Forgive me for being late to our last date of the season. If you got your extra-curricular Dance Moms email for this week, you know that I’ve been a little, er, otherwise occupied. In dazzlingly uncomfortable fashion. But I couldn’t ditch out on my DM responsibilities, so let’s look back on the last 44 minutes of Dance Moms Season 2.
Somewhere between this half and last half, Abby ditched the skull bracelet, which makes me sad. I’m a big fan of visual metaphor. And matchy accessories.
The discussion begins with the long-ago Mom Dance, which Abby laughs at heartily, but says should never have seen the light of day. I disagree. That was back when we actually had some fun on the show. I support an annual Mom Dance. Next year, Kaya choreographs.
Cathy doesn’t seem the least bit embarrassed by the footage, nor JC â€” our host Jeff Collins â€” asking her repeatedly if Abby and her dancers are superior to her and her dancers. “What Abbyâ€™s girls have,” says Candy Apple gamely, “is star quality that we might continue to work on.”
Asked about Jill bringing her little star to Cathy and then scurrying right back to Abby in a huff, Cathy calls her a cast-off. Says she whines too much. Applauds Abby for getting a back rub and a â€śsee-a-tayâ€ť out of it. A what? What’s a see-a-tay? Oh wait. A settee. The bench. Remember the bench? Man, we are digging up some really old stuff, aren’t we?
In any case, Jill says Cathy hurt her badly and broke Kendallâ€™s heart. Deeply moved by this, Cathy tells Jill to shut up.
But JC isn’t done with CNS just yet. He doles out examples of her being the show’s biggest rule breaker. Planting a 14 year old in the 13 and under division. Cribbing Chloe’s dance music. Bringing in Mitchell A. Finke.
Cathy is unfazed. She says that statistics are for losers and everyone knows that most dance competitions let you average ages. Plus, everyone uses outside choreographers â€” even Abby. And itâ€™s just a fun thing to do, not a mechanism to win or lose or become better. Itâ€™s a fresh new take on your choreography. To her point, Cathy never won a thing on camera with Mitch’s dances, so there you go.
Then we revisit the soap opera that is Kelly and Abby. JC wants to know if Kelly thinks Abby is jealous of her. No, says Kelly. Not jealous. Just holding a grudge. Maybe it goes back to when Kelly was 12 and may have kind of, sort of stolen the 18 year old boy Abby had her eye on. Jill feels compelled to chime in that Kelly didnâ€™t date him, she just did him. Oh goodie. Statutory rape joke. Did we really not have any extra footage that that couldn’t have earned a spot on the digital version of the cutting room floor?
Abby doesn’t want to talk about purloined lovers. She wants to talk about lazy. Donâ€™t forget, Abby was 14 when she started her company. She wasnâ€™t all running around cheerleading or making music videos and going to her school dances like Kelly and her lazy kids. Kelly could have been great if her parents had pushed her harder and now she’s foisting the same work ethic on her own talented kids.
Kelly says her parents let her do what she wanted â€” which was to get married, have kids and be a stay at home mom â€” and she has no trouble letting Paige and Brooke choose their own paths, as well. Abby says that she thinks this is SICK, with enough venom that one might have thought that Kelly said she has no trouble letting her children run loose in the streets.
JC wonders if this is at the heart of Kelly’s frequent walkouts and breakdowns â€” seeing the same situation she went through with Abby play out with her kids. Kelly says it doesn’t really matter anyway because Abby has spent so much time telling Paige that she’ll never be like Brooke (who has been burnt out by Abby anyway) and Mac that she’ll never be like Maddie that it doesn’t matter how hard she pushes.Â Abby says that itâ€™s Paige’s and Mac’s jobs to go out there and prove her wrong.
It occurs to me just now that this half of the reunion show is more about dance than most Season 2 episodes of Dance Moms.
JC starts rooting around for hints about whether Kelly will be back for Season 3 or not. Kelly says as much as she hates Abby, Â she loves Abby, too. It IS a fine line, isn’t it, Kel? A fine line that you better toe, sister, or else. Kelly again says Abby has taught her a lot and that she has spent more time with Abby than she has with her own sister. Plus dance has been such a big part of her life thatâ€™s itâ€™s just hard to give it up. My money’s on us seeing Kelly and the girls next season.
Then we move on to another legendary Dance Moms rivalry. Melissa and Christi. Subtitle: Chloe and Maddie.
We see some footage of a Maddie win and then Melissa turning to Christi in the audience and crowing, “Undefeated!”
About as happy as she looks, lady. And not much has changed since then. Christi says for the bazillionth time that a lot has gone on in the past of which Melissa has been the instigator. Melissa looks a little nerved up and admits that she and her frenemy have done “stuff” to each other in the past, but they have an understanding. Christi does not appear to understand what that understanding is.
She tells a story about how Nia had a prop once. It was a cane. Kenize took it out, accidentally broke it and put it back â€” all right in front of the other mothers. And then Melissa said Kenzie didnâ€™t do it.
Melissa smiles a tight-lipped smile and blinks. A lot.
Kelly comes to her rescue, sort of, and says this: “I think the only difference is that weâ€™re on the show, so you guys have to deal with each other. I think you guys still feel the same way. They both want their kids to be on top. And theyâ€™re the two that mostly compete. Holly and I know our kids aren’t going to be on top. Itâ€™s just the way it is.”
“Or theyâ€™re not going to be given solos every week,” adds Dr. Holly, grateful that someone is finally making some sense around here besides her.
“So for us to fight with them is totally different,” continues Kelly. “These two fighting for the top spot, thatâ€™s really what they do every week.”
Melissa and Christi each weigh in on their competitive natures and their disappointment when their daughters lose. The only difference, says Christi, is that she and Chloe have learned to deal with it gracefully. She points out that one time when Chloe topped Mads,Â Melissa screamed out “Oh my God!” right there in the audience.
Melissa avoids discussing that particular incident, says she has a different take on things and is not going to fight in front of her kids â€” uh what, Primary Practice Interrupter?! Also, there is no reason to fight with each other. She looks into her lap and pinches her fingers to make her point that the mothers simply need to be there for their kids and teach them how not to win.
As long as your kids are on top, you feel that way, says Christi.
JC cuts right to the chase â€” do you think Chloe deserved to win over Maddie at Nationals, he asks Melissa, who flaps like a chicken trying to weigh things with its wings, keeps right on blinking and says she thinks they were both equally good.
But do you think Chloe was the better dancer, Collins presses. No, says Melissa. She thinks Maddie was flawless and she thinks Chloe was flawless. “Iâ€™m not a judge â€” and I never pretended to be,” she reminds JC with a wag of her finger.
How do you feel about it, he asks the Abinator. â€śItâ€™s GOOD!â€ť says Abby. If Chloe wasnâ€™t as good as she is, Maddie wouldnâ€™t be, either. If Maddie wasnâ€™t doing four and five and six turns, Chloe wouldnâ€™t be trying to do them, either. And Paige. And everybody! Mlllllaaaaannnhhhh!
Christi actually agrees, but says only one kid is consistently rewarded for that, and it ain’t hers. Abby says Maddie is the dog that is currently having its day. You get her drift.
Oh, hey! Black Patsy is back! Which makes Christi look like sheâ€™d like Kayaâ€™s chair to catch fire. Immediately. We see footage of some of the stuff we saw during her episode, plus some of the more high-yuck-quotient stuff we didnâ€™t. Kaya tells Jeff to call her Kaya not Patsy. She said her mom gave her that name and it caught on at her other studios.
Huh. Apparently Kaya is still at ALDC â€” she says she still wants her daughter on the competition team, but she doesnâ€™t want to try to fit in with this group, even thoughÂ Melissa and Holly did their best to make her comfortable. Jill chimes in that the moms simply do not talk to each other the way Kaya talked to them and Kaya lends voice to what everyone in the entire universe who is watching this thing is thinking in unison: â€śAre you serious?! Do you watch the show at all?â€ť
Jill says well anyhow they donâ€™t tell each other that they will eff each other up. That launches an everybody-talk-at-once argument about whether or not a gay slur was used and Christi gives the universal sign of I May Have Said It But Itâ€™s OK Because â€” â€śI have lots of gay friends.â€ť
Kaya calls her on it, and the discussion switches to whether Kaya is actually a lesbian or not. She says she has her partnerâ€™s name tatted on her back and her number on speed dial Â â€” and to circumvent any further controvery, yes, she really is black, too. Holly and Melissa love it. The residents of the other sofa are not amused.
Then we talk about Jillâ€™s ass.
Kaya goes on to say that ultimately she thinks the righthand sofa mothers make everything about themselves, while, for her, itâ€™s all about her child and thatâ€™s it.Â That also would have been a nice place to leave off with Miss Kaya, but we donâ€™t. Jeff wants to ask her more about saying she feels betrayed by Holly.
Kaya says that when Nicaya walked into the studio, Niaâ€™s face lit up â€” because there was another black child in the studio. She thinks Holly should have embraced that there was another black child there, too. You donâ€™t need me to tell you that this brings up all kinds of uncomfortable about whether we should be discussing Â the color of anybody’s skin â€” and her comments do seem to fly in the face of her previous arguments. Kaya says the girls exclude Nia and she has seen it for herself.
Holly refuses to take the bait and talks about content of character over color of skin, when it comes to her allegiances. And that is that. Whoops. That is not that.
Before JC lets Kaya go, he asks her to say what she thinks of each of the other mothers.Â Kaya thinks Cathy is a blast. She likes Melissa and says sheâ€™s too good for the rest of the bunch. She says she thinks what she thinks about Holly. She thinks Kelly is the epitome of crazy stage mom â€” White Patsy, if you will â€” and sheâ€™s living through her kids. Christi â€” or as Kaya calls her, You â€” is just too damn tough for Kaya. She doesnâ€™t know where she gets it from. Cathy does! Cathy says You gets it from having worked at Hooters. Whatever, says Kaya. You is a bitter bitch. Seriously.Â Whoops! You has a twin named You You You. Thatâ€™s Jill. Kaya says the way You You You feels about her is based on whomever is sitting next to her. Her her.
Holly says Kaya came to ALDC with preconceived ideas about everyone and never gave them the chance. She was like an ungracious guest at their second home.Â Kaya says they just donâ€™t value honesty.
Then Kaya is dismissed and the girls â€” or as JC calls them (and many of us wish were the case) the real stars of the show â€” are brought out. JC has one question for each of them.
Niaâ€™s best memory of the past two season of Dance Moms is just being with her friends and getting better as a dancer. Her school friends still treat her completely the same.
Big Mac likes lip gloss the best of all her makeup.
Maddieâ€™s favorite part about being on the show is learning a new dance every week and competing them. She doesnâ€™t say a thing about winning. This will never do. JC prods her â€” â€śbut winning doesnâ€™t hurt either.â€ť Maddie laughs uncomfortably and says no. Maddie really wants to talk about boys. Oh oh, Abby. Oh oh! Well maybe not so much, since Melissa says Maddie can go on her first date at 16. Which makes Maddie look like this.
Oh oh, Abby. Oh oh!
Brooke says she really loves singing and would love to continue to get her music out there.
Paige says the biggest lesson Abby has taught her is makeup tips, such as how to put on eyeliner in a way that won’t give you wrinkles â€” which is important for an 11 year old. Also how to eat spaghetti. If her mother pushed her more, maybe she would have said something about dance, ainâ€™t that right Abby?
Chloe says she liked doing the Luxx video a lot and some of her solos.
Kendall would dance with Michael Jackson if she could dance with anyone in the world, living or dead. Living or dead brings to mind about 37 jokes about this season’s group dances, but I’ll leave that alone, too.
Viv likes her mom over Abby as a dance teacher. Viv knows who pours the milk on her Cap’n Crunch. I doubt this ruins Abbyâ€™s day.
Then JC wants to know what their hopes and dreams for next season might be.Â Maddie wants more crowns. Big Mac giggles a lot. Nia would like to improve her back tuck and pointing her feet. Chloe would like to nail her front aerial. Jill hopes Kendall continues to grow and imrove and get lots of solos. Jill loves the competitive part of dance. No kidding. Why is Kendall the only one who didnâ€™t get to speak for herself? Because she might say she really hopes her mother would just zip it once in a while is my guess. But I’m guessin’.
As for what the other mothers want, the only one who gets asked is Kelly and she still wonâ€™t commit to next season. Are we talking Dance Moms or ALDC altogether, I wonder?
So what about you, Dance Moms nation? Were you happy with Season 2? Will you be back for Season 3? What changes would you like to see made to the show in the meantime â€” if any?
Until then, keep your friends close, your enemies closer â€” and your Mommy Juice closest of all.