Thank you, Lifetime! My prayers have been answered. Last night’s Dance Moms episode was only an hour long. Finally! I never thought this day would come! We are back to some semblance of structure. Abby Lee Miller is actually present for the pyramid! If that’s not enough, Jill Vertes gets to throw out her favorite word–favoritism–regarding the minis. It’s status quo once again!
In case you missed the first fifteen hours of this season, Jill is sick and tired of the mini team taking Abby’s attention away from Kendall and the elite team. However, she’s the loudest to cheer when Abby announces yet again that the minis’ latest group routine garnered the most points. In fact, it’s Holly Frazier who is first to challenge Abby regarding the drama surrounding last week’s competition. Kira happily joins in and Jill quickly stops cheering and starts chastising. Stacey, the only mini mom whose name I’ve chosen to learn, is very vocal about how horrible the veteran moms are. Lather, rinse, repeat, week after week, season after season.
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My recap of the mini’s pyramid is going to be quick because I’m really trying not to learn their names. On the bottom is Peyton and Alexia, followed on the middle rung by Elliana and Ariana. Lilliana takes the top spot for winning her solo. It’s a solid showing for the -Ianas for sure! Stacey laughs a lot like Shannon Beador, doesn’t she? Abby announces that this week’s routines will be a tribute to Muhammad Ali. Minis Lilliana and Peyton will be performing an acro duet entitled Sting Like a Bee. The minis are also granted a group routine. Unfortunately, Peyton won’t be participating because she continues to prove that she cannot dance in sync with her teammates. Abby hopes this will allow her to concentrate on the duet. Taking her cues from the veteran mothers–and then doing the exact opposite of what they would do–Peyton’s mom remains silent about the snub.
The elite team’s pyramid goes quickly, but not because I don’t know there names–it’s because Abby doesn’t want to give them the time of day. Rushing through, Abby announces that Kalani is on the bottom, Kendall and Nia are in the middle, and Brynn is on the top for winning her solo. Abby gives no critiques and is finished before she even starts. She hopes the elite team will be pacified by the fact they are granted a hip-hop routine for this competition, with two of her LA students joining the group to make up for a still absent JoJo Siwa. Do I need to learn these girls’ names as well? No? Great, thank you! Abby also announces that the elite team will be learning another hip hop dance and will be featured in an upcoming commercial. Kendall is excited about participating in the commercial because the male dancers they’ve brought in are incredibly cute. Abby is confident enough in her choreographers that she can joke about taking a spa day while someone else works with her students. Jill is equally perplexed, pissed, and relieved that Abby won’t be a part of this commercial.
Some poor assistant is tasked with bringing in the product that will be featured in the commercial, LED lit dance shoes called Electro Kicks. Clever!
However, not as clever as Electro Lites which I plan to trademark immediately. The choreographer lectures the girls that they will be dancing with boys who are represented by the top agents in Los Angeles. Isn’t that what the girls want as well? They had better be up to the challenge! He’s already channeling his inner Abby Lee. With the elite team spoken for, Abby is able to focus on the mini duet. Even in its first rehearsal, it is absolutely adorable and Abby is thrilled. The mini mom is make sure to point out Abby’s excitement to the elite moms. Have they ever seen her so excited about a dance? Well played, mini moms. Well played.
As the older girls practice with their counterparts for the commercial, the mothers complain about how difficult the choreography is. These women are never satisfied! Holly cites it as a great opportunity, but she complains that Abby has given them only a day to learn this routine as well as their competition number. Likewise, the commercial’s choreographer is upset that the girls are not dancing up to their potential and to the talent of the guys. Jill is once again peeved that her gaggle is tasked with rebuilding the girls’ confidence while protecting their brands. MY BRAND! The following day, Abby keeps her focus on the mini team’s group routine. The mini moms take note of all the attention and are feeling the pressure. Meanwhile, the elite team is getting no love from their teacher, and the moms are frustrated. When it’s time for Abby to work with her veteran girls, she introduces their new teammates for the week. The girls are smiling halfheartedly, but they are clearly defeated at this point. I don’t just blame Abby though, their moms are the ones who have kept them in the situation!
Abby is very passionate about the Muhammad Ali tribute, but when the girls begin practicing their mothers realize that this dance is a hot mess. I’ll be honest, the boxing gloves make it a bit difficult to have sharp moves and stellar technique. The mothers are concerned with how slow the music is as well as how easy the choreography is. Jill doesn’t believe a tribute dance should be this cheesy, and that’s just what this is. As Abby admonishes the routine for being boring, she blames her dancers for being lazy instead of trying to improve the choreography. As rehearsals continue, the mini moms notice that their daughters’ routine is much harder than the elite teams dance. They are excited about the prospect of having their daughters do such a difficult number, and they are appreciative of Abby’s extra efforts. On the flip side, Jill is reminding the elite team just how horrible their group number is. Kalani questions why they are doing a dance in the first place, and Jill takes a poll. Who is in agreement that the group number should be shelved for the competition? Everyone raises their hands. Ashlee isn’t willing to diminish her daughter’s reputation in favor of Abby’s favoritism for the minis.
At the commercial shoot, the moms beg the choreographer to allow them to use his number for the competition. He’s no idiot, and he advises them to check with Abby first. Of course, with her permission, he’s happy to showcase his dance at the competition. When Abby arrives at the shoot, the moms exchange fake pleasantries with their daughters’ instructor. Despite the producer praising the girls for their skills and talent, Abby is full of criticism. It’s almost to the point where the producer doesn’t want her giving her input. The veteran moms decide this is a good time to pull Abby aside and propose a new group routine, the one from the commercial. Not surprisingly, Abby is insulted and appalled. How dare they?
On the day of competition, the mothers decide to channel their inner Muhammad Ali and stand up for what they believe in, which is not having their girls do the cheesy group number. The producer thankfully interrupts to preview a video of the previous day’s shoot. It’s a very cool spot with Kalani being front and center. She deserves it. The producer compliments the girls on their confidence, and Jill counters that the girls have been lacking self esteem in the recent weeks due to things that have been going on with in the studio. Abby basically stares lasers into Jill’s skull before storming out of the building. The mini duet goes first, and the girls are absolutely adorable. Such talent! Granted they are still six so there are some technique issues, but I’m forty and would break my neck attempting a forward roll. Basically, I’m not one to talk.
Before the elite team is set to perform, the two LA teammates and their mothers arrive. Awkward! The moms had already decided to use their commercial routine, and Abby’s LA students don’t know that choreography. Alas, Abby invited them anyway to let the veteran moms break the news that the new girls aren’t included. Jill and her coven are beyond pissed (and I don’t really blame them). There was no need for Abby to include these innocent dancers in the power play. A screaming match breaks out between Abby and Kira who tries to assure the LA moms that the exchange has nothing to do with their girls. The team bands together to bring to include the LA students into the number. Who doesn’t love these girls!?!
The mini group routine proves how deserving of this opportunity (is it an opportunity?) these girls are. They did an amazing job. Of course, the warm and fuzzies are short lived. Drama ensues when the director of the competition approaches the veteran moms to tell them they never registered the boys from the commercial for the competition. Therefore, the guys will not be able to dance with the elite team. Jill interrupts to say that Abby said she would register the boys, but he responds that she never did. Jill accuses Abby of being a liar, but at the end of the exchange both Abby and the director allow the boys to participate. Holly knows the team is capable of rocking out this group routine without any contribution from Abby, and they do, despite the last minute stage fright of one of their LA counterparts. Kira is sympathetic to the poor girl. She learned her dance in mere minutes. It’s not surprising that she wasn’t able to take the stage due to nerves.
Abby reveals that this competition only considers the highest scores. If Peyton’s duet doesn’t place, Abby believes she has sealed her fate on the mini team. Thankfully Peyton is safe with an overall win in the mini duet category. The minis also score the top spot for the group number. Unfortunately, the ALDC elite team doesn’t follow suit with a first place win. Ashlee and the other moms are disappointed given that the girls are in need of a morale boost. One of the mini moms is quick to point out that the veteran moms did not have enough faith and Abby and went rogue on their routine. As Abby walks away, the elite team and their mothers decide it might be the end of their working relationship. Kira suggest renting out their own studio in hiring another choreographer. Could this be the end of the AL DC?
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE? ARE THE MINIS GROWING ON YOU?
[Photo Credit: Lifetime]