Dance Moms Season 4 episode 8 recap: Come On Over For Whine And Cheese

Lori Acken

The Face of the Abby Lee Dance Company has changed, Dance Moms nation. Kelly’s, Paige’s and Brooke’s are officially gone by virtue of an “official letter” from Abby’s new deer-in-the-headlights receptionist (well and also, you know, those pesky lawsuits).

Kalani’s and Kira’s are here to stay, even though we’re not technically supposed to know that yet … even though Abby said it on The View a month ago. Life was so much easier when I was willful in my ignorance.

Kalani is also the top of the pyramid, I’m guessing by virtue of being the only one whose last name isn’t Ziegler or Gisoni who still thinks being a part of this team (and this show) is a good thing. I kinda zoned the rest of the pyramid, but Paige and Brooke were the bottom of the bottom, Nia screwed up the group dance, and everyone one else did some version of fine.

Since I no longer have a screener to work from and these things are even less fun without visuals, I’m going to warn you right now that to amuse you and myself as much as possible, I’m just going to rifle back through the archives and throw in something I think serves well enough. Or makes me laugh. Which is the same thing, if you ask me.

This week, the Hilliker-enriched Pitt Crew, now with 100% less Hyland, is going to some new deal called Fierce Dance Competition in Woodbridge, Virginia. Everyone will be doing the dipsy-doodle group dance.

Because Holly was a special helper during the Battle in the Bronx, Nia gets a solo as re ward. Except that Holly says she’s not so sure that actually is a reward, because for Nia, nothing ever is. Kalani and Kendall will be doing a duet. So will Chloe and Maddie.

And Mackenzie will be focusing her energies on heading to L.A. to take over for Brooke as Abby’s resident rock star. Pretend there is a lighter at the end of this arm …

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Rock and roll.

Up in the Mom Loft, the mothers do the requisite yammering about Kelly’s absence, basically agreeing that Abby lucked — and lunged with mouth wide open — into a super-theatrical way to get what she ultimately wanted. When newcomer Kira offers her two cents, a haggard-looking Christi cuts her off with a terse, “You have no idea what’s really going on.”

Melissa decides to try to calm the waters (and further kiss up to the newbie) by inviting the mothers over to Casa Gisoni for a little whine, er, wine and cheese. Uh, no thanks, says Christi. Why not, says Melissa. Because you are a f—king liar, says Christi. Message from your ex-friend. Personally delivered. Christi’s might have 99 problems, Melissa, but you, b@#$%, ain’t one no more, if she can possibly avoid it.

Holly, queen of many new hairdos lately, agrees that nothing matters more to Melissa than her relationship with Abby, but still … she thinks Christi might be a little too into her whole lone-wolf deal.

Time for, whine, er, wine and cheese!

Kira starts the festivities off by telling Melissa, Holly and Jill that Kalani is just thrilled to pieces with everyone and everything! Jill promptly sells Christi up the river, then charitably backs that up a little and says that, without Kelly there, this is really a fine opportunity for her to break away from the negativity and make a brand new start. Even though we all pretty much know that she and Chloe had already gone the way of the Hylands well before this and are only there because their contract said so.

Remember when Mom gatherings were actually fun?

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Dance Moms Season 3 finale Leslie Christi fight 2

Whoops! Not that one.

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Mackenzie — oops, Mac Z, yo yo yo — is working with Cathie the ALDC’s Ethel-Merman looking vocal coach we first met way back in 2012 and who has gone a little grayer since. Abby shows up at the lesson and listens as Big Mac warbles a tune called Girl Party that makes Abby enthuse, “If I were at an audition and was up after you, I’d think, ‘No problem! I got this!’”

I’ll let ya have the last word on this one, Abby.

Kalani and Kendall’s solo is called Framed and it features an actual frame as a prop, in case our memories fail us midway through. Abby says that since Kendall is so much younger than Kalani, she needs to dance up to Kalani’s level. Jill says she just can’t have Kendall screw it up. Kendall, this is all about your mother. And she just  just can’t have a screw up.

Once again, Nia is getting short-shrifted on practice time. As in she’s had none yet. No one is surprised, probably least of all Nia. Holly says her girl will just have to take the scraps of attention she’s been afforded and do the best she can with them.

Maddie and Chloe’s solo is called Confession, danced to a song about one girl telling the other girl that she has neglected her. “I should have told you things,” the song says. Like “Kalani and I are doing our solo and I knew that and I fibbed”? No. Like … well, whatever Abby thinks Chloe should be confessing to Maddie.

Since I don’t get that at all, I’ll confess something instead: I could really do without Abby’s message dances where intra-studio Pitt Crew communication is concerned. Excuse me a minute while I go perform a solo called “I’ve Had Enough Of Message Dances” for my cat.

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The group dance is a frothy little bit of musical theater called Yum Yum. As in, “you’re a little yum yum.” A little Charleston-doing Rockette of a yum yum. Abby says all the yum yums have to dance as one one, so the judges have no idea that Kalani is a newbie. Because odds are just tremendous that they have no idea what this team usually looks like.

Up in the Mom Loft, Holly once again takes Christi — who really, really looks like she needs a nap  — to task for being much too wedded to the idea of Christi and Chloe against the world. Christi says that until Melissa admits she’s an opportunistic liar, she prefers to keep to herself, thanks.

Melissa makes her patented Many Expressions of Denial and squeaks out that she is neither lying nor deflecting about what happened with Maddie’s duet, but Christi says she’s the BIGGEST LIAR SHE HAS EVER MET IN HER WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE. So there.

Then we start to wander off into the tired subject of Melissa’s checkered love life. Melissa warns Christi not to go there. Christi says that’s just the tip of the iceberg, er, dirt-berg wherein the dirt she has on Melissa is concerned.

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Time for Kira and Kalani — who is wearing a sweatshirt that reads LIKE in great big giant letters, just in case we need the world’s most not-sublminal subliminal message — to have a little check-in with each other. Kalani says she is worried about the duet because Kendall is just not taking corrections and it’s wasting her time. Kira says she should focus on her own performance and not worry about Kendall.

Upstairs, the mothers want to know if Christi has talked to Kelly. She has, but she doesn’t want to talk about it to them. Jill presses anyway. Christi remains mum, but tells us that if the mothers are so worried about Kelly, they can call her themselves. But are the girls OK, the mothers want to know next. OK enough, says Christi. They’re adjusting. Well, Jill just misses that little Paigey jumpin’ all around and sayin’ stuff. Life at the ALDC isn’t the same without jumpin’ and stuff!

 

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Because God forbid Nia have a dance that doesn’t remind us that she is the sole dancer of color on the ALDC competition team, she will be doing her solo to the Southern Gospel tune Down in the River to Pray. Which I actually love, but not so much in this context.

Abby says the solo is really about rebirth and renewal … and that pretty much every freakin’ move Nia makes is going to be the death of her. Fifteen minutes into the practice, she walks out. Nia tries to keep her composure, but begins to cry in the dressing room. Holly tells her to block out the negativity, tell herself she is a great dancer and dance like one, no matter what Abby says or does.

Aw geez, seriously? Boston’s ‘More Than a Feeling’ — my very special emotional song with my high school boyfriend Craigy — is now the theme song for Yoplait’s Boston Cream Pie yogurt? Is nothing sacred?

Anyway.

We’re off to Virginia to be Fierce for the very first time.

In honor of the fine Virginia climate, Holly is dressed like a human Easter basket. Christi takes a jab at Abby and asks how many secret dances will happen this week. Melissa says it’s Kelly’s and Abby’s fault that last week’s Fibbergate went down the way it did. Not hers. She just lied, you know, to keep Abby’s secret. Two wrongs …well that ain’t right. But it’s in the past now, so can everyone just shut up?

Nia comes out in her costume, and Christi notices that the head wrap is a little wonky. She does some tucking and straightening as Holly looks on. Then Holly gets in Nia’s face and repeats the “great dancer” pep talk. Nia looks like she’d like to throw up.

Kendall’s and Kalani’s duet goes first. Jill says she and Kendall both know that if the duet fails, the blame will fall on Kendall no matter what. It’s pretty as a picture and cute as a button.

OK, how many other people got wildly nostalgic watching Chloe and Maddie dance together, even though Chloe couldn’t seem to look at Maddie’s face?

Melissa says, no matter what has gone on between them, she and Christi just know their kids belong together. I’m not so sure about that, Melissa. It can’t just be good again because you say it is.

Dance Moms Season 3 Episode 28 Melissa duh

Backstage, Maddie tries to chat Chloe up, but Chloe looks uncomfortable and stays quiet. Odds are perfectly good that they were instructed — by mothers or producers or a combination of both — to behave as such, but who knows what’s real any more. I have a tough time believing these two are still close.

Nia’s headpiece migrates to the back of her head as she performs her solo. Afterward she cries and blames her mom and Holly owns it. But it’s not Holly’s fault. It’s Christi’s fault. Sabotage. Abby says so. Because, you know, Chloe and Nia are constantly pitted against each other for … well … nothing.

Then Abby turns to Holly and says maybe solos aren’t Nia’s thing. Holly says maybe giving Nia’s dances the same amount of attention she gives the other girls’ isn’t Abby’s thing. Then the girls reappear and Christi apologizes directly to Nia for the possibility that she may have has something to do with the headpiece mishap. Holly says they are a team and a family and need to act like one, regardless of what happened. So even though it was ultimately a disaster, she’s glad Christi engaged.

Then Abby has a talk with Mackenzie about taking her burgeoning pop career seriously. She needs to aim high with her role models. Britney, not Brooke, understand? You have to sound good live. Everyone can sound good auto-tuned in the studio. Even Abby. Or, say, Britney.

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To be little Yum Yums, the girls are dressed as old-timey cigarette girls. Abby tells Kalani and Kira that she will decide their fates based on what happens in the group dance, even though we already know that they are permanent cast members.

Yum Yum is kinda dumb dumb. I mean, it’s very cute and saucy and Maddie especially gives good face, but it’s mostly high kicks and coy poses and we’ve seen these girls perform much more mature, complex, compelling numbers. This one seems a bit phoned in to accommodate the little kid and the new kid.

The awards are some kind of interesting. Apparently so as not to tax their judges with having to assign winners in multiple categories — you know, like solos and group numbers and what have you — Fierce just lumps everything together in one big pile.

So Yum Yum is the competition’s winner
Confession shares second place with another dance.
No word on how framed did, which I find fascinating.

You can see the rest of the results of what looked like a holiday-centric outing here.

Backstage, Abby says that all that matters is that the ALDC had the top-scoring dance.
“Does that mean I am staying another week?” Kalani reads from her cues or cue cards. Yes, child. And also your mother is an angel. I’ll allow it for the situation since she doesn’t rat out the others, when Abby asks her to stage whisper to her what they’re saying about Kelly.

Just that they miss her, says Kira. Good answer. But the wrong one, where Abby is concerned.

“Kelly was A-RRESTED,” Abby bellows. “And that’s the truth.” Pfffllllltttt! And if you miss her you can just shove off.

Does that count for us, too?

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Next week on Dance Moms, Christi has lunch with Kelly, the late Maryen Lorrain rats them out (cannot we let the poor woman rest in peace?) and we finally find out who’s behind all the drama.

Could it be … Satan?

So what say you, Dance Moms nation? Are you having trouble reconciling fact and fiction now that so much has been made public? Do you even care? Is the Christi-sabotage thing credible or completely ridiculous? Are you bonding with Kira and Kalani? Did you find Yum Yum yummy? Sound off in the comments section below.

New episodes of Dance Moms air Tuesday nights at 9/8CT on Lifetime.

 

72 Comments

  1. I just dont get it.
    Girls where it is the mothers who has the ambitions.
    Girls who are dressed up ,like adults.
    Poor poor girls, watching their moms screaming fighting .
    These moms should NEVER have had children.
    I am from Denmark and such show , is so awefull in our eyes.
    And these moms would NEVER be accepted.
    The only thing they care about is not their children ,but themselfes .

  2. I have just watched Dance Moms 4 ep8. I am disgusted by Abby Lee Millers treatment of those young talented girls and their mothers. She is acting like a monster who is about to have a break down. If that is not the case, then she should be replaced as a dance teacher. She puts the girls down all the time and belittles their mothers. I watch the programme because I wanted to watch young dancers blossom into beautiful artists, not to watch a middle aged monster of a woman spread nastiness around every corner. She is not happy unless the mothers are at each others throat, and goads them until they retaliate. I feel upset watching this show because of what the families are going through, to see young girls so upset is heart-breaking, all they want to do is dance, not be ridiculed and threatened. I thought Abby Lee Miller loved these girls and to her they were her family, not true, she acts like she despises them. If you want to keep your audience, replace that monster and employ a human being. Please keep all the girls, including Brook and Paige and make their experience a more pleasant one. If they are under contact to remain don’t let them suffer any more. I would not be surprised if most of them end up with emotional problems and unable to function in the real world. This is not good television and I for one find it hard to watch. Free the Lee miller 7, let them live.

    • Wow, Jane, well said.
      Now I need to go “lay on the floor” and think about the Abby Lee Miller 7.
      Seriously, these girls are NOT adults with choices to make for themselves. They are CHILDREN being manipulated by Lifetime and Miller. I hope the pending lawsuit takes Miller down for what she has done to these girls. She does NOT deserve success, it has gone to her head (well, whatever is on her neck, there) and she obviously has mental problems. She has no business teaching kids. I hope the judge in this case gives her the maximum penalty under the law, and I also hope that her studio loses all of its students.
      THEN who would be replaceable?
      Working with children, especially children with this much talent, should be a privilege. A person with so much hate in her heart should have a restraining order between her and ANY child, and not be rewarded for her toxic behavior.
      I believe the moms/kids had no idea what they were in for when they agreed to do this show.
      The judge in this case really SHOULD free the Miller 7.

  3. I have watched this show from the beginning, since I’m a college teacher and lover of dance. I simply loved watching the girls in the company grow, and I think much of the group choreography we see is quite special. Like everyone else, I’ve been horrified that a teacher could so unashamedly abuse her students in the name of competition wins. At the very least, Abby has a certified personality disorder, and it’s terrible that the girls and moms were “enslaved” to this tyrant for 6 years. Now that I know this, it seems much clearer to me why Abby would go to such lengths to establish a whole new company with “ringers,” when she always decried Cathy for not sticking with her own in-house talent and standing by her teaching.

    I’ve tried and tried to explain to myself why I tune in every week. I don’t miss Kelly, but I do miss Paige and Brooke. Not everyone has to be stellar, and both girls had grown considerably over the last three years. And don’t underestimate Paige–when doing something she loved like the “Broadway Blondes” routine with Chloe last year, she could shine radiantly. She was simply beaten down again and again and again. I decided that I continue to watch in the hope that the arc of traditional drama will eventually play out and that we will see two things: 1) Some incredible Pittsburgh dance teacher will swoop in and welcome Paige, Brooke, Nia, and Chloe to a new competitive team that we will get to see the way we do Abby’s team now. After all, it would still be Dance Moms, just more moms and a second company. Even more, with all my heart, I hope that 2) This lawsuit with Kelly will shine a big light on Abby’s horrific abuse, and that we will see her being ridiculed both publicly and legally over the next two seasons, bringing about her shame and downfall. I think many of us are disbelieving that such unkindness could have led to such success and manipulation for Abby, and I think there is perhaps in all of us that shred of hope each week that America will start to take notice and criticize her roundly. Once this happens, that will become the story Lifetime swings to until the six-year contract is up, and by then, Abby will not be in demand, not be calling any shots, and not have any opportunities left. She’ll be ruined.

    That’s–I’m sure–one of the reasons we all watch, the hope that what goes around comes around. Nothing will ever fix the emotional damage done to those poor girls, but at least Abby could be stopped. What IS similar to the Gosselin story is the law about PA child labor laws, and I’m sure this is how Kelly’s legal team came to focus on this. If PA could come down on the filming of children going about their routine home activities for too many hours under a film crew’s perusal, imagine the magnitude of the violations for verbal abuse, belittling, throwing chairs, not allowing sufficient breaks, etc. If this is the way to bring Abby down, I’m not only all for it, I hope it’s a long and hard fall, the kind she is more than willing to mete out to her students constantly. Everyone wants to see a villain punished, and I can only hope that this is the story that Lifetime starts to tell.

    • I completely agree with everything you mentioned, especially the comparison to the Gosselin’s. What Lifetime should do, asap, is put the show on hiatus until these legal matters are settled. I would kill to be a fly on the wall during the law suit discussions, there are hours and hours of damaging proof against Abby, this assault fiasco will be laughed out of the courtroom once they sort through all the crap that Abby has put these families through.

  4. I agree your recaps are the best part. 🙂

    I thought the dances this week were lovely. I have always liked Kalani and if there has to be a new girl I am glad it is her.

    I cringed each time Abby took a dig at any of the Hylands. They are off the team, leave them alone.

    It is becoming less and less fun to watch, I hope something turns around. Nia is a great dancer and would shine with some attention.

    Lori, I was wondering why you don’t have screen shots anymore. I am sorry if I missed the explanation before. I do love what you did this week, I miss the happy times too! That pic of Holly always makes me smile. 🙂

  5. So something occurred to me after rewatching the episode – how do we REALLY know without a doubt that Abby is the one choreographing these numbers? Have we ever actually SEEN her showing the girls the steps, other than the odd combination here and there? Seems to me that Gianna does more choreography than anyone else. Things that make you go hmmmmm…..we never really see anything until the number is almost complete, not during the early stages where the girls are learning the steps.

  6. I have started DVRing the show and fast forwarding through all the drama stuff. A few thoughts though:

    I am curious to see what happens when Abby has a whole team of ‘Maddies’. How are Maddie and Melissa going to handle it when the whole team is ‘special’? I fully believe that Maddie is the favorite until Abby finds someone better…then she will push Maddie to the background like all the others. Melissa is too blinded by her ‘fame by association’ to see that her daughter is not at all prepared to handle this situation. While I think it is great to see that Melissa has a great relationship with Maddie, she needs to be a ‘Mom’ first and a best friend second.

    I think Kalani is a great dancer and could give Maddie a run for her money…similar to Chloe (if Chloe was given a chance). I am wondering if Abby will ever pit them against each other….she should if she is serious about challenging Maddie.

    I think Mackenzie is cute as a button and I love watching her on the show but…that song was awful! I am not sure if it is the song itself or maybe the way she was singing it….but I did not like it. I think there are probably better songs for her to sing. I find it interesting that Abby and Melissa say Mac wants to be a professional singer…but I have not heard Mackenzie actually say she wants to be a professional singer. I think she is just having fun with it…not looking to be the next Britney…at least not right now.

    I really wanted Nia to do well with her solo and I think she did as well as possible. She is not built like Maddie or Chloe so her style of dance is not going to be like them. I definately think Abby over-reacted to the headpiece things….Christi did not sabotage Nia. Abby did not scream at Melissa for this issue with Chloe N’s headpiece.

      • I agree, Kenzie has an amazing voice for someone so young, with great technique and control. I’d much rather listen to her than Brooke.

    • Abby will never put Kalani against Maddie. Just like she didn’t put the new Chloe against Maddie. She’ll have no problem putting Kalani against Chloe though. We all know Abby can’t sleep at night if she hasn’t made Chloe feel terrible about herself that day. I don’t know about y’all, but I wasn’t surprised in the least when she brought Kalani in. She made the comment numerous times during Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition that Kalani was an ALDC dancer. I really don’t know why she even bothered having auditions and attempting the bring in other people…oh wait, she loves making children a nervous wreck and feel horrible about themselves. She knew all along Kalani was going to end up on the team.

  7. At the pyramid, Abby said she didn’t intend to replace Brooke and Paige, that their mother caused it. That was totally bogus, as she has been constantly harping on replacing them, as well as others, this entire season. Also, why did they show Melissa smirking during this? I am, as always, suspicious of the editing.

    As to Kalani, I have no problem with her; in my opinion, Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition has shown that their finalists are superior dancers to the dancers we see at the Abby Lee Dance Company. She is a beautiful, talented dancer.

    Why does Melissa allow Abby to always say such mean things to Mac? Is Maddie’s preference more important to her than her other child?

    I know you can’t trust the previews, but if Abby is smirking and laughing on the bus about having Kelly arrested, she is deplorable.

    If Kelly was going to physically attack Abby, she should have gotten her money’s worth.

    • I completely agree, Kalani is an unbelievable dancer, better than the other girls combined. I can’t wait until the day that Maddie is knocked down a few notches and humbled a bit by this new girl. Kalani seems to have replaced Chloe as Maddie’s new bff, we’ll see how long that lasts once Kalani starts wiping the stage with Maddie….As for Melissa, it’s disgusting how she believes that the ends justify the means, even at her girls’ expense.

  8. I watched this episode with hopes that Christi, now that her main partner in scream and conspiracies Kelly is gone, would start to be more supportive of the group. Maybe it’s too early, but Christi’s attitude is so tiring. Both she and Kelly have stirred up trouble since the beginning of the Dance Moms series. Although I’m not 100% with Abby on some of her comments, I surely understand her frustration and animosity toward Christi and Kelly. That said, I still enjoy watching the series but mainly for the kids dancing. I generally fast forward through the Christi/Kelly rants as it’s always the same old thing. As for Nia, she does seem to perform very well in the groups, but seems to lack the level of skill that Kendall, Chloe and Maddie (and now Kalani) has. Overall, I can understand Abby having a favorite in Maddie and now Kalani. Why, because both of them have the “dance is my life” attitude where the other girls just enjoy dancing. One exception to that would be Kendall, who I believe really wants to excel at dance and has really improved over the seasons and is getting closer to Maddie and now Kalani with her performances. I’ve noticed some of the negative comments here about Abby’s penchant for wanting to win. It seems to me that in order to win consistently, you have to be dedicated and constantly trying to perfect your skills. When I hear Abby comment “you didn’t win”, all that says to me is that the girl/girls in question weren’t dedicated enough and were judged accordingly. I will continue to watch with interest.

    • I like Kira, too, but if the series continues to embrace its seedier side, there is no way they will allow her to continue to be a civilized ray of sunshine, even if that is what she’d prefer. The fighting’s the thing. And lately, the only thing … with a little dance thrown in to appease us stalwarts. Abby choreographed “Framed,” Kendall and Kalani danced it well … and yet it did not place and Abby did not say boo. My suspicion is that it was not officially entered. But either way, it’s … interesting.

        • No, it didn’t. I’m sure Abby will put Chloe on the bottom of the pyramid since they tied with someone else for second. She’ll blame Chloe and praise Maddie for “carrying the dance” as usual. And I’m sure Kalani will be above Chloe and Kendall because I’m sure it’s Kendall’s fault as to why their duet didn’t place.

    • Gary: I had to respond to your comments from 2/19. Your thoughts are my “civilized ray of sunshine.”Christi continues to stoke the flames by trying to insist the Hylands were given short shrift when they were forced to leave the show. How Abby put up with Kelly for as long as she did amazes me. On the latest live platform on t.v., Christi cursed Abby with the “F” bomb, almost immediately. She stormed off, not having the maturity to act like a grown-up. Holly lost control with Abby, insisting that her daughter has some great talent the rest of us aren’t seeing. The best way to sabotage their daughters’s future, is to behave like Christi has, focus on yourself, and don’t monitor your actions in any way. Or, physically attack the teacher for good measure.

      • Now I have to reply to your comment. Your username said it all. I hope you aren’t a mother or parental like figure to anyone. Your comment is totally backwards. I don’t see, even as a very hands in aunt and not a mother, how The Hylamds and Tje Luksiaks put up with Abby. I would have turned every stone over trying to find a way out or just at in the loft and dressing rooms stone silent, causing myself to get fired. Christi went off on Abby that one time for two reasons: Abby was trying to bait her into getting involved in a legal matter AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, got her oversized behind up, leaned over the desk and yelled in Chloe’s face that she would destroy her. Hence the look Chloe gave her when Abby said she was a great girl and everyone loves her during rehearsal. Just like in the first or second season Abby yelled to Paige and Chloe that she only needed Maddie and Chloe brisked past Abby ON CAMERA without so much looking at her. Smh at you for defending that sorry excuse of an educator and a human being

  9. I must be a minority here, but I did not miss Kelly at all. In fact, I thought this episode was rather refreshing without her. I actually really liked Kira. However scripted her lines may have been, I have a great appreciation for her keeping her conversation with Kalani about Kalani. I loved that after the duet performed, she said nothing about Kendall, just that Kalani did not mess up. And I also appreciate that she tried not to start an argument about Kelly (Although Abby did not let that happen). I think Kalani fits in well with this team.

  10. I thought I would give the show one last chance…see Chloe dance one more time last night, but was so horrified by all of the goings on that this was the last time. Abby’s continued abuse of Chloe. Making her take the ‘bad guy’ role in her dance with Maddie. Yes, they dance well together because Chloe is the consumate ‘team dancer’. Did anyone else notice her dancing down to Maddie’s extensions…keeping her legs level with Maddie’s despite being so much taller now. The scene with Maddie afterwards…Maddie trying to act like everything is just hunky dory, while Chloe is crushed by ‘what used to be’ and probably missing her best friend (Paige). Her choking back tears. The abuse of this kid has gotten so bad that, as a mother, I can no longer bear to watch. There I am, a 53 year old whose daughter is long past dance age, crying for Chloe and for Brooke and Paige who are the collateral damage. Abby is the most horrible bully I have ever seen.

    One of the worst moments for me was Chloe’s place on the pyramid. Just above the Hylands, Abby said she was there because her’s and Paige’s duet scored second (!). That’s right! It scored second because Abby put Maddie’s and Kalani’s duet in at the last minute (yeah right) and it scored second to that! It would have won first if not for that, Abby, but blame Chloe because everything is Chloe’s fault now. I will never watch this show again. I would recommend that everyone that has any kind of compassion for these girls also stop viewing. If you must watch the dancing (which was my excuse for continuing to watch), I learned that the dances are all posted on several of the websites like youtube. My husband used to say, “quit condoning it by watching”, and I always said, “I watch because I have come to care for these girls”. Even the new intro to the show is a good indication of what followed. The ‘good mother’s’ (Jill and Melissa) against the ‘bad mother’s’ (Holly, Kelly and Christi). Anyone who thinks that Nia will be on the ‘new team’ is sadly mistaken, too. She just isn’t good enough. She is a good ‘group’ dancer, but her technique is too weak for solo work. I have no interest in watching a team of Maddie’s. and feel so bad for what has been done to Mackenzie, too. I had no idea that Abby had to have a singer and now that is going to be Mackenzie. Gah!!! Not only does she get stuck with the acro stuff now that Brooke is gone, but she has to take over the ‘singer’ stuff, too? I have no interest in any auto tuned stuff. It actually speaks to what Kelly said a few episodes back about Abby hating the fact that Brooke’s ‘singing career’ had been taken away from her.

    The very worst thing about last night’s episode and from what I saw of the previews, the next episode as well, was the gloating from Abby about having gotten rid of the Hyland’s at last. No ‘thank you’ for all the wins that they got during their 12 or so years with Abby or during the show. No affection for the girls. There is now no doubt that Abby punishes the kids for the parents. I pray that Chloe and the Hyland girl’s continue dancing. Especially Chloe. I also pray that this is the last season of this abusive show. I hope that Kelly’s lawyer lines up a whole slew of scenes of Abby abusing Brooke and especially Paige (remember the thrown chair incident?). Of course, Kelly will have to answer to why she allowed it. I hope that the judge calls an end to it all!

    • And I absolutely see what you mean about Chloe holding back in the duet, I think she and Maddie were out-danced by Kendall/Kalani this time. You also hit the nail dead square on the head about the auto-tune thing, Brooke should stick to dancing, her voice isn’t NEARLY as strong or good as Kenzie’s. I’ve seen some of Mac’s videos and that kid has one serious set of pipes on her, and she can perform much better than Brooke can.

    • I agree abby is horrible she is a bully! This was one of my favorite shows but I will not be watching any longer

    • Well said. It’s almost to sad to watch anymore. Abby has no heart or compassion for those girls aside from her personal favorite. I think it’s even sadder that the mother’s allow the girls to be victims of such treatment from Abby. I know that we only get to see what they choose to put out there for us… But that’s the point, what they’re choosing for the viewers to see is nothing short of mental and emotional abuse in my eyes. Like you I really enjoyed watching the girls dance but viewing the show itself is no longer something I wish to do, as I feel that doing so will only be condoning abbys behavior and the mothers. So I will not help to boost the rating of a show that I don’t even understand is still airing aside from the girls themselves.

  11. Was it me, or did Maddie remind anyone else of her mother trying to suck up to Chloe after their duet? I mean, thinking that if she pretended nothing was wrong and acting like their besties again, it would make everything all better? Good for Chloe for not engaging backstage, although clearly she was still very hurt. And why is there no legal gag order on Abby to NOT discuss the charges against Kelly? I get that she wanted to throw it in all of Kelly’s supporters that yes she was arrested and yes she is in trouble, but would that not be in violation of some kind of litigation law? I’m not a lawyer, but if something is legally pending, that to me, means that you don’t discuss it with anyone, even to gloat in hopes of rubbing salt into the other parties wounds. That said, I actually think Kendall/Kalani’s duet was better than Maddie/Chloe. Kalani and Kendall’s body types are more similar and I thought Kendall danced beautifully with her. That prop was a great touch, it really added to the routine.

    • I think that because this filmed earlier, right after the fuss, there wasn’t any legal order in place. There may be NOW, but I think it’s directed at Kelly, not Abby.

      • I don’t think it matters who it’s directed at, neither party should be allowed to discuss specifics. I think if anything, it’s only making Abby look worse, the more she opens her trap, the more material can be held against her. Of course though, she claims to have absolutely nothing to do with it, so she thinks that gives her reason and right to say whatever she wants to whomever she wants.

          • Yep, not to mention the whole endangering the kids angle. This entire tv show may be Abby’s undoing, every single scene they have of her screaming, calling the girls’ names, etc. are on record for everyone to see.

  12. oh! And Mackenzie’s face after Abby commented on her singing…it was heartbreaking. She thought she would finally be out of Maddie’s shadow and shine in Abby’s eyes. Instead…..nope. Still not good enough. ugggghhhh! Abby truly is a monstrosity of evil (however it’s spelled). And shame on Melissa for allowing Mackenzie to be treated like this because it benefits Maddie for her to say nothing. I get Christi and Kelly. I really do. Melissa is so desperate for approval from Abby, she’s willing to let Maddie be shaped into a horrible persona and to let Mackenzie just fade away. It’s just awful. And in the real dance world, Abby is neither a great teacher nor choreographer. She handpicks these competitions to ensure Maddie will not come up against someone like Sophia Lucia (season 2? 3?) and I am willing to bet a lot of money lifetime also interferes with scores. NO ONE can win all the time. Especially not a dancer with a gymnast’s body. Not in the real dance world. It just doesn’t happen.

    • And your facts to support your claims that Abby is neither a great teacher nor choreographer? Or that she hand picks only competitions that Maddie will win? Lifetime interfering with scores?

      • Um, I don’t know about Paula, but as a former dance teacher and choreographer, Abby is NOT a great one of either. She’s not a bad choreographer (actually, she does do some beautiful stuff), but she’s a terrible teacher. Her kids, including Maddie, have some very bad habits.

        • Agreed, I’d be very interested to hear from some of her former students, including those that have supposedly “made it”, and see what their takes are on how she treats the kids.

        • Anyone who’s running a “team” and actively sows dissension among its members is not doing a good job. Plus my former dancer sister agrees with you SarahKate. Good choreographer, not so good teacher.

          Though in truth I did stand up for the Abby of Season 1 and 2.

  13. Unless you’ve ever been in a situation where not only you, but your kids, were beat down by someone (a teacher, no less!) year after year, I don’t think one can even begin to judge how anyone chooses to respond to a situation like this. In Kelly’s shoes, I probably would’ve done a lot more than pull out a “bump it” and I would’ve done it years ago.

      • I’ve been to smaller competitions where clubs have been kicked out and disqualified because of coaches’ actions backstage. It’s so blatantly obvious that Abby has those judges on the payroll and they’re at her beck and call.

        • I mean the actual court-of-law judge who decides Kelly’s case especially. The whole thing kinda boggles my mind.

          • Oh yeah, that too. How much you wanna bet that Abby will pull out the sympathy card “my mom died and my dog died and no one loves me anymore”….boofrickinhoo. Like that’s supposed to erase 4 years of torture those girls had to go through while trapped in a 6 season contract, thanks to greedy power-hungry mothers.

  14. And I want to add, that Abby choreographs some AMAZING pieces, her and Gianna, and I think its acceptable and a life lesson that favorites are to be had, its just the way it is. But what I don’t like about the favoritism is what appears to be the not even contempt but the over all disdain she seems to have for her non favorites. I mean was Brooke over it, yes… I can understand the frustration Abby had cuz honestly Brooke didn’t want to be there, it was all over her face even if she never said so to Abby, and who wants a student who doesn’t want to be there, but the way Abby had come to really treat the girls who want to be there and are trying is what hurts to watch. Is Maddie amazing!? Of course, the kid can be on mini cirque du soleil! will Kalani be wonderful?!?! OBVI, that duet with Maddie was stunning! But does that mean Abby has to teach the other kids with drill sargent harshness with Maddie is taught with kindness and kisses…I don’t think so, I understand kidly applying corrections to all kids won’t work,but Abby is coming off as way to harsh with the others, and the favoritism is bubbling over with time concerning, if you really want these kids to all be worthy competition to each other than a fair amount of time with each kid should be had with an exception of maybe a class or private with your favorite. I generally like Abby, thinks she’s a great teacher, but when the favoritism is so obvious that’s its becoming downright hurtful and detrimental to the other kids then that’s when I think you need to take a step back and be like, “maybe I need to back off just a bit or give (insert name here) an extra bit of encouragement or something…” or anything.I think it would benefit Abby in general in the long run.

      • Well I think we agree on one thing…Chloe is better than the treatment she is getting from Abby…that’s the kinda stuff that would normally break a dancer…shows how strong Chloe is!

  15. I am just…devastated with the way Abby treats Chloe and Nia…I mean I just don’t get it. The whole thing with the duet, I mean I agree they dance beautifully together but to tell the girls that this is about Chloe confessing to Maddie…ABOUT WHAT?!?! She’s just pickin on the young girl, the fact that she still has confidence to go out there and dance is a true testament to how strong she is cuz I want to cry for her and scream. And poor Nia, I mean maybe Solos aren’t her thing, some people love partner work but SHE never said that and had Abby spent more time with the girl practicing it, even yelling the corrections, then maybe solos WOULD be her thing. This is just sad. I really do think Abby wants a whole new team with just Maddie/Mack and Kalani, all the other girls are collateral damage. I used to think Nia was Abby’s fav after Maddie and Mack since she wasn’t fond of Christie and it trickled down to Chloe but NOW, I don’t think Abby cares for any of the team outside of the 3 mentioned at all. If Brooke and Paige wanted to dance again (I think they’re enjoying their break) then I’d kinda want them, Chloe, Nia and Kendall to have a spin off where they go to a new studio, cuz this is getting disheartening to watch truly.

  16. I must be different, too, Kris, because I don’t miss Kelly, either. She’s been screamingly unhappy for years, and I can’t believe she lasted as long as she did, what with walking out all the time, then waltzing back whenever it suited her. As you said, Lori, Kelly’s obligations as a Mom should have over-ridden any contractual obligations a long, long time ago. Paige was pretty to look at, but never a great dancer, and Brooke’s crawling around on her neck got old a long time ago. And she’s no great shakes as a singer, either. I’m ready to embrace the New Face of the Team, and I look forward to long-suffering (and long-screaming) Christi leaving, also. I will miss Chloe, though.
    I want to see Lori’s “I’ve Had Enough of Message Dances” solo for her cat, also! Lori, as cringe-worthy as most of the Dance Moms episodes have become, I think I watch them now just to read your recaps afterward. I suspect that there are oodles and oodles of readers like me, who enjoy your recaps, and do not want to see you leave, even though we have never actually posted any comments on this board. So there.

    • I’m not trying to call you out or start anything, GK, but the way you say “Paige was pretty to look at it” makes her sound like an object, not a person/child.

      But I agree that I’ve always enjoyed Lori’s amazing recaps. It’s just a lot harder now that things are so much more serious. I miss the fun, light-hearted stuff!

      • Hi, Courtney,
        I understand what you mean- “Paige is pretty” doesn’t do justice to her attributes as an intelligent, kind human being. Unfortunately, she was so much in the background that I never felt that I got to know her as a person. We know now, thanks to Kelly’s lawsuit against Abby, how sensitive Paige was to Abby’s bullying, so much so that she needed treatment for anxiety from a professional. I hope she is doing well now. I truly meant the “pretty” comment as a positive thing to say about Paige. Sorry if it came off as if I was seeing her only as an object. Thanks, Courtney! I will be more considerate in the future… I am new to these boards.

    • I second that, I always rush to my computer or tablet to read your posts but don’t often post a comment. Please keep writing these recaps!

    • I’m fond of my job, Debra. This is part of the deal. But thank you. I’ll see if I can change my job title to saint at my next review.

  17. Oooh, oooh, I want to see the “Excuse me a minute while I go perform a solo called “I’ve Had Enough Of Message Dances” for my cat” dance!

    • Unfortunately, the cat is terrible at handling the camcorder and we won’t let her have a smart phone until she can contribute to the bill. So you’ll have to use your imagination.

  18. I must be different because I don’t miss Kelly. I don’t miss how she always left whenever something didn’t go her way, I don’t like the fact that every time she thinks Abby’s treating her kids unfairly, she just ups and leaves like she’s a big, bad b****…sorry for swearing. In fact, that’s my main flaw with all the mothers…if you don’t like how Abby treats your kid, then handle it in a civil way. Don’t be all big and bad and get in some fight, just ask to get out of your contract and then leave. As for the recap, I love reading them and I can’t wait for next week. LETS GET THROUGH THE SEASON TOGETHER , LORI!!

    • There’s no escaping for me, so I’ve decided to treat it as a writing exercise. I vow to make you guys laugh if it kills me. And you guys vow to keep reading. Promise? Pinky swear?

    • I don’t miss kelly. or her girls, and hopefully Christi will also be gone. I just found this blog a few weeks ago and was thrilled to read the recaps and comments. In light of this new situation it seems like some of you do not want to watch the show and are mentioning the treatment of the children. This reminds me of what happened with Jon and Kate’s show. Interesting too they were also from Pennsylvania.

      I will continue to watch the show and hope it stays on the air for another four seasons.

    • Nobody can talk with Abby. Whenever anyone tries to speak Abby begins screaming. She believes the loudest person is right. I think that Abby is actually jealous of most of her dancers because she can’t now and never could do what they can do. Imagine being the daughter of a dance teacher and not having a dancer’s body. I bet she was verbally abused by her mother and that’s one of the reasons she is so horrible to these children.

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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.