers to be Nia‘s guardian and get a bigger hotel room to accommodate Nia. Holly isn’t quite drinking the Kool-Aid. She promises to discuss it with Nia, but she knows her daughter was excited about the prospect of traveling with Kalani. Abby rolls her eyes. While Holly is cautiously optimistic about Abby’s newfound interest in her daughter, she questions Abby’s intentions. 

dance moms nia

The group number is going to be a funky take on the When the Saints Go Marching In, and Abby introduces two young gentlemen who will be joining the girls for the routine. Abby doesn’t want the boys talent to go to waste, so they will also be dancing in the duets. Kendall and Will get a duet, and it’s Kendall’s first time ever dancing with a boy. Brynn is gifted the other duet with Yadiel. As the group practices, the mothers are in awe at Abby’s one-eighty with her attitude. Ashlee hopes that the women can mimic her mood and stop being so hateful to her on social media. Jill chastises Ashlee for bringing up old news. Jill and Kira blasting her on Twitter is so last week. Literally. Ashlee flees the viewing room in tears as Kira cackles about babies crying in the corner. 

The following day, Nia and Holly discuss Abby’s recent interest in Nia’s career. Nia wants to take her situation with Abby like a new relationship…slowly. She’d rather keep her travel plans with Kira and Kalani. Brynn is feeling the pressure of her duet as the premise is a bad date that turns into a stalker-style experience. Hmmm. Jill lectures Ashlee about making matters worse by fleeing from confrontation. That’s rich advice coming from Jill, isn’t it? Of course, Jill is quickly sidetracked by the notion that Abby is favoring Brynn and Yadiel with stronger choreography in hopes of securing a win for her new favorite.

However, Brynn is buckling under the pressure of Abby‘s critiques and comparisons to Maddie. Ashlee intervenes to assure Abby that her daughter will get out of her own head, but Brynn retreats in tears. She’s worried the other moms are going to make fun of her as she should be because these ladies are relentless. Jessalyn, Jill, and Kira are like vultures, and they convene on Brynn about why Brynn is crying instead of practicing with the group. Kira interjects that Kendall had a dance taken away for tearful behavior. Abby is over these women, and you know it is bad when someone is making Abby look like a saint. 

dance moms brynn

In San Jose, Jill is shocked by their reception from fans in light of Maddie’s absence. As they girls prep for the group number, Ashlee gives a nervous Brynn a pep talk. It then explodes into Ashlee shrieking at Jessalyn for attacking her daughter for crying. Jill takes offense. Don’t they recall that time Kendall got her solo pulled for crying? Where is the consistency? Yes, Jill is the advocate for fair treatment, isn’t she? She practices what she preaches for sure!

Speaking of Kendall, her duet with Will is first in the line-up, and while it’s cute (although what was the premise? Pretty Woman cons Run DMC? Is this age appropriate?), Will totally steals the spotlight. Their energy has Brynn freaking out backstage. 

The judges continue to call Brynn’s duet but there is no activity on the stage. Plot twist! Byrnn is ready to go, but Yadiel is overcome with nerves. He tells his mother that he doesn’t want to dance, and his mother relays to Abby that Brynn is the one backing out of the routine. Hey lady, see those cameras? Geez. With Abby close behind, Ashlee bolts backstage to force her daughter to suck it up as Jessalyn and Jill heckle in the background. Brynn’s distressed to learn that the other moms think she’s suffering from cold feet. Kalani and Nia set the record straight–Brynn was always ready to dance, and Yadiel was the one who didn’t want to perform. Brynn swallows her tears and kills her duet save one little trip. Jessalyn taunts that Brynn is probably backstage crying over her slip. 

dance moms will kendall

After their performance, Jill and Jessalyn feed off Yadiel’s mother attempting to explain why her son didn’t want to dance. I wish the girls were there to tell the truth. It’s always refreshing to see how they support each other despite their mothers’ hate mongering.

Before the group number, Abby manages to make their pep talk about Maddie and MacKenzie. The routine is entertaining, but it’s not one of my favorites. The boys definitely outshone their female counterparts. Bring back Will for every episode please! At the awards ceremony, Brynn‘s duet places fourth. Jessalyn and Jill laugh unmercifully at this decision with Kendall and Will snagging third place. Thankfully, the group number wins its division. 

After the competition, Jill, who advises others to keep the past in the past, continues to bring up that Abby isn’t consistent in how she handles things. Abby allows Brynn to explain what actually happened backstage. When Brynn tells her version, Jill interrupts, wondering if she is supposed to believe this crying child over a mother. When Abby and Ashlee try to tell her that Yadiel‘s mother gave them incorrect information, Jill and Jessalyn storm out, ordering their daughters to follow. Jessalyn screams that anyone who wants to learn to cry should come dance at Abby Lee’s Crying Studio. I just can’t with these women. Shame on them. 


[Photo Credit: Lifetime]