Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition Season 2 Episode 7 recap: Wicked step, mother

This week on Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, the theme is modern fairy tales. Goldilocks here says she’s got this bad boy wrapped up because she’s a princess from head to toe. Duh.

Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition episode 7 Jojo

Abby says fairy tales are magical. Tiffany says they’re crap, and it’s guaranteed to be the JoJo Show. Duh.

Abby says the sole prince among the princesses is going to have to work extra hard for his fairy tale ending after the stunt he pulled last week. You know, the one where he tried to remain loyal to his twin brother and Abby was all Off With His Head?

The skills challenge will be turns. The winner gets a private lesson from Abby. Here’s how excited Cindy is about that.

Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition episode 7 Cindy

Cindy doesn’t think Gianna would even want to win, because she’s scared to death of Abby. I’m scared to death of Cindy.

Speaking of scary, Abby’s special guest this week is this person named Leslie, who has performed all over the world including with the Royal Ballet of London. Her eyebrows worry me tremendously.

Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition episode 7 Leslie

I feel like I should tell you more about Leslie — and also possibly see if I’m spelling her name wrong — but we spend very little time on her other than to demonstrate that she teaches class in a skirt and heels — like street-clothes skirt and heels — and looks very properly English and elegant doing it. And that’s about it for Leslie. Abby has a magic wand on her to make the losers of the challenge disappear.

Ally, who is clearly in the weeds, is ousted first. Tiffany says she’d like to tell Abby where to stick that wand. Trinity and her sickled foot go next. JoJo nearly falls off the stage. Gianna biffs the choreography. Abby decides to throw the final three — Travis, McKaylee and Kalani — a curveball and reverse the combination to the left. I can’t even reverse direction stylishly just walking normal, so good for them if they can pull this off. Kalani and Travis can. McKaylee is not hitting second. Kalani wins the lesson.

Cindy is not surprised. She says Abby should just send the rest of them the hell home and declare her little favorite the winner right now. Or you could just, you know, go home, Cindy. Try telling Abby you’re doing that. Make sure you do it on camera.

Everyone’s excused. Except Sheryl. Abby tells her that everything that happened at the end of last week’s episode is Sheryl’s fault. Of course. She MADE Abby say those things. While Abby is lecturing her about not allowing Travis and Tyler to buy a car or spend a hundred G’s without parental guidance, Abby notices Sheryl is chewing gum.

Here’s what happens when Abby catches you chewing gum.

Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition episode 7 sheryl gum

Sheryl says that resorting to vulgarities like that just shows you’re ignorant. Hopefully she will never know you said that, Sheryl, or your gum will wind up somewhere other than your nose.

Kalani and Kira arrive for Kalani’s private lesson. Abby remarks that Kira isn’t as cutthroat as the other mothers. Kira says she’s looking at the big picture — all the other stuff Kalani is learning along the way. Privately, she tells us that she has a life outside of raising Kalani, too, so being immersed in this day in and day out is a little much. Kira feels like she’s in dance jail. Abby says she should respect the opportunity more.

Abby says Kalani has so many natural gifts that she’s going to put her through her paces to make sure she realizes she still has to work for it. And by putting her through her paces, she means giving her an inspirational speech and a dewy-eyed cuddle.

Tessandra Chavez will be choreographing Ally and Trinity’s duet, Evil Stepmother. I thought this was supposed to be a modern take. Why can’t the stepfather be wicked for a change? Signed, Totally Fun Stepmother of Three.

Trinity will be the put-upon stepchild who is also a combination of all the princesses. She worries that Ally thinks she gets all the evil roles because people think she’s mean. Honestly? Trinity just thinks it’s because she’s tall.

Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition episode 7 trinity

Abby shows up to huff and puff about Ally’s feet.

Are you comprehending any of this, Tiffany?

Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition say yes

Tiffany says yes.

Ally says it’s next to impossible for her to make Abby like her.

Kalani and Travis will be The Ice Prince and The Snow Queen, as choreographed by Peter Chu. They danced together last week, too, and Travis says it was a hot mess. This week’s looking that way, too, because Kalani is taller than Travis and Travis has to lift her. Peter worries he’s going to puncture her torso with his thumb.

Gianna and McKaylee will be doing a Pinocchio duet, choreographed by Matt Cady. Do you know how hard it is to spell Pinocchio right on the first try? The modern take on Pino … Pinoch … Pinokliedoklie …. Pinocchio is that they’re kids who are puppet-like enslaved to technology. Their laptop prop is totally cool, but Gianna keeps getting tangled up in the bungee cords.

Cindy wants to know what all this bungee hooey has to do with a turns challenge. With Matt on her case and her mother on her case, Gianna finally has enough and walks away from her mother.

Shari, who made some interesting fashion choices today …

Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition what are you wearing shari

… says she will blow a gasket if Cindy and Gianna’s sparring ruins McKaylee’s rehearsal. Cindy bellows one last bellow and leaves.

JoJo gets Anthony Burrell all to herself this week and will be a sassy, flashy Rapunzel — which is way easier to spell than Pinocchio — with a very long ponytail. Like 4 feet long. OMG, says J E S S A L Y N N. But if anyone can turn in that sucker it’s her little princess.

JoJo says no one else got a solo this week, plus it’s cute and it’s fierce and her wig is super-fabulous. Her mouth is super-obnoxious. Anthony reminds her not to sacrifice technique for performance.

In the green room, Cindy, Shari and Sheryl discuss how the only one who finds JoJo’s act cute is her mother. JoJo’s mother doesn’t find her dark roots cute. Here’s where we discover that JoJo is naturally brunette and Jessalynn has been dyeing her Baby Barbie Blonde since she was 2. <cough>

What if JoJo wins, wonders Cindy. Then she’ll have a lot more money for hair dye, I guess.

Manno made some interesting fashion choices today, too, going back to the Pee-Wee Herman vibe, with an exploded Brussels sprout for a boutonniere. Which is also hard to spell.

AUDC 7 Manno

Richy has a crown on for the occasion. Abby has artificial plant matter in her hair.

JoJo goes first.

I just don’t know what I think about a 9-year-old doing these weirdly suggestive moves. But she does nail some pretty beast turns. The performance twins — Richy and Rachelle — can hardly contain themselves while she dances. And when it’s over, Richy leaps up and wiggles and waves all at the same time.

Abby says she nailed her turns. JoJo high-fives Manno. Abby says she loved the performance and the technique wobbles will iron themselves out with age.

Richy says yes, yes, yes and yes. Rachelle says she performed like an old Broadway pro. JoJo says she feels like she’s the best dancer here and everyone else should recognize. OK, Dancey Boo Boo.

Before Travis performs, he and Sheryl call Tyler, who offers his brother encouragement. His brother is going to need it. Kalani falls out of her very first turn. The whole dance just sort of seems all over the place, which I’m not sure is entirely the dancers’ fault. I realize that Kalani probably best suits Travis for partner work, but what say we let the kid try whooping it up in something funky with Trinity next week?

Abby gives Kalani a pass and some applause for doing the dance in her bare feet, which makes the entire greenroom contingent howl in protest and throw stuff. Even the nice people.

Abby tells Travis he was forgettable.

Richy says the whole thing was just kind of eh. Rachelle says their partnering has improved, but Kalani should have done better, having had a private lesson with Abby. The greenroom crowd goes wild.

Ally and Trinity are next. Tiffany — who has apparently been in an open-eyed coma up to this point — reminds her daughter that it’s not the technique, it’s not the turns, it’s the performance. Er, Tiff? Abby has been all over your kid about her technique from the minute she got here. This is not good advice.

Also, I can’t help but notice that Tiffany is wearing some sort of turquoise blue shorts suit with matching sky-high wedges that make her tower over teeny tiny Tina like Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars at the VMAs.

Ally’s black costume just makes her blend into the background, naturally making my eye gravitate to sparkly sprite Trinity. I’m not so much about this dance, either.

When it’s over, Tiffany turns to Tina.

was it good?

Tina doesn’t know. Just keep clapping. Nothing bad can happen if we’re clapping. Right?

Abby says Trinity drew her in. She says Ally was right on the money … from the waist up. The legs and feet, not so much. Abby is not going to forgive Ally for admitting she has only begun to study ballet and Ally looks like she knows it.

Richy says he loved all of it and if he were them, he’d just dance close enough to Abby that she can’t see their feet.

Rachelle says even if they forget all about her not having ballet training, Ally still has to live up to the expectations of the challenge — and she didn’t. Tiffany still doesn’t think Ally will be in the bottom three. Tiffany had better hope Gianna and McKaylee completely blow their dance.

Backstage, Cindy continues to do fine, fine work bulldozing any self-confidence her poor daughter might have had at some point in this competition.

I kinda dug Gianna and McKaylee’s dance — mostly because I spend my life tethered to a computer — but I don’t think Abby did. Rachelle either. She says McKaylee was OK, but she could’ve been better. Also, both dancers hit the stage too thunkin’ hard. She says Gianna has grown over the course of the last few weeks, but she needs to work on her power. Have you met her mother, Rachelle? Woman could suck the power out the L.A. grid.

Richy says the two are better dancers than this dance displayed. I’d just like to say one more time how much I appreciate the quality and relevance of the judges’ comments this season over last. Seriously. Other than when Abby raises her voice, there’s actually something to all of it. Well most of it. Well, usually.

Abby says McKaylee turned well. Gianna needs to tighten up and stop being lazy. This isn’t vacation.

Cindy says Gianna is not dancing like she does at home. I’m guessing Cindy’s not momming like she does at home, either. They could possibly be related.

Judges’ deliberation. JoJo gets love all around. Richy says Ally has star power, but Abby says she dances at the level of JoJo. You know, before tonight. Like, in general. Rachelle says she was disappointing. Abby says Trinity is dynamic, but with her lack of fluidity, is she an ultimate dancer? No love for McKaylee or Gianna. Can we retire the phrase “hot mess” now?

More fighting from Gianna and Cindy backstage.

Whoever we’re discussing now, Abby says she’s wanted to send her home for weeks. Rachelle says she’s a beautiful girl who walks tall in her body and her story and she has potential. Richy nods. Abby says no. Today is not Ally’s day, mark my words.

Oh wait. More deliberations.We must have time to kill. Abby says the wrong boy twin went home last week. Rachelle and Richy give Abby crap about Kalani. Finally, there is consensus. One that Abby doesn’t trust will be undone by Rachelle’s callback card. Rachelle says it will not. Too early, says Rachelle. Yep. Not Ally’s day.

When all the dancers are back onstage, Manno asks Abby to assess the performances overall. Abby says some were sleepy and some were dopey and now she’s grumpy. And that’s what’s up, Doc.

Abby tells JoJo she had the best performance of the evening. Duh. JoJo, tonight you have annoyed me. Times a million. Don’t hate you, Jessalynn, but Jesus, tone that kid down once in a while.

Trinity, McKaylee, Travis and Kalani are all declared safe, too.

Tiffany looks even taller next to Cindy — who decides to run her mouth again. She says sending Gianna home would be a shame, because she has yet to give 100%. Abby says she feels like Gianna wants to tell Cindy something. Like shut the Pinocchio up. Then Abby wants to know, if Gianna hasn’t given 100% seven weeks into the competition, what exactly is she waiting for? Gianna says she is giving it her all — it’s all just so new. Abby tells Cindy she’s sending her own kid up the river.

Despite Cindy’s ill-timed, harebrained speech, today is not Ally’s day. She handles with a grace that 3/4 of the moms could learn from. Including her own.

Next time on Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, It’s Cindy vs. Jessalynn on jump week.

So what do you say, AUDC fans? Do they seriously need to shake up the match-ups where duets are concerned? Did Ally get a fair shake? Is Cindy the funniest part of the show … or the most irritating? Is JoJo the funniest part of the show … or the most irritating? Would you teach a 9-year-old that they’re better when they’re blond? Is Abby’s Kalani-favoritism over the top? Sound off in the comments section below.

New episodes of Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition air Tuesday nights at 9/8CT on Lifetime.


  1. As a pediatrician who happened upon this show only because I think dance is a terrific way for children to build physical and emotional well being, I was dismayed with one particular child named Jojo. Actually, it was Jojo’s “mother” (and I use that term loosely) who I found entirely reprehensible. Let’s start with Jojo’s OBVIOUS speech impediment which should have been addressed and RESOLVED way before age nine. Sadly, the later in life one waits to initiate speech therapy, the poorer the results. This child is a setup for a lifetime criticism and bullying. Her speech impediment is NOT CUTE, Mom. Another obvious breech of “good parenting” and general good sense, is Jojo’s hair being dyed. This is a child for heaven’s sake and the chemicals in hair coloring products are POISONS!! What parent in their right mind would ever knowlingly placing a TOXIN on a child’s head?? Of course, that is a rhetorical question with “right mind” being the operative term. Finally (although I could continue ad infinitum with a list of Jojo’s mother’s trangressions), Jojo’s mother deals with her as a peer (and perhaps she is since the mother is so childish) which is a recipe for DISASTER; the role of a parent is to PARENT, not befriend.

    This mother’s actions are, in my opinion, nothing short of child abuse.

    I hope the network takes note of such treatment of children like Jojo, since it would be a travesty if even ONE more mother thought it was good parenting to ignore a serious disability such as a severe speech impediment, or place known toxins in/on a child, or form highly improper parent-child relationships.

    Jojo’s mother needs to: 1) take her home and let her play with children her own age; 2) seek a consultation with a top ENT and institute intense speech therapy; 3) stop dying this child’s hair–she’ll be just as attractive with REAL brown hair and she hopefully won’t suffer the repercussions of chemical toxicity; 4) find peers for herself so that she can be a parent instead of a buddy to her daughter.

    • @Concerned MD: Agree with what you said. Guess you never tuned into “Toddlers & Tiaras”! Now THAT show is blatant child abuse.

    • Hi Doc, interesting post. If you are new to the show, you may have missed the episode where it was mentioned that JoJo is home-schooled. I suspect we would both be in agreement in adding #5 to your list: Put JoJo in school! (No, I’m not against home-schooling in general, but this seems like a kid that could use some exposure to the “real-world” outside of what her own mom refers to as “jojo-land”…)

  2. I like JoJo. I wish I would have had her confidence when I was her age. I still think that Abby would not be so mean if the mothers would stay out of the picture. Obviously the dance moms believe that Abby is a good teacher or they wouldn’t let her teach their kids. So why do they fight with her so often? It has to be so they can be on t.v. more.

  3. How is Jojo any different from Asia from last season? Age-inappropriate provocative dance moves and an “I am better than everyone else here” talking head. I guess it’s less politically incorrect to bash a Caucasian, mid-western girl who bleaches her hair?

    That being said, I think the best remaining dancers are Trinity, Kalani and Gianna.

  4. How is Jojo any different than Asia from last season? Inappropriately provocative dance moves and major “I’m better than everyone else” talking heads. I guess it’s less politically incorrect to bash a little Caucasian, mid-western girl who bleaches her hair?

    That being said, I think Trinity, Kalani and Gianna are the best dancers left.

    • I don’t think it’s a race/politics thing. I think folks are less afraid that Jessalynn will hunt them down and beat them than they were of Kristie. Either way, it’s always squirmy to pick on a kid. Too bad the adults in her world are coaching her to be pick-on-able.

  5. I have to confess I am a JoJo fan. I think her confidence and spunk are a nice break from the constant nerves and tears of the other girls. And she has consistantly managed Abby well. I am not getting the online hate towards a 9-year old.

  6. JoJo is an annoying brat! I direct local pageants and I dare say I have NEVER had a contestant in any of my shows that acts like that (much less a mom who would bleach her daughter’s hair so she could be a blond princess…). Not sure I will watch Dance Moms if any of these contestants or moms show up!!

  7. Love this show !! Hope to see dance mom’s back to . You make my Tuesdays night better

  8. OMG CINDY IS SO ANNOYING!! Honestly, the only reason Cindy and Gianna aren’t gone is because Gianna’s a good dancer. Otherwise, she would’ve been gone

  9. I find Jojo amusing. I don’t think she is near Asia’s performance-wise though. I think Gianna is the brat. Her mom is irritating, but should she tell another mom that her mother is crazy? Should she talk back to her mother? That is just bratty.

  10. As someone who has actually cast kids in commercials, I wouldn’t touch Jojo and her mother with a 10, nay 20-foot pole.

    Having said that, I’ve thought Ally has been hanging on by the skin of her teeth for some time now. She has great presence, but her technique is weak.

  11. Alright everyone I was a dancer since the age of 3.Technique is everything in the dance world!They’re are 2 dancers in this 2nd season. One is a natural. The other is JoJo.So you might as well give it to those two. Abbey is the best dance teacher because she’s all about technique.My own teacher would send me home crying, but when you get it right, you can move on to more technical training and that’s what as a dancer you will find that everything else. Will come together but you got to want it. The dance world is not for the weak at heart. Abbey Miller actually isn’t as tough on me as my own teacher, I had to dance in the snow, but I never had a Cycle foot issue again. Anyway just remember this is a chance to win a scholarship to the jafre school of dance, the money isn’t what matters here. My vote is for kalani and little JoJo. Technique people!

  12. I think JoJo is adorable! Keep in mind that this is a dance contest and that little 9 year old can dance! She is holding her own against those 13 year olds. I would love to see more of her.

  13. y’all crack me up. And I am betting that we see JoJo with the BowBow show up on Dance Mom’s along with Kilani and maybe one of the other obnoxious Mom’s. Love the recap again, you keep me amused.

    • Thanks, Kerry. Amused is what we aim for. And, yeah, I’d stake my last buck on it where JoJo is concerned, but I don’t think Kira would last in the Dirty PA for very long. Maybe a couple episodes or so? Or maybe I’m totally wrong.

  14. Yeah, that’s also my fear — that she’s not being taught when to turn it down, or off, and it’s going to get her a** kicked by other kids. I’m hoping she’s being encouraged to amp it up for the cameras and that she’s much less the bastard stepchild of Miley Cyrus and Shirley Temple when they aren’t pointed at her.

  15. If there is a God, then JoJo will leave this competition and soon. She is the most annoying, obnoxious little girl EVER!! Sure, it’s good to have confidence, but it goes way beyond that with this kid. My guess is she has no friends because of that “I am sooooo wonderful” personality of her’s.

  16. I think abby is hard on those girls and maybe she does have a favorite kalani but abby is hard on all her dance kids because she wants them to achieve greatness. Each parent should be proud of the opportunity their kids are getting. I wish my kids would get an opportunity like that

  17. I was watching this episode and my cat was sleeping nearby. When Abby appeared on screen and started screeching at one of the dancers, my cat jumped straight up about 6 inches. No wonder Gianna is terrified of Abby. Even my cat is afraid of Abby.

  18. Instead of JoJo’s mother spending money on dance lessons, she should spend her money for a speech therapist. JoJo’s speech impediment is so pronounced; the child needs help!

    • JoJo is also the biggest brat I have ever seen…she is not CUTE or amusing and I can only imagine the kind of entitled woman she will grow up to be. Her mother is not doing her any favors by bleaching her hair and telling her she is a “princess” – if that is the future of our country, I’m glad I’m old!

      • @Donna: You made me spit out my coffee with the “glad I’m old” comment!! I guarantee JoJo has no friends. Not with her attitude. It’s one thing to have confidence but another to be totally annoying.

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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.