Sorry for the belated recap, Dance Moms fans. I didn’t tune in last night and it took me a while to fire up the thingie on the Lifetime web site to get the job done today. But I did. Because I promised you I would.
JC, Superstar Executive Producer starts out by asking a very L.A.-tan Abby why she went straight to being a choreographer without stopping at dancer first and Abby touts her creds. Then he asks her if she always dreamed of being famous. “I was always a star in my own mind — it just took everybody else a while to catch up,” she smirks.
Jeff gives her Dad Face.
Abby swerves a little and says she always wanted her students to be famous and she wanted this life for them. Which is why we’ve barely seen her students this season? “I wanted this life for them, “ she says, “and now I’m living it.”
Abby says that she worked hard and gave up a lot for those kids — family time, class reunions, weddings — so she deserves every bit of fame she has. JC tells her she’s invested well in herself.
Time to call out the comedians. This time Lisa Arch has been replaced by Alec Mapa, who played Suzuki St. Pierre on Ugly Betty. The swap-out has for some reason caused Nadine Rajabi to raise her voice about 400 decibels and make it extra Female Comedian-y. Nadine says she became a Dance Moms super fan because Abby is just … so … awesome! Abby compliments Nadine’s shoes and says she’s super cute. Alec says Abby is actually the Honey Badger of Dance Moms. Because Abby Badger don’t give a @#$%. Kids, don’t click that link unless Mom says OK. And then don’t do it anyway.
Nadine also thinks it’s awesome that Abby is all, like, “You’re suspended, daughter, because your mom is a whore!” A ha ha ha ha! Someone else thinks that’s awesome, too.
Awesome to the point of applauding herself.
Then we go all the way back to the beginning of Dance Moms time for another look at Minister Dawn, AKA “The Sinister Minister.” Seriously, this woman was in one episode of Season 1 — she warrants this much coverage? Then we see an equally old fight between Abby and Christi, with a little Melissa thrown in. Alec mocks the crying children. I don’t really remember this fight. It’s a nasty one, so maybe I’m repressing. Then we see a not quite as vicious fight between Abby and Kelly.
Alec says Kelly reminds him of Cookie Monster and he and Nadine do their best Cookie Monster imitations. Which for Nadine amounts to saying “nom, nom, nom!” Abby reveals she’s suing Minister Dawn for the rest of her tuition, even though she kicked the woman and her kid out of the studio. Well thank God we can stop worrying about that thing we weren’t worrying about!
Next we find out that Abby Lee Miller is officially off the market! Thanks to whom, you wonder? Me, too. We flash back to Abby’s “I’m A Did It On the 50 Yard Line Girl” revelation and other high points from her speed-dating adventures. Abby isn’t happy with her outfit in the clip. She liked speed dating though.
Nadine wants to know if she and Bus Driver Jim did it, which was implied in Dance Moms Chatter Part 1. Abby brushes that off and says she isn’t actually dating someone, she just has someone who cares about her. Oh. Is it someone who cares about her in Los Angeles, Alec wants to know. Affirmative. Then we relive Abby’s date with Louie the former male stripper. Abby says the waiter was hotter than Louie. Nadine and Alec gamely trade one-liners. Alec’s pièce de résistance is something about Abby farting in her hand.
Whoa. JC just gave Alec and Nadine a promotion to “Superstar Comedians.” I am clearly out of the Superstar Comedian loop, because I’ve never heard of either one of them before Dance Moms Chatter. Maybe he said Super Fan Comedians.
In any case, let’s bring out Melissa, who is sporting a new champagne-blonde hair color that sort of matches her dress.
Abby says Melissa shouldn’t keep racehorse Maddie in the same barn as the other nags. Melissa looks non-plussed. Then we revisit the A Number One Most Major Abby and Melissa fight. Abby says Melissa had to be taught that her kids come before her friendships. Rather than allow Melissa to defend her parenting or her friendships, the conversation swerves to Jill’s attire.
Then it swerves to Cathy. Specifically her pilfering Abby’s “Miami John” for one episode. Alec offers up a joke about the difference between a bitchy queen and an evil queen that has something to do with addressing a poorly chosen outfit, and we also find out Cathy is 47 years old. Well I’ll be! Cathy and I are the self-same age!
Then we pick on Vivi and revisit the whole deal when Cathy “conned” Chloe into wearing the infamous meat suit in an ad for her husband, the Jerky King of Canton’s jerky outlet. Did we actually want to talk about anything relevant to the current season this time out?
Yes, we do. Insults. We revisit a crack about Cathy needing a wheelchair. We have Cathy’s “Double Chin” shot at Jill. More plastic surgery insinuations. We get a hearty “shut up.” Fat jokes. Dirt under my feet. Bitch. No, you’re a bitch. Bring it, bitch.
Melissa’s enjoying this part very much.
After the whole Bitch Exchange, Nadine says Kristie is the Queen Latifah of Dance Moms, but doesn’t exactly say why that might be. Melissa says Kristie has to sit a certain way to hold up her boobs, and Nadine says, yes, ma’am, those things are surely flotation devices.
Melissa wants to backtrack to Cathy a second and say the last time she saw her she’d had a lot of work done. What kind of work? This kind.
Now that would be something to see. Quick, JC, film something before the Botox wears off.
Alec and Nadine decide to try a Dance Moms version of The Dozens and throw down a couple of “Yo Dance Mama Is So Dumb” jokes. Alec’s starts us out with this: “Yo Dance Mama is so dumb that she got pointe shoes for her fingers!” Get it? Fingers point. … cough … OK, let’s try Nadine’s. “Yo Dance Mama is so dumb that when they told her she was pigeon-toed, she went to the vet to get X-rayed.” … …
Oh, look on the bright side — you didn’t pay a cover charge and there’s no two-drink minimum. Although I would recommend a two-drink minimum because we still have half a show’s worth of this sort of thing to go.
Alec gives ‘er one more go. “Yo Dance Mama is so stupid she doesn’t know what comes after 5, 6, 7.” Yep.
Nadine: “Yo Dance Mama is so stupid that when Abby told her to put her daughter’s hair in a bun she went and got out a baguette.”
Superstar comedians right there. Abby smirks.
Then we see an extended clip from something called “Dance Moms: The Musical,” which is clearly an off-off-off Broadway production. Everyone looks a little perplexed. Then the comedians pick on the stars of the show.
Abby says in South Carolina some dance studio did a 70-kid production based entirely on Dance Moms, complete with “voice bites” and everything. Alec thinks that’s so neat!
Then JC says he will give Nadine and Alec each ten seconds to ask Abby as many questions as they can. Ten seconds?! By the time Abby gets done answering, that should amount to, like, one question. Whatever. JC grabs his watch all official like. Nadine asks Abby who dresses the worst on the show. Abby says Kelly. Does Jill kiss Abby’s ass so she can take Melissa’s place? Abby says Jill buys nice gifts. Is Jill a horrible dresser?
How do you teach an entire class without ever moving? Because I’m that damn good, says Abby. Which celebrity has left her most starstuck. Whoopi Goldberg, says Abby. And Al’s time’s up.
JC asks Melissa which one of the Dance Moms has the biggest butt. Melissa says that is a good question, and one she is qualified to answer because they see each other naked a lot. Which is because they walk into each other’s rooms all the time when they get ready in the morning. JC interjects that he’s heard all about Melissa’s boobs. We’re still talking about the show, right, JC?
Melissa says Holly has the biggest butt, but Abby, in all seriousness, retorts that Holly’s bottom is proportionate to the rest of her. Kelly, on the other hand, can’t wear a dress proper to save her life because of her derriere. Uh, Abby? Have ya backed up to a mirror recently? I’d stay out of this conversation, dear.
Alec says he can’t even believe that’s the biggest question in the Dance Moms Twittersphere right now. Melissa just looks confused.
JC and Alec want to know if we’ll ever see Abby dance. Abby says 75-year-old people choreograph dances, and besides, if you have to be shown how to do a move, you’re screwed. Nadine says she thinks Abby should just point and not say anything at all. Nadine can apparently read my mind.
Then JC wants to know how much Abby thinks Dance Moms has to do with the fact that dance has never been more popular. Abby says all of it. You got that, Dancing with the Stars (16 seasons and counting) and So You Think You Can Dance (10 seasons)? It’s all Abby. Then she actually says something I can kind of support. She says she thinks every kid should take dance for their posture and their self-esteem, to learn to perform in front of a live audience and learn theater etiquette. Alec and Nadine want to go to dance class right now!
Since that can’t happen, let’s look at a montage of Abby’s favorite dances.
I See The Kite Flying — which Alec calls the Emo Dance. Chloe’s and Maddie’s Black Swan duet. Abby says that was back when Chloe was good. Maddie’s Helen Keller solo. “Aw, there’s my baby!” wails Melissa. “She looks like Marlee Matlin on Dancing With the Stars,” says Alec. and that’s apparently all the favorite dances Abby has.
Alec wants to know how Abby is not a nervous wreck before the dances happen live, but before Abby can answer Nadine interjects that I See The Kite Flying makes her feel like she’s at a speakeasy in Williamsburg and she needs to just snap it out. Excellent. Keep drinking, Nadine. Alec says it was so emo — HOW EMO WAS IT?! — that he thought the dancers were going to start cutting. Wonderful. Nadine notes how Maddie fully committed to full deaf and full blind for Helen Keller, which we know because she couldn’t find her Teddy bear.
Alec says the message dances should get even more political. Like, all the girls should play North Korean missiles and he’ll guest as Kim Jong-un. Or they should be intestinal tracts in a dance about gluten allergies, which Nadine thinks would be very L.A. Or maybe we should dance about the many stages of Lindsay Lohan. Abby, looking a little perturbed at these yahoos mocking her very serious dances, tried to explain that that was kind of what the Kite dance was actually about, but the comedians are too busy calling the show as multilayered as an onion to listen.
JC then informs us that Alec and Nadine have come up with a dance moves cheat sheet to help out us novices, and they snuggle together and get ready to lay some funny on us. Maddie does a “Pique Turn of Death,” according to Alec. Nadine says, no, it’s the Spinner! Spinnerooni, counters Alec. Next Brooke performs a chin stand. Alec calls it the Chinny Chin Chin. Nadine protests that that was her name for it. Alec says, OK, he’ll call it the Bottoms Up then. Alec says Nia’s Death Drop reminds him of prom night, but offers no explanation. And that’s about that for the Dance Moves Cheat Sheet.
Then we have a little chat about whether or not Abby ever thinks she’s been too tough on a kid, and if Melissa ever thinks Abby’s too tough on her kids. Alec uses this line of discussion to reveal that he is a bottomless pit of need, aching to be loved. Alec needs someone to care about him. Abby?
Time to look at fan favorite costumes. Nick as The Bird. It’s not one of Alec and Nadine’s favorites. Sofia’s teeny tiny red costume. Nadine and Alec call something a Shrinky-Dink, but I’m not sure if it’s the kid or the outfit. Some “Judy Jetson” group dance get-up that I don’t remember in the least. Kevin says it’s messing up the space-time continuum. These delightful outfits.
We look a long time at Nia and Mac’s Bollywood duet costumes and Nadine is chanting “bun bun ding ding” for a reason that makes a tremendous amount of sense to her. We finish up with a fleeting look at some ‘40s deal that I don’t remember either.
Abby says each costume can run $50-$300 a kid. Plus, they have new costumes every week, which other studios don’t have to deal with. Nadine and Alec look bored dense with the legit dance discussion.
Then we get a highlight reel of Abby demonstrating dance moves. Alec revisits the idea that Abby gets so much done without actually moving. He says it’s like a cooking show where someone off camera just says “teaspoon of salt,” pinch of coriander” and it results in a gourmet meal. Nadine says Abby’s choreography is the IKEA of dancing. So what … cheap and everybody and their mother has the same stuff? Abby’s unfazed by the possible backhanded compliment and says when you’ve been doing this 33 years you can make IKEA dances without moving.
JC grants Alec and Nadine each one final question. Alec wants to know if Abby is really moving to L.A. and if so, please won’t she be his neighbor? Nadine, fishing for compliments, wants to know where Abby would place her in the pyramid based on today’s performance. Bad plan, Nadine. Abby says middle tier … but it could go even lower if she meets Nadine’s mother.
Next week, looks like we actually get the girls and the dancing back, Abby has girlie bangs and Melissa is done and over it.
So what say you, Dance Moms nation? Was Alec an improvement over Lisa? Are you really off the market if you’re not actually dating? Are you a fan of Melissa’s new hair color? What major accomplishments can you achieve without actually moving? Sound off in the comments section below.
New episodes of Dance Moms air Tuesday nights at 9/8CT on Lifetime.