Dance Moms Season 4 episode 19 recap: A tale of two snitties

dance moms epsiode 19 fight Lori Acken

Welcome to the second half of Dance Moms Season 4, Dance Moms nation. Remember that team Abby was building in the front half of the Season? They’re baaa-aaack! After winning the final competition, the “new” team has returned to keep things, uh, interesting. The original team is feeling understandably nervous, but Abby hopes having in-house competition will push the Pitt Crew to perform better this season.

We kick off with a quick and unsurprising pyramid. Maddie has been unseated from the top spot for refusing to lead the new team in last season’s finale and Chloe secured herself the honor when she beat Maddie in the solo division. And everything else is pretty much the same as before, for all the same reasons.

It should be noted that nobody’s bothered to add the new team to the pyramid — or a new pyramid to the board — so who knows if they’re here to stay for the season, like Asia, or a couple-episode gimmick like Sophia.

dance moms season 4 select team

Abby’s decided that it’s time for Mack Z to step up in the dance studio after the success of her song and video over the summer, so this week, she’s going toe-to-toe against Sarah, one of her two mini-division counterparts on the select team. This decision shocks everyone as Sarah was not allowed to dance in the last episode of Season 4A after her mother, Christy H., got them both kicked off the team because she couldn’t keep her mouth shut. Mackenzie seems pretty confident in her ability to win, but the moms are still unhappy their kids have to prove themselves at all.

The new moms and the old moms meet in the Mom Loft and after about two seconds of overly polite “hellooos”, they immediately start in with the shouting. As the room trades hands, it’s clear that Christy H. is not going make friends with moms new or old.

dance moms christy

Chloe gets the lead on the group number and Christi is excited for the opportunity her child has to prove herself. The original team is confident that if they can keep it together and just “do their thing” without focusing on the pressure of the select group, believing their natural chemistry and dance talent will win easily. Mackenzie is splitting time between her so-called “pop star” career and her dance (which is yet another “acrobatic” routine) and Abby is worried she can’t handle the pressure.

Sarah’s dark, contemporary piece is called Scary Little Monster which Abby hopes will push her to not just dance, but perform. The pieces are starkly contrasted, so at this point it’s really a toss-up to see who wins come competition time. The new moms gather to ask Abby why Sarah was allowed back on the team  after being kicked off last season (because absolutely no one has ever been allowed back into ALDC after being kicked out/leaving) and Christy H. overhears the conversation.

She accuses the other new moms of trying to sabotage her and, when none of them deny it, the third shouting match in less than twenty minutes begins and quickly devolves into a hair-pulling, arm-biting brawl between Christy H. and two of the other new moms whose names I haven’t bothered to remember just yet because, really? How long do you think they’re going to be around? Abby takes pictures while a man (one of the dads maybe? Who is that poor guy?) breaks them up.

dance moms epsiode 19 fight

Say what you will about Abby Mills, but she knows when she’s got a good angle.

After the break, Abs decides not to send any of the new girls home, because she claims to not want to make a girl learn a dance one day before the competition (as if that’s ever stopped her before) but she does force Christy H. to apologize. Both moms apologize to each other and both are super-convincing, so I’m sure this issue will never come up again. I’m sure of it.

In the dressing room, Maddie tells the other girls about the select team and encourages the originals to stick together and everyone is still hopeful … at least for a few seconds. But when Abby has them warm up while the select team practices, even the Pitt Crew Moms have to concede that the select team has better dancers. But they also — fairly — notice that the select team has older dancers and that without the eight and nine year old, the selects would have to compete in the teen category and would never dance against the originals. They also see that the choreography for the select team is significantly better than the original’s choreography and the moms realize that Abby is stacking the deck against their girls.

The team heads to Sheer Talent Competition in Wheeling, West Virginia for Season 4B’s first dance-off. Christy H. accuses Abby of giving Mackenzie a better outfit and makeup and Abby is just about done with Christy’s mouth. Mackenzie goes first and her dance is yet another gymnastics routine with a few pirouettes thrown in. But she certainly nails it and Sarah feels the pressure.

Sarah’s own dance was one of Abby’s weirder pieces of choreography — and this saying something — but it has more actual dancing and she does “the faces” Abby’s all about, so that might be enough to pull a win.

dance moms 4b abby

Then the teams get ready to take the stage and the Pitt Crew moms are seriously concerned that the select teams’ costumes and preparations are better than their girls’. Their nerves rub off on their dancers who, feeling all of the extra pressure, drop Chloe while rehearsing a lift.

The select group goes first and they nail their routine, a weirdly religious piece entitled Rapture. It’s solid technically and full of individual movement, which means they don’t have to dance in sync with each other very often or be as precise with their movement. The new moms are thrilled and the Pitt Crew moms are nervous, but the original team rallies backstage.

On stage, the size difference between the two teams is immediately apparent. The originals look small and skinny in comparison. But as the routine takes off, they are more in sync than they’ve ever been.

Chloe takes the lead and nails it as a demon-possessed grade schooler. The dance relies on their ability to remain on point at all times and to work with and off of each other. It’s the sort of thing that would have messed with them last season, but now they hit their points seemingly without effort and they even land Chloe’s lift without a hitch.

As the competition winds down, the teams take the stage for awards. First up is the overall solo division. Flash wins over limited substance today, as Sarah’s little face falls when they announce her at fourth place — almost certainly not high enough for Abs to keep her on the team with such a loud-mouthed mom. Big Mac takes home first — unsurprising considering the number of tricks she threw in a minute-long “dance” number.

The team routines are finally announced and once again, the select group won out over the smaller, less-experienced original group. Though they took second place, the original group is clearly distraught and fighting to hold it together on stage. Everyone makes their way back to the dressing room and the new moms tries to buddy-buddy with the original moms — but our ladies aren’t going to let anyone try to weasel their way into the ALDC family. They gather their things and leave the dressing room, mostly ignoring the scorn and thinly veiled congratulations of the new moms.

The Pitt Crew meet their girls in the lobby and reassure them that they never really stood a chance in this competition, no matter how well they performed their routine. Abby wanders through the team and the moms reproach her for the treatment of their children. Most of the girls start crying and the rest can barely hold it together at this point — to which Abby responds by fleeing up the elevator, claiming, “I’m not getting paid to stand around in the lobby arguing with you.” Even though that’s … exactly what she’s getting paid to do. I mean, that’s why we’re all watching, am I right?

Dance moms abby is madRight.

Next week we head to Apple country for the first time and I hope you’ll all be back with me as we watch the ALDC teams and moms new and old take out their frustrations on each other — and especially on the Candy Apples.

New episodes of Dance Moms premiere Tuesdays at 9/8CT on Lifetime.


  1. Watching the rerun “director’s cut”. So, I wonder what Cathy’s duet boy is dressed like a mail man? 🙂

  2. Can I just say how sick I am of the cheap weight cracks from the mothers? All these cracks about how Abby can’t stand on one leg or how the ground shakes when she walks or that she’s constantly eating. The mothers are ones to talk considering they’re constantly eating (and drinking!) and we almost never actually see Abby eat on the show. Not to mention, what is that teaching their daughters about respecting people with bodies that are different than theirs?

    And then the constant little cracks about how Abby should diet this or excercise that – you really think that a woman, especially a fat woman, who has been in dance for 30 years doesn’t know about dieting? *Really?* She probably knows every diet there ever was inside and out! And yet, while the moms are always calling her insecure and unhappy with her body, has she ever expressed that she’s unhappy? Because the moms sure have, between Botox and the wraps and the constant talk about how many problems their bodies have. Abby’s weight hasn’t seemed to stop her from dating some pretty good looking dudes, either.

    The comments on this site get a little old, too, with all the concern trolling. Nobody here knows Abby’s health and nobody needs to be making snide little comments about how OBVIOUSLY unhealthy she is. Melissa has said once that she worried about Abby’s blood pressure and that is pretty much the only time Abby’s health has ever been mentioned – and the woman is 47! People hitting 50 get high blood pressure! That’s normal!

    Almost every adult on this show could learn to talk about other peoples’ bodies with a little more respect. Set a good example for the kids. Because God knows they don’t need to be worrying more about every little ounce they gain.

    • BarlowGirl –
      First thing….people hitting 50 getting high blood pressure is NOT NORMAL. High blood pressure at any age is a concern and usually caused by lifestyle, medical issue or heredity…not just getting older.

      While I think the weight jokes and food cracks are getting old, I do not feel sorry for Abby and her situation. She seems to have no issue making cracks and snide comments about body issue regarding the girls….and not just in relation to dancing. But I noticed that you made no mention of that fact. Also the fact that she is just as good at dishing out the body/behavior comments as the moms.

      Maybe you should direct some of your admonishment towards Abby as well. She is also in a position to set a good example in regards to “talking about other people’s bodies with respect”!

      • Well said. If I were Abby I would absolutely be concerned about my health, and take initiative to do something about it. She is not setting a good example for her students by being as large as she is, how can she expect her students to trust her and look up to her when she does not APPEAR (from what we see on a weekly basis, you don’t stay that size by working out on the days you don’t film, it takes time) to do anything about it. Although I will say, if you look at episodes from back in the beginning, she has lost weight and for that I give her credit.

        • Michelle, what health problems does Abby have, since you know her health so well?

          How do you KNOW she doesn’t exercise? We’ve only seen her at her house, what, 3, 4 times? You’ve never seen her shower either, but I’m pretty sure she does that, too.

          NEWSFLASH: Fat people can be healthy! And diets? 95% of them fail.

          Stop concern trolling.

          • You clearly missed my sarcasm, that is exactly what I am saying, the mothers don’t think she is healthy, I am saying that THEY are assuming that. Stop worrying about my “concern trolling” and learn to recognize sarcasm when you read it. You don’t need to tell me about weight issues, since you don’t know me, or my own lifestyle.

      • We don’t KNOW that her blood pressure is high. She has never said she has high blood pressure. We don’t know that she has any health problems at all. Other peoples’ health? Not your business.

        And, what, you think that fat jokes and rude comments are okay because Abby says mean things? Great way to live!

        • That was at Julie. Apologies, I don’t know the formatting of this website well.

        • Melissa, who obviously DOES know Abby, was absolutely concerned about Abby’s health. Or are you saying that Melissa doesn’t know Abby either? You seem to be the one trolling here dear, you might want to get a handle on that.

    • EAT IT

      Just eat it, eat it, eat it, eat it
      Get yourself an egg and beat it
      Have some more chicken, have some more pie
      It doesn’t matter if it’s boiled or fried
      Just eat it, eat it, eat it, eat it
      Don’t you make me repeat it
      Have a banana, have a whole bunch
      It doesn’t matter what you had for lunch
      Just eat it, eat it, eat it, eat it

    • miller’s weight and appearance became fair game when SHE told Holly she was fat, said Nia’s hair was awful, said Paige was an idiot, and any of us could go on and on. Miller dishes it so miller had best learn to take it.

  3. I thought Sara came out flat and lacked energy, probably due to nerves. Can’t blame her, really.

    It was also interesting how often the camera caught Maddie in tears or waxing about wanting to stick with her friends. Seems to me CSP has finally realized Maddie is long overdue for a rehabilitation after being the “heavy” for the last couple of seasons (which I thought was never fair to her).

    The other thing that made this episode marginally watchable is that they seemed to show more of the routines–or maybe I just missed seeing my favorite junior dancers.

    Anyway, great summary. Looking forward to next week and Maddie’s big event! lol!

  4. And Lori didn’t do this recap—Sara Gustafson did. And I’m announcing my firm belief in Darwin.

  5. I caved. I watched. All I have to say is that woman, christy, needs to go back and read her bible. She missed the verse about “judge not lest you be judged”. She calls herself a christian and spends the hour judging the others as bound for hell. Hey christ-y you are not God.

  6. This episode was CRAZY! I liked the dances, and I’ll say off the bat, I thought Sarah’s solo was amazing, and I had no words for the Select Ensemble’s, Rapture routine. Sarah H, I feel can become the next Maddie, because Mackenzie wants to be her own person. Her facials, turns, and leaps were great. The Rapture’s song was amazing, and I thought the dance was a breath of fresh air. Mackenzie proved though that she is a star, because her leaps and acrobatic tricks are becoming superb.

    Dangit though, I’ve lost and gained respect for people I thought I wouldn’t have for certain people. First off, glad Christi called Abby out on the whole judges thing at Energy Dance in Youngstown, Ohio for her Lucky Star solo. I’m happy Christy with a Y, or CWAY as you call it Lori, announced her firm believe in Jesus Christ on National TV. She’s proud of it, and I’m proud to say I’m the same way, hence my own name. Jodi, Kamryn’s mother, really got under my nerves. Loree, Jade’s mother, is someone I had huge respect for at the last actual episode. Now, I’m not so sure. And don’t even get me started on Tami. Don’t even. She’s fake and phony atop fake and phony.

    Highlight of the episode? Christi’s comments about the new mothers, and Maddie’s genuine honesty. Lori, stay classy and make these amazing. I’ve read everything you’ve posted, and you kill me with all of those capture picture parts in these posts, and just the natural humor you bring to the screen. Stay strong lady, you’re doing something right.

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