Dance Moms Season 3 Episode 14 recap: Cathy Major, Asia Minor

Lori Acken

Quick prayer to launch this week’s recap, Dance Moms nation, because I feel it is required. At least for me.

Dear sweet Jesus and the gods of dance, please let this Asia thing I know is coming be a one-or-two-episode Asia thing I know is coming, because I cannot handle any more than that of Kristie Ray. I just cannot. Otherwise, grant unto me some Asia/Kristie fans who can nicely explain why I should become one. And the part where the kid is 7 doesn’t count. The part where Yvette Walts is not here to turn Kristie into Pokey McChestbump might.


OK, so, since we know it’s coming, let’s get it over with, shall we?

Abby is predictably happy with the results of last week, since everything but Kendall’s solo took first. She decides to start with the top of the pyramid. Which is Maddie. She gives a little “s’up” chin toss to Abby’s praise. First in the second row is Paige. Abby says she was darling. Then Kendall, who came in third with her solo. Why is Kendall before Chloe, who is next even though her solo won? I am guessing Abby’s irritation with her giving people “the fingers” lingers.

Row three begins with Nia, begins with Nia because she didn’t draw Abby’s eye negatively. Then Mack. Because she did. Then the benched Brooke. And then … yeah.

Clearly Maddie watched Abby’s Ultimate Dance Championship, too.

dance moms season 3 episode 14

The news makes her slap her hands over her mouth and drop to the ground. Me, too, when Abby says Kristie signed the same contract the other mothers did, so the Rays are here to stay. Oh, goodie.

This week, we’re going to Energy Dance in Highland, MI. So are Cathy and the Lad Apples. Or as Abby calls them, the Crap Apples.

The group routine will be called Return to Grace, which is about reincarnation. We’ll discover why that is on Abby’s mind in just a minute. Neither Mack nor Asia will participate. Surprise of all surprises, Brooke gets a solo. Maddie, Chloe and Kendall will do a trio, which seems to make all of them happy. It’s called We Believe. The final solo goes to Asia to test her mettle as an ALDC dancer.

While the girls practice the group number, the mothers discuss the impending new arrivals and how, if they are ever reincarnated, they hope it’s not as part of the Abby Lee Dance Company. Meanwhile, over in Canton, Zack is back and Cathy is still feeling fussy about their loss to Abby Lee a couple of episodes back. The super-fancy digital pyramid goes like this. Bottom row is Brandon, Zack and Gino. Top is Nick. What happened to Jalen? We ran him off with all the drama from last time, didn’t we? Good for you for getting away, little head-twirler. You deserved way better than you got.

Cathy will once again be using a guest choreographer, in the form of the very smiley John Culbertson. According to Cathy, he is besties with Abby Lee — but friendship be damned, John is here to win. And smile. A lot.

dance moms john culbertson

Back in PA, Abby bounces the idea of having Broadway Baby, uh, taxidermicated for posterity off of Melissa. Do you think that’s a little cray-cray, Melissa?

Your mouth may say no, but your face says otherwise, dear.

Up in the Mom Loft, while the girls practice their trio, Melissa shares the conversation with Abby with the incredulous moms. Then they watch some Asia videos on somebody’s pink phone.

The next day in the den, the Pitt Crew is trying to psych itself up for the arrival of Asia and Kristie. It’s a happy reunion with Abby when the duo shows up, but Abby still wonders if Asia can handle her tough love. Her ma signed the contract, Abby. Asia has to handle it. Abby tells Asia that the moms are evil, but the girls are sweet as pie. Then she tells Kristie she better be there to follow Abby’s directions and not to run roughshod over her, because that’s what makes the other mothers evil. You hear and you obey, right, Kristie?

dance moms kristie and Asia Ray

Yeah, right.

When the Rays make their way into the den, Kelly wonders if the world can handle two Kr/Christis. Jill looks like she smells something bad. And when Abby says she’s eager to see how Asia stacks up against Mackenzie, Melissa looks like she ate whatever Jill smelled. Mack, however, goes happily back-to-back with her new pal to see who’s taller, just for fun.

Holly is suspicious of the whole affair. She says Asia must be here for a reason, but since Abby would never abandon Mackenzie, she can’t quite figure out what that is.

Over in Canton, Cathy’s got a new dancer, too — a girl named Sam who will be doing a spicy Latin duet with Gino. The group will be a contemporary number called Machine Lines, about the Depression era.

Back in PA, Jill says the other mothers damned well better initiate Kristie into the fold the same way they did her — which is by giving her endless amounts of crap. As Kristie comes up to the Mom Loft to take her place, Jill informs the newbie that they’ve nicknamed her Skinny Kristie. Kelly says that means Christi will be Fat Christi. Pretty funny, right, Fat Christi?

dance moms season 3 episode 14 christi kelly

Not so funny.

Kristie reveals that since Abby’s Ultimate made Asia a star, they have been in Korea, where Asia has been working her little head off and appearing on TV. Holly wants to know why there weren’t any teachers of Abby’s caliber in California and Kristie says, well, Asia really wanted to see Miss Abby again and what Asia wants goes. Because I’m a miserable cynic, I’m guessing it’s something more along the lines of the Korean TV show ended and where else could we maybe find some cameras to point our way? Welcome to Pittsburgh, Kristie.

The other mothers gleefully start ticking off all the things that Kristie has locked herself into. A year of her life. Crappy winter weather. No outside bookings, no ballet schools, no nothing but Abby Lee. Break the rules and she will owe Abby $100,000.

“Good thing I have $100,000,” coos Kristie.

Asia’s solo is called Rock That. She starts right in with the muggy faces that made her such an object of debate on Abby’s Ultimate, but if she thinks that Abby has forgotten about her less-than-stellar technique, she can think again. Teacher’s yelling from the moment Asia makes a move. Abby says she wants to dial the kid back a little bit. She wants to see cute. She wants to see a cute, fluffy, puppy dog, not the baby burlesque dancer that sent Robin Antin into fits of joy.

Kristie says her girl is a fierce dancer, not a cutesy dancer. Then she goes down to collect her kid. Christi says she’s annoyed that someone else has her rare, rare name. Then everyone notes the size of the interloper’s “cantaloupe” boobs.

Come competition day, Kristie commits the cardinal sin of sitting in, well, pretty much everybody else’s seat. Back of the ride, there, newbie. Middle school ain’t over quite yet and Jill especially is not about to give up her “status” on the bus. When everybody is appropriately seated, Abby is still MIA. The bus rolls away without her.

Turns out, she is visiting the “preservationist,” where she presents photos of Broadway Baby and cries. I feel your pain, Abby. I do. But having her rock solid, glass-eyed corpse standing on the coffee table is not going to make you feel better, I’m almost certain. Frame the photos and cuddle your good memories.

Speaking of bad feelings, seems Mackenzie’s foot is giving her some trubs again — or so says Melissa by way of explanation of why Big Mac isn’t along for the ride. The other moms hint around that Abby may be trying to replace Mac with Asia, who actually is dressed as a puppy. Then they head for the stage for the puppy’s solo. Abby spots her bestie and clutches him in a lingering bear hug, crowing that she’s so glad he’s here. Do you know why he’s here, Abby?

abby lee miller john culbertson

She does. She says Cathy can hire whomever she wants to choreograph her dances. If the dancers aren’t up to snuff, it won’t matter a lick. Cathy says Abby may look unconcerned, but she knows that she got into her head.

Out in the audience, John smiles and smiles through Asia’s dance, which is mostly mugging, posing and tumbling, just as it was in Abby’s Ultimate.

dance moms season 3 asia monet ray

She scampers off the stage on all fours. Backstage, Kristie says she noticed a sickled foot, and — cross her heart — she hopes Abby brings it up.

The other mothers say that she better count on Abby noticing everything and doling out the toughest of tough love, and the two Kr/Christies go at it a little bit. Abby noticed the feet, all right. She comes back roaring that cutesy is over, DO YOU HEAR ME?, and makes Asia drop and give her twenty.

Wait, wasn’t Brooke supposed to be doing a solo, too? I was kind of looking forward to that, because her dances are always different. Oh well. I guess we ran out of time. On to the trio.

The three dancers are in fringy bright orange costumes. They will be going up against Cathy’s Gino/Sam duet, which Cathy says features moves that Michigan has never seen. John isn’t the least bit happy with the way they are performing them. He begins to swivel his hips in a way that makes me — and possibly Cathy from the looks of it — worried, and wonders how many times he was to say the same thing over and over and over again. A lot, John. A lot.

dance moms season 3 episode 14 cathy john

Sam and Gino go first. John smiles and smiles and hollers loudly in the audience. Almost immediately, Gino lowers Sam into a spin and trips over her, which is too bad because the rest of the dance is classy and fun to watch. Abby says it belongs in a ballroom competition, not here.

dance moms latin heat

John smiles and smiles through the trio, too. It’s cute. Abby says they were fabulous, especially their spacing.

Time for the group dances. Machine Line goes first. The boys will dance for food. The routine reminds me of something you’d see in a musical, like Newsies or Billy Elliot. John smiles and smiles. Cathy says get out the broom because a clean sweep is coming their way. Even Christi says the dance was exquisite. Abby, too, says her pal’s  choreography was brilliant. She hopes her girls just go out there and give it the old college try.

The girls’ costumes are stunning and I think the dance is beautiful and every bit as affecting and atmospheric as the boys’ dance. Abby is happy with the performance, too.

dance moms return to grace

Awards time. Asia takes first. Abby calls her her little Best In Show. The other girls look genuinely tickled for Asia.

The trio gets second. Latin Fire gets first. Three points away from perfect, says the announcer. Apparently I was the only one who saw Gino tumble over Sam? Abby says the Duet Dad in front of her behaved like an ass.

Group dance awards time. The announcer says that the top group dance is the only dance of the day that received a perfect score thus far. Do you think it’s yours — er, John’s — Cathy?

Abby’s back there applauding because she thinks it could be hers.

It’s Machine Line. And everyone knows what that means — Cathy is going to be in their grilles like so many doomed butterflies on a highway. And, sure enough, here she is, rapping loudly at the door. I’d feel bad for the Pitt Crew mothers about this except they did the same thing to Cathy’s crew at their last joint competition, so we’re just going to have to accept this as a tedious fact of life whenever these two groups get together.

But Abby is in no mood to play along. The combination of all imported dancers, her best friend as the guest choreographer, and the memory of Cathy smacking Abby with her purse lifts her up out of her chair to confront the bad Apple about the smallness of her character and the falseness of her wins. Cathy storms out of the room and Abby informs the others that she is, from here on out, a non-entity in Abby’s world. Perhaps dirt beneath her feet, but nothing more. The rest of the Canton crowd files out silently. And that’s where the episode ends. EEEE-yikes!

Next week on Dance Moms, it’s Maddie vs. Chloe, Mackie vs. Asia, and Abby vs. my eardrums.

So what say you, Dance Moms nation? Are you happy that Asia’s in Pittsburgh? Was it a low blow for Cathy to commandeer Abby’s best friend? Was it a worse low blow for him to allow that to happen? Did Abby’s dances deserve to win? And what about Broadway Baby? Sound off in the comments section below.

New episodes of Dance Moms air Tuesday nights at 9/8CT on Lifetime.


  1. If Abby had any clue what her precious Broadway Baby went through to be preserved, there’s no way in hell that she’d have allowed it. Not to get graphic, but the only thing that’s “real” about a taxidermied animal is the skin covering it. Everything else inside is plastic, styrofoam, and wood. The poor thing was skinned and then stapled onto a piece of rubber. My dad is an avid hunter and mounts his own animals, and trust me, it isn’t a delicate, loving process. It’s enough to give animal lovers nightmare for weeks….sorry Lori.

  2. I am thrilled to find a Dance Moms’ website with sane people. I have read a couple of sites that had advocates for Cathy. That woman is an embarrassment to humanity. She self-congratulates her imagined classiness. There is NOTHING classy about bragging about one’s wealth in every other sentence. THERE is REALLY NOTHING classy about hitting someone with a purse. A purse, I assume, weighs a ton from all of Cathy’s self-proclaimed wealth. I noticed she asked Vivi what she was enjoying most in NYC, and was thrilled when Vivi said shopping. Cathy actually praised her and, I think, told her she was proud. Way to teach your child Cathy. It’s also about time Abby told Cathy and henchmen, what was so blaringly obvious, Cathy cannot compete in Abby’s world! Abby does EVERYTHING herself, while Cathy NEEDS to buy the talent. Where’s the comparison? Why is that embarrassment on Abby ‘s show? Last 2 comments, Asia is adorable, Kristie is deplorable (sorry, that was done inadvertently). Christie is annoying with her CONSTANT griping, but she is down right NASTY the way she (and Kelly) childishly and irresponsibly make fun of Abby (and others) physicality. They were, and still are, the MEAN, NASTY girls from middle school.

  3. OK…i do think Christy runs her mouth too much and Asia’s mom will put her in her place! With that being said…I honestly think Abby is not replacing Mackenzie but trying to give her competition like the other girls have with each other, also, It’s good for Mackenzie to NOT be the baby of the class anymore…let her have someone closer to her age….I do think Asia has more “presence” but Mackenzie has great technique….no need to call Asia a monkey…I’m a mother and thats mean!!!!!!!

  4. Hey guys, let’s give little Asia a break. I ‘m sure she worked her butt off to get where she is today. SHe is an amazing gifted dancer. I wish my daughter can dance like her. About Cathy – she is a piece of s–t among other things. She must spend a small fortune to bring those boys and their parents in, not to mention their choreographer…. by the way, why was she and her crab apples seated in front of Abby’s group?

    • Alicia, I agree on giving Asia a break…even if someone doesn’t like her….it’s not right for someone to call her a monkey then complain Abby is mean to the kids…..

  5. Don,t u think it’s unfair to call Asia “monkey”? She’s an amazing dancer that I’m sure practiced hard everyday to get where she is

  6. Well, OK. I am a creature of habit so Asia being on DMs is unsettling. That tiny girl is a huge presence and, frankly, I think she’ll end up overpowering the other girls. It’s like the twirling girl they had on for about 27 minutes once! One child shouldn’t take over the studio. I did like the way Kristy stood up to Christie, tho. I can see a rumble in the alley coming if Asia & her mom stay!
    As far as that little weasel, Cathy, she really is annoying-THAT VOICE, THOSE INSULTS=SHUT UP!!! This ‘friend’ Cathy hired would have known about the warring dance instructors if he is tight with Abby, and he is. This was the guy that Abby talked about during the interview special at the end of last season when asked if she there was someone special in her life. There was a picture shown and this was the guy Abby said, “Well, I’m in love with him and he’s in love with himself, so whatever that is!” (or something on that order). I expect Cathy to go as low as possible to beat Abby (I’m surprised some guy hasn’t broken Maddie’s legs with a baseball bat!), so I blame the “friend”!! But I think Abby is so infatuated with ‘the friend’ that he can do no wrong. Even tho the boy’s routine was good I liked Abby’s much better. Unfortunately, there will be Hell to pay at the pre-practice meeting next week!!

  7. What on earth are you screaming about? Asia is a trained monkey. How do you arrive at racist from that? Sounds to me like you have the problem being a racist.

  8. Love this article! I personally think Macky’s still a notch above Asia… Sure, Asia’s dynamite on stage and she has good “tricks”, but other than that… she doesn’t move me, it’s all tricks and booty shakin’, plus her technique needs loads of cleaning up. I hope Mackenzie stays on the team, she’s one of my favorites with Nia, they can both be so funny!!

  9. I personally can not stand Cathy. Her boys are great dancers, but it has nothing to do with her. At least when Abby brings in newbies, she actually works with them and choreographs the dances. Cathy knows NOTHING about dance. She hires people do do the work for her. And, she only started her company to get back at Abby and force her daughter, who clearly never liked dance, to dance. Thankfully she’s finally given up on that. If only she further allowed her daughter to be her own person.

    Anyways, the boys did well this week (though I personally did not like their “perfect score” dance; I probably would have liked it more if that useless prop wasnt used so much) only because they had a useful choreographer and they came in already having amazing dancing skills.

    If Cathy was the one doing any of the work, the boys would have ended up like Justice. Btw, anyone notice that the boy who had a lot of potential but ended up under Cathy’s instruction has yet to be seen again?

    • Not to defend Cathy, but she had a studio before she took Vivi-anne to study with Abby, she had worked with Abby prior to the show beginning. But that being said, I completely agree with you, I don’t think it says much for her teaching skills or, personality, if her entire group left her high and dry after last season, including her little protoge Justice. I really feel sorry for her little girl, that poor kid doesn’t stand a chance of living up to her mother’s expectations of being a star dancer. I mean she’s cute and seems like a good kid, but she just doesn’t care about dancing. Let her play baseball and be happy already Cathy!! LOL

  10. I find Cathy to be very unperfessional. It appears her only goal is to defeat the Abby Lee Dance Studio by bringing in professionals to do what should be her job/responsibility, teaching her students. I commend Abby Lee for her hard work and dedication to her profession and students. I wish the Abby Lee dance studio much success in the future and look forward to up coming episodes.

  11. Love the recap Lori!

    Think it’s quite sad how they make out Mackenzie was left behind when actually she was at another competition with her own age group.
    Brooke’s solo is on the lifetime website and it is stunning, the best she’s been yet !! Shame it never made the show’s final cut.
    Not sure yet how I feel about the Ray ladies joining the team, I guess as long as its not detrimental to the originals then “the more the merrier”.

  12. Just as a point of interest. MacKenzie did not travel with they team because she competed with the ALDC Mini team at Jump Convention in Pittsburgh. It was the same thing with Brooke when she didn’t travel with the team. She was competing with the ALDC Senior team and/or participating in some high school event.

  13. The group dance was AMAZING and I wish they had showed the whole dance!!! I hope we can see it somewhere!!!

  14. just ugh. The trained monkey with the bitch “mother”. I changed the channel. When the original team is back together, I will tune back in. I am sick of this crap. And Melissa, you have TWO children. You didn’t give one damn that little Mackenzie got the boot. Had it been Maddie you would have shouted the roof down. I detest the way Melissa treats her kids. I might watch again, if Abbe stops importing trained monkeys and lets the real team dance.

    • How dare you question someone’s mothering skill when you would write something so offensive about someone else’s kid. You racist piece of sh*t!

    • Trained monkey, seriously? I can not believe you said that…I also believe how funny it is.

    • Sounds like you’re the bitch here….and there’s a HUGE difference in Kenzie being left behind and Maddie – Maddie would have pitched a holy FIT if she was left behind and would have been absolutely miserable. Kenzie was fine, she got to compete with a different class at another competition. She’s a lot more easy going than Maddie, do NOT judge someone’s ability to be a mother on what you see on a tv show. Until then, good riddance – bitch.

      • Melissa favors Maddie. Last week she even said herself that if Maddie done the duet as a solo it would have won. Negligent parenting. Melissa only cares about her star daughter Maddie

    • Rude. Asia is amazing. Better than Mackenzie. Go look her up on youtube. Abby just threw the choregraphy together

  15. I thought the girls were okay today honestly. I hate to say that but I was bored during their number. I like Cathy’s boys. I’m 11 so I think it’s appropriate for me to say that I think Gino is cute. I noticed Jalen missing too. He’ll go far anyhow. I like Asia. Mackenzie seemed glad to nave ger around. She looked like she was crying in the previews for the next episode. I feel sorry for her. Don’t worry Kenz,Asia can’t take the place of you in my heart. 🙂

    • Kenzie has more grace and style in her little toe than Asia has in her entire sickle-footed (feeted?) body.

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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About Lori Acken 1195 Articles
Lori just hasn't been the same since "thirtysomething" and "Northern Exposure" went off the air.