On last night’s two hour finale of Dance Moms, Cheryl Burke stays true to her word and returns to coach the Irreplaceables to victory. However, Jill and Kendall have gone out of town so Cheryl insists on bringing in a fifth dancer for the “Coven” group routine. She jokes that the girls will be witches while the mothers are bitches. Truth! This news causes the mothers to bristle. Who will the new girl be? Will she get a solo? What does this mean for their girls? Cheryl quickly shows them the door. Let her do her job, people!
Of course, the moms are less than thrilled when dancer Reagan arrives with her mother Julie. Reagan has competed against the girls, and the mothers don’t welcome Julie with open arms. Julie wants her daughter to have a solo given that she’s been excommunicated from all her teams for all the hopping around. Julie tries to make awkward jokes as Holly, Christi, and Camille become increasingly peeved at the attention Reagan is receiving. When she is granted a solo alongside Camryn and Kalani, the mothers go ballistic.
Christi and Holly are broken records about their daughters having been on this team since the beginning. Why do they get shafted? Cheryl quickly shuts them down—she wants to win this week and Reagan has better technique. Perhaps watching her will push their daughters to improve. Nia and Chloe try to stick up for themselves, but Cheryl isn’t having it. Nia had a duet last week when Kalani didn’t—everyone gets a turn. The mothers start yelling obscenities and Cheryl promptly kicks them out of the room while admonishing them for such deplorable behavior in front of their daughters. The screaming continues in the viewing room as the mothers converge on Julie for claiming the older girls were belittling her daughter. It’s not a pretty scene.
The following day, Cheryl calmly explains to the mothers why it was imperative to bring in another dancer who could help the team win. Isn’t that what they want? She doesn’t give them the opportunity to respond before shooing them out of the studio. I love Cheryl. Working with Camryn, she learns that the dancer is insecure about her technique because she started dancing so much later than her teammates. Cheryl lifts up Camryn with a sincere pep talk, but Camryn is still worried about competing against Kalani and the girl who beat Kalani. When Reagan rehearses, Christi and Holly continue to stir the pot with Julie. Christi keeps accusing Julie of riding their Instagram coattails when all Julie wants is a “thanks for helping!” for coming in to save the flailing group dance. Shouldn’t they be peeved at Jill for peacing out this week instead?
Kalani is an incredible trooper, but she’s sustained a serious ankle injury. She offers to ax her solo in order to be able to work through the pain during the group routine. Camryn now feels incredible pressure to be the one on the team who beats Reagan. Christi finds it suspect that Kalani’s injury happened right before she was supposed to dance against the girl who beat her last year. As Kalani’s ankle swells, Cheryl pulls her from the group number so she can recuperate before Nationals.
At the competition, Holly has absolutely no faith that this foursome is going to be able to take the team’s first group win without Abby Lee Miller. The mothers are still icing out Julie, but the girls are welcoming to eleven-year-old Reagan. What a talent! Reagan reminds me of a young Maddie Zeigler. Camille wants Camryn to crush the little girl her solo so she gets more confidence in her dance abilities. Camryn did an incredible job, but she leaves the stage feeling defeated. Her friends pile on the praise, but she doesn’t listen. Cheryl tells Camryn her performance gave her chills, but Camryn believes she let down her coach. Cheryl hopes her attitude shifts before the group routine.
Kalani gives her team a serious pep talk before they take the stage. I love these girls. Mission accomplished. The four girls do a tremendous job as Kalani watches in the wings. Cheryl and the moms let out a sigh of relief. When it is time for awards, Reagan’s solo places fourth with Camryn winning first. Finally, she’s smiling. The Irreplaceables take the top spot for their group routine, and they are elated to have scored their first victory outside the ALDC.
Jill has returned, and she poopoos the other mothers who were agitated by her absence. The mood in the studio has changed immensely after last week’s win. Cheryl Burke wants to keep the streak, and she’s choreographing the Nationals routine with many elements of ballroom dancing. Holly is concerned. These girls have never had any kind of ballroom training. Cheryl announces that Nia, Kalani, and Chloe will have solos, citing Nia and Chloe as the two OGs. Jill mishears her and quickly interrupts to snap that Kendall has been around a lot longer than Kalani. When put in her place, Jill demands to know the thought process behind Cheryl’s decision. Cheryl curtly reminds Jill that Kendall was on vacation last week, and Jill fires back that Kalani didn’t dance either. Um, she was injured, but she was at competition to support her teammates. Cheryl puts a swift end to Jill’s bitching and dismisses her along with the other mothers.
In the viewing room, Jill passive aggressively rants about how unfair it is that Kendall is the only dancer not to receive a Cheryl Burke solo. Woe is Jill! How quickly she forgets Kendall’s winning duet that initially caused Cheryl to stick around. Christi reminds Jill that she wasn’t around last week, and Jill screams back that Christi has been MIA for the last two years. Oh Jill. She’s not mad Chloe has a solo. She’s mad Chloe has a solo instead of Kendall. Why can’t they both have solos? Christi chastises Jill. She and Holly had their girls dancing at the ALDC long before the show and social media followers. Jill is clearly in it for fame. Aren’t all of these blow hard moms?
Chloe’s solo is very dark and requires a lot of acting skills. Cheryl wants tears. Chloe reveals that she lost her love for dance while at the ALDC, but she’s finding that passion again. Cheryl approaches the mothers, and Jill is faker than fake when addressing her. If there is extra time, would she pretty please consider a solo for Kendall? It would mean so much. Cheryl relents…if there is time. She warns Jill that Kendall needs to up her group routine game. Christi gives a hard eye roll to Jill’s request. Cheryl works with Nia, and Holly is hopeful for a positive Nationals solo routine for her daughter. Kalani is trying to push through the pain of her strain. She feels the pressure after winning Nationals last year. Kira is nervous as she sees her daughter struggle to put any weight on her ankle. What if she is unable to dance?
Cheryl caves and choreographs a solo for Kendall, entitled “Trouble Maker” as an apparent dig at Jill. Jill doesn’t care as long as her kid has a Nationals’ solo. At Nationals, Holly feels uncertain about the girls’ future. Is this the end of their Lifetime fame new team? Christi surprises the Irreplaceables with team jackets. The girls are thrilled, and Christi adds that Nia and Chloe have special OG patches on their sleeves. Jill quickly points out that these girls were the OGs of the ALDC, not this new team. Nia laughs and chides her, saying, “I don’t get much, Jill. Let me have this!” Preach Nia. Christi and Jill continue their bickering backstage, but the girls just want to focus on their final performances. Kendall, Nia, and Chloe are flawless, with tears of joy from the girls and their mothers. Kalani is in a great deal of pain, but you’d never know from her performance. She is perfectly fierce and saves her tears of agony until after she’s exited the stage. Nia is on hand with an ice pack. She’s never seen her friend cry over an injury, so she recognizes the severity of it.
Kalani knows she needs to push through for the group routine, but she may not have to worry when Chloe is rocked by a severe nose bleed. However, the title of their routine is “Survivor” so the show must go on…even if it means Chloe floods the stage. JoJo arrives to support her former teammates, and their number earns a standing ovation. At the awards ceremony, Chloe’s solo places third which is wonderful considering it’s her first solo performance in years. Kendall’s dance scores the second spot in the teen division (good thing Jill pushed for that dance, right?), and a beaming Nia receives a deserved first place. In the senior division, an injured Kalani ties for second. The group routine achieves the overall high score with the Irreplaceables sweeping Nationals. Backstage, the victories are bittersweet as the girls recall the highlights of their friendship over the years, and damn you Lifetime. I’m a blubbering mess over Dance Moms.
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE FINALE? IS THIS THE END OF AN ERA?
[Photo Credit: Lifetime]