Welcome back, Dance Moms nation. Did everyone recover from all the fist-flailing action from last week?
As our girls line up for this week’s pyramid, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that the select team is once again absent from the proceedings. It’s hard to get so many wannabe starlets scheduled for practices the same week. And just think about what a hotel room that fits their mothers’ egos must cost!
Unfortunately, someone has to keep the drama going now that the moms have spent a week bonding over their rage at Abby Lee, so Sarah and her mom, Christy with a Y — our precious CWAY CWAY — stay on the team despite how endlessly annoying CWAY is, even to Abby.
After the Pitt Crew’s loss to the select team last week, we all knew the pyramid was going to be rough, but this one was a bit much, even for Abs. Chloe’s at the bottom again (for the crime of being slightly out of sync on one turn…) with Maddie (the horror!) coming in second-to-last for crying afterward the awards ceremony. Kendall and Nia are space filler once again and despite her win, Mack Z only lands in second place. Sarah gets the top spot for being in the winning group number and Abby seems to have conveniently forgotten she didn’t even make it into the top three for her mini solo. Since when does Abby Lee Miller accept anything but first place? Oh, right … when it makes the moms furious.
The Pitt Crew’s going to have to step it up this week to combat the Candy Apples and Cathy’s bat-@#$% crazy nonsense, but Abby’s got a few gimmicks of her own this time around. There’s only one other routine besides the group number — and that will be Maddie paired with Gino from Cathy’s former all-boy team. While it’s sure to rile Cathy, Abby’s equally habitual tendency to talent-poach is as hypocritical as it is annoying.
Over in Candy(Apple)land, Cathy announces she’s doing a ballroom routine because she can “predict Abby”rather than it being all part of the producers’ plan. In other news, Cathy’s brought back Abby’s “old friend” Johnny the Choreographer, as well as two new ballroom dancers. The Apples are stacked and ready to go.
Back at the ALDC, Abby pops up to the Mom Loft to let them know she’s calling the group number Broken Dolls … because she feels that’s what their girls are. Broken dolls. CWAY decides now is also a great moment to claim that she hasn’t been welcomed enough and tries to get Abby to defend her. Instead, Abby informs her that Sarah might not be able to keep up with the Pitt Crew. Undeterred, CWAY tries to throw the moms under the bus for having bad attitudes, but Abby’s so immune to that that she walks out and all CWAY’s managed to do is make everybody hate her a tiny bit more. Who knew that was even possible?
Maddie and Gino rehearse their duet and are appropriately cutesy.
The song’s entitled That Girl’s Just Gotta Be Kissed and Abs wants it to end on an actual kiss, but our little Maddie’s never been kissed and is hesitant to go through with it. Especially with the moms looking on.
She finally agrees to the smooch and (in perhaps that most adorable moment of Dance Moms Season 4 so far) immediately runs out of the studio — leaving behind a perplexed Gino and laughing Abby — to tell her teammates, who are shocked and thrilled for her.
Mickey (Gino’s dad) does his best to charm Abby and see how the moms feel about having Gino stay on the team. The moms play along, but are smart enough to know a one-week show pony when Abby trots it in the ring. Christy — always ready to be offended — immediately feels threatened by Gino’s presence and tells everyone who will listen that the “new spot” is for Sarah. At this point in rehearsals, however, it probably isn’t Gino that will deprive her of that spot. It’s Sarah’s dance skills (or lack thereof).
When competition day finally arrives, Abby discovers that her friend is once again aiding the Apples, and it becomes clear to everyone that she’s losing it as Maddie and Gino rehearse in the dressing room. Then we get straight to the dancing.
The Candy Apple’s duet is up first and dem shorts, tho! Seriously, the girl is in a pretty standard (if skimpy) glitter and polyester affair, but the boy (Evan? I tend not to bother with Apple dancer names… they’ll be gone by next week) is wearing the dorkiest pair of shorts I’ve ever seen. It’s like they tried to make a Swedish school uniform look fashionable. Which is weird. On a lot of levels.
But the dance is pretty once you get past the awkward costuming and Abby admits her kids have serious competition.
Maddie nails it in the Broadway-style duet, bringing it with her signature faces and technique, but Abs is disappointed in Gino’s performance. She announces this in the dressing room and Mickey manages to be both manly and displeased. Before they really can get into it, though, the girls come out in their costumes and everyone has to act happy and supportive.
Come group dance time, the Candy Apples go first again. Their routine is called Conspiracy and although it looks cool technically, the whole “conspiracy” theme is kind of lost on me. There’s, like, this chair that someone sits on and tilts? Is it an interrogation? At the end they all fall down … and there’s kind of a love-story thing, maybe? If Cathy was conspiring to make me confused, she did a good job.
The ALDC girls are covered in makeup that is supposed to make them look like dolls. Dolls with too much blush up both sides of their faces and weird black lines on their jaws. Everything is clean and on point … until poor Chloe takes a huge fall. She gets up without missing a beat and the dance continues flawlessly, but it’s enough to really shake the poor girl up. Backstage, the girls rally around their team member and reassure her that they will never blame her if they lose.
The moment of truth comes with the awards announcements. Maddie and Gino come in second, surrendering first place to the CADC. Abby is unimpressed and puts the full blame on Gino. Despite Chloe’s tumble, the Broken Dolls take first place and the moms are thrilled that the girls can finally put their losing streak behind them. Back in the dressing room, Abby even brushes off Chloe’s fall as an accident and instead takes out her frustrations on Gino and Mickey — who she asks to leave the room immediately. Mickey is offended and the moms are uncertain what this means, except for CWAY who thinks this is somehow Abby “seeing her way” even though Abby still criticizes Sarah’s lack of technical skill. Does this woman have selective hearing?
Of course we end with a final confrontation between the Pitt Crew moms and Cathy because no Apple Episode would be complete without one! Long passed bothering with pleasantries, they immediately trade nonsensical insults about weight (“Your ass looks like a $40 cow!”) and everybody leaves feeling like they’ve had the last word.
Although the slip will certainly come back to haunt Chloe, and Sarah’s continued presence on the team means Christy’s continued presence in the Mom Loft, our girls are showing serious improvement this season and they’re finally ready to start taking back the wins they deserve. Now all we have to see is if they’re ready to take on the select team again, a situation which will certainly rear its ugly head again soon.
So what did you think Dance Moms nation? Were you happy to have an episode free of the select team or did you miss them? Were you charmed by Maddie and Gino’s kiss or was it a mean thing for Abby to do? How afraid are you for Chloe even though the Pitt Crew won? And is Christy with a Y the official queen of crazy? Sound off in the comments section below.
New episodes of Dance Moms premiere Tuesdays at 9/8CT on Lifetime.