Last night’s Dance Moms introduced us to a force of crazy the likes of which the ALDC has never seen. Who knew there would be a mother who could make Abby Lee Miller appear sane? Y’all know who I’m talking about, right? Yo-yolanda was in rare form on the latest episode, and that’s saying a lot given her peers. It’s very difficult to out-crazy crazy with these women!
Poor Laurieann Gibson. She’s really got her work cut out for her! After last week’s fourth place finish and dueling mothers, she is finally getting her feet wet. Laurieanne assembles the group for her version of Abby’s pyramid, which she has revamped as the A-list. Brynn is on the bottom with Kendall, but Laurieanne builds them up with positive reinforcement. Camryn, Maesie “the black sheep”, and Kalani make up the middle of the A, with the minis on the next tier. Nia Frazier tops the A-list, and man, I just adore her. She’s so humble.
This week’s competition is in Fresno, and the ALDC hasn’t had the best of luck there. Kalani and Brynn are given solos, and the group dance will tackle the subject of transgender struggles. However, due to the subject matter, the minis and Maesie won’t be in the routine. Mainly, Laurieann doesn’t have the time to work with the younger girls. One of the Iana moms and the “that hair” lady (you know who I’m talking about) charge in to challenge why their girls aren’t dancing. Camryn’s mother interrupts to ask Laurieann to ignore the mini mama drama and focus on the group dance. Yes please! Camille is thankful that her daughter has the lead after Abby spent her days overlooking Camryn. As Laurieanne rejoins her pupils, she jokes that the moms are chewing her up like a Salisbury steak. She isn’t used to the madness.
It is crazy to see the difference in the mothers with the new instructor. Kira is thrilled that she isn’t utilizing Kalani as just another pretty face. Instead, her daughter has a solo that she considers the most intense routine she’s ever had. While exhausted, Kalani knows that if she wants to be a professional dancer, this is how hard she’s going to need to work. Likewise, Ashlee is thrilled with Brynn’s piece. She loves Brynn’s choreography and is happy that her daughter isn’t just doing aerials all over the stage. She’s also hopeful Brynn will surpass Kalani in the eyes of their fearless leader.
Oh Yolanda. Holy crap. I have so much sympathy for Elliana. Apparently, she has a friend who is gender non-conforming, and she’s witnessed her friend endure a lot. Yolanda suggests her daughter tell Laurieann just how much being excluded from the group number hurts her because it reminds of her friend. Elliana doesn’t want to take this approach, but Yolanda piles on the guilt, telling Elliana how disappointed her friend would be in her. Yikes, mommy dearest! Through her tears, Elliana asks her mom exactly what to say to Laurieann, and Yolanda provides a script.
Sweet Elliana, still crying from her mother’s hazing, politely asks Laurieann for a moment of her time. After she recites her mother’s words, Laurieann is touched. She asks if Elliana would like to be a part of the group routine to support her friend. Elliana declines, but Laurieann announces to the mothers that one Iana is being added to the number. Stacey flips and recounts Yolanda’s insistence (and script) to a timid Elliana. Yolanda screams that Stacey is a liar, but the other moms back Stacey’s story…because it’s true. Laurieann cites her disgust before leaving to work on a video, and Ashlee apologizes to her on behalf of all the mothers. Once Laurieann is out the door, Yolanda decries Stacey as a lying bitch. Stacey counters that Yolanda has multiple personalities, so she’s three different bitches. The other ladies cackle at this line which only further incenses Yolanda.
After the debacle, Yolanda storms off to find her daughter. Elliana is in the dressing room with two other girls, one of which is playing on her laptop. Yolanda screeches that Elliana doesn’t deserve to be bullied just because she doesn’t get along with the other ladies. The other Iana looks up from her laptop confused, but not as confused as Elliana herself. She asks what her mom is talking about, and Yolanda yells that the girls are excluding her. They are giant bullies! Elliana bursts into horrified tears. What is her crazy mother doing now? She urges her mom to stop accusing her friends, and the two girls promise they weren’t being mean to Elliana. Yolanda refuses to back down from her bully allegations and yanks Elliana from the studio. The other Iana runs out to tell her mother that she was just accused of bullying. Oh no she didn’t! Stacey chases after Yolanda into the parking lot, reminding her that she called her a bitch three times over–her daughter did nothing. Yolanda retaliates by trying to choke Stacey. She is one cuckoo cocoa puff.
The following day, Yolanda has returned with her tail between her legs. Stacey is in the parking lot in tears. Laurieann arrives and lectures the women. They are a reflection of her, and she is a professional. If they want her to stay, the moms better get in check. When Laurieann threatens to walk, Ashlee leads Yolanda out for a quick apology to Stacey. Yolanda is embarrassed. She didn’t mean to be so reactive and she’s very sorry she pushed Stacey back after…wait what? Doesn’t that imply that Stacey threw the first slap? Stacey isn’t down with version of events, and she refuses to accept any apology until Yolanda explains exactly what she regrets. She can’t, but the mothers are so exasperated. Accept the damn apology before Laurieann throws in the towel with the team. It’s semantics!
Stacey is just a shell as she shuffles into the studio. What just happened? Inside, Laurieann introduces her friend Rocco, a performer who was born a female but identified as a male. The girls ask questions as Rocco explains how important it is to be accepting. Jill thinks Rocco’s presence will help further inspire the girls in the group routine, and she praises Laurieann for inviting him to rehearsal.
On the day of competition, Laurieann gives Brynn and Kalani a pep talk that begins with her reminding them the team needs a win and ends with her thanking Jesus she’s not Abby. Brynn performs first with a very sassy jazz number, which she kills. Ashlee is thankful it’s not just another lyrical number. When Brynn leaves the stage, her friends bombard her with excitement over how well she did. It is so refreshing to see that the girls aren’t picking up their mothers’ deplorable behavior. Kalani also does an amazing job and pushes herself more than ever before. Backstage, Laurieann praise Ashlee and Kira for their daughters’ performances, and both women admit that their girls seemed a bit winded at the end. She wants to work on their stamina. The group routine is phenomenal, and Camryn deserved that lead. These girls are incredibly talented.
At the awards ceremony, Kalani’s solo places second, and Brynn is disappointed not to place at all. Also second? The group routine. Afterwards, Laurieann chastises the girls for some sloppiness in the group dance but she encourages the girls to rise above the moms’ nastiness, which she blames for not grabbing the top prize. The girls were far too distracted by the crap the women are engaging in that takes away from the end goal. Laurieann warns Yolanda and Stacey that she refuses to allow their hateful ways to continue. The ladies rehash apologies, and Yolanda plays the victim, offering to sacrifice herself by leaving if it will make Laurieann stay with the team. In actuality, she misses Abby, who let her daughter dance more often, so she’s fine leaving. The mothers scoff at her with disgust as Laurieann bursts into frustrated tears.
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE? COULD YOU BELIEVE YOLANDA’S MANIPULATIVE WAYS??
Photo Credit: Lifetime