Welcome back, Dance Moms nation. Did everyone have a nice week? Did everyone recover from the delicious emotional overload that was At Last? Did everyone see my near miss at a job offer in the comments section of last week’s blog?
(Psssst, Abs, if that actually was you, have your people call my people about the sequel. Just give me a couple minutes to, you know, get some people.)
On with the show.
We start out in the studio, where Abby’s got a little mall-bang thing going on — and a big surprise for the Pitt Crew. Meet “The New Chloe,” a.k.a. Chloe Nguyen …
… and her mother, Kim. Freshly imported from the Orlando auditions. Or the Real Housewives of Dance Moms. One or the other.
Kim says Chloe is 12, she’s been dancing since she was 6, and she recently won the World Dance Pageant in Orlando. Sure enough, she did. They’re here for a week-long test run. Christi says, given Chloe’s name, it’s no real mystery who Abby is looking to replace. Everyone, Christi. Everyone. Listening ears.
This week’s competition is On Stage America in Voorhees, New Jersey. Well, I’ll be! I used to live right up the road in Collingswood! Also, we’ve been here before, and all sorts of horrendous things happened.
Mack is bottom of the bottom for not winning her division. Then Brooke for being umbilically connected to her phone. Then Paige. Technical issues. Then Kendall for losing her Maddie-chasing mojo.
Row two starts with Chloe. Not perfect in the trio. The New Chloe — whom we are actually calling The New Chloe — gets the middle spot for doing such a fine, fine audition. Maddie rounds out the row.
Woot! Nia gets top of the pyramid! Because she is a seasoned student of “the hardest fall is from the top” where Abby is concerned, Nia barely cracks a smile. But Holly is delirious. That lasts for about 5 seconds, which is how long it takes Abby to inform them that Nia will not be getting a solo, despite her top spot. Instead, she’ll be doing a duet with Kendall.
Solos go to the Chloes. “Old Chloe” gets a contemporary routine called Seeing Red. “New Chloe” gets a lyrical routine called The First Day. As in Old Chloe is Seeing Red because it’s New Chloe’s First Day. Except that I don’t think Old Chloe really is seeing red at all.
Melissa is, though, and she must’ve fussed aloud a little because Abby demands to know what her matter is. She’s not tellin’. Not Abby, anyway. To us, she says Maddie should have had the chance to dance against The New Chloe. What for, Melissa? We all know Maddie is safe as a kitten, no matter who invades the studio. This is all about tormenting The Old Chloe.
The mothers are dismissed. But as they go, Abby tells Kim that if the other ladies get too out of hand in the Mom Loft, she should bang on the wall and Abby will come running. Once everyone takes their seats, the inquisition begins.
Is Kim a dance teacher?
Is she a studio owner?
Was she a studio owner?
Affirmative. But not anymore.
Now she rejuvenates faces at a medical spa. That news makes Melissa’s face look like this.
The mothers give Kim the usual hazing about new kids taking time and opportunity from the kids who’ve been here from the beginning. Kim sounds totally nervous in her asides.
Abby asks The New Chloe what her strong suit is and the girl says turning. That’s The Old Chloe’s specialty, too. Abby says The First Day is not just about The New Chloe’s first day with the Abby Lee Dance Company, but maybe the first day of a beautiful partnership and a very successful career.
Upstairs, The New Mom tells The Old Moms that The New Chloe was the star of her Old Studio — which was actually in Las Vegas, not Orlando — so she’ll probably be the star of this one, too. The Old Moms laugh and laugh. The New Mom bails. The Old Moms discuss her face, until The Old Chloe shows up and pronounces herself The Original Chloe. And The Original Chloe is not too worried about The Competition.
Kim gives The New Chloe a pep talk, but I’m not sure about the details because I can’t stop looking at what I am 97% sure is her chin implant.
I know, Jill. I shouldn’t pick, because it’s her livelihood. But I’m pretty sure it’s her chin implant, too.
Where were we?
Next day, Kim and The New Chloe show up at the ALDC bearing facial rejuvenating gifts that will get rid of Abby’s spots. Aaaand, it turns out Kim’s husband’s brother is a plastic surgeon right there in Pittsburgh, too! Kim is pretty pleased with herself.
She shouldn’t be.
The group dance, Why Not Me, is about being the person who gets picked at an audition. It’s from the ’30s, inspired by the French Cabaret. Abby says the girls have never done anything like it before. I beg to differ. Anybody remember Pink Lemonade from last year’s trip to Voorhees? Anybody remember Alouette? Oh, oh, oh, oh! That was back when we were actually having fun while making fun.
Anyway, down in the studio, The New Chloe is finding out what The Old Abby is really like pretty quickly. She glances contemptuously up at her mother in the Mom Loft. Where Jill is wearing some sort of pelt and wondering why Nia and Kendall have yet to learn a step of their duet.
She and Holly decide to go pester Abby, even though Holly says flat out that it will not end well. Abby says tell the interlopers that she’ll get to the dance if she can. If she can’t, so it goes. Even though Holly is miffed that Nia achieved top of the pyramid and may have nothing to show for it this week, she and Jill slink back out — but it’s too late for Nia. Abby begins bellowing at every move she makes.
Upstairs, the mothers bellow at each other about this and that, but the one thing they agree on is that Abby has bitten off way more than she can chew with this week’s dances.
Next day, Kim gets a call from Jeremy, the owner of The New Chloe’s Old Studio. She’s nice enough to put him on speakerphone so we all can hear.
Since a picture is worth a thousand words (and a whole lot quicker to proofread), let’s just do this thing in visuals.
After all …
And thus can beat any team of …
I mean …
Minds are blown.
Christi wonders if Kim is high. Melissa just pouts. A fresh load of mother-crabbing about the other dances getting neglected while Abby works with Kim’s kid ensues. Kim says that Abby’s shortcomings are not The New Chloe’s fault.
Nia and Kendall finally get to run their duet, but Abby is more interested in her phone (second from last place on the pyramid for you, Ms. Miller!), so Jill decides to give her a piece of her mind. Abby retaliates by pulling the dance. The mothers say they don’t want to place blame, they just want the girls to get to do their dance. Abby admits she may not actually pull the duet, but Jill and Holly don’t need to know that.
Next we get a visual reminder of all the shenanigans that happened the last time we were in Voorhees, what with Chloe losing her hat and Christi storming out and all. Then we find out that Kim doesn’t have her sewing kit with her. Or perhaps any idea of what a sewing kit is at all. Melissa shares hers. Abby mocks that. Christi wonders what Mrs. Gisoni’s ulterior motives might be.
Then we have some more fighting about what shall now and ever more be known as the Seventeen Minute Duet. It doesn’t break Nia’s and Kendall’s spirit, though.
The turns are a little off, but the dance is still fun to watch. Given it went that well with just Seventeen Minutes of practice, Holly wonders what the dance could have looked like with more of Abby’s attention. I do, too, Holly. I would have liked that very much.
The Original Chloe goes next and performs her solo with gusto, but I don’t think the choreography made the most of her best skills. Especially that weird, homage-to-The-Exorcist, spider-walk beginning. Still, Christi says, The New Chloe seems to have lit a fire in her girl.
Backstage, Maddie gives The New Chloe some advice, and The Old Chloe does this, because she is awesome.
The New Chloe is dressed like Maddie and her dance is a Maddie dance. She should be called Tall Maddie, not New Chloe. Abby smiles in the audience like a freshly fed baby. And then The New Chloe’s new headpiece goes sailing, just like The Old Chloe’s ol’ hat went sailing last year. What is with the gravitational pull here in Voorhees, anyway?
Christi says it’s a scandal on the dance floor. Kim says she was set up, and we have a flashback to Melissa helping her that suggests a little sabotage may have been afoot. Er, a-head.
Backstage, Abby gives Kim a dressing down about the faux pas, until Holly gets on Abby on the neglected duet and gives her something else to yell about. Then it’s time for the group dance.
Abby tells The New Chloe to make her forget what happened in her solo. Whether or not she did, I do not know because the cameras focused on everyone but her. But the dance is saucy and charming.
Backstage, Kim decides to further endear herself to the Pitt Crew by informing them that the reason her kid was off today is because she’s used to more difficult choreography and they’re really just slumming it here in Pittsburgh. The New Chloe doesn’t need Abby or this team — Abby and this team need The New Chloe. There’s a bit of a discussion about the meaning of “slum,” then Kim goes out into the hall to wait for the principal and tell on the schoolyard bullies.
When they come back into the classroom, Melissa tattles on the suck-up. I think maybe we should just skip Voorhees next year. Awards time confirms it.
The Old Chloe gets fourth.
The New Chloe gets second. Abby said she might have won were it not for the flying head piece.
The Seventeen Minute Duet gets third.
Only the group dance wins.
Backstage, Abby has a Mom Only talk about everyone’s shortcomings. Kim — apparently over that whole “slumming it” thing — stiffly pleads for one more week, just one more week, but she doesn’t look like she really wants one. Holly presses Abby one more time about Nia deserving more of her attention and Abby says she doesn’t warrant it. She’s not sure any of them do.
Really? After last week’s group dance, this?
Next week, Kim and Chloe are gone, it’s time for the New York auditions and, lo and behold, the smack heard ’round the tabloids. Which was proceeded by one’a these.
So what say you, Dance Moms nation? Did the unintentional comic relief of Kim make up for another feel-bad episode? Should Abby never have offered Nia and Kendall a duet in the first place? Would you like to have more of a chance to see The New Chloe dance without The Old Chloe having to suffer it? Do you think that if we tune in next week, we’re all going to be called as witnesses in the Abby v. Kelly trial? Sound off in the comments section below.
New episodes of Dance Moms air Tuesday nights at 9/8CT on Lifetime.