Week one without the Pitt Crew. I’ll be alright. I’ll be alright. I will be. All. Right. If only these moms would jazz up their wardrobes and go out for bevvies once in a while, it would certainly help.
But anyway, in Miami, we learn right off the cuff that Victor and Angel don’t just want dancers — they’re in the business of making stars. And if anyone is not in the mood to be star, well, they have over 50 kids waiting to be #1.
Speaking of #1, that would be Lucas, right there at the top of The List for being such a smoooove duet-er.
In second is his duet partner, Kimmy. She’s not sharing the top spot with Lucas because she dropped too early in the straddle of the group number.
Even though she was only part of the group number, Sammy in third — and Susan can’t believe it.
Then Hannah — she put her hands down in the punch. She’s improving, but not quite enough.
And, as promised, Jessi is at the bottom. Victor is mortified that people outside the studio told him that they saw Jessi yank the trophy from Hannah, damaging Stars’ rep. “You’re not 4 years old!” he informs the not-four-year-old. But it’s mommy to the rescue anyway.
All evidence to the contrary, Susan claims that Jessi told her that she asked Hannah nicely for the trophy and that big meanie Hannah refused to give it up. Bam! Susan and Debi are off to the races, right there in the gym, right there in front of the kids. Finally Susan pulls Jessi out of the room.
Angel says Susan is a psycho bitch — his words, not mine — and if you’re going to be a psycho bitch, you do it on your own time, lady. Out in the hall, Psycho Susan tells Jessi that she needs to go in and respectfully apologize to Hannah and her teachers, because she did a no-no and it’s the right thing to do. OK, no. She says to do it because that’s the only way she’ll get back to the top of The List. And she owes it to Susan to be on the top of the list. Maybe for making up such an excellent fib about Hannah refusing to surrender the prize. Because Hannah is clearly like that.
Anyway, back in the studio, we learn that the Miami Dance Machine is headed to Hollywood Vibe in Long Beach, where the group dance will jazz funk because A & V weren’t happy with the way the A V Club presented themselves. Huh. I dug it. They won. I must have missed something.
Lucas, Sammy and Hannah get solos. Debi hopes it is finally Hannah’s turn to avenge the sins of the former dance studio and vanquish Sammy.
And then it’s time to start working on the group dance. Victor wants Angel to go fetch Jessi. As if! Angel would never, not ever follow a problematic mother outside. Jessi will have to come back of her own volition. Or Susan’s.
The group dance will be called “City Boy.” Because he is the only boy, Lucas is the star and if the girls have a problem with it, well that’s just too bad. They are his backup dancers, because he’s the boy and it’s his city and so there.
Lucas is all about it. “I’m used to being the center of attention because I’m a boy,” says he. <chuckle>
A crimson-faced and sullen Jessi returns and apologizes crimson-faced and sullenly to Angel and then to the group. Victor gives Jessi a cuddle and a pass because, after all, she can’t choose her mother. And he should know.
Unmoved, Angel says Jessi is a little woman and should be able to hold her own.
Then it’s a sniffly Susan’s turn to issue a sorry to Angel, who does not make it easy on her. Yep. Angel is definitely my favorite. “I just got scolded like a little girl,” a chastened Susan crabs to the other mothers.
After a hilarious ad for something unfortunately called a “Milk Bite” in which a little frosted-wheat looking dude sits on a sofa and emotes righteously at his glass-of-milk mom and bowl-of-oatmeal dad — it’s time to check out Hannah’s solo. Angel says Hannah has a lot of passion when she dances, but she needs to work on her technique.
Ohhhh! Hannah has the merest, adorable hint of a lisp! So of course her primary competitor’s name starts with an S! Of course it does!
Abby finds Angel’s dancing hilarious. She thinks he does not need to be as flamboyant as he is. You ARE new to this studio, aren’t you, Abby?
Victor is working with Sammy on a jazz solo called “Sweat.” Problem is, Angel says Victor’s choreography has too much floor work and the same moves over and over. They bicker, bicker, bicker and Abby wonders how Sammy can learn to Sweat like this.
Lucas will be doing a “really sad” lyical solo called “I Just Want to Believe In Something.” Victor breaks it down like this: “So pretty much you’re really sad. And you just want to believe in something.” Good enough!
Speaking of really sad, group dancing is not going well at all. Victor says if they don’t shape it up, they ain’t shipping out to Long Beach. Whoa. Victor is screaming in a way that makes me believe that Victor didn’t yell much before the show. Yelling is not Victor’s wheelhouse.
Now Angel, Angel could teach a masterclass on yelling. And actually he has plenty of time to do that right this minute, because he just hollered the children smack out the room, leaving Victor with two days to teach a group dance and no one to teach it to. If Victor was better at yelling, I bet he would really do it at Angel right now.
Where is Mayra?! I really want to know what her hair looks like this episode.
The next day, everyone has cooled off and Victor and Angel decide to use the previous day’s troubles as the basis for an exercise on image. We’re going to sit in a circle and say what we think about each other. Starting with yanker and yankee. Hannah first.
Hannah chortles and says Jessi is sweet but not so sweet at the same time. Sometimes she is sweet to Hannah. And sometimes not. The “not” part hurts her feelings.
Jessi says it’s just her personality but she will work on it. Also, Jessi thinks Hannah is a very hard worker and she’s proud of her. Aw. Nice!
The mothers say they should play this game, too, then laugh uproariously in a way that says they will never play this game in a million, trillion years. I think an entire episode should be devoted to it. We could spend that on Debi and Abby alone. Or Debi and Brigette. Or Susan and everyone. Or Angel and Victor.
Speaking of which … Angel is going to change Sammy’s choreography from a piece of tuna to a piece of sushi. Yay! Sushi! He’s going to roll her in seaweed and some nice sticky rice and sprinkle her with black sesame!
Whoop. Nope. Not fast enough. Here comes Victor. I like the way he and Angel pronounce choreography “crahgraphy.” He says Angel’s crahgraphy spotlights all the same moves that his crahgraphy does, so what’s the big whoop? Angel asks Sammy to choose which crahgraphy she wants to do and Sammi chooses Victor’s. Angel leaves in a huff. “You’re really bothering me this week!” Victor hollers at his back. Angel’s back does not care one bit. I bet his front cares even less.
Where on Earth is Mayra hiding? Just one look at her hair. Just one!
And we’re in Long Beach. Lucas has some mega-cool yellow shades on. Center of attention, that one right there.
Hannah will go first, but her music is not cut, whatever that means. Victor tells her to just go out and dance her ass off, anyway. And she does. This girl means it when she dances. I am glad her instructors give her dances that show that off. For such a sweet little kid, she gives some fierce face when she performs.
Um, why is there no one else in the audience but the moms and Angel and Victor? Not one other body. And what’s with the ducky lighting? They look like they’re in an empty movie theater.
Anyway, it’s Lucas’ turn to believe in something. There’s people in the audience. Now there’s not. Now there is. Oh come on now, people who make this show! Did Starbound Long Beach say no cameras in the audience, so we had to recreate the reaction shots? Were the original reaction shots not reaction-y enough? This just looks silly. Keep the cameras on Lucas.
How well does Lucas do? Well! Victor says that if Lucas’ dancing was a voice it would be screaming. I’m pretty sure that’s good.
Sammy’s turn. Sammy doesn’t really strike me as the vindictive little critter we’re supposed to believe she is. Actually Sammy seems kind of sweet. Not as sweet as Hannah, but still pretty sweet. Like Hannah is cotton candy and Sammy is Twizzlers.
Victor says Sammy was fiiiiiiiiiierce! Angel says she’s too technical and needs to learn style. She’s a dancer, but she needs to become an artiste.
Apparently all this successful solo-oing is too much for Susan to take. She sidles up to Victor and tried to convince him that Jessi should do a solo improv. Victor says no. Not fair. She’s grounded and Uncle Victor is not the one who is going to cut the punishment short. Susan says yes, but she’s the best dancer in the group. Best dancer trumps worst attitude. Abby begs to differ. Everybody begs to differ. Aaaaand everybody’s yelling. Susan’s yelling. Abby’s yelling. Victor’s yelling. Everybody’s yelling.
Susan goes outside to walk it off on the playground.
Solo awards time. Hannah gets fourth place in the junior solo division. Debi’s goal for her for the season was top five, so yay! Mission accomplished two competitions in!
Lucas gets second place. Good enough for him. He loves that he is winning, but he also loves that he is having fun. Lucas! Smoooooove!
Sammy sweat all the way to Victor-y. Is Abby surprised? Nooooo. Is Angel surprised. Noooo. But it wasn’t Victor’s crahgraphy, believe you him.
Oh here’s Mayra, just in time to crap all over the happy Top Five finishes. What would you call that hair do. A Shaghawk? A mo-shag? It’s something, alright. In any case, in her opinion everyone did okaaaaaay, but Jessi would have done betterrrrrr. Sammi protests that she can do everything that Jessi can do. Mayra says no she can’t for the very good reason that Jessi has always been Mayra’s favorite dancer. It makes sense to Mayra, anyway.
Group dance time. Oh that little Lucas in his little magenta boy-booty shorts, making the “call me” motion and duding it up while the girls dance and pose around him. Long Beach is this city boy’s city and you better believe it.
The judges believe it. City Boy takes first prize. Everyone just lets Jessi have the trophy. Not worth losing an arm over, just ask Hannah.
Backstage, there’s props to Kimmy for remembering her crahgraphy! Then Mayra gives props to everyone — even Hannah.
Debi would appreciate if Mayra would not say “even Hannah” when she is saying everybody did good. Brigette says that if her kid got fourth, she’d be embarrassed, so take whatever nice words you can get, there, sister.
Because next week — sabotage!
• Read the Dance Moms: Miami episode 3 recap here!
All new episodes of Dance Moms Miami premiere Tuesday at 9pm ET.
Photos: ©2012 A&E Television Networks, LLC Credit: Scott Gries