Dance Moms Season 4 Episode 16 recap: The mother(s) of all midseason finales

Dance Moms oopsie Christy

It’s the Season 4 Midseason finale, Dance Moms Nation and that means it’s time for the much-discussed new team. And the new mothers. Well, sort of new. One gave us a special little taste of her tact and refinement — and brought out the best in Melissa — last week. Another we met a month or so ago in Michigan. And another isn’t new to Kira at all. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

We start out on a somber note, because the show has finally caught up to Maryen Lorrain’s Feb. 8 death. As each Pitt Crew mother-daughter pair enters the studio, they offer Abby their condolences, which still leaves her visibly uncomfortable. When Abby says the show must go on, Abby means it, people. No time for mush.

RELATED: New Abby Lee Miller reality series Abby’s Studio Rescue premieres June 17 on Lifetime

In the studio, the girls are decked out in all new ALDC attire and Abby says they look like a whole new team. Not THE new team, mind you. But some kind of new team, anyway. Then she says that maybe competing last week wasn’t the best idea, but what the girls should take away from it is that they did a beautiful performance for Maryen Lorrain and that’s what counts. The winning streak was good while it lasted, but only ever being a winner doesn’t make you get any better.

Dance Moms midseason finale cast

Very wise, Abby. Now let’s punish people for how they performed last week. It’s pyramid time.

Bottom of the bottom is Chloe. Her solo got fifth, but from what Abby was hearing, she should have been second or third. So there’s that.

Next is Nia. She still has a long way to go. Like out the door and onto a studio that will do right by her, maybe?

Rounding out Row 3 is Kalani. Beautiful in the group, but she’s kinda just … there. Kinda beautifully there.

Row 2 starts with Kendall. She held her own in the group, but the solo is what we have trouble with. Wait, what solo? Did Kendall do a solo last week? Or is this another old sin, newly punished?

Rounding out Row 2 is Maddie. She went out there and did her solo like a rock star, but …

… baby sister Kenzie did it all this week. A solo we didn’t see. The group dance. And her (home) video’s director said the kid is going to be a star. Abby says the director is Andrew Logan, but if it’s this Andrew Logan, he’s not copping to it on his website.

Also, this is the face we’re supposed to believe that the star’s mother made at this news.

Dance Moms midseason finale Melissa smirks

This is the face the star made, anyway.

Dance Moms midseason finale Mackenzie grins

Time to discuss the new team for the bazillionth time. Abby knows that the Pitt Crew has invested thousands of hours and dollars in her studio, but tough noogies, because times are a changin’. And now the ingrates have seen what people would do to be in their ungrateful shoes, so now it’s time to meet the folks who did the most.

Then Abby blows my mind and says the new team is just like the old team. There will just be one new team member to go up against each of the old team members, for the purpose of challenging them. Doesn’t have to be a negative thing unless they make it a negative thing.

Someone is making it a negative thing right out of the gate.

Melissa is negative

Abby’s final, pre-new-team words of wisdom are this: The girls have to understand there is always someone else. Then we are all called upon to take a deep breath because our very lives are about to change. Er, by these folks.

Dance Moms Meet My New Team

They don’t look too life-altering.

And like I said, they’re not entirely unfamiliar. Dance Mom Mama June Christy With a Y is there on the left, with her nervous little Sarah. Ava Cota is here with her mom Jeanette from back in episode 10, second from the right. And third from the right is Kira’s “trash from Arizona,” who is actually an understandably nervous-looking woman named Tracey Reasons.

Tracey is apparently from Kira and Kalani’s Arizona studio — anybody notice that Kira still calls it their studio, even though the move to Pittsburgh is supposed to be permanent? — and Kira says that’s because she wishes Kalani was her child. Er, what? And yes, I am just going to resign myself to the idea that every other moment in this episode is going to be an “Er, what?” moment.

Tracey’s kid is also named Sarah and looks like a pageant girl, minus the overblown emotions. Or, say, any. And how many titles has she won? None. None. None. Just ask Kira Kira Kira, who is making that known in her outside voice.

Dance Moms Tracey Reasons Sarah Reasons

Abby wanted a whole team of Maddies, not Kalanis, chimes in another mother who is momentarily nameless, but is actually Loree Cloud, owner/director of New England Dance & Gymnastic Centers. Also, I am changing the spelling of my official Dance Moms name to Lorii, effective immediately. That double-vowel thing just looks so snappee.

Dance Moms Loree Cloud

Abby calls Sarah to step forward, then says she knows Kira thinks she dragged her and her mom all the way here from the AZ to challenge Kalani. She did not. She dragged her all the way from the AZ to challenge Nia. Sarah has yet to make one expression other than numb.

In an aside, Nia says she can do jazz, musical theater and ballet, while Sarah can only do acro. Ah. Acro. Abby actually imported a new Brooke or Paige, then?

Ava will be Kendall’s other-team competition. Jeanette is a studio owner, too — Broadway Dreams Dance Academy in Fenton, MI. What’s with all these studio-owner moms wanting their kids to dance for another studio? Can someone explain me this phenomenon? I mean, other than “TV show”? Is there an explanation other than TV show?

Anyway, Jill says Kendall and Ava are very different dancers — Kendall is the better performer and looks better on stage. So there.

Dance Moms Ava Kendall

Smiling Jade Cloud — who lives, sleeps, eats and breathes dance — is the daughter of Loree, the lady who just piped up about a team full of Maddies a couple seconds ago. Abby says Jade is a competition kid, so nothing is going to rattle her nerves. Including competing against Kalani, who doesn’t look rattled either.

Mack and Melissa’s competition shall be Tami and Tea’ Adamson. If what’s on the screen is to believed, that’s not a typo. Apparently there is an apostrophe in Tea’’s name. Which makes possessives a dandy challenge. Tea’ is also 9. Melissa looks at the little redhead and quips that she should have put pigtails in Mackenzie’s hair. “Shoulda done a lot of things,” Abby snarks. Melissa looks like she would like to barf about the whole situation.

Not our Mack. When Abby asks Tea’ if she thinks she’s better than Big Mack, Mack gives her one’a these.

Dance Moms midseason finale mackenzie tea

“Um,” squeaks a helium-voiced Tea (I’m over the apostrophe), because we’re waiting for an answer. “Yes?”

Melissa is rejuvenated by the girl’s obvious discomfort and informs us that Tea will be a fine little playmate, maybe, but no competition for Mack.

Speaking of discomfort, this poor, terrorized little bugger —who is Christy With A Y’s daughter and whose weight is doubled by her false eyelashes — is charged with filling the 8-and-under slot that Mack vacated by turning 9.

Dance Moms Sarah H

But sometimes, it’s 9 and under, so Mack might have two direct competitors. Melissa goes back to looking unhinged.

Christy With A Y — let’s just call her CWAY from now on — says the fact that her Sarah — let’s just call her Sarah H from now on — is the only native ALDC’er to be chosen for the new team drives Melissa crazy. Melissa makes a crazy face to support that fact.

Dance Moms more Melissa crazy face

“You can pour water allllll over the stage and she can jeté through it and beat your kid again,” CWAY CWAY hollers. Not sure what that is about, but Melissa says that CWAY is just a big ball of negativity and Abby isn’t going to deal with it for long.

Next up is Kamryn, who — despite CWAY CWAY’s claim — Abby says has been in class at the ALDC and has been a joy to work with. Kamryn’s mom is Jodi, who has a lot of bangs. Her competition is Chloe, who graciously smiles at Kamryn and welcomes her. Chloe!

Dance Moms midseason finale chloe kamryn

Then Abby has Kamryn recite all of her victories — 7-time national champion, 5-time Star Power National Champion and way too many regional and overall titles to name. Reading our minds while the kid recites her litany o’ victories, Christi says of course Abby isn’t going to put that kid up against Maddie. Chloe is always the sacrificial lamb.

Or not.

Abby brings Maddie out into the space between each team, has her take a good long look at both, then tells her to turn to the Pitt Crew and say goodbye. Maddie’s stunned expression completely breaks my heart.

Dance Moms Midseason finale Maddie

I know some of you will say it’s because she is used to her queen-bee status with the Pitt Crew, so the look is just one of fear at having new competition. I don’t think so. Maddie looks utterly confounded in a “little kid who finds out all her friends got one teacher and she got another” way. I’ve seen that face on my own kids and it killed me then, too.

Abby calls her to her side and tells her she is too good to compete against anyone else, so she’s going to the new team to show them how it’s done.

Why?” stage whispers Jill. No one but Abby looks happy.

In an aside, Maddie says flat-out that she doesn’t want to compete against her best friends. She goes and stands mom-less in front of the row of newbies.

Dance Moms Maddie new team

This week we will be going just up the road to Youngstown, Ohio for an Energy Dance invitational.

The Pitt Crew — which is now the Junior Elite Competition Team (and maybe always was, but it didn’t really matter until now) — will be doing a group dance about royals in tribute to Prince William and Duchess Kate … whoops, nope … in tribute to the Grammy-winning artist Lorde who sings the song called Royals. The girls hop up and down and holler with happiness. Maddie watches them wistfully.

The new team — which shall be called the Select Ensemble — will be doing a contemporary routine called “The Good Life,” because they’re at the Abby Lee Dance Company now and life is good. The mothers smile hopefully.

Kalani and Kendall will do a duet called “Rule the World,” in tribute to Beyoncé. More hopping and clapping. Sarah R and Ava will also be doing a duet. Realizing some sort of delirious reaction is apparently called for, they opt for a hug.

Chloe will be doing a lyrical solo entitled “Lucky Star.” What? No message dance? Not “My @$$ Is About to Be Whooped By Kamryn”? Or “Sacrificial Lamb”? Or “Always Second to Somebody?” Abby’s losing her edge.

Kamryn will be doing a contemporary solo entitled “Fate.”

Abby says this is Chloe’s last chance to prove she’s the best Chloe she can be. Then she turns to the new moms and tells them they have no idea what it is like to compete every weekend, and the expectations they will be facing because of that. You know, ladies — the good life.

Up in the Mom Loft, the Pitt Crew discusses the insult and injury that is the new team plus the pilfering of Maddie. Christi says they’re merely the leftovers now. Privately, Melissa finds it ironic that the moms complain endlessly about Maddie and then when she’s gone, they want her back. Aloud, she says this situation is not what she signed up for. Then she changes the subject to Tracey — what is her deal anyway?

Her deal is that she lies about everything, just ask Kira. Plus, she only enters her kid in competitions where there is no talent, and even then, Sarah’s never in the top ten anyway. Then they play choosies about which new mom is the most annoying. While we’re busy declaring CWAY CWAY the winner and deciding that, also, Jeanette has a stick up her ass, CWAY appears with the other mothers — we’ll call them EnsembleMoms — to lay claim to the Mom Loft turf.

How do you feel about that Melissa?

dance moms midseason finale christy jodi melissa

Also, way to crib Holly’s outfit, CWAY.
Also, don’t be scared, you poor, scared-looking Jodi. OK, be a little scared. You’re clearly a very nice person. That will get you nowhere here.

Even though they’re sort of bumbling about, Abby stares beatifically at her new dancers and hollers encouragement. In the Mom Loft, Melissa tries to explain the Pitt Crew’s feelings to the EnsembleMoms. Meh. Time for new faces, says CWAY.

It’s Jeanette’s job to ask Tracey for her side of the Kira story. Tracey says their kids are good friends, but they’ve had to leave a studio because of Kira’s deep-seated hatred.

Downstairs, Abby tells the new squad that they are the Chosen Ones. Chosen from all the kids who auditioned. Chosen to dance with Maddie. Chosen to go hit the showers while she talks to moms, new and old, because it’s good for them to hear what the other team’s girls need to work on. Melissa immediately defects to stand with the Pitt Crew.

“Your daughter?” Abby says to Tracey. “Surprisingly doing OK.” Er, what? She’s a Chosen One. Chosen from all the other dancers. Chosen to dance with Maddie. It should not be surprising that she is doing OK. It should be bad that she is just doing OK. I mean, shouldn’t it?

Then Abby says Tea and Sarah are young and have a lot of flaws. Be more specific, CWAY demands. Abby indulges the request. Your kid has horrible posture, she points out. Hmmm. Wonder where she got it?

Christy has bad posture

Abby thinks Sarah’s posture is so bad that it requires a back brace that holds her chin in the air like someone in the front row of a movie theater. Yessir. Chosen kid. Kid who has been dancing at ALDC for a year. And we’re just pointing that out now.

CWAY pushes back, but Abby says she can take her advice or be a very sorry mom. I’m not sure CWAY has ever been sorry for anything in her life, so this is a pretty even matchup.

Then Tea’s smiley mom Tami is informed that her kid is from outer space, but we don’t get to find out what planet, because CWAY would like to return the discussion to Sarah and the potshot about her posture. Tami would prefer it remain on Tea. No, says CWAY. No.

Abby tells us that all CWAY’s mouthing off is doing is holding Sarah back. CWAY says that all Sarah dreams of is Abby’s time. Abby says CWAY is taking up her time right now, and all the other EnsembleMoms jump on the Hush It! bandwagon. Yelling. Yelling.

Isn’t this fun, Christi?

Dance Moms midseason finale Christi reaction


Dance Moms season 4 episode 16 melissa head grab


Dance Moms midseason finale Jill reaction


Dance Moms Season 4 midseason finale happy Abby

One of us thinks this is fun.

Take the last expression, Holly.

dance moms season 4 episode 16 holly

After Holly notes that if this was supposed to be a team of perfect dancers with perfect moms, it’s not shaping up so well, the Pitt Crew moms sashay out, waving and wishing Abby good luck with this fresh hell she’s created for herself.


Dance Moms oopsie Christy

Time to run Kamryn’s solo. Abby beams and says she is an Abby dancer through and through, and that her solo is called Fate because maybe fate put her at the Orlando audition and brought them together.

Up in the Mom Loft, a nervous Jodi (who really needs to trim an inch off those bangs) asks Melissa to be her Abby Face interpreter. Melissa looks deep into Abby’s countenance.

“Abby really likes your daughter,” she concludes.

Sarah and Ava will be doing a contemporary acro routine called “Birds of a Feather Flock Together,” furthering augmenting my growing suspicion that this whole new-team crap is really Abby’s way of trying to replace Paige and Brooke’s ability to compete acro dances, without having to say outright that she’s doing so.

Everyone chortles amiably about how much the lanky blond girls look like sisters, until the reverie is broken with an approximately 400-million decibel, “ARMS UP OVER YOUR HEEEEEAD!!!! AVA, WAKE UUUUUP!!!”

Welcome to the ALDC, EnsmbleMoms. Enjoy your stay.

Down in the studio, Ava looks up at her mom, decidedly nonplussed, but Jeanette says that the way Abby teaches works and ignores the glance.

Then Melissa informs the newbies that they have no idea what everyone there has been through lately, what with Maryen’s death and all. When her mom died, she stayed home from work for at least three days. But Abby’s here. So everyone needs to be helpful and supportive and not fight and be nice. Unless they’re Abby.

CWAY CWAY does not agree with that assessment at all. Abby is offending her tender sensibilities and that calls for a rigorous defense. Tami lifts her chin defiantly and says Abby’s corrections for her daughter were spot-on. CWAY says everyone hates her, even though she’s trying to connect and get some empathy. And making really alarming pwwwwssshh noises that go with this face.

Dance Moms Christy spit face

Oh, honey. Oh CWAY. If you think this is the place to come for empathy from anyone, you clearly have not been paying the least bit of attention. But thank you for singlehandedly making this episode much more fun to blog.

CWAY declares everyone heartless. And also two-faced.

But they are wearing some bitchin’ variations on leggings, so they have that going for them.

jeanette tami leggings

Out in the parking lot, we have a meeting of the moms that quickly devolves into a Kira-Tracey throw-down. The new moms defend Tracey and the confab comes to an uncomfortable end.

Christi says the new moms have gotten awfully comfortable awfully fast. Then she, Jill and Holly take Melissa to task for being a lousy spy for how the other dancers are doing. Holly says that’s the best part of having Maddie on the other team — Melissa can infiltrate.

When it’s time for Kalani and Kendall to practice their duet, Abby tells them it’s a jazz routine so they should take their hair down, which inspires Jill to get her Willow Smith on and sing us a little Whip My Hair, which Christi really enjoys. Then Abby starts demonstrating the dance and everyone decides Jill should run down and take part. She does a Rachelle Rak, instead. Action shot!

Dance Moms midseason finale Jill whips her hair

Bite the apple, Jill. Bite the apple.

K&K’s duet is called Rule the World. Abby says Sarah R and Ava are tall and have gorgeous lines, while Kalani and Kendall are just plain gorgeous and good performers. The results should be all about the judges’ opinion.

Then she says it doesn’t matter who Chloe is up against — she needs to bring her A game or else. She also needs to be given an A-game dance and some A-game practice time, A-bby. Just saying.

Abby says even though this isn’t the easiest week of her life, what with planning two teams’ worth of dances and her mother’s funeral all at once, she’s still planning on a clean sweep of the competition.

Running the Select Ensemble’s group dance, Abby tells Sarah H (who has been mercifully relieved of her eyelashes, but still doesn’t look very happy) that she has no style. She’s 8. I had no style when I was 8 either. I didn’t even know what style was. Forty years later, I still don’t, but that’s another story for another day.

Jeanette says she thinks CWAY has a such a big chip on her shoulder because she thinks Sarah should have been a part of the original team. Jodi tries to knock said chip off by saying they need to be a team the way their daughters are being a team.

Sort of, argues the CWAY. Jodi tells her to knock it off. CWAY tells her and the other EnsembleMoms to wake up. Abby’s not going to keep two girls of every age, like the Lady Noah of Dance or something. Oh yes she would, argues Melissa. CWAY retorts that Melissa is just a game-player who messes with people’s lives. Melissa tells her to get real, then gets up and leaves. Tracey hollers that she doesn’t blame her. CWAY asks God to bless Melissa in a way that suggests damnation would be a fine alternative.

Dance Moms Beyond This Door

Behind this door also sits Melissa and Maddie, glumly discussing how this new team really isn’t Maddie’s team and Maddie knows it. Maddie wants to know if these new moms are even more drama than the other moms, and Melissa fibs a little and says no. There’s really only one troublemaker, but Maddie doesn’t need to concern herself. Just be a kid. A kid knows whose mouth she keeps hearing.

Back in the studio, Abby runs Kamryn’s solo, then taps away on her phone while Chloe runs hers. Christi says she thinks Kamryn and Jodi think they’re shoo-ins for the win. But the silver lining is that both Christi and Chloe love Chloe’s choreography and music, and the way Chloe at long last, gets to dance with passion and emotion.

Melissa fails again at spy-teching the solos, but she does reveal that the EnsembleMoms are going to celebrate tonight and she turned down their invite to join them. Jill says they don’t necessarily have to crash the party, per se, but they could, you know, just show up and have a drink of their own. Since we all just happen to be dressed for doing out and all. Everyone is game for the plan.

But first the children must dance. Holly says a good lyrical dance will beat a jazz funk dance every single time, not to mention that the girls are used to doing pretty, floaty group dances, not funky dances in combat boots, so the Pitt Crew is being set up to fail. She could’ve predicted Maddie was going to the other team, just by virtue of that.

Since she’s such a neophyte with the judges, Abby says who knows where they will turn their favor — lyrical or funk. It just better not be a team from another studio. But now she is simply too tired to work with the Elites any further, even though she spent an entire day with the Ensemble. Even Melissa, who is theoretically in a win-win situation here, calls it, and I quote, bullsh*t. Holly says she already feels defeated, and they’re still in Pittsburgh.

CHEERS! And another one, because one particular mom is missing! Someone is not a joiner.

Dance Moms midseason finale new team moms drinks

Why does this booth look like it’s in the restroom of whatever swanky Pittsburgh hotel to which we’ve apparently gone to drink? Also, New Momsie Drinkies was Tami’s idea. Tracey has to be honest — she is not missing the CWAY.

But here comes the original cray.

That is the weirdest bar I have ever seen in my entire life. And I have seen a lot of them. Backing up a little, it looks like the lobby of whatever hotel at which I am guessing all of the non-CWAY new moms are residing, since we all pretty much know they aren’t around for good.

Dance Moms Season 4 episode 16 moms

Tami wants to know why Melissa could come out with this group of moms but not the new group of moms. Well, they just happened to be out to dinner across the street, so you know.

Loree says she should sit in the middle of both groups. Melissa ain’t havin’ it. These Moms is her moms. Her moms ain’t you moms. No matter who wins. Or who drops f-bombs. From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters … oh … uh …

This team was made for you and me!

No matter what sort of pissing match we have going on here, Jeanette says she looks forward to cheering on all of the kids. Because we’re all competing for the same studio, Loree chimes in. Oh, my special, naïve ladies! Loree asks Melissa if she agrees. Melissa most certainly does not.

“Our Abby Lee jackets our kids earned, and I can’t believe you guys got them as soon as you walked in the door,” says Melissa.

Loree still tries reasoning. Abby brought in their kids to light a fire under the Pitt Crew’s kids. Don’t need it, say Kira and Melissa. Tracey, who has trouble finding the right words — or, say, any — stammers that she’d hoped to be a little more welcomed here, which opens the floodgates for all kinds of Kira smack and wrath. Tracey gets up to leave, shaming Kira for picking on a little girl. Kira decides to pick on a big girl instead, reducing Tracey to tears.

Dance Moms Kira in Traceys face

At what price your 15-minutes of fame, Tracey?

And we’re off to Youngstown, where Maddie still walks in with her old teammates, who are all wearing matching hats to set them apart from the interlopers. Abby tells the kid to get over where she belongs. And this is where we find out that this new team is hardly permanent. Abby tells them that if they screw up, it’s back to wherever it is they came from via their Atlanta, New York and Orlando audition sites.

Are we starting over then, or what? Because God forbid we leave the original team alone.

Then Abby asks Kira if she told her pal from Arizona that if she needs anything, Kira would be happy to help. Kira says Tracey can drown in hell. I think you mean burn, Kira. It’s hot down there. We’d have evaporation issues with water.

In the hallway on the way to the stage, Abby tells both teams that off the stage they are friends. On the stage, they are opponents. In the auditorium, the EnsembleMoms are relegated to the row behind the Pitt Crew.

Birds of a Feather goes first.

Dance Moms Birds of a feather Ava Sarah

There is much more good than bad, but this is not a Pitt Crew caliber dance by any stretch, if you ask me. Or maybe I’m just not used to seeing these kids dance. Jeanette says she was watching Abby the whole time and thought she enjoyed it. And she did that interpreting all by herself without Melissa’s help.

Kendall and Kalani go next.

Dance Moms Rule the World

Oy. This one is just so-so for me, too, and kind of feels like they were set up to lose. But Kira says it’s no contest. Abby says it’s going to be a tight competition.

And looky who’s here!  I mean besides the gesticulating crewmember in the skull-and-crossbones t-shirt.

Dance Moms Midseason finale Cathy

Cathy said she had no clue the ALDC was going to be there, and she herself is only there because her one girl who is the title winner is here to pass out trophies, so she tagged along. No one is competing. But since she’s here, what IS the dealio with the two teams?

Abby explains it like this: “Get out.”

When hiding behind her purse doesn’t work — and scores her an insult, to boot — she raises the decibel level a notch or 50 until the EnsembleMoms — who are being kept in another room — have to come see what the ruckus is about.

Cathy complimenting her dress instantly disarms Tami. CWAY wants to know if she has any water on her. Match made in heaven, right there, says Jill.

Abby has had enough. There is only place Cathy belongs and their get-ready room ain’t it.

This is.

Dance Moms Season 4 Midseason finale Abby trash can

Kamryn and Chloe emerge in their costumes. Both are very pretty. Chloe runs her solo by herself while Abby runs Kamryn’s and helps her with her makeup.

Yikes. No wonder Abby didn’t want Maddie and Kamryn on opposing teams. The kid is Maddie all over again. The solo is lovely, and complicated and she performs it beautifully.

Dance Moms Season 4 episode 16 Kamryn solo

I’m a little scared for my girl. So is Christi.

Oh! Yay! Goosebumps. Finally a dance and a costume and music that is worthy of Chloe’s talent.

Dance Moms Chloe Lucky Star

Even Abby says she did an amazing job. Danced like a professional. And always would, Abby, if you’d put your feelings toward her mother aside and gave her worthy tools to succeed.

Then it’s time for the group dances to get dressed. The Royals are actually the royal’s maids, while the Ensemble are dressed in Abby’s signature frocks and bows. Holly says the underlying message is nothing short of insulting.

CWAY comes over to report that the EnsembleMoms want to pray over their dance. Doesn’t Melissa want to, too? No she does not. Sure? Sure. Okaaaaay. But they’re going to pray over it anyway, even though Melissa clearly wants Jesus to curse it.

Dance Moms Midseason finale Christy prays

Abby chimes in and says Melissa is officially not allowed in the EnsembleMothers’ room, no matter what Jesus or CWAY CWAY would do, because CWAY has been on Abby’s last nerve all week long. And that last nerve is about to take another beating. CWAY wants to know why Abby is protecting Melissa. Abby says she’s not. CWAY calls Abby a liar.

Now would be a good time to run, CWAY. Or, you know, add that if the shoe fits. That’s a swell idea, too.

Both of Abby’s shoes, and the rest of her, get up and head into the Ensemble room. Abby informs Sarah H that her mother is removing her from the team.

Dance Moms Midseason finale Sarah Hunt

Nice job, ladies. Nice one.

While Abby reblocks the dance — anybody else suspect she didn’t really want poor little Sarah in there in the first place? — Christy informs us that her kid isn’t going anywhere. She’ll fight for her place on the team. It’s not her that’s the problem, dear.  And there needs to be less fighting, not more.

Loree can’t believe Abby is revamping the dance now. Tracey just needs to throw up. In the trashcan. Good thing Cathy stopped by early. Gina, the competition lady who looks weirdly like former Candy Apple Mari’s mom Gina (because, I guess, it is — thanks Wrath!), needs the girls on stage right this minute, whether Tracey’s hurling in the garbage or otherwise.

Backstage, a wired little Tea gives a breathless “we can do it!” speech. Abby says they have Maddie, so they’re fine. Because judges love them some Maddie. And indeed, from a distance, this could be just another lovely Pitt Crew dance with Maddie at the forefront.

Dance Moms The Good Life Maddie

Abby looks tickled.

Kalani takes pep talk duties for the original team. Holly says she only has a little shred of hope they can pull off a win. I try hard to pay attention to the dance, but I’m so amused by the audacity of the “Royals” knock-off of a song that I can’t even concentrate.

Dance Moms Royals

Maddie cheers from the sidelines. Holly says they couldn’t have done better.

Come awards time, we all do a little Gangnam Style and Mack does a very impressive Worm. Careful there, little pop star. Don’t break Abby’s golden ticket to music-management stardom.

In the duet category, Rule the World gets third place. Birds of a Feather gets second.

Wanh wah!

Dance Moms midseason finale kira tracey

Tracey — whom I truly hope brought a toothbrush and some Colgate along in her purse — says that that makes everything she went through this week worth it.

Royals gets second. The Good Life gets first. Abby says this makes it very obvious that she knows what she id doing. Yes. Giving one group a better dance than the other group.

In the solo division, Kamryn’s Fate gets third. Jodi says her girl has never placed so low. I’m pretty surprised, too.

But the lovely Chloebird gets first, and even Abby does an overhead clap and says that’s where she belongs. She is so, so proud of her. And so, so sorry you wasted her for so much of the season? That, too, Abby?

Heading back to the get-ready with the EnsembleMoms at their heels, Melissa calls them shadows … durn near like Cathy. Before things can really erupt, Abby appears. She lines everybody up and says they all well. But now she must jet off to Maryen’s funeral in Miami. She will be in touch.  No one kill anyone on the ride home. I added that last part by myself.

In a final aside, Abby says this is the legacy Maryen left her. Is she doing right by the kids? Is she making them the best they can possibly be? Is she giving them the tools to go out into the world and make it on their own? Because that’s what her mom and dad did for her.

Then she gives us a final promise/warning: this is not the end of the teams. It’s just the beginning.

So what say you, Dance Moms nation? Was the arrival of the new team the earth shaker you were expecting? DId it rejuvenate your interest in the show? Is 90 minutes of CWAY CWAY too many minutes of CWAY CWAY? Was Kira just a leeeetle tough on Tracey? Are you touched by Melissa’s Pitt Crew loyalty? Is Abby’s seeming change of ‘tude enough to bring you back for the second half of the season or do you need time to think it over? Sound off in the comments section below.

Next week on the Dance Moms reunion special “Seeing Red,” the girls dance, Christi storms out and says she’s done and JC, Executive Producer Superstar, looks like this.

Dance Moms Jeff Collins

The Dance Moms Seeing Red Reunion Special premieres Tuesday, April 22 at 9/8CT.



  1. I am not a big fan of the songs that sound so much like more popular songs. I’m guessing it’s because they’re on tv and all that legal stuff. Still just bugs me that I know what song it’s representing but they’re not allowed to use it. They have generally the same story in the song and the instrumental is soooo close. It has happened a few times, Katy Perry’s roar, something that sounded like Miley cyrus’ wrecking ball, K&Ks duet sounded like Beyonce’s End of Time. Lovely dances! Just not a fan of the songs lol Sorry, had to get that out, none of my friends watch dance moms lol and I’m sure some of you have noticed. I think Lori even mentioned it. Anyways, thanks for hanging in with this crazy show for us Lori!

  2. Here is a sneak preview from Abby’s Studio Rescue:


    ALM: What can I do for you today?

    Studio Owner X: I need some advice on how to keep my studio out of bankruptcy.

    ALM: Simple, get on a reality show.

    Studio Owner X: But, I’m on a reality show right now.

    ALM: I mean get your *own* reality show.

    • FOILED

      And she’ll never be foiled (foiled)
      I hope there is no blood
      This kind of team just ain’t for us
      We crave an aqua blue shade of fuzz

      Could she be any crueler (crueler)
      You can call her Queen Lee
      And baby home school, home school, home school, home school
      When you dance for Abby Lee

    • LOL I was thinking the exact same thing. How long is this new show going to last once Abby loses her shirt (along with everything else) to the lawsuit?

  3. Yay Chloe! The whole time she was dancing I was saying c’mon Chloe, c’mon Chloe, put everything you’ve got into it. And she did. If she didn’t have a demoralizing teacher but one who nurtured her talent she would be fantastic by now instead of looking more and more depressed every week. Afterwards, Abby gave her only the most cursory of praise. Chloe is so strong to keep going under the circumstances.

    • Christi had an extraordinary amount of “talking-head” segments that were reduced to just “voice-overs” in this episode. It was obvious from the rather dry, harsh tone quality of the recordings that they were not done in the studio.

      Due to the lawsuit, I wonder if there was a last-minute rush to change the direction of the story which reflected the good fortune for Chloe and Abby’s appreciation of her talent?

      Isn’t this the first mid or full season finale where there was no dramatic cliff-hanger as well?

      • I’d support all of these theories, Rick. And yes, usually we have Abby storming off in a snit about something or other.

  4. Hi and thanks for the recap. Funny, I don’t see Chloe getting substandard choreography, or neglected by Abby at all. I think Chloe gets plenty of opportunities. Like most of us, she just doesn’t win each time. Sometimes she’s on, sometimes she’s not. This feeling sorry for Chloe business is getting old. Feel sorry for her that her mother humiliates her family weekly by dropping the F bomb and throwing tantrums on live TV.

    • As apposed to melissa going nuclear at the drop of a hat, screaming the F bomb with the word “mother” included? Does she get a free pass?

  5. As always Lori, thank you for bringing humor to this show through your wonderful recaps! I know I have said before that I am done with this show but my curiosity of the new team being it’s been drilled A BILLION times got the better of me. However, I couldn’t even get to the first commercial before I had to turn it off and let the DVR finish recording due to CWAY and Kira. Obviously, CWAY wants to be the replacement for Kelly and/or Christi as she knew the best way to get the most air time was to act like an idiot. But she did this at the cost of her terrified daughter, I felt so bad for this little girl. Then to have Kira attack the other little girl (sorry way to many names to learn and knowing this show I won’t bother) in front of all the moms and girls was just horrible. Melissa should’ve used our tax dollars to call CPS instead of 911 like she did last week!!

    So, I let the DVR record then fast forwarded to what made me follow the show to begin with – the girls dancing!! Unfortunately that included CWAY getting her poor terrified little girl booted once again. Chloe did amazing and I have always thought she gives more emotions and faces than Maddie ever did. I was on cloud 9 that she got 1st overall and finally the praise she deserves! I personally liked the original girls group better because it was not a Maddie and her backup dancers piece. They looked great together, but their costumes made zero sense. And the music?? Guess the artists will no longer approve their songs to be played for this type of show – GOOD FOR THEM!

    Abby’s emotional talking head at the end would’ve been very laughable but I believe those emotions were because of her mother passing. The whole “I want to make a difference in these girl’s lives” – what a joke!

    If this mid-season finale (good lord they have to get a record for the longest seasons ever) is a glimpse into the direction of the show it’s time to shelve it for good. I will continue to read your recaps because they are very funny and I know I will get my dose of what crazy thing Jill wears or says through your blog 🙂

    Enjoy your much needed break from this crazy train!

    • Thanks, Wrath. After the two reunions, we have a break until late summer. Maybe a little absence will make the heart grow … well … anyway ….

      • We shall see what absence does but I am really hoping it makes me forget this nightmare 🙂

        BTW – the Gina who ran the competition was one of the mother’s from the Candy Apples. Believe her daughter got booted from the first group dance w/Anthony then came back and fought with Jaden’s dad. It was driving me crazy as I knew she looked familiar then I remembered which is why she gave Abby the go to h… look.

        • THAT’S IT! Gina Collins! Mari’s mom. Whose last name isn’t really Collins, but she looks so much like Joan Collins that I had to go there. Thanks, Wrath. I’ll amend the blog now.

          • Glad I could help 🙂 Ok, must do work now I just so love reading the comments to your blog 🙂

    • I saw the previews for this and all I could think was way to go Lifetime you so ripped this idea from Bravo!! Bravo has been doing the same type of show for a couple of years now – Tabitha’s Salon Takeover. I believe the Food Network has something similar as well. I guess instead of Abby getting reprimanded for her poor behavior she gets rewarded with another show. Good grief!!

  6. OK…one more comment.

    I was surprised at the really nice comments Abby made about Chloe. I am sure most of them were lawsuit driven….but it was still nice to hear.

    • What else could she say – Chloe was spectacular. As much as I love Chloe’s dancing I was more impressed with her grace at welcoming the new dancer. The child is a class act. I wish her mother would go back to the way she was a few years ago, she also exhibited manners and class. Chloe needs to tell her mom to “grow up” (however Chloe is to polite and respectful to actually say that). If I was a mom on the “new team” I would be really ticked that my “superstar” child was a mere cog in the Maddie wheel. I thought their dance was great but all you have to do is change the faces and it is the old team – no better no worse. Good choreography – however, that being said, it wasn’t as interesting as the funk number. I really enjoyed watching it. It was up beat and fun and well performed. Not the kind of dance that wins but knockout fun. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next segments – I am taking a miss on the moms scream session – I don’t think I have the stamina for that but I am looking forward to the next season – it might be interesting.

      • Janny, I don’t disagree with you at all–I am just pointing out how spectacularly manipulative the producers are. In response to a dip in ratings and outcry for viewers, they were quickly able to present Miller in a slightly more acceptable light, reduce the more obvious examples of “producer-induced abuse”, and even build up little Chloe, who they’ve knocked down all season. As for the treatment of 8-year old Sarah–absolutely despicable, but it did serve the purpose of building a little audience support for the newbies. The show is so incredibly fake once you start looking for example of producer interference.

      • Even when Chloe has a great performance and wins first, Abby usually mixes a snide comment or two in with the ‘good job’. Usually it is a comment about her mom holding her back or a mistake the judges missed…

        I wish she would have given Chloe a little more than a “good job on the win” back in the dressing room. Chloe did just beat the 14yr old dream team member in the overall.

  7. Well there was one good thing out of the “new” team being brought in….Pitt Crew solidarity! I think this is the first episode in a vy long time that none of the Pitt Crew moms fought with each other…they were an actual team. Although I am not sure if Melissa would have felt the same way if Mack had also been moved to the new team. These past couple episodes, she has seemed a little upset with the way Mack has been shoved into Maddie’s shadow by Abby.
    Speaking of Maddie…I really felt for her when she was moved to the new team. She seemed genuinely stunned and unsure by the move. I guess she did not think Abby was ACTUALLY going to create a new team just for her…even though she said it all the time. I do wish that Maddie was a little more “pro original team” during the conversation between her and Melissa. I get that the kid just wants to dance but a little more support for your friends would be nice.
    I was so happy for Chloe…finally a routine worthy of her talents. I also think Abby ignoring her right before she performed was the best thing….no chance for Abby to plant doubt in her head with her “don’t blow it” speech.
    I will say that Maddie did redeemed herself at the end when she was in the wings cheering for her old team…she seemed genuinely happy that they did a good job.

    • I was thinking the same thing about Chloe not getting freaked out just prior to her solo, she was able to mentally focus and concentrate on what she needed to do. I was surprisingly impressed that Melissa’s loyalty was with the original group, I thought she’d be all “screw you guys, you all hate me because of my kids anyway, I’m outta here” lol, but she chose wisely.

  8. My, are those Lifetime producers clever! In a single episode, they managed to make viewers sympathize with the newcomers, believe that the original moms are sane, balanced, and fair, feel that Chloe at last has some support, make the “Maddie-haters” see that she is just a little girl in a difficult position–and, dare I say it, admire Abby for her ability to encourage the team even while she pulls the rug out from under them. An astounding turnabout!

    • Beg to differ: No sympathy for the newcomers – they have not been living in a vacuum for the past few years so they knew what they were in for. In no parallel universe would anyone believe that any mother who exposes her child to A.L.M. is sane or balanced, and as for fair – they are in panic mode and are clinging together for strength (Dr Holly can write a book about it). As for Maddie Haters: I don’t think that anyone really hate the girl but most of us wish she would take a few knocks. It would have been better for her character if she had to take a back seat to a newcomer – a little perspective never hurt anyone and she might develop a little empathy for the “originals” who are all tremendous dancers and have been forcibly shrouded by her (by way of Abby). I don’t see that she was in a difficult position at all – by the end of the show she was relishing the attention. Abby’s mother is probably looking at the whole scenario with shame and disgust. As for the statement about helping the children – the woman is truly psychotic. If you want to feel sorry for anyone, have pity on poor little Sarah – no 8 year old should have to feel ashamed of her mother, face ultimate rejection and cruelty and have none of it be her fault. The look of total despair on her face was heart wrenching (almost as wrenching as the permanent Maddie Face!!) In fact she looked a bit like a Ziegler in the photo. Hang in there Sarah – look on the bright side, you have already faced the beast (or should I say beasts and add your mom into the mix) and have survived. Good luck sweetheart, you will need it. BY the way – for 8 she is a great dancer and obviously a sweet tenderhearted child. I could add her to favorites list if she survives. Interesting things coming up.

      • oops, I put this reply under the wrong comment. Here it is again.

        Janny, I don’t disagree with you at all–I am just pointing out how spectacularly manipulative the producers are. In response to a dip in ratings and outcry for viewers, they were quickly able to present Miller in a slightly more acceptable light, reduce the more obvious examples of “producer-induced abuse”, and even build up little Chloe, who they’ve knocked down all season. As for the treatment of 8-year old Sarah–absolutely despicable, but it did serve the purpose of building a little audience support for the newbies. The show is so incredibly fake once you start looking for example of producer interference.

  9. The original team were given poor routines & ridiculous costumes resulting in setting them up to fail except for Chloe. This team have been solid winners for years & to break any of them up would be a travesty. They’ve proved themselves! Don’t cut any of them; they’re like family. Just add new members to make a new team incl Kalani. This would be a win-win as I see it.

  10. Great recap Lorii! I am just relieved. It is finally over. At least for me. Or “I’m done!” 🙂

    I wasn’t exactly giving it my full attention, so your recap filled in the blanks. I wanted to ask the new team “how do you guys like being Maddie’s backup dancers”. Unlike you, I just cannot find any love for that kid. Mostly from years of having her shoved down my throat.

    I liked that maddie was changed to the new team. Because this time, we actually got to see Chloe and the others get some camera time. This one time, no Maddie in front, all the camera time with me trying to spot Chloe, or Nia.

    Chloe’s dance made me cry it was so stunning. I just felt so bad for her. She looks miserable there, but she danced so beautifully.

    Clearly there is some back story going on between melissa and cray woman. And some between Kira and that blonde mother. Kira reminded me of Asia’s mom with that “let’s take it outside” bit. To me, just from what I saw and not knowing their history, Kira came off (to me) as jealous of that mom and her kid.

    I’ve had enough of miller the shrew. I stuck it out to the end. Or if there is more in the future, I pass. I can stop now after seeing beautiful sweet Chloe dance so beautifully!

    • Thanks, Debra. As much as I enjoy cyber-hanging with you guys, I do keep hoping that the show quits me, so I can quit it.

  11. Lorii- another excellent review. It sure was nice seeing Chloe dance so beautifully. I really don’t think these new girls can replace the dancers that we have all come to know and love.

    • Thanks, Kim. I’m glad we have some time to think about it. At least I hope we do. Oh please let us have some time to think about it ….

  12. Mmmmm, didn’t watch it, but your results don’t match up with the Dance Moms spoilers site. Not much of a shocker there.

    According to the spoilers site, the new team got 1st and originals 2nd as you reported; but it says the Ava/Sarah duet got 1st and Kalani/Kendall 2nd. (Not much different there 2/3 vs. 1/2).

    The big difference is that it says Kamryn got 1st in the teen division and Chloe got 1st in the junior division. So is Kamryn’s 3rd part of the weird “Dance Moms Overalls”?

    • They may have been talking OVERALL…Chloe’s solo was the favorite of the entire competition. Kamryn’s was only 3rd best of all. I remember when they had the Mack performing Maddie’s old solo, that Maddie got 1st, Mack got 2nd, and Chloe got 3rd BUT Chloe got 1st in her teen division 3rd overall, and Mack had got 1st in her mini division and 2nd overall so they do it that way sometimes to amp things up. Its not completely fair cuz Abby doesn’t acknowledge their individual wins at pyramid…just overall.

        • In the first couple of seasons they used to show the individual categories especially when Brooke and Mac had solos. There used to be drama when Abby would enter Chloe and Maddie in the same division. I believe it’s just been the past 2 seasons where they are just showing the overalls. I could be wrong these seasons are tending to run all together!

          • That’s right they did, I’d forgotten about that. You’re right, all the seasons start blending together after a few years. If the producers would stop focusing on the fights, they’d have more time to show more dances and results. But of course, where’s the good tv in that right?

    • Every competiton has division winners and overall winners. The overall winners are the highest scoring numbers for the entire competition. You may notice that a lot of the time during pyramid Abby makes comments like “you were the highest scoring solo/group of the entire competition.” She’s refering to the overall awards. Chloe was the highest scoring solo for the competition, which made me ridiculously happy by the way. They rarely show the overall awards on the show but I guess they had to since Chloe and Kamryn were in different divisions. They had to show that they went up against each other some way. Congrats to Chloe. Saying she deserved that win/great choreography is a massive understatement.

      • What are you talking about, they ALWAYS show the overalls, that’s all they ever show anymore….

        • I feel like the only other time they showed the overall results was when Maddie, Mackenzie and Chloe came in 1st, 2nd, & 3rd. The girls are usually going against each other in the same division with the exception of a handleful of times. Although, I’m so emotionally drained by the time they show awards, I guess I’m not processing much.

      • The overall winners are within an age group. Not the whole competition. These comps are fake. At a real competition Mackenzie would never compete against Chloe. Chloe would’ve won 1st overall in the 12-14 age group and Mackenzie 9-11 since she was competing with Maddie.

        • All of the competitions that they go lately are billed as “invitationals” and online results are getting harder to find, so whether they are fake or not, I’m not sure, but they sure seem to get, er, special billing …

          • Lori You commenting on the show was just great and I had quite a few chuckles with you observations. Some of the commenters from where I am now banned had invetigated and discovered that most of the shows competitions did not exist except for ones that the producers set up with other studios hence the empty seats in the dance hall. Episode 16 was a real and actual competition that took place the weekend after Abby’s mother died. According to the pagent director they only had 48 hours notice that the ALDC was attending and many people were unhappy. This was on the facebook page of the director which since the day after the show is missing from a google search. Also Fransisco who was the emcee for the competition and who is also a judge for Energy Dance, stated on the After Buzz show about 6 minutes til the end of the show, that Abby went into the judges room and told them Chloe did not deserve to win because she has too many instagram followers, has dancing come to easy for her, and that another girl who had to work harder at dance should have won. Now is that not sad and it is not the first time Abbys has done this. Last time on the show Chloe had to give her 1st place trophy to Madie because Abby went to the judges and told them they added the scores wrong. Abby is an evil woman.

    • they always lie and 99% of the time there was no real competition run by an actual Dance company. ALDC has been banned by many such as Master of Dance Arts since feb 2012. Abby has fixed scoring before. Her friend owns In10sity dance so that is why you often see those competitions. Like the nationals in last seasons finale in New Orleans there were no real national in that city at anytime by any of the real dance companies. There is a show called Afterbuss online that a gy named Frasisco is on who was there this week and saw Abby go to the judges and try to get them to take Chloe’s 1st away from her. It is talked about at about 6 minutes until the end of the show. Dance moms is fake fake fake

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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.