While filming the never-ending season 6, Maddie made the decision to quit Dance Moms and finally be independent from the clutches of Abby Lee Miller. The breakout star of the show, with Hollywood and Sia calling, the show became more pain than pleasure. It was a “hard decision,” to make but now Maddie is relieved to have more control over her career and her life. “It was getting too stressful,” she explains. “I feel like I had so much more pressure on me to be the best in the room.”
Well played, Lifetime, well played. I’ll give the network a slow clap for sure after last night’s wrap up to the Dance Momsreunion. 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?
Um, are we watching someone unravel right in front of our eyes? The first three minutes of last night’s Dance Moms Reunion was akin to watching Britney Spears’ epic meltdown circa 2006, except there wasn’t any head-shaving…yet (at least). Abby Lee Miller arrives extremely late–and braless–as the mothers wait patiently on the stage with this year’s host, Jai Rodriquez. As a huge Queer Eye fan, I’m glad to see he’s still around! I notice that Phil Collins was wise enough not to get to close to this debacle! Abby stumbles on stage, hair half up in hot rollers, much she like starts her day at the studio. Abby complains about her bra, pulling it outside of her shirt to show the appalled audience, as Melissa Gisoni rushes to her rescue. Jai quickly cuts to a group routine which is already prepped and ready to go.
Jai gushes over the season, and Abby seems to have regained some sense of composure. He inquires about the Ziegler girls’ exit, and Abby accuses Melissa of lying to her, the producers, director, and Lifetime’s legal team. Melissa counters that they all knew, and she followed the proper channels. As Abby rolls her eyes, Jai questions what rumors Abby has heard. She goes on a rampage about Maddie judging So You Think You Can Dance, dismissing the competition show and its decisions. Melissa’s blood is boiling but she’s not allowed to speak on Maddie’s next move. Jill tries to calm her friend. Jessalyn interjects to remind Abby that she cried for hours when she heard about Maddie and MacKenzie’s impending departure. Abby argues that she’s beyond happy for Maddie, but she wanted to part of the united front when announcing their new opportunities. The other moms recognize that Melissa was following the advice of her lawyer, but they feel slighted that she always accused them of lying or believing gossip when they would question her about the rumors that turned out to be true.
It’s not an episode of Dance Moms if Abby Lee Miller doesn’t tap dance all over the feelings of her dancers, and it’s not the season finale if Lifetime doesn’t force an extra thirty minutes of the show on us. Last night was an emotional ride, with MacKenzie andMaddie Ziegler saying good-bye to their oldest friends and Melissa Gisoni peacing out on the ladies she has loved to hate for the last several years.
For the last week, Maddie wishes for good dances, fun times, and Abby keeping the yelling to a minimum. Keep wishing, kid! Jill hopes the mothers will remember to be on their best behavior, and Jill reminds the mini-moms that this isn’t the time to cause drama. So wise, that Jill.
After a poor showing at the last competition, Abby praises the minis for being her only winners, teasing them with the idea of head shots. Maddie makes the mistake of asking if she’s trying to replace the Zieglers, and Abby retorts that she’s not quitting just because Maddie’s a quitter. Maddie backs down, “It’s your team!” as Abby basically takes full credit for Maddie‘s success. Had she been dancing for anyone else, she’d still be living her boring, humdrum, middle class life. It’s awkward, and I feel both badly for Maddie that her teacher is being so hateful and glad that she’s getting the heck out of dodge.
For Maddie that involves signing onto So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation as a judge. Variety explains that the casting makes sense because season 13 will include kid dancers for the first time on the series.
The Dance Moms star, who guest starred in Pretty Little Liars last year, has been open about her desire to be a Hollywood “triple threat” as a dancer, singer, and actress. Looks like she’s achieved her goal.