Hi, honeys! I’m home! No idea what I missed in last week’s actual Dance Moms episode — but it looks like maybe a new opener and Payton landing herself on crutches are top of the heap?
Looks like we were also the overall high-scoring group, but outside of that, things were no good. As in “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye” not good, according to Abby. Someone lost an eye?! Maybe I need to watch after all, because Abby doesn’t explain. Or you guys could tell me what happened in the comments section below. That would work, too.
Payton is bottom of the bottom, because she has yet to admit that she got hurt because she was goofing off — which Abby knows to be true because Payton’s story has changed so much. And also because she heard Payton was mocking the ballet routine onstage and that’s what made her fall. She heard it from, like, everybody.
Leslie defends her kid and says even though everyone else told Abby the same story about what happened, Payton merely turned around and fell over a prop. If Abby’s using it as an excuse to kick her off the team, she should just do it and get it over with. Always a smart thing to say something like that to Abby. Payton’s off the team. Leslie says Abby will come crawling back like she always does.
Even though Payton and Leslie are gone, Abby keeps yelling a while about backstage safety. Then she reveals Kendall is next on the pyramid because SHE IS OUT OF CONTROL.
No she’s not, says Jill. Kendall looks like she’s choking back tears, but she holds it together enough to tell Abby that she has a card for her. Abby tells her to set it aside. Jill says she knows they shouldn’t have been late to the competition, but she hopes it doesn’t affect Kendall’s Girl No. 2 status.
Nia is next. She blends. Abby says that’s a compliment. Nia says thank you. Holly is incredulous.
Brooke rounds out the bottom row. Biffed the choreography yet again. Which would make her stand out, yes? And not for good. So why is she ahead of Nia on the pyramid? Especially when Abby says Brooke has lost her drive for everything?
Chloe is last in row two. Abby calls out the Lukasiaks for asking to have the order in which Kendall and Chloe danced at the Believe competition reversed. Chloe admits she asked about it because she wanted to watch her competition, but she doesn’t say she actually asked for a switch. And just like that, we drop it.
Middle of row two is Paige. Her facial expressions were excellent and she out-danced Brooke and Chloe, which, if my calculations are correct, should pretty much tap out Paige’s allotment of compliments for the season.
Big Mac rounds out the row. She was cute, but not memorable.
Maddie is at the top. Of course she is.
This weekend, we are going to Dance Troupe International in Roanoke, VA. Rumor has it the Candy Apples will be there, too. In honor of that, the group routine will be called The Witches of East Canton. AHAHAHA!
Maddie shall play the good witch, which is Abby. The rest are evil witches like Cathy. Or their moms. So many role models to choose from!
Kendall and Chloe will be doing solos — another head-to-head battle designed to determine Girl No. 2. And make their mothers mental.
Let’s go to Canton…
… where Cathy is serenely conducting an all-boy ballet class. Because they lost to the Pitt Crew the last time they met, Cathy has rejiggered her team yet again. Lucas and Zack are back. Nick has returned. And then we have our secret, double-barreled weapons in the Morales Kids, who are YouTube sensations that I have never heard of because I never do YouTube.
Turns out, Cathy’s mother pointed them out to Cathy. Good God. Cathy’s mother is more YouTube savvy than I am. In related news, I miss Solemn Chats With Vivi Over Snack Foods. JC, Executive Producer Superstar, let’s bring those back, OK?
The Apples group dance shall be called Wild Party. Cathy says it’s really showy, with lots of energy. Plus, if it wins, they’re delivering balloons to Abby, so ha ha ha.
Because Abby is apparently stuck fast in the whole pop-star dealie, Chloe will be dancing in the style of Miley Cyrus for her party. Good God, I hope not. This is still a family show by the skin of its teeth.
Kendall will be doing a dance called M.I.A. because that’s how she was bad.
Upstairs, Jill is upset that the girls are being pitted against each other again, which she decides to take out on Christi. Holly doesn’t hold much hope for a peaceful week. When is there ever one of those, Holly? When?
Back to the Wild Party in Canton. Cathy’s happy with the team, but perturbed that the kids have been posting photos on Instagram and blown her ambush on Abby. Her plansy is kaputzy. Her words, not mine. But I may crib the phrase, because screwed-up plans sound so much more palatable if you call them kaputzy plansies. In any case, the mothers are instructed to enforce the no-more-posting-photos law.
Back in PA, Jill is browbeating Abby for not reading Kendall’s little note, which she says is cruel. Abby is too busy being mad about Cathy’s new team. She says the girls must be perfect.
Christi says someone peed in Abby’s cornflakes and also her claiming to be the good witch is like Hannibal Lecter claiming to be Santa Claus. Then Jill stirs the Kendall-versus-Chloe pot again, but it’s curtailed by Abby bellowing at the kids to get their heads out of their butts. If Cathy’s bringing in kids to beat them, maybe she needs to, too. Yes, Abby, we know. We knoooooow.
The moms aren’t happy with the group dance. Not good enough to beat West Coast kids. Doom’s awaitin’. What will we do?
Christi’s happy with Chloe’s solo, though. Abby’s not happy with Chloe at all and wants Christi to know about it firsthand. Christi decides to record the solo on her phone so Chloe can watch it and the corrections back and learn. Practice ends before the solo is finished.
Kendall’s solos are all starting to look the same to me, too. Jill says Chloe and Kendall both get the same old same old, but Kendall’s same old is always harder. Then she and Christi get in a fight about costumes and recording and stuff.
Abby excuses a puffing and red-faced Kendall to go summon the group, and once she’s in the safety of the dressing room, the poor kid breaks down.
Let’s go to Roanoke — because Virginia (and one Jersey cow) welcomes us.
Cathy and Co. are waiting outside for the Pitt Crew’s arrival, which is apparently only Cathy’s idea. The mothers look irked at the indignity, Zack’s mom Gina, especially.
Jill has dance-order envy and costume envy — which is kinda understandable, since Chloe has an ethereal, flesh-toned affair and Kendall looks like she could have been an extra in Olivia Newton-John’s excellent 1981 video for “Physical.” You know what I meeean.
Kendall dances first. Cathy and Bridgette keep up a steady run of smack talk throughout the entire thing. Even though her solos are often a tad dippy, I think Kendall’s leg movements are the most graceful on the team. She moves with the grace of a showgirl.
Chloe goes next.
It’s a genuinely beautiful dance and she performs it with elegance. Cathy keeps her lips zipped through it, too, even though she lets us know afterward that she’s not impressed. She tells her moms that she’s sure the ALDC is running scared, and in this moment — being the serious student of Dance Moms predictability that I am — I realize the Apples are going to lose.
We’ll find out, because it’s time for the Wild Party featuring the YouTube sensation Morales Kids. And Nick and Lucas proving they would fit neatly into some very narrow spaces if called upon to do so.
The Morales Kids’ mother chews gum with great gusto when they dance — and the dance is totally unique and fabulous. Abby must’ve thought so, too, because as she brushes fake muscles onto her dancers, she basically tells them that even their best ain’t going to be good enough tonight. Well, great.
Kelly says she agrees, but Abby owes them a pep talk anyway. Only Maddie gets one. In full earshot of everyone, Abby tells Maddie that she promises she is looking for dancers worth Maddie’s talent. Poor Maddie looks miserable to the point of numbness.
The dancers are only as good as their choreography allows them to be, Miller. All of the dancers. Not just Maddie. Yeesh.
Well now. Given all the teeth gnashing, I was not expecting the dance we got — which was creepy and cool and powerful and beautifully danced. Perhaps someone was trying a little reverse psychology?
Someone is also chair-dancing for all she’s worth. And yes, I did replay that 5 to 17 times.
Kendall’s solo gets second place. Chloe wins it. Jill says Kendall will never be good enough for Abby. Christi says Jill should suck it up.
Holly gives us the psychology behind why we need to win. And, by gosh, we do! Blake apologizes and Cathy leads the Apples out of the auditorium before the Pitt Crew’s win is announced. If there were a taunting penalty in dance, Witches of East Canton should probably have warranted a flag thrown by virtue of its name alone, but, hey — a win’s a win.
Backstage, Blake and the moms talk out their frustrations and Cathy says they’re battling Abby’s persona and the youthful judges wanting to impress her, not the skill of her dancers.
Speaking of dancers…
Chuckle. I love a good mom dance.
Abby barely acknowledges the victory over the Apples, focusing instead on Kendall coming in second to Chloe. Then Holly asks if the group dance win is enough for all the girls to feel secure in their places on the team.
That would be no. Abby says it’s too much work keeping them motivated to win. This ain’t a dancing-school world no more, people … whatever that means.
So what say you, Dance Moms nation? Was The Witches of East Canton really good enough to beat the Wild Party? Was Kendall set up to fail once again? Is Payton really gone for good or only for as long as she needs those crutches? Do you really believe Abby when she says only Maddie’s good enough to stay on the team? Sound off in the comments section below.
Next week, the audition train rolls into Atlanta, we argue more about privates and Abby’s totally excited to see these guys.
New episodes of Dance Moms air Tuesday nights at 9/8CT on Lifetime.