Another day, another holler, Dance Moms nation. And this week’s adventures begin with a trip to Abby’s house for Melissa, who apparently is so much like family that she can just waltz right in. Catching Abby like so:
Abby explains that mother Maryen’s nurses are coming today and that even though she looks just fine on the outside, she’s actually in a great deal of pain on the inside. This makes Melissa sniffly over the Miller women’s collective bravery. Abby says she isn’t sure if she will make it to the studio today or not, but Melissa — who never actually made it all the way to tears — protests that Maddie needs her, too, especially after last week’s fiasco.
“What Maddie needs and what Abby needs are two different things,” admonishes Abby. “My mother needs me more than Maddie does.” Melissa is sympathetic. No, she’s not.
“Yeah, but it’s two weeks to Nationals!” she whines. Abby says Maddie can hold her own, because as long as Kelly is in the studio, Abby likely won’t be. She can’t hack the stress. While Abby talks, Melissa flaps out her frustrations in spectacular Melissa fashion.
Next, we find out that when Abby’s dad was dying, they kept him on life-support long enough to get through a recital. Abby never spoke to him again. I have no idea what to say about any of this except, “YA WHAT NOW?!” Be careful, Maryen Lorrain. Get something in writing. Nationals are coming up and I’m sure Abby wants to be there.
Meantime, Gia is still holding down the fort at the ALDC. Chloe gets a solo. Maddie doesn’t. Asia and Kenzie get a duet. The group dance will be dark and contemporary, but Gia doesn’t know who’s all in it just yet. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is pyramid, Gia-style. I vote we keep her. So does everyone else.
T’was a dark and stormy night in Ohio. Or possibly day. Hard to tell.
Inside the Candy Apples studio, we discover that Kaya/Black Patsy has abandoned her Holly Wannabe bob in favor of a ’fro, and also Zack is back after several weeks off for professional commitments.
Cathy says that Zack could be the key to beating Abby hereto forth. Not Anthony, who you know and I know has likely returned to Abby’s Ultimate. But Cathy pretends she doesn’t know that. He was a troublemaker and a losing one at that, and she is perfectly fine without him, so there.
Next Cathy does the Fancy Digital Pyramid … er, Tree … er, Circle on Tree … of Irrelevance. Zack and Mari are on the bottom. Dance Moms Jackie Collins, whose real name I forget right now, says Mari’s placement is an insult to the entire dance community. I’m sure it is. Middle is Nicaya and Hadley. No word on how the dance community feels about that, but Kaya and Yvette are insulted.
Lucas takes the top spot. Finally someone is happy.
Cathy says that makes him the leader. He’s the Guy. Suck it up, Mari. He is.
Both studios are headed to Charleston, WVa., for a Masters of Dance Arts competition. The Apples group dance will be called Rise of The Phoenix, and Cathy expects them to rise triumphantly to the occasion. She also happens to know “first-handedly” that Chloe is doing a solo because she saw it on the social media. Which would actually make it second-handedly. Also, Gina G (I remember now), you are much too grown to pull a Sacagawea with your ’do.
No braids past age 30. Ever. You promise right now.
Because Cathy needs a soloist who can beat Chloe (and Lucas is the wrong age group), Zack gets the job. He says Cathy’s choreography is his ticket to victory. Oh, child.
Back at the ALDC, the mothers want to know how exactly Abby is going to choose Nationals soloists if she’s not here to assess the talent. They ask Melissa if Abby mentioned anything about it when Melissa was at her house.
That was all the way back to this morning …
Which was a very long time ago …
Nationals. Remind me again what this “Nationals” deal is? Oh yeah. The things Abby said Maddie is definitely going to about an hour or so ago, Melissa. Let’s have a memory.
“She said Maddie is proooobably going,” fudges the worst liar ever.
Allow Christi’s face to speak for the group.
Allow Melissa’s face to speak for Melissa.
When we come back from commercial, it’s times for drinksies with the mommies at the Wooden Nickel. And everyone’s invited this time! Oh. We’re actually calling it “lunch.”
Kelly says she feels bad for the other moms and kids that Abby isn’t showing up because of her. Christi doubts that’s the real reason — or at least not the reason in its entirety.
Next day, Abby’s missing again. Everyone has mixed emotions about it, but Gia’s here to steer the ship. Christi says they could try leaving a trail of hamburgers from Abby’s house to the studio to see if that helps lure her back. Maybe throw in a donut here and there, suggests Kelly. Maybe a chicken nugget or two for variety, adds Jill. Melissa doesn’t find this funny at all. Lori gets very hungry.
Back in Ohio, even though Cathy said she could handle the choreography all by herself, Yvette is running the group number with drill-sergeant authority. Cathy says it’s still her who makes the final decisions. Also, there’s what looks like a giant rope spider web on the studio wall. When the hell was this actually filmed? Halloween?
Back at the ALDC, the Pitt Crew discovers first- or second-handedly that Cathy and the Apples will be at the Charleston competition, too. Time to relive Cathy smacking Abby with a purse. And also Abby. For she’s back and hairbandier than ever.
She’s also openly seething that the Hylands are here, too, and informs the clearly rattled girls that they will be doing solos every week for as long as they remain there, with exactly the same amount of time as Maddie to prepare them. What about exactly the same amount of attention? Do they get that, too?
The ALDC group dance will be called Black and Blue, and features Maddie letting the audience know how much she has been made fun of. Midway through practice, Abby calls for the moms to come down from on high and they use the opportunity to quiz her about her whereabouts of late. Off tending to my ill mother, she informs them. Whoops. Nope. “I was at Star Power, judging,” she sniffs. I’m sure I could probably have found that out first-handedly if I were better at social media, but anyway, there it is. But that was 10 whole days ago, protests Jill. What about the other days? The nerve, Abby says.
Kristie pipes up that it’s none of their business where Abby was. Then why is it Abby’s business where she is when she’s not here, Kelly wants to know. Oh there ya go, Kel. That will make life easier for your girls.
“Why are you here?” Abby hisses. An argument ensues about who broke the contract more, and Kelly says the other mothers agree with her. Melissa says she doesn’t agree with Kelly at all. Kristie says she’s staying out of it. That makes Christi laugh. Abby calls her on it. A two-blur discussion ensues.
Abby says she’s going to begin rehearsing the completely non-offensive Kenzie and Asia and in the meantime, the mothers can figure out if Kelly and her daughters are really, truly an asset to the team — because she wishes she had a magic wand to make Paige and Brooke 5’8″ and brilliant, but she doesn’t. Kelly says she wishes she had the same for Abby. Abby tells her to make it happen. While you’re at it, Kel, I’ll take a tap of that thing, too.
In Ohio, Zack is running his solo, The Rescue. He says he feels like he’s dancing better than ever, especially since that bully Anthony has been replaced by Yvette. And we even get an Yvettism! “Dance for the cause, not for the applause,” the unofficial assistant tells the boy. That’s the Yvette I know and love. Now tell him he has to risk it to get the biscuit!
Kenzie and Asia’s duet is called We Hit Harder. Abby says it’s a competition within a competition. Not only are the girls competing together against the other duets, but they’re also competing against each other to see who shines brightest in theirs. Upstairs, it’s Kristie versus everybody else. She tells Kelly and Christi that they were out of line, calling Abby out in her own studio. Kelly crabs that once again she’s the villain when she’s just trying to make life easier for all of the girls, not just her own.
Downstairs, Abby says she’s only going to enter one child in the mini division at Nationals and, at this point, it’s looking like Asia. She tells Kenzie that if she doesn’t step it up, there’s always going to be people like Asia who put her in a corner. Where’s Johnny Castle when you need him, baby?
In West Virginia, there’s a large and vocal cheering sectioning for the Apples, anchored by this guy I shall call No Abby/Partially Eaten Ritz Cracker Guy.
Wait a minute. Is that you, Mitchell A. Finke, you little hanger-on, you? Yes. Yes, it is.
All this cheering for Cathy confuses Melissa. “They cheer for us, not for Cathy,” she pouts. Kristie prefers a more direct approach, grabbing Asia’s hand and steamrolling through the crowd, almost running Cathy down in the process. But she did say multiple “‘scuse me’s,” so there’s that. Cathy says multiple “don’t touch me’s” and a scuffle almost ensues, but Mitchell A. Finke steps in to save the day.
Inside the building, the smack talk continues, but Abby is not there to witness any of it. Gia dials her number to find out where she is.
“Are you coming?” Gia asks.
“No. I gotta go,” says Abby. Click.
Abby Miller, International Woman of Mystery.
Speaking of mysteries, allow Cathy to clear one up. One perpetuated by our Melissa back in Dance Moms Chatter Part 2. Ahem.
Jill jumps to Melissa’s defense, and Melissa says she’s going to take off her bra and show Cathy how perky her boobs still are. Between the yelling and the idea of Melissa showing her her boobs, a chastened Cathy settles back into her seat, pronto.
Asia and Kenzie go first. Make faces, Kenzie! Lots of them. I don’t care what kind. Whatever face Asia is making, make it back at her. Faces!
The choreography ends with Kenzie on the ground, then sulking offstage while Asia struts away, puffed up like a prize peacock. Melissa hugs it out with Kristie, anyway. Kristie says Asia dominated the dance.
I absolutely love to watch this boy dance and the solo is a stunner, perfectly suited to his strengths.
Chloe’s solo is called I Know It’s Too Late. It’s a lyrical beauty, too.
You know what I’d love? I’d love to see Zack and Chloe dance a duet. That would kill me stone cold dead. Kelly, find another magic wand and make that happen. Make me 5’8″ and brilliant first.
Time for the group dances. Of course, the Pitt Crew and the Apple Mothers run into each other in the hallway. Ever the instigator, Jill asks for a show of hands among the Ohio contingent — who here’s a dance teacher? That would be Gina G and Yvette. Then why do they even need a choreographer, Jill wants to know. Gina G says Cathy did their choreography, if you want to know it, missy.
Yvette takes that well.
Smelling blood in the water that doesn’t involve them for once, the Pitt Crew egg Yvette on and offer to let her sit with them.
Yvette prefers a more memorable departure.
When we come back from commercial, we discover that Yvette did most of the leg work on the choreography and that’s why she’s so upset at the slight from Gina G. She calls Cathy out on not setting the record straight, telling her that she is too passionate about what she does to let someone else take the credit. Even though Cathy privately tells us she can’t believe she traded Anthony’s yelling for Yvette’s meltdown, the two make up and head into the auditorium to kick some ALDC ass.
I wish we could just take the obnoxious adults out of the equation, because I think Phoenix Rising is a very cool dance with very cool costumes and the Apples dance it beautifully.
Since we’ve seen mere glimpses the ALDC group dance practice, I have no idea what we have to compete with the Phoenix.
In keeping with the Black and Blue title, Maddie’s wearing blue (and a dooze of a faux shiner) and the rest of the ladies are wearing black. Get it?
From what I see, there is no way this very simple dance can beat the Apples. Melissa, on the other hand, says it’s a guaranteed win. I guess we’ll find out. It’s awards time.
Asia and Kenzie’s duet takes first, even though Kristie says Kenzie held Asia back. There’s no “me” in duet, Kristie. No “I” either.
Zack gets second in the junior elite soloist division. Chloe takes the win. Christi says she’s never been happier for a victory.
Phoenix Rising gets second, too. Black and Blue takes the win. Shows you what I know. Perhaps if we could see these dances in their entirety, with every dancer filmed, it would be easier to figure this stuff out.
Backstage, the obligatory mother smackdown begins. Christi informs the Apples that even though Zack was amazing, Chloe was technically better. She says the ALDC-versus-Apples record this season bodes well for the Pitt Crew at Nationals. This time Yvette keeps her cool, but she privately admits she’s worried.
Back in their own room, the moms decide to phone Abby with news of the clean sweep.
Can’t get anything past this one, you ding dongs. Then Abby hangs up. And I wish I had me a Ding Dong to go with my trail of burgers and donuts.
With the spoilsport not there to rain on their parade, the Pitt Crew commences with an outright celebration. And — Cathy crying on Yvette’s shoulder for drama — the downtrodden Apples consider their future in the wake of the loss.
Next week — Vegas, baby. Plus hats in the group dance, and plenty of tears.
So what say you, Dance Moms nation? Is Abby shirking her responsibilities at the studio … or being a good daughter? Since Kelly is a paying customer, do she, Paige and Brooke have every right to be there and be treated nicely? Do you think Kelly’s only still there because of a contract with the show? Did Yvette overreact just a leeetle? And were the Apples robbed? Sound off in the comments section below.
New episodes of Dance Moms air Tuesday night at 9/8CT on Lifetime. The two-part Dance Moms Season 3 finale will air Sept. 3 and Sept. 10.