Welcome back, Dance Moms nation. It’s been a long 24 hours we’ve spent apart, huh?
On tonight’s episode, Abby is still wearing her mod Halloween costume and it’s time for the annual Abby Lee Dance Company’s annual dance concert, which shall not be called a recital. Also, apparently someone has gone after the children’s knees.
Caaathy! Were you trying to pull a Harding/Kerrigan on Abby’s team? Also, holy Hannah, look how tall Chloe and Brooke have gotten!
Abby wants to do the pyramid quickly. I’m all for it.
Paige is bottom of the bottom, because of this:
In Paige’s defense, Abby did demand that they get into character and I don’t think it’s completely out of the realm of possibility to believe that Anna Nicole Smith would be the first one laid out on the floor.
“Just like Maddie’s costume came off,” murmurs Kelly of said crime and punishment. Abby asks Maddie if she forgot part of her dance. Maddie didn’t. Abby asks Paige if she still wants to be part of the team. She does. Because her mother is still making excuses for her. Kelly says she wasn’t making excuses, she was pointing out another transgression. And the group dance won. Maddie got second.
Abby tells Maddie to drop and do 20 pushups to make Kelly feel better. Maddie looks incredulously at Abby. Kelly protests and tells Maddie to remain standing. Abby tells Maddie to keep pushing. Then she tells Paige she’s on the bottom of the pyramid because she was perfect. Kelly claps. Brooke is next because she was next-to-perfect. Kelly claps.
Kendall is next because her opening turn in the group number was wobbly.
Nia is next. She and her mother behave, says Abby, but she is not a star.
Asia is last in row 2. She gets a pass for being gone because she was at a charity event. Still, says Abby, charity begins at home and this is now Asia’s home. Someone donate 2 cents to Abby, because that’s about how much that wisdom is worth. Also, Jill wants to know why Asia is higher on the pyramid than kids who were in town, at class and performing for the ALDC. And, adds Kelly, Asia was being a traitor and training with another teacher. Kristie, who is wearing a terribly exciting and also gravity-defying mixed pattern strapless jumpsuit, flips out in the usual Kristie fashion.
Oh look! Kristie’s J.Lo-esque alter ego, Faux.Lo, is back, too!
Faux.Lo says the other mothers live in a little opportunity-free Steeltown bubble and that’s what makes them jealous.
Chloe takes the middle of row 2. Same old tired “you need to be the best you can be” explanation. Give her better choreography, Abby. Nobody feels worse about poor Chloe than you.
Next is Maddie. Abby says it kills her dead that Maddie’s not on top, but — unfair or otherwise — her solo did get second.
Mac’s solo got first and thus, she’s top of the pyramid. Being a three-year veteran of this business, she grimaces, knowing that unless you’re Maddie, being at the top of the pyramid usually spells doom. Abby says her win was clean. Then she wants to know if Mac is going to let Asia saunter back in here and knock her right back out of the top spot.
“Thanks for keeping the seat warm,” snarks Faux.Lo.
Hmmm. Two of us feel markedly different about performing in the annual concert.
Everyone will be performing solos. Ones they’ve already done, though. All except for Paige, who gets a brand-new dance — one that Abby says will stand out more than her old ones. Abby also says Kelly should appreciate her taking the extra time with her kid. Kelly is suspicious.
Brooke is going to sing Summer Love Song live as a special treat for the audience. And Kelly should be grateful for that, too.
The new group routine will called Sugar Babies. Not only that, but the girls will also be doing an editorial photo shoot for Dance Track magazine. It’s the first time the magazine has interviewed kid dancers. Also, one kid dancer is going to be chosen for the cover of the digital magazine. Gee, I wonder which, if Abby has her way. Also, I wonder why I can’t find anything about Dance Moms on their website other than a 2011 interview with John Corella. But whatever.
Oh, Melissa, you and your bothersome nose. And now it’s spread to Holly’s head. And Jill is terribly worried.
Also, Kelly thinks she may be losing her mind. Do the other mothers agree with what she said to Abby? Jill nods. Christi was giving her a “preach, sistah!” in her head.
Assured that she is not, in fact, losing her mind, Kelly worries on about why Paige is getting a new solo this week. Jill, who has cribbed Abby’s neon color palette, says hush and welcome the opportunity. In the lobby, ’60s hair Abby tells the other mothers that she won’t tolerate Christi and Kelly acting out during this stressful week. Then she wants to know why they get “offensive” about what she says to their kids, but not at what Kelly and Christi say in front of their kids. Melissa nods like she has just been presented with the theory of relativity. Holly thinks Abby has a point and hopes that Kelly doesn’t yank her kids at the last minute like she did last time. That there, folks, is foreshadowing.
Up in the Mom Loft, Kristie wants to know, since this is Asia’s first recital, if it’s going to be “cray-cray.”
THIS cray-cray, lady. Cray to the triple.
Asia’s solo is calypso, which is a new one on me. It’s mostly another excuse for her to wiggle and mug in typical Asia fashion. Mac’s solo is acro. Nia’s is contemporary. Kendall gets jazz. Chloe, lyrical. Maddie will tap. And Paaaaiiiige … doesn’t want to do a new solo. She wants to do Get Up, Get Loud and Get Tough. Abby’s ticked that her may-or-may-not-be-evil plan is not working out at all.
Time for dress rehearsal. Abby says the whole thing is currently looking like a hot mess. Then we get to the part in the infamous YouTube video. The part where Abby offers the other kids the opportunity to take Paige’s new-solo spot and no one wants to take it. And then Abby tells Maddie they’ll try this again, and this time she should volunteer to do her new solo Survivor. Well, I’ll be. They actually show that part. We do skip the parts where Abby says they’re making a TV show so of course that’s how it goes, where Kelly says goddamn, where Abby asks that the police be called to haul her away, and where Kelly turns to the audience and asks if they see how scripted the series is.
When we come back from commercial, we’re back at the studio and Kelly is nowhere to be seen. Neither are the girls. Christi calls her to see if she’s coming. That would be no. Abby arrives bearing gifts from her loungewear/dancewear/sleepwear line. Christi says the free clothes are not so much about Abby being nice as they are about turning the kids into walking billboards for the ALDC.
While the girls practice, the mothers discuss the latest in the Kelly-Abby war until Abby shows up to tell Jill that she will be performing in the noon matinee show. Jill will be tangoing with her old friend Jimmy from Night and Day Dance Studio, your social dance specialists. Jill leaps up and scampers down to the studio to show Abby what she has in mind. While she works out her dance, the girls look on, well, like children watching their parents trying to be cool. Also, Jill points out that Abby has no business talking about jiggling arm fat.
Time for the photo shoot.
Abby, who is in le mood indigo …
…. says the cover has Maddie’s name written all over it and my money’s instantly on Chloe. Abby says it’s too bad Kelly picked when she did to have a meltdown, because Paige, too, was a natural for the cover.
Chloe’s up first. She’s a Rebel Rocker Chick who gets to kick a locker door at Maddie.
Maddie is the Teacher’s Pet. Abby generously handles the “of course” part for us.
Nothing like picking the youngest kid on the team to be the Girl With The Bad Reputation. Oh. Big. Big reputation. You know … sassy, says Abby.
Gentle little Kendall is the Mean Girl.
Mack-a-Doo is the Bookworm.
And Nia’s the Jock.
Afterward, Jill says that she has a feeling that Kelly and the Hyland girls will be back in time for the recital. Abby says that’ll happen over her dead body. She was a fool to take them back the last time.
Concert day arrives, along with 1,300 audience members. I wonder if any of them will be Cathy and her Apple-flavored minions.
Sandra from Dance Track appears to reveal who the cover girl will be. And it’s Kendall for the win!
Everyone looks genuinely delighted — I’m betting in part because there isn’t anything they can fight about from her victory. Even Abby looks tickled.
Time to perform. Maddie taps and her apron stays up. Chloe looks lovely and lyrical in in blue. Kendall gets a standing O for her jazz routine. Nia is powerful in pink. MORE OF THAT, Dance Moms. That montage was awesome and uplifting and exciting and good. Do. That. More.
Asia’s turn … and she has her pants on backward. Instead of business up front and party in the back, she’s the other way around.
She still dances her unruffled ass off and the costume boo-boo isn’t really all that noticeable if you ask me. Faux.Lo wonders how Abby will handle it.
Maddie’s Survivor solo is utterly lovely. Worth the drama? Who knows. But pretty.
Time for Sugar Babies.
Asia’s totally in the weeds on this sucker, but the dance is energetic and fun anyway and the audience loves it.
Mac’s turn. Except that Mac has come over to Abby to inform her that she’s forgotten her dance. Oops. Abby tells her to go out there and improv and hope for the best. Just fooling, Abby. Turns out, as soon as the music started, she remembered it after all.
The mothers decide to come backstage and make Jill nervous before her performance.
Jill walks dramatically. Jill twirls Jimmy by the head.
Jill puts her arms up and walks dramatically some more. Jill walks backward. Jill walks dramatically sideways. Jimmy feeds Jill a rose. Ole!
Christi and Jill bring her a crown and some flowers. Abby just wants their asses off her stage. Then she hands their asses to ’em when they get off the stage.
Despite the mothers’ showboating, Abby labels the concert a smashing success. She says Pittsburgh just got a little taste of Hollywood, thank you very much. And happy ending! Yaaaaay! Noooooo!
Jill fishes for compliments on her dramatic walking, then starts in on Maddie doing her solo only because Abby said so. The other mothers jump onboard. Melissa says she called Kelly to work things out but it didn’t go that well. Christi says all Kelly wanted was for Melissa to step in and say the way Abby handled the bonus solo wasn’t fair. Melissa says it was an opportunity and Maddie took it and too bad.
Here come the happy girls! Happy ending now! Yaaaaaaay!
Nooooooo! Abby’s here.
She confronts Asia about dancing with her pants on backwards. Kristie and Asia laugh. Abby says it isn’t funny. Then she says Kristie should have been more vigilant about the situation. Jill helpfully points out that Asia only had to get her pants on right for two numbers while the rest of the girls did fifteen. Just sayin’.
Abby wants the name of who committed the costume screw-up. Asia says she dressed herself. It was her responsibility, it was a mistake and it won’t happen again. Abby beams and thanks her. Christi wants to know if Jill will be on the pyramid. She tells us that Abby may be a tyrant but she does put on a good show, and she’s also proud of Kelly for standing her ground and missing the good show.
We actually end with laughter. OK, we end with a shot of the school we performed at. But before that, laughter. Enjoy it while it lasts, Dance Moms nation.
Next week, Kelly’s a no-show, we’re dancing in Lancaster and Cathy’s back with Hadley and a bunch of strangers, one of whom looks like my little pal Lucas Triana from Dance Moms: Miami.
Ohhhh, Lucas, no! I’m thrilled beyond reason to see you, but don’t leave Victor and Angel for this! Noooooo!
Also, I’m afraid I must leave you guys on your own for that one, because I’ll be in the 90210 covering the Television Critics Association summer press tour … and maybe looking for some real estate to open the L.A. branch of my dance studio. OK, only the first part. And I’ll be back Aug. 6.
New episodes of Dance Moms premiere Tuesdays at 9/8pm CT on Lifetime.