Between Mrs. Miller being on her way to heaven and the new team on its way to Pittsburgh, there is one hell of a pall over the ALDC, Dance Moms nation. But you don’t need me to tell you that.
We start with Melissa meeting up with Abby at the ALDC front desk, telling her she was just at Maryen’s bedside. Abby says she doesn’t get upset until Melissa makes her get upset, but hey share a tearful moment, anyway. Then Abby says Maryen doesn’t need her to keep a vigil at her bedside. She wants her to be at the studio, carrying on the Miller legacy. And so she is.
Abby congratulates the girls on the 13th group dance win and then wonders aloud if it’s time to celebrate — or time to get tough, because next week, the new team is a’comin’. Melissa blinks furiously at the reminder.
It’s also time to get busy, because there’s also a very professional video to be made for Melissa’s 8-year-old. So, so much to do!
But first the pyramid.
Nia is bottom of bottom, because she struggled with the group dance choreography and got herself kicked out of the routine. Holly looks sickened and says Abby is making up reasons to be tough on Nia. The decision to pull Nia from the group dance is all on Abby, and it was the wrong decision, if you ask Holly.
Kendall is next. Her solo got second and we all know how Abby feels about second.
Then Kalani. She still has technical issues. Kira boldly says that the pyramid has nothing to do with what happens at the competition and the universe looks back at Kira and says, “No, duh.”
Mack and Chloe make up row two. Maddie is on top. Yawn.
This week, we are going to Masters of Dance Arts in Buffalo, New York. And all the dances we are doing are in tribute to Maryen Lorrain.
Maddie has a musical theater solo called Come to the Cabaret. Chloe is also doing a musical theater solo. Hers is about the “eye candy of and the fun of Mrs. Miller’s former life” before she had … well, anyway, it’s called Friday Night.
The group routine is a multi-dancer variation on Maddie’s Amazing Grace solo.
Then Abby says she and Mack are heading out to the next location for the It’s A Girl Party video shoot.
Dr. Holly wants to know if Abby thinks she might be taking on too much, what with her mother dying, three dances and one music video to shepherd. Abby says yes, she’s submerging herself in her work. What’s it to you, lady? To Holly, that means that some dancers are sure to get the short shrift. Speaking of which, someone named James is running Chloe’s solo, because everyone else is at the video shoot. Christi tells Chloe to look at it this way — not being a part of the video means she has more time to practice the solo. Even though the routine is only half assembled.
Speaking of the Girl Party video, because Abby demands a very high-end, professional end product, it is being shot at the world famous studio known as … Melissa’s house. I think Beyoncé shot her last one there, too.
Abby says that in addition to the video shoot, the occasion will mark the first meeting of the Pitt Crew mothers and the mothers of the other girls in the shoot, which will make a fine test run for how they behave toward the mothers of The Other Team.
While Mackenzie and a bunch of other little kids jump on her bed for the cameras, Holly, Jill, Kira and Melissa lounge about and discuss the pyramid. Even though her kids came out on top, Melissa says it was “kinda kooky and a little bit crazy.”
We discuss that for a little bit until a stream of other women, led by a woman who kind of looks like the Dance Moms version of Honey Boo Boo’s Mama June, file in. Mama June is actually Mama Christy, mother of video dancer Sarah who has beaten Mackenzie in junior level solos. Thus, Melissa can’t stand her.
The smack talk begins and Jill tells Christy With A Y and company that their kids can’t hold a candle to the Pitt Crew kids. Much bickering ensues and Abby gathers the children at the upstairs railing to gaze down upon their brawling mothers.
The mothers make it a good show. Christy hollers up to Abby that their kids love and appreciate and need her the most. And moms like her aren’t hoity-toity like the original moms. Abby agrees that the little ones want Abby to be their teacher. Which is because Abby hasn’t beaten them down with favoritism and criticism — or as Abby calls it, “they want to be corrected.”
A rapidly unravelling Melissa ain’t havin’ this Christy With A Y all coming into her house and insulting her and her kid, so she gives her and poor, dumbfounded little Sarah the option of getting the hell out or waiting for their police escort to do so. Holly says she has never seen Melissa act like this before. Melissa believes this may be a 911-worthy emergency. I would have sold my soul to hear that 911 call.
“Yes, hello? Christy With A Y is insulting me and my kid about dancing class. Send the SWAT team! Who knows what might happen here?”
Let this be a lesson, people. Never shoot your music video at Melissa’s house.
Also, how is it that this little gem of The Girl Party doing some underage clubbin’ in Easter dresses and high-top tennies missed the final edit? Dance Moms fans should never miss a chance to see Abby getting funky. Ever. Not ever.
The next day, we seem to have forgotten all about the rumble. Melissa and Abby serenely talk about what a pro Mack is, doing the bouncing-on-the-bed dance over and over and over. Abby doesn’t say she’s proud too often, but she was proud of Mack.
Then Abby runs Maddie’s solo, saying that the playing field is even because both Maddie and Chloe are doing musical theater. Except that Christi Not With A Y just pointed out that not only is Chloe’s dance inferior, both of her privates earlier this week were cancelled because the teachers were too busy. And today’s private was cancelled, too.
Running the group dance, Abby gets on Nia’s case something awful, even though she’d doing the same thing that everyone else is, from what I can see. Is Abby even looking at anybody else? Or is Abby just in the mood to yell and she knows Nia and Holly will give her the least grief for doing so.
The mothers all look mortified at what is happening in the studio. “Good God. What does that woman want?” says Christi. “Blood!” says Melissa in her best scary-movie voice.
Also, Dance Moms Fashion Moment! What in the name of aquamarine fuzz is Jill wearing, here? Repurposed bathrobe? Repurposed bath mat? Cast your vote in the comments section!
Abby orders Nia to go get Holly. Not because anything is wrong, she says, but because she wants Holly to hear all the corrections that are being given, so Nia can practice them in private if she’s so inclined. When Nia arrives in the Mom Loft, Holly tells her that Abby is trying to make her lose her focus — it’s part of her evil game. Down below, Abby taps her watch. Up above, Holly doesn’t care.
After the group runs the dance again, Holly thanks Abby for inviting her into the studio so she could see how well Nia took her corrections. “That’s taking the high road,” smirks Abby. Holly returns to the Mom Loft and wonders why Abby must always gang up on one kid.
But we’ve got bigger problems to concern ourselves with than that. Kelley Larkin just texted Melissa. Kelley Larkin is the owner of Jersey’s Studio L Dance (thanks, all you readers and Tweeters who enlightened me!), which is apparently second only to the Candy Apples wherein being a pain in the Pitt Crew’s collective ass is concerned.
Kelly says her dancers can’t wait to see the ALDC girls. That’s not good, says Christi. Not that the Larkin dancers can’t wait to see their kids — that the Larkin dancers are coming and they’re good enough to beat their kids. Melissa says the ALDC girls know how to beat good studios. Christi says this particular group dance isn’t going to do that, no matter how well they perform it.
Next day, Abby is MIA, so Gia takes over practice. Melissa says Abby is having a rough time — she’s hysterical, really — but she is putting on a good front for the girls. Also, she’s happy with all of the dances this week, so that’s nice, anyway.
Christi says Chloe’s dance doesn’t have what it takes to compete with Maddie. Holly says that Christi has just plain had it. So has Lori, Christi. Lori has, too.
Asked about the fallout of the other night, Melissa says she apologized to Christy With A Y. But the woman really does need to know when to shut up.
A haggard looking Abby appears and Holly says that, as difficult as Abby is to work with, she hurts like everybody else and that is tough to see. Abby tells the girls that her life is going to change dramatically over the next week, and that they shouldn’t waste a moment of their lives. Because Nia is the nicest, most forgiving and resilient kid on the planet, she says she wants to do really well for Abby.
Come competition day, Abby is staying behind in Pittsburgh. Melissa says they need a 14th win not just for Maryen, but to go into pyramid on New Team Day with their heads held high.
Arriving in Buffalo, the Pitt Crew discovers that Studio Larkin’s group dance is Tears of an Angel, with which they’ve beaten the ALDC before.
Then Jill wonders anew why Abby is taking on a new team now, when this team has won 13 teams in a row. Not this team, says Christi. This team has not won 13 times, because some of those victories belong to the team that included Paige and Brooke. And that is the truth.
And that’s not the only reason this is not a team, Christi continues. The night before, Kalani and Maddie walked into the Lukasiaks’ hotel room and Chloe said something to Maddie about doing a duet. Maddie’s response was, “Mmmm, you’re not very good.”
Oh. Dear. Christi says that it’s no longer about who dances with whom, it’s about exclusionary friendships and disrespect. And children learning from the adults around them to treat other children badly.
Jill says now is not the time to worry about that and their children are not mean little girls. Christi is still worried about that. She says it’s all about Maddie and Kalani and everyone gets pushed to the back. So really, what the @#$% is she doing here? Yes, she said the f-word again. No, she didn’t say it in front of the children.
Christi continues that she feels like Holly is the only one who understands. Holly says she does indeed, because Nia feels like the Tito of this particular Jackson 5
“We’re not a team,” Christi concludes. “We’re not. We might say we’re a team, but we’re not.”
Backstage before her solo, Maddie bites her nails and says she’s nervous because the ALDC is usually the studio to beat and this time Larkin is.
I kinda find Maddie’s dance a little lackluster, but Melissa says Maddie looks like she was on Broadway again. Again? When was Maddie on Broadway? Someone? And maybe lackluster isn’t the right word, but does it feel to anyone else as though we’ve seen these girls do stuff like this a million times, and no one is really making any giant steps forward in their training and skill level? Or even little ones?
Then it’s Chloe’s turn. Christi reiterates that she got the least amount of practice time, and inferior choreography. No question about it. She looks great and sells the dance she’s been given, but this is stuff she was more than capable of back in Season 1. This is a Mackenzie solo.
Jill says the girls looked fabulous. Holly says Mrs. Miller would have proud. Gia says Mrs. Miller would have liked these dances more than any other solos they’ve ever competed. Even then, everyone sounds like they’re just going through the motions.
Melissa calls Abby and tells her everyone is wearing angel pins for Mrs. Miller.
Say hi to Miss Abby, girls. Hi, Miss Abby.
Say bye to Miss Abby, girls. Bye, Miss Abby.
Then Gia tells them they have to win with this group dance, not just for Mrs. Miller, but because the new team is coming. FOR GOD’S SAKE! THE NEW TEAM IS COMING!!!!! BE AFRAID! AND VICTORIOUS!
Studio Larkin’s Tears of an Angel features bigger, older girls and I’m not convinced this is actually even in the same division. But whatever. They’re here to beat us, and beat us they probably will, because Mrs. Miller’s dance not being a winner would just be unbearably sad.
Also, because I surf during the commercial breaks, did you know that there is a real life Barbie and Ken? Good luck getting that out of your head when you hit the pillow tonight. And also, I’m sorry for doing that to you. I’ll try to stay focused in the future.
Amazing Grace is lovely and amazingly graceful and the girls dance it beautifully, but it’s not nearly as complex as Tears of an Angel. Melissa says not one dancer made a mistake. Do you hear that, Abby? Not one. Even Nia. Not one. Put Melissa on the bottom of the pyramid next week.
Come awards time, Chloe gets fifth. Christi says they are never going to hear the end of it from Abby, but Chloe did her job insofar as Mrs. Miller would be proud.
Maddie wins. Melissa says her girls had a great week, what with Maddie’s win and Mack’s video of much contention, but they feel bad that Chloe wasn’t a part of all this success. Because Mack and Abby didn’t let her be part of the video, Melissa. And Maddie was just plain mean. Details are kinda important.
Amazing Grace gets second. Holly hopes Nia isn’t the fall guy.
Studio Larkin wins, even though they’re big, fat, no-imagination dance recyclers. Just ask Abby.
Jill says the girls couldn’t have done any better. Kira protests that Studio Larkin had five 15-year-olds in their group. Doesn’t matter, says Christi. “They beat us and we’re going into a new team as losers.”
Ever the peacemaker, Gia says win or no, Mrs. Miller would have been proud. They call Abby to tell her the results. Abby says this time, it wasn’t about the competition, it was about the tribute. She is not disappointed. She is proud. I decide Abby is delirious from lack of sleep. Melissa says she has more on her mind than a group dance. But next week it’s going to be straight back to hell. A whole different kind of crazy, agrees Gia. Chaos if you will. And it certainly seems to be so.
Next week, the new team is a jaw dropper, Kira gets in some new mom face, and Alpha New Mom may not be able to handle the pressure.
So what say you, Dance Moms nation? Given that it was ostensibly Maryen Lorrain’s tribute episode, are you surprised at how ugly the mood was? What about Maddie’s remarks to Chloe? What about Melissa’s remarks to Christy With a Y? What about Abby’s remarks to Nia? Are you happy a break is coming? Sound off in the comments section below.
The Dance Moms Season 4 midseason premiere airs Tuesday, April 15 at 9/8CT.