So this is it, Dance Moms nation. The last words from the Pitt Crew until Season 4 arrives sometime after the new year. Will you miss me as much as I’ll miss you? Will you miss anyone over the age of 30 that has to do with this show, or are you happy to have the break? And are you ready to brave Hurricane Abby? Because here we go.
We start out with JC, Executive Producer Superstar and Abby alone on the stage and a recap of the Leslie/Christi disaster last week in New Orleans. Abby says they succeeded in destroying what it took her 30 years to build because they acted like the trash they are. Then we go right ahead and bring out the trash.
Christi and Abby chose the same shade of steely gray blue for the occasion, but somehow I doubt they called each other up to coordinate outfits. Also, Christi and Leslie are still so at odds about what happened that Leslie didn’t even join the other moms in the green room. The stage will be the first time they’ve seen each other since the drinks and fists and voodoo dolls flew.
Let’s get Christi’s take on the drama first. She says they went from having fun to a street brawl in the blink of an eye and she admitted she was wrong for her part in it the very next day in the studio. Also, there were certain things the police wanted her to do, but she didn’t, because that’s just her. I assume we’re talking about pressing charges. She looks genuinely weary and contrite.
She says Christi is very predictable, telling her whole sad tale to Jeff and not once looking Leslie in the eye. Christi says she did look her in the eye, but she was looking down. Leslie tells her to shut up and let her speak.
Next Leslie says that she tried and tried to steer clear of Christi but all of a sudden she just went cuckoo. Christi reminds Leslie that she is the one who has been charged with assault in the past, not Christi. Leslie doesn’t want to talk about that. She wants to know what Christi was thinking before she assaulted Leslie. Christi says whapping the bottom of a drink glass is not assault. Leslie says it is too, if the alcohol gets in your eyes. That Leslie is very knowledgeable of the law, where what does and doesn’t constitute assault is concerned.
Christi, who would clearly like all of this to be over with, says she didn’t realize Leslie was a judge, and Leslie retorts that she is not either a judge, she’s a Dance Mom. A Dance Mom who is older than Christi and has been fighting to get her daughters ahead in this industry and, unlike Christi, knows how to treat people properly.
Let’s hear what Abby has to say.
Abby says that ALDC contracts handle stuff like this, but she decided that winning nationals was secondary to the integrity of herself and her studio, so she decided to send Leslie and Payton and Christi and Chloe packing. Thing is, she says, Leslie was remorseful right away and apologized to her and the team the very next day. Christi? Bupkis. Before Christi has a chance to explain herself, JC interrupts to say that we’re about to be treated to some never-before-seen footage of the Bourbon Street Brawl. Which basically entails Christi calling the cops on Leslie and another guy having to hold Leslie back from making it really worth their time.
JC asks Christi if she regrets making the call and Christi says yes, which is why she didn’t press charges even though the cops said she should file a restraining order against Mrs. Ackerman because she threatened to kill her and all. Leslie would just like to revisit the part where Christi admitted she was wrong.
Letting the whole “I’m going to kill” part slide, JC wants to know what Leslie thinks is the hardest part of dealing with the dance moms. I’ll take “the fact that they exist” for $1,000, Alex!
Nope. Leslie says she’s not out to hate on anybody, even if they get more opportunities than her kid and are not grateful for them. Opportunities are the reason they are all there, so however could she hate? It’s Christi who hates.
Then JC wants to know what Christi thinks is the toughest thing to take about Leslie. I’ll take “the fact that she exists” for $1,000, Alex!
Nope. Christi says it’s that everything Leslie does is so aggressive. Like, enh!
And she says every other mother will back her up on that assessment.
What better time for Asia’s and Kenzie’s “We Hit Harder” duet? Who else would have sold their soul to see Christi and Leslie’s battle end up like this? I don’t much care which one did the lifting.
When we come back from commercial, it’s time to talk with Kristie Ray, who comes out in a gold one-shouldered gown and sky-high heels and takes a seat next to Leslie.
JC accuses her of taking sides in the Leslie v. Christi battle. That’s right, JC. And it’s because the next day in the studio when Kristie tried to stand up for Leslie who wasn’t there to stand up for herself, all the other mothers instantly ganged up on her. And that’s because they are afraid to stand up to Christi. When she’s not around, says Kristie, the other mothers admit Christi bullies them. I’m going to guess that by “other mothers,” she means Melissa, but whatever.
Then Abby informs Christi that she is the Dance Moms equivalent of the Tin Man. No heart. No heart at all. Christi retorts that if we want to talk about heartless, let’s talk about a woman who is willing to destroy a 12-year-old on national television. Abby says it’s Christi who is destroying Chloe, not her. Then we get to relive Kristie’s tirade in the New Orleans mom chairs.
JC asks Leslie how it feels to have Mrs. Ray stands up for her. Leslie says good. And Christi owes her an apology. Let us look self righteous.
JC says we’ll have to wait until next season to find out who stays and who goes, but in the meantime, let’s move on to Kelly and Abby’s ongoing drama.
JC wants to know what’s behind Kelly’s suddenly ballsiness this season, and Kelly says she’s no longer willing to fight with Abby. She wants to get her kids ahead in the entertainment business, Abby or no Abby, so if they miss dance class to work on their modeling (Paige) and singing (Brooke) careers, so be it.
Abby says Kelly is being naive and that she doesn’t want any of her kids to be one-hit wonders. The audience applauds when she tells Kelly not see this as the end of Brooke’s dance career, but the beginning of her career as a whole.
Aw. Abby! That was nice. I’m not sure you mean a word of it. But it was nice.
Then we relive the re-created-for-the-sake-of-television throw down at the dance concert, which JC calls a recital even though Abby has been adamant that that’s not what it is since the very first time we experienced one. We don’t talk one bit about the re-created part, but Abby accuses Kelly of bailing out on every dance recital and says the new solo would have made ‘40s pinup girl Paige look great.
JC wants to switch gears. Specifically to the part where Abby wouldn’t let Kelly the Nincompoop sit down in the Sarasota auditorium. JC wants to know that the rumor that Kelly just stood there for 30 minutes is true. Then we have a discussion of proper auditorium etiquette.
When we come back from commercial, Maddie, Chloe, Paige, Brooke, Kendall and Nia do Gone Too Soon, a.k.a. the dead celebrity dance.
Next we talk about Kelly’s sneaky return to the studio when Abby was MIA. Kelly tells JC that she came back because her kids are part of the team and every single mom and child wanted them back there. Well, maybe not every single one.
Leslie says that it was wrong of Kelly to come back, because she and Payton were there to fill in for Kelly and her kids and it made the Ackermans just very, very uncomfortable to have the Hylands back. Kelly says she never told Leslie and Payton that they had to leave just because they were back. Well, yes, but it made them uncomfortable, Kelly. Besides, Leslie wants to know, how many times does she think they can just leave — you know, just go ahead and leave — and come back? Kelly says she only leaves when it’s in the best interest of her children and Abby says that’s no excuse.
JC wants to switch gears again. JC is all about the switching of gears this evening. Now if we could only get him to be all about the switching gears next season, that would be awesome.
But anyway, JC wants to have a little fun. Exactly my point, JC. Unfortunately, Kelly and Abby aren’t done hollering about departures and Abby calling Kelly a wacko and Abby says if Kelly wants to get off the show she can. Then Abby gets off the stage. And Kelly reiterates that she is NOT a wacko.
“Where you goin’, Abby?” JC wants to know! Oh well. Since we have some extra room on the stage now, let’s fill it up with Holly, Jill and Melissa.
JC wants to know what they thought about Abby’s disappearance. I’m guessing he means over the course of the season, not right this minute.
Dr. Holly says that all they ever asked is that Abby give them a call so they know what is going on. And she never does. Leslie has a different take on it. She says that with the way the Pitt Crew talks about Abby and is so mean to her, she doesn’t owe them anything. They’re all hypocrites. The mothers protest that if Leslie wasn’t even there, how can she speak with such authority about Abby’s absences?
Then a distressed looking JC has us watch the clip where Christi discovers via Instagram that Abby was actually judging another competition when she led them to believe that she was tending to her sick mother.
Yeah, but it WAS only for three hours, says Melissa.
Then we move on to the anti Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition pact that Melissa broke. Ever the contrarians, Kristie and Leslie want to know why there had to be a pact in the first place and why taking advantage of an opportunity for their children is ever a bad thing. Again, says Holly, all they were asking for is honesty. Melissa looks away.
More unpleasant rehash footage about Christi being a sneak and Melissa sleeping with her boss, after which Melissa and Kristie agree that Christi’s low blow about Melissa sleeping around makes up for Melissa breaking the pact.
Let’s switch gears. No really. Let’s.
No such luck. We move on to Jill’s admission that she would have done the same thing as Melissa if Abby would have let Kendall dance on AUDC and the kick-a-bitch-out clip.
Holly reminds everyone that being upfront and keeping their word is very important.
When we come back from commercial, it’s time to talk about Kristie’s and Jill’s issues, complete with the clip where Jill drops the F-bomb and Kristie does jazz hands about it.
Which inspires JC to do jazz hands, too.
Then he asks Kristie to describe Jill, and Kristie says that she always has to repeat herself around Mrs. Vertes and if Jill would just concentrate on Kendall instead of everybody else, maybe that wouldn’t be the case.
For the sake of fairness, I guess, JC asks Jill why she thinks the Rays bailed on the ALDC right before nationals and Jill says, duh, because they got a better offer. They milked Abby and Dance Moms and the team for all that they could get out of it, and then the ingrates just split.
Kristie says excuse her, but Asia delivered eight victories to Abby, thank you very much.
“What she said,” says Leslie. No really. That’s exactly what Leslie said. Then she gets in an argument with the Pitt Crew about the pyramid and being an interloper.
Next it’s Holly’s turn to rehash her battles with Leslie, complete with the “Shame on you!” clip that makes the other mothers laugh and applaud.
JC asks Leslie if she agrees with Holly that her parenting skills are soft and Leslie says no, Holly just doesn’t understand her. She will never be a mean person, but she will always do whatever it takes to get Payton ahead. Holly lets the “never be a mean person” thing slide and gently reminds her that you don’t have to sacrifice character for success and that a parent’s primary responsibility is to reinforce their child’s moral fiber.
Time for another incredible dance number — Maddie performing Drowning. Did we actually see this dance during the season? I don’t remember it. Wait, was it when we were trying to get Maddie to break out of her usual angsty lyrical thing and be more edgy? Or did we not ever see it? Because I am pretty sure I would have remembered the snazzy Exorcist crab walk maneuver she did in the middle of the dance.
Speaking of exorcisms, the only way Saint Abby will return to stage is if the demon Kelly will leave. Actually, the way JC puts it is, “We would prefer if you would excuse yourself.” Kelly cheerfully does so.
Abby returns just in time for a commercial break.
When we come back, Abby says she loves Kelly’s kids like they are her own, and it’s Kelly who is responsible for the wedge between Abby and the Hylands. I would propose that asking Kelly to leave so Abby can make accusations without challenge — especially when everyone else here has had to face the music — would signify that Abby really knows it goes both ways. But before I can get my undies too much in a bundle, JC calls her out on behalf of the mothers for leaving her own show as often as she did while at the same time telling their children that it’s their job to show up and accept their responsibilities, no matter how tough the circumstance.
“I know,” nods Abby.
When Holly is assigned the unfortunate task of expounding on how confusing Abby’s mixed message is for the kids, Abby looks haughty and says every woman has the right to change their mind (except Kelly) and she’s been doing this for 33 years, 25 of which at the expense of her own life and aspirations.
Holly says the kids just deserve some context for her asserting her freedom is all.
Then Abby drops the promised big bombshell, which is that she will be conducting auditions for new members of the Abby Lee Dance Company “elite team” when she is out on the road scouting talent for the next season of Abby’s Ultimate or at competitions. Oh oh.
Feeble applause from the Holly, Kristie, Leslie side of the room. Stony silence from Christi, Jill, Melissa side. “That’s greeeeeat,” Kristie warbles half-heartedly, suggesting she has no idea if it is great or not. Then Jill asks if Abby means that the existing team is elite and just getting new additions or if she’s building a whole new team, and Abby uses the opportunity to take down Kendall without an ounce of further clarity about what the new development entails.
Before we get to Brooke’s first live televised singing performance, does any one else besides me think that Abby should have to write Cathy Stein a handwritten, framable letter apologizing for everything she has ever said about the Candy Apples being made up of imported dancers?
Abby cheers the loudest for Brooke’s performance, which is sweet and somehow makes her seem younger than her 15 years. And that’s all she wrote. Me, too.
So what say you, Dance Moms nation? Does the prospect of new ALDC dancers make you hurt, yeah, hurt, all over your body — or happy that some change is going to come? Do you think Leslie really believes she is not a mean person? Did Christi have every right to call the cops on Leslie? What else caught your attention on ’Hurricane Abby’? Sound off in the comments section below.