Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition recap Season 2 episode 10: Livin’ La Diva Loca

Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition episode 10 JoJo Lori Acken

Welcome back, Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition fans. Was everyone still awash in the glow of Rachelle’s good deed, using her callback card to save Trinity, when we started this week’s competition with Abby and her pink feathery boa? I know I was. And it didn’t last but a minute.

Abby reminds the dancers that there are no more callback cards left, so eliminations from here on out are final. Then she tells them that this week’s theme is Divas, and the skill is performance.

Anybody care to guess who we hear from first? La la la la la la … I cannot hear you talking, JoJo. Really, it’s just better for both of us.

The skills challenge will be a dance battle against Asia — whom Abby says was her Season One Ultimate Diva (and who looks a dab more grown up since we saw her last on Dance Moms not too long ago). And speaking of Dance Moms, the battle music is from Asia’s and Kenzie’s “We Hit Harder” duet.

Kira says Kalani better bring it. Jessalynn says there’s no way is Kalani going to win. Abby says she wants attitude and aptitude.

Asia loses right out of the gate to McKaylee, who looks mildly amused and sort of perplexed at having to battle a 7-year-old.

JoJo’s next. Abby tells her to put up or shut up. Cindy says she dances like a baby compared to Asia, leaving out the part where they both are babies and have no business dancing the way they are in the first place. Abby says JoJo’s just copying Asia’s moves, and JoJo’s first-out losing streak remains intact.

Kalani gives surprisingly good battle, backing Asia up and stopping her in her tracks. She’s declared safe, too.

When it’s her turn to battle, Gianna says Asia dances like a little kid who’s had too many Pixy Stix … at a club. I may never stop laughing.

Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition Asia

She can’t keep a straight face either as the tot writhes and wriggles toward her, dissolving into laughter and applause. Abby says you do not clap for the enemy, but I’m totally charmed by Gianna’s reaction. I’d laugh if that were coming at me, too, and Gianna does it with love.

Being a gymnast like Asia, Trinity momentarily gives the kid a run for her money then just lets Asia take over. Tina says sometimes Trinity has to lose in order to come out on top. I’m going to guess that’s some sort of foreshadowing.

For Round 2, Abby decides Kalani and McKaylee will battle each other and Asia will help her judge. McKaylee runs out of battle moves faster than her rival — Asia says she’s just going in circles — and Kalani is declared the winner. Would you like to eat your words about Kalani with ketchup or just plain, Jessalynn?

Cindy says Abby has a screw loose.

Kalani gets to choose her routine and the person who gets to choose next. Abby calls it a “Diva Chain.” The dances will be inspired by fierce ladies like Nicki Minaj, Cleopatra, and Marie Antoinette.

Kalani chooses the sassy jazz number, since her last one went so well. Clearly disappointed, Abby calls it a safe choice.

Kalani chooses JoJo to pick next. Since she has no idea who Cleopatro and Maria Antwhatever even are, she picks the hip-hop duet, because plssssshhh! that’s her. JoJo is an expert plsssssshh-er. She wants to choose Gianna next, but Jessalynn wants her to pick Trinity. JoJo says, yeah but Trinity might out-dance her. JoJo picks Trinity, anyway. Trinity chooses to join her in the duet, but doesn’t look too happy about it. I think it’s an excellent choice.

Trinity chooses McKaylee to pick next, which Cindy takes very, very personally, like allowance money had changed hands under the table or something. McKaylee picks the contemporary Cleopatra solo. Gianna is stuck with Maria Antoinette. Gianna doesn’t know who she is either. Off with the heads of the history teachers at Gianna’s school. Now let me eat cake.

In the green room, Tina says she can’t believe JoJo picked a duet. Cindy says that’s because she really does live in JoJo World and thinks she’s better than everyone else. Kira is tired of listening to Cindy attack Jessalynn. I’m tired of listening to Cindy, period. Maybe we could stick Cindy and JoJo in a soundproof booth and let them have a Yap Battle until they both come up hoarse.

Victor Rojas will choreograph Kalani’s Movie Star solo. Speaking of taking things personally, Abby crabs at her that she should have picked a slower, contemporary solo. I disagree 100%. Richy and Rachelle aren’t Kalani fans — she has to knock their socks off, not dance pretty, if she’s going to win them over. The theme is performance, not technique, and Kalani wants to perform.

Trinity and JoJo will be Down and Dirty Divas, courtesy of a gentleman named Q Pittman. He tells the girls to think of themselves as a hip-hop super group and this is the opening number of their concert. JoJo is all about his GAH GAH YAH attack style. Trinity and Q are not about JoJo’s timing issues and lacking tumbling skills. JoJo does not appear to care.

Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition episode 10 JoJo

Joyce Chittick will choreograph Gianna’s Marie Antoinette solo, called — yay! — Let Them Eat Cake. She tells Gianna to find something that motivates her to want to have a tantrum in order to channel MA’s attitude. This should help — all the other mothers have inexplicably dropped by for a visit. Their ridiculously self-conscious expressions let us know that this is no spontaneous social call, even though we’re supposed to think it is. Jessalynn tells us that watching Gianna makes her feel better about JoJo.

They stay a few minutes, saying nothing, and leave.

McKaylee’s Queen of the Nile dance will also be choreographed by Victor Rojas. It’s about the night before Cleopatra is to be crowned queen. Abby beats her down good for I’m not sure what and brings the usually composed girl to tears. McKaylee says there is wheat and corn — not divas — in Nebraska. Plssssshhh! Shari has clearly done a fine job of sheltering her girl from JoJo and Jessalynn.

Come competition day, JoJo says that if it weren’t for the callback card, Trinity would be home crying in her bed right now — so she’s hardly worried about dancing with her. Tina tells her daughter not to dance down to JoJo’s level.

Asia and her mom and little sister are in the audience. Manno looks fetching in shades of periwinkle.

Gianna goes first. Cindy says her confidence is suffering, but you wouldn’t know it watching the girl. The dance ends not with Gianna losing her head, but eating cake in true diva-queen style. Richy and Rachelle leap to their feet, but Abby is frowning. Gianna didn’t kick her head. Who in their right mind kicks their own head? Besides of which, you could have fooled me for as close as she came.

Then Abby points out Gianna’s grimy shoes.

Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition recap pretty bad

There was no pavement back then, people. Shoes got grimy. So there.

Abby concedes that it was good, but maybe not good enough to go on. Richy and Rachelle protest that this week is about performing, not clean shoes, and Gianna’s wide smile returns. Rachelle says it was one of GiGi’s best performances. I would like to marry Richy’s 5-6-7-8 vest. Cindy would like to punch Abby in the face.

Gianna tells her to just calm down. Cindy does this instead.

Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition recap Cindy

Good luck getting that out of your head when it hits the pillow.

As McKaylee heads out to the stage, Shari worries about her daughter’s diva potential. This is a whole different dance than Gianna’s spicy, sassy choreography, but McKaylee’s technique is flawless and her expressions are spot-on.

Abby says she was indeed a diva and her technique was — mostly — great. Richy says it was fantastic and that this is the McKaylee he always wants to come out onstage, because she was diva even when the dance didn’t call for eye contact with the judges. Rachelle praises her ability to be still and still be in character.

I’m not real nuts about Kalani’s choreography either, but as much as Abby is furious with her girl for not choosing lyrical solos, I think the more lively dance styles suit her — especially when the choreographer is able to incorporate the lyrical elements that show off her strengths.

Abby stands by her assessment that a lyrical solo would have better suited the girl. I’m starting to think maybe Cindy is right and Abby did give Kalani a leg up in the dance battle because she thought she would surely choose the lyrical solos that Abby loves so much. The chip on her shoulder is a mile wide. Richy says Kalani was OK, but didn’t really bring the diva. Rachelle says she did, too. No one seems too excited about the dance, though. I worry that JoJo may survive to blow another skills challenge.

We’ll find out, because she’s up next. Jessalynn says she doesn’t want her kid know it, but she is freaking out inside because of what happened last time JoJo danced with Trinity. And literally from the first second, JoJo’s timing is off. The. First. Second.

Allow me a moment on my soapbox.

I do not enjoy disparaging a 9-year-old kid (or giving you guys a platform to do so, either, for that matter) — especially one who has been fed a steady diet of her own fabulousness and was going to suffer the consequences of that at some point in the near future, TV show or not. But this is a TV show, and we have had to put up with an endless overdose of JoJo’s lip since the very first episode. I could not be happier for those of you that do, because I am sure it makes your AUDC experience much more enjoyable than that of those who endure it so we can continue to watch more talented dancers perform. But I have raised four kids, all of whom suffered mightily for half the impertinence that has only served to score JoJo twice the camera time of other dancers. If I have to stomach that, I would like to see dance skills that support her being around week after week. Especially these weeks, when she is near-comically out of her league.

To wit, in this dance she is basically a distraction to Trinity hitting this dance clean out of the park. A distraction in a suck-up ALDC shirt and Abby-mimicking soda-can hair bauble.

Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition recap JoJo diva

When it’s over, Rachelle stands up so we can see what she is wearing today, and also so she can hurl her white fur coat at Trinity in a diva salute. Trinity puts that bad boy on and beams at Rachelle’s praise. Richy says not only did she bring the diva, but her performance was top competition level as well. Abby says she has no criticism. I pinch myself hard a couple of times just to make sure I’m awake. Richy and Rachelle leap to their feet for joy.

As for JoJo, Richy says hip-hop may be her thing, but next to Trinity it sure doesn’t look that way. Rachelle says that her confidence in the moves seems to disappear when she gets onstage. Abby says that Performance Week was made for her and she made one bad choice after the next, choosing not to do a solo and then giving Trinity the chance to come in and steam roll her in the duet.

Cindy says Jess should not have listened to her 9-year-old and made her choose a solo. To us, JoJo says she knows she’s a good dancer. But backstage she cries to her mother.

Come deliberation time, pretty much everyone thinks Kalani has peaked. I still say she is a 1000% better candidate for Joffrey than JoJo. Richy says McKaylee is the dancer who most consistently applies corrections, but Abby wants her to make wiser decisions. Everyone also agrees that the duet was more like two solos, one great, one forgettable. Rachelle says, even so, JoJo is a performer, which makes Abby look like this.

Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition recap Abby

She says the hair bleach is sinking into JoJo’s brain to make the choices she did. Yes, but is one bad choice enough to get JoJo sent home, Rachelle wants to know. Abby nods. Lori nods harder. One bad choice … and a season full of dancing that is not on par with these other girls.

Still sniffling, JoJo reminds us she is not known for her technique. She is known for performance and stage presence. Yes, child. And you brought neither. And tonight is hardly the first night. But tonight is Performance night and that makes it so much worse.

Abby tells the other two that she has to deal with cute day in and day out. Jessalynn still thinks if they send JoJo home on Performance Week, they are crazy. Lady! Please! This week perhaps most of all!

On to Gianna. Rachelle and Richy said that she commanded the stage more than any other dancer out there. Abby says she has a problem with Gianna’s technique. This is not Technique Week, Abby. That was last week. This is Performance Week and Gianna delivered that in spades. And I will hold Gianna’s technique up to JoJo’s any day of the week. Especially when the next thing you say to your fellow judges is that they are going to hand someone $100,000 in cash and a full scholarship to the Joffrey and need to send the girl who is going to represent you the best.

Come results time, Abby tells the dancers that there were standouts, but no one was diva-perfect. Then she bellows at Gianna that the only reason her legs aren’t up where they should be is because she doesn’t care. I don’t believe that for one second. I think Gianna is suffering from Chloe Syndrome. Hate the mother; take it out on a perfectly good kid. And that is sad.

Abby tells Gianna, who is used to bellowing women, that Richy and Rachelle loved her so she will dance another week. Cindy says she’s glad Richy and Rachelle have some power over Abby.

Next Abby says McKaylee needs to show them that she’s more than just another pretty face … and now my blood pressure is up so high that I’m wildly glad there are only a few moments left in the episode. That kid has been a marvel, well beyond her 13 years, week after week after week — not once resting on her lovely face or natural elegance. Mercifully Abby walks it back and says that this Cleopatra continues to reign as queen of the dance floor.

She tells Trinity they all agree that she has proven she was worthy of Rachelle’s callback card.

Kalani and JoJo are the bottom two. Abby takes one last opportunity to beat the dead horse that is her anger at Kalani not choosing a lyrical solo. Then she tells JoJo her half of the duet was a mess.

Today is not JoJo’s day. The judges give her a standing ovation. Kalani cries and clutches her pal — turns out they were besties on the show. Jessalynn tells JoJo to look on the bright side — they don’t have to listen to Cindy anymore. JoJo goes out in true JoJo style, saying that if Kalani doesn’t win this, she’s going to slap her as hard as she can.

So what say you, AUDC fans? Did the show get just much more — or much less — watchable? Is Abby unduly hard on Gianna? Should she have just let it go about Kalani already? Who’s your pick for the win in two weeks? Sound off in the comments section below.

New episodes of Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition premiere Tuesdays at 9/8CT on Lifetime.



  1. I like Jojo’s dance moves but I think that y’all so not be so harsh on her I mean she is only 9.I personaly think Cindy is a stupid fat ass.she thinks she is the boss!I also think kalani should win I mean she is the best dancer!

    • I really don’t see why some people think that others are being so harsh when it comes to Jojo. People are just stating facts. She’s not as technical as the remaining girls and she couldn’t keep up with them. I understand that she’s only nine, but it’s Abby’s Ultimate Dancer and if she couldn’t keep up with the big girls than she didn’t deserve to stay. Also, she kept using her age as an excuse as to why she wasn’t a great technical dancer. Asia is seven…enough said and Maddie and Chloe from Dance Moms have also been very technical dancers from a young age. As far as her being a brat goes, that’s a matter of opinion. In my honest opinion, she is a brat. A nine year old should know what is appropriate to say to adults regardless of how horrible their mother has raised them. And the things she said about the other contestants were extremely rude. There are just some things that a child she know they shouldn’t say/do. If she wants to be able to hold her own with the big girls, than I suggest she start acting like a big girl and lose the bratty attitude. I don’t think anyone was being too harsh and I don’t think anyone was being mean just to be mean. They are stating their opinion.

  2. Can anyone answer this question? Who is singing i just want to be beautiful? Background music playing in Queen of the Nile dance.

  3. I personally think it should be between makaylee or kalani as the winner!! They are both very good dancers! They both have great technique and since the last time kalani got sent home… She has come back to show what she is made of. Trinity is a good dancer however she lacks technique along with Giana. Either way it was an interesting season and I absolutely love the show!!!

  4. So glad Jojo is gone! She is an arrogant, egotistical brat. I cringed whe she opened her mouth. Please get her in speech therapy. Her lisp is unbearable not with her personality.

  5. Lori once again another funny recap. I haven’t seen this episode but will definatley check it out this week. As for JoJo, her mother is to blame for her kid’s lack of control where her mouth is concerned. At the same time, if you are going to be serious about the dance world and show business you better be ready for criticism, it will come and it will be hard and mean. The world is not a nice place sometimes, you better be ready to handle it. Crying will not get you anything but a runny nose and red eyes. Looking forward to the finale.

  6. So happy that that brat JoJo is gone!! I don’t know why any of you are even defending her or her mom.. She CLEARLY is WAY out of her league dance wise. The only reason she stayed on as long as she did is because she was such a brat and that made for good television (unfortunately) as did watching Jess and Cindy fight. I don’t blame JoJo for being the way she is- that is clearly her awful mothers fault- but she just should have been gone a long time ago. She wasn’t as good as any of the 12 or 11 girls that were on the show and them keeping her on as long as they did was a joke. I feel bad for her because someday she will grow up and watch this and if she is halfway normal, she will be horrified by the way she behaved. Asia may have been a little sassy, but she was 6, which is a big difference from 9, AND AsiaWAS and IS absolutely AMAZING; whereas JoJo is not! JoJo looks like one of those talentless bleache blonde pageant kids. That mom of hers should be ashamed of herself. Asia could dance circles around her at 6.

    I like the 4 girls remaining but my cote would be for McKaylee to go to Joffrey. She seems the one that would get the most out of it and most technically trained and talented dancer left as far as ballet goes. If this was a scholarship to some kind of hip hop school, I would say Trinity, but we ARE talking about a ballet school, so I’m rooting for the one who is at this point the best at ballet. By the way, I can’t stand her mother either. The only mom I DO like on this season of AUDC is Trinitys mom.

    • MS Or MR DJ. Let’s play nice and stop calling JoJo names. JoJo is only nine and I believe most of what she said was as a defense mechanism. She was constantly hearing some of the other mothers talking bad about her. Most of their complain was that it wasn’t fair because she was not going home because she was cute and blonde. Then nasty Abby was constantly beating her down to the point that her performance declined. Abby also complained that JoJo was too cute or too blonde or too sassy. Once Abby broke the child’s spirit she then complained that she didn’t perform with enough sassiness.
      There were ten girls and two boys. The boys were good but I truly enjoyed watching JoJo better and I believe she was also better.
      The reason I say let’s play nice it’s because these are children we are talking about. There are just to many cyber bullies out there. There are just to many children committing suicide over cyber bullying.
      Once again I have to comment on Abby and her disgusting ways. Why did she have to comment and say that JoJo’s brain was damaged due to her mother dying her hair. I’m not a dance professional or a dance instructor but is that what a dance instructor suppose to comment on? I thought Abby’s job was to concentrate on techniques, jumps, placement of their foot etc. Maybe Abby’s brain is fried from coloring her grays and she is talking from experience. How about Abby’s constant criticism of trinity’s body type. Once again would Abby like for someone to comment constantly on her body type on TV. It seems to me that Abby was bullied as a child and now she feels that she has a position of power so picks on children. Abby needs to see a psychiatrist so she could talk about the years she was bullied in school and her bad eating habits. Maybe then and only then she won’t be so nasty and she could find the man she is looking for. I believe once she finds her Prince Charming she will come to work with less stress on her shoulders and happy. The media thinks that people watch the show because of the cursing and the fighting. But they need to reevaluate. I think most of the viewers have an appreciation with the art of dance and they enjoy the children..

      • All we know is what is portrayed on television, and on television JoJo was definitely portrayed as a brat!! There is no way getting around it. As I said in my first post, the reason she is the way she is is because of her horrid mother! I don’t blame JoJo for bring the way she is now. Her mother did this to her and hopefully she will have some better influences in her life to offset what influences she has gotten so far from her mother. Yes she’s a child, but if my 9 year old child acted that despicable, I would be horrified and not laugh and think it was cute. I think most parents would agree that the way she was portrayed was that of a bratty, obnoxious, self-centered and egotistical girl.

        • Even if she was portrayed as a brat there is no need for an adult to right ugly things of a child on a blog because it will stick with her for the rest of her life. It’s bad enough that it”s recorded. Plus she might actually turn out to be a great human being. For example: there is a little boy in my culdesac he was so cute and smart at 1,2 and 3. by four he was changing and acting like a brat. He only was polite to me on holloween because I give the best goodies bags. This year at six he just grabbed the bag gave me his back and started searching inside the bag. His mother didn’t even say anything. His three year old brother said thank you. So i turn the six year old around and said how about you little guy do you have something to say. If I start making a blog about all the mean disgusting adults on my culdesac ,and then start mentioning how their children are becoming carbon copies of their parents it just wouldn’t be nice. It’s nothing personnel with you it’s that it is sad when children committ suicide due to the things that people say on the Internet . I’m pretty sure that most of us that are blogging are parents and we wouldn’t like to see ugly things said of our children even if it’s true. Hopefully jojo will mature enough to react like Giana does when Giana hears manure coming out of her mothers mouth or the other mothers’ mouth. Yes at one point I was surprise to hear JoJo say she could do better than trinity in hip hop because trinity was sent home the week before. But if you saw the whole show she told her mother prior to that statement. “trinity is going to out dance me ” but her mother ignored her. So again I think jojo was trying to convince herself more than anything., ( defense mechanism). I also watch the show about the young girls trying to become country singers which follows AUDC there is one girl that is so mean, self centered and obnoxious . She also likes to bully kids younger than her. She bullies this younger girl with her friends and the show portrays it like its cute. I call the bully and her friends ugly names in my living room( LOL) but I just wouldn’t post it. I even told my self that if she ever becomes a star i wouldnt buy her CD. But to each is own. That is why we are given roads to follow and choices to make.

          • The difference between JoJo and a kid in your neighborhood is that they (Jessalynn and JoJo) decided to go on national television where millions of people are there to watch and make judgements. They (her mother) CHOSE to do that. I would never chose to do that to my kid, and if I did do that, I would know that they would be judged-especially acting like that. Her mother obviously thinks that bratty behavior is “cute” and she definitely encourages her daughter to behave that way. Most parents would be embarrassed to have their kid behave that way, but from what they’ve shown, they both seem to think its cute. Again, her mother is the culprit. Me saying she acted bratty is nothing compared to what others have written about her on other sites I’ve read. I wouldn’t go to the extremes that those posters have gone, and I don’t think saying she acted bratty is going to send anyone over the edge. I would presume that most people who watched AUDC thought she was portrayed as bratty- and that includes her and her mom, and they seem to be ok with acting that way because they continued it the whole show. Trust me, you don’t even want to know the names she is being called on some other sites. Me saying she’s bratty is quite tame in comparison

          • Correct me if I’m wrong a nine year does not choose to be on a show. Posting that a nine year old child is self centered egotistical and obnoxious is improper. Like you said she is imitating the adults around her and that is why I believe we need to ease on the children. If Jojo was 12 or 13 it also makes a difference if she still had those behavioral issues. But those viewers that you said are posting ugly things about a nine year are just as bad as those nasty dance mom on TV. like I said it is what it is. That is why god gave us the ability to choose right from wrong. And you are right I don’t want to know what they are saying in the other sites. I just think its sad that we as adults should explain to her the proper way to act since her mother is incapable. And you will be surprise what brings these pre-teens and teenagers over the edge.

      • Wow, I couldn’t agree more with this comment!! Abby is a bully, plain and simple. She runs over children, just because she doesn’t like their mother, or their mouth, when it is dance technique that is her purview, and nothing else. Who on earth made Abby queen of opinions? Some TV producer, that’s who. And now she thinks he own opinion is flawless, and no one else has a right to one. Bullcrap.

  7. First time commenter. Ms. Acken you are truly a gifted writer and frankly, I enjoy reading your column much more than the show. I agree that Cindy is an very ugly person who is damaging her child’ chances by her behavior. No wonder Gianna was last person to pick a dance. Is Cindy so clueless that she doesn’t see it’s her no one wants to be involved with, and therefore, no one picks Gianna? Also why Abby gets on Gianna so much? (Your Chloe analogy is spot on). I also agree that McKaylee deserves to win. Interestingly, I find her mother the least confrontational which reminds me of last season’s winner, Brianna, whose mother also seemed the nicest of the final three. Please keep up the clever recap. It is delightful. Thank you.

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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.