Welcome back, Dance Moms nation. Did everyone have a nice Mothers Day, even if you didn’t get your own TV special to commemorate it? Are you ready for — or dreading — our two-week sabbatical until Dance Moms starts up again June 4 with what’s looking like a doozy of a summer season? But right now we’ve got one more hour of Dance Moms Season 3 Tell All Reunion (and dance moms in jewel-toned dresses) to get through, so let’s have at it.
We begin with a solo Abby once again, and this time JC Superstar Executive Producer wants to talk about Sophia and Asia and their moms. JC asks Abby if she felt like the Pitt Crew ran Sophia and her mother Jackie out of Dodge prematurely.
That would be a yes.
Then JC says viewers and bloggers would like to know why when the Lucias were there Sophia and Maddie never competed head-to-head. Abby says, well, she had actually planned for the two to do a tap duet, because it’s apparently a secret talent of both, but that never materialized.
That wasn’t really the question, Abby.
JC tries a different route. He just comes right out and asks it — who’s the better dancer, Sophia or Maddie? Abby inhales. Abby exhales. Abby blinks with purpose. Abby does this:
Then she starts paddlin’. She says the girls are very different dancers and she’s not going to sit here on this stage and say that one is better than the other. Except then she kind of does. She says Sophia has had more opportunities and is dynamic and entertaining and hits it hard and lights up the stage. Maddie, on the other hand, hears the music and what she does about that is just so passionate. But it’s not about the sass and hitting it hard. So far so good. But then she comes right out and says that that’s why they never competed: Because she wanted Maddie to learn from Sophia.
Whew! Glad that inquisition is over. Except it’s not. Now JC wants to know who’s the better dancer, Asia or Mackenzie.
Abby doesn’t have as much trouble with this one. She says Asia is a rock star and absolutely the better performer. Mackenzie is more knowledgeable about Fosse and stuff like that. Then she says both Sophia and Asia rocked the worlds of their respective Zieglers and both Zieglers got the message and learned from it, so mission accomplished,
Backstage, Cathy tells Vivi that that’s a miracle because they never learned a thing when they were at ALDC.
Our first audience participant wants to know if Abby thinks that the other mothers are jealous of Kristie’s, you know, looks. Abby nods vigorously and says she is, too. Back in the mom’s green room — where Kristie and Jackie are now a part of the action — Kristie and Jackie say that was such a nice thing for Abby to say. Christi just rolls her eyes.
Then it’s Kristie’s turn to take the stage. She is sewn into a long white lace gown like the Dance Moms version of Marilyn Monroe at JFK’s birthday shindig.
“Look at that dress!” exclaims JC. Abby takes a cuddle, but JC says he won’t go in for a hug because he doesn’t want to mess up Kristie’s makeup. Heh.
JC asks Kristie for her take on what it’s like being an outsider with the Pitt Crew and Kristie pretty much reiterates what she said when they first showed up at the ALDC — Asia loves Abby, Asia thrives on tough love and Kristie isn’t there to make friends, so who cares about the rest of it. Asked which mother gives her the most grief, Kristie says all of them seem to have issues with her. Abby says she thinks that’s because they think she has ulterior motives. Like becoming the first cast member of Dance Moms: L.A. OK, no one onstage actually said that. I’m totally hypothesizing. But Abby is buying property there, you know. And no one has said boo about another season of Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, which was located in L.A. Sofia’s from Cali, too. It could happen.
Kelly says the real reason they are suspicious of Kristie is because why would anyone in their right mind leave Los Angeles for Pittsburgh to further their kid’s dance career? Let Abby break it down for you in completely unconvincing fashion, Kel: There are 181 dance studios in Orange County alone, and not a one of ’em can give Asia the one-on-one attention that Abby can. Feel better? Buying it? Anyone?
Let’s move on.
JC wants to know if Kristie thinks the other mothers are scared of her, especially when she gets all creepy wide-eyed and bring-it. Kristie says she doesn’t think so. She’s not that scary. OK, so she might have mild anger issues — which she calls “snappiness” — but just a little bit. Just porquito. Show us porquito, Abby.
Porquito. And that’s only because Kristie doesn’t like it when people twist her words.
Abby says she didn’t think Asia’s arrival at the ALDC would be a big deal at all because the kid is only seven, so what does she matter? Maddie’s age group is the one that counts. Well, except for the part where they went to a competition a little ways back and Asia came in second only to Maddie. So, maybe a porquito deal.
Then, because the pot can never be too stirred, JC wants Abby to list exactly what Asia brings to her studio that none of her other dancers has. Abby knows this one: Energy, excitement and a whole lot of sass. Plus she has a tremendous work ethic. And let’s see it right now. In our first Dance Break of the evening, Asia performs Ready for War, her Rosie the Riveter dance.
After the commercial break, we get another Dance Break, which is Kendall doing Look at Me Now. Which, I’m guessing, we do to set up a discussion of crying and crybabies.
Even though it just happened, an audience member still wants to know more about the incident in question, in which Jill said Asia cries even though Kristie says she doesn’t — especially not about dance — and all hell broke loose and somehow Christi became the one Kristie got the maddest at even though Jill started it. Kristie says the other mothers are just bugged because their kids cry all the time about everything and hers doesn’t.
Let’s bring Christi and Jill out to talk it over. I for one am personally sure we’ve talked this over enough and should move onto something way more fun, like Abby’s adventures in dating. Where is the audience member who wants to know about that?
Jill says Kristie should just admit that her kid cries like every kid cries and stop making excuses for why she is or isn’t doing it. Christi says she thinks Kristie had other issues percolating and used the crying thing as an excuse to blow. Abby says the real problem with the tears — no matter which kid is crying them — is that none of the little suckers have anything to cry about. They’re rich. They’re fed. She made them famous. They have earned no tears. Kristie agrees.
Finally Christi says that all kids are different (not to mention the part where Kendall and Chloe are in prime tween hormone years, to boot) so why are we making a big deal about it? Some kids cry. Some don’t. Neither is inferior. It has nothing to do with dance. To make it about dance, Kristie says criers are not going to survive in that cutthroat world. They’re not. They’re not. They’re not. And if these pansy-pants women and their weepy daughters don’t like it, they should find another studio where the teacher doesn’t make them cry.
Backstage, Jackie and Melissa bond about the okay-ness of crying.
JC asks Kristie if she and Asia will be back for more and Kirstie says it’s up to Asia. Abby gives a mega-watt grin. The other mothers say either way, no big deal. OK, maybe a little bit of a deal, because even Abby admits that Asia is a hot mess in the group dances and that affects everyone. For some reason, this makes Holly unbearably sad.
Somehow I don’t think this reaction shot actually went with this moment, but maybe. Calling anyone a hot mess is not very nice. Christi, however, says she would actually like it if the hot mess came back. Ya wha’? Oh. So she can see Asia and Mackenzie go head-to-head, and Melissa can know what it’s like to be Chloe in Maddie’s world. Gotcha.
Time to talk about Sophia, whom I’ll admit I’d forgotten all about until I saw the previews for this week’s show. But first she must dance, which she does, performing Superstar.
Instead of Jackie taking Kristie’s place on the stage, Melissa does. JC asks if it was hurty when Abby said that Sophia had taken Maddie’s place as the superstar of the team. Melissa takes the long way to an answer, in the midst of which a backstage Jackie gives a mean-girl laugh that makes her look weirdly snarky when Melissa finally gets there and says yeah, Sophia certainly did throw Maddie for a loop.
Jackie backpedals a little and says she mean-girl laughed because Melissa didn’t give Sophia a compliment.
JC next asks Melissa if it bothers her that Sophia can out-spin Maddie — and pretty much everyone, if I remember correctly. Melissa’s totally ready for this one. She says why would it bother her, since Abby hasn’t taught Maddie to do that yet. Oh snap! Abby looks perturbed and then excuses herself by saying every kid doesn’t need to learn to do that. Be your own person. Develop your own special, Guinness Book of World Records thing. It shouldn’t be her job to do everything for you people.
JC asks Abby how she feels about Jackie now, since the Lucias did leave Pittsburgh without saying goodbye after all. Abby says she loves Jackie, even so. Jackie, on the other hand, is very happy to see JC when she finally gets to come to the stage, and that’s about it. JC asks Jackie if Kelly and Christi really did run her off the team and Jackie says indirectly. She just didn’t want her daughter to observe any of the Pitt Crew’s brand of bad behavior because dance is an art, not combat.
Backstage, Kelly says just a minute there, lady, I was nothing but nice to you. She wishes she were out there onstage right now to give Jackie an extra-special dose of Pittsburgh nice.
Melissa says she, too, wishes that the show would focus on showing their kids in a good light instead of always showing the mothers in a bad one. Abby makes haughty-face and says that she’s really appalled at Melissa’s implications. Because Maddie was with her last night when she taught a master class and she has made Melissa’s kids a household name so how dare Melissa say anything negative about anything?
Melissa backs down like a whupped puppy. Backstage Kelly says Melissa has got to do a better job of standing up for herself.
For her part, Jill says Jackie and Sophia were the total antithesis of Kristie and Asia. JC says Kristie doesn’t want Asia to peak too soon by winning everything and hearing nothing but accolades before she even learns to, like, do subtraction. I don’t really get the connection, but Jackie says she agrees. And also, Sophia doesn’t always win no matter what we might think. She just uses defeat to motivate her.
Jackie also doesn’t regret the way they left Pittsburgh, and Abby says she has no hard feelings. She says that no matter where she dances and who teaches her, there is a little Abby in Sophia — most specifically, that make-a-kid-cry moxie. So there. Jackie doesn’t look like she takes that as a compliment.
Backstage, Cathy — who has now been allowed into the main green room with the other mothers, I’m guessing because it matches her dress — says Abby takes credit for everything. Maybe she’s even God and they just don’t know it. Right, Holly? Pat pat!
An audience member wants to know if Jackie thinks Sophia is a better dancer than Maddie. Jackie says that they shouldn’t have to be compared and it’s just sad how everyone wants to see them compete so badly. Well, that’s kind of what makes competition fun, Jackie. Seeing equally talented competitors compete. And besides, we’ve been brought up on Chloe and Maddie. All we know is competition, the end result of which is designed to make someone on our own team feel bad. We’ll call it Miller Syndrome. There is no known cure.
Abby says it doesn’t matter who is better. She just wants a strong team and a Maddie-Sophie combo would make for that. If only the rest of the roster was as strong, heavy sigh.
Dance Break, this time Mackenzie doing Lemonade from … back when Mackenzie actually danced on the show. I miss me my Big Mac.
When we’re done, everyone’s on stage except Abby and we discuss what constitutes an intrusion and what is simply better-team-building. Everyone from Pittsburgh pretty much believes that anybody not from Pittsburgh = intrusion.
An audience member wants to know if Cathy’s team of outsiders is equally threatening to the mothers. Kelly says who cares about that — the ALDC veterans have been dancing together at Abby’s studio since they were toddlers and, win or lose, they are a longtime team, not a handpicked group of ringers. And that is what counts.
JC wants Cathy to explain her strategy in assembling an entire team of outsiders. Cathy deflects and says her strategy is a happy environment. Not wanting a happy environment at his reunion show, JC then asks her who she would choose if she could spirit away one of Abby’s dancers. She feels up Christi’s leg, tells her she’s got stubble despite her laser hair removal and then says, despite that fact, she would love to have Chloe. Christi asks if she would put Chloe back in the meat suit. Oh, such happy memories!
Cathy says that Abby does not appreciate the special pearl she has in Chloe. Christi says regardless she will not pull the special pearl from the team she loves to go dance at Candy Apples.
Audience member wants to know which of the Pitt Crew moms she would let babysit Vivi. Not Christi. Not Kelly. Certainly not Jill. Holly or Melissa, it is. Pass on your digits, Melissa! There’s babysitting money to be had!
Audience member wants know, since Cathy’s favorite show is Downton Abbey, which character is most like her and which is most like Abby. Cathy says she is Mary. And Abby is the car that keeps going in circles. I don’t watch the show so I’m not sure if this is funny or not, but either way, I can’t believe it made the final cut of the show and Abby’s adventures in dating did not.
After the commercial, Abby is back on stage and JC informs her that Cathy has been complaining incessantly that Abby ignores her on the playground, er, at the competitions. Abby says when she said Cathy no longer exists to her, she meant it. Because. She. Struck. Her.
Cathy says the degree to which Abby is carrying on is not just about being struck by a purse — it’s about Cathy’s team stealing Abby’s thunder. She makes a tasteless remark about Abby’s size in relation to her capacity for making thunder and then tells her she has a great team, and despite that, she’s acting like a spoiled child. Abby says she is a spoiled child, because she’s an only child. Cathy says she’s an only child, too. Abby says yes, and she’s a disgrace to her poor, pathetic mother.
That one brings takes the sass right out of Cathy. She asks Abby if she really just said that. Abby did. And she just said it again.
Here’s how Mother Nesbitt feels about the situation.
Abby will not be deterred by the fact that everyone in the studio looks mortified. She says crap like Cathy should be shoved down a toilet. And that is that. With the personal attack on her mom, Cathy’s done with fun and games and on-camera personas. She says that before there even was a show, Candy Apples and the ALDC competed three times and Cathy’s studio beat Abby’s two times of the three. In fact, one of Cathy’s 8-year-old students beat one of Abby’s 12-year-old students for a Grand National title. That’s how crappy Cathy is at teaching dance.
This just isn’t working out to be Abby’s day. With nothing to refute it, Abby says that is in the past, and if Cathy is such a great teacher, why can’t her own child dance? Mac could best Viv in competition any day of the week. Thank you for not taking credit for Asia’s talent on this one, Abby.
Kelly comes to her rescue and says that it takes far more courage for a little kid to get up on the stage and dance than for two adults to sit in the audience and critique a dancer who is not even their own. Cathy says she had no control over what Anthony said. And besides, Kelly should really be angry at Abby for failing to make her child a better dancer. Then she calls all the mothers tacky just for sport.
Kelly reveals that the reason Paige was the only child who didn’t dance during the reunion special is because Anthony and Cathy embarrassed her so badly at the competition — which actually took place just three days before the reunion was filmed. Cathy says it’s really because Abby doesn’t give her decent choreography. Kelly says that’s true, too, and makes a glorious speech about Paige being absolutely perfect, exactly as she is.
You go, Miss Kelly! You go.
Abby is now so agitated that she’s standing behind her chair. It inspires a retort. You don’t get better sitting on your butt, she shrugs about Paige not dancing. But then she reiterates that she thought Paige was a hero for confronting Anthony and Cathy, and says she honestly thought the adults would back down in the face of their young victim.
I suppose it’s too late to discuss Abby’s adventures in dating? Was there a clause about that somewhere or something?
We will end with Rosa Parks, instead. Please let Paige be part of this dance. Please let that happen. She is. You go, Paige. And I’m turning off my TV now, so the last thing I see is your smiling face.
So what say you, Dance Moms nation? Did this reunion feel like so much rehashing of already dragged-out unpleasantries without an ounce of comic relief? Do you think Kristie and Asia will be back at the ALDC when the summer episodes premiere? What about Sophia? Was Abby out of line in attacking Cathy’s mother on-camera? What are your L.A. conspiracy theories — or am I the only one who has some? Sound off in the comments section below.
Dance Moms returns with all-new episodes June 4 at 9/8CT on Lifetime.