Welcome back Dance Moms Nation! Time for our Tuesday meet up and the eternally entertaining antics of the Abby Lee Dance Company.
Last week we saw Chloe and Jade go head-to-head for the Junior division title only for Chloe to land in sixth and Jade’s dance teacher mother, Loree, to seriously consider leaving the ALDC over her daughter’s third place.
Despite last week’s drama, Jade and Loree both appear for pyramid and remain with the Pitt Crew, which displeases the returning Select Team. Yes, the infamous Select Team has returned to spice up the mid-season and pave the way to nationals. Pyramid goes quickly as Abby rushes through the unsurprising results.
Mack Z — who was not allowed to dance last week — is bottom of the bottom followed by Chloe. Jade receives third place to match her third place trophy — a far more generous deal than an original dancer could ever hope to get — and Maddie keeps her coveted top spot.
Dance assignments stir up trouble, however. Select Team dancer Ava goes up against Maddie this week, even though she was originally intended to be Kendall’s nemesis. Maddie hasn’t danced a solo in several weeks now, but she’s sure to win as Abby’s “old friend” has written a song specifically inspired by Maddie’s own “journey” to stardom.
With Jade on the original team, the Select is left two dancers short and Abs switches Chloe over to the dark side in order to even things out, demonstrating her unfailing ability to start drama before rehearsals even begin.
Not surprisingly, tensions flare before rehearsals even get properly underway. Dance moms new and old literally face off outside the studio before Day Two begins and the Select Team moms accuse Loree of abandoning them while Loree feels it’s her right let her kid dance wherever Abby puts her. Christi remains apathetic toward the new moms, simply trying to give them the chance to brace their own girls for a failure of Abby Lee proportions.
The Select Team rehearses with Chloe in the lead and Christi is very blunt with the moms. She informs them that Abby never sets the stage for Chloe to win anything, so they should expect failure this week. No one would ever accuse Christi of being an optimist, but time and trials have informed her opinion and the truth begins to reveal itself to the skeptical moms as Ava rehearses her own dance compared to Maddie’s specially written and choreographed number. Maddie has a live singer and inordinate amounts of praise heaped on her, while Ava has an awkward prop and the brunt of Abby’s special teacher-rage.
Loree invites the Select moms to lunch to further discuss their already pointless argument and it goes about as well as you’d expect. Jill and Melissa go with her as back-up and the Select moms take this as a personal offense because it’s totally unacceptable to dance where Abby tells you and with whomever Abby tells you.
Maddie’s solo progresses perfectly, but Ava struggles with a blue umbrella (and not the cute, Pixar kind, either). Christi’s warnings finally start sinking in when mama Jeanette realizes that Abby isn’t going to do anything to fix either the prop or the choreography. With Christi’s encouragement — laugh — she enters the Abby Lee Lions’ Den.
You may recall that last week Loree’s words were given all kinds of clout and respect because she’s a “fellow dance teacher,” but Jeanette will get no such break this week. Abby continues to criticize Ava’s dance and particularly her technique, eventually throwing Jeanette out of the studio entirely.
The girls prep for competition and Abby has nothing but praise for Maddie and nothing but snark for Ava. Maddie’s song was literally written for her and Abby announces that she can’t be anything less than perfect.
Maddie’s dance is the usual piece of lyrical fluff which Maddie churns out on a weekly basis (bonus: We finally hear the song and most of the lyrics are “mmm-Da-da, mmmm-Da-da”) so she really has no excuses for anything other than a win. Ava walks out with her prop after kind words from one of her fellow Select dancers and delivers a striking lyrical performance, but nothing can save her when the umbrella inverts itself in the middle of the dance. Ava continues on like a trooper and ends the dance strong, but that won’t stop Abby’s prop-related-wrath.
It goes down in the dressing room. Even before the girls enter, Abby comments on Jeanette’s instruction of Ava. She claims that the unpredictable umbrella should actually have helped Ava’s arms stay in place and that only years of non-Abby training could have caused her to perform so poorly. Of course, Abbie also saves some comments for Ava herself and she rails on the girl’s technical skills, claiming that not a single one of her dancers has ever had such an issue with a props — conveniently forgetting the last four years of giant lollipops, awkward triangles, and poorly pinned head wear. Ava commits the capital offense of crying and Abby pulls her out of her mother’s lap and demands that she grow up, even threatening to pull her from the group routine.
Ava pulls it together in time to get ready for the group dance and the girls show off their costumes. The Select routine is entitled “First Lady” and although Abby has been touting it as “classy,” the number of slinky chemises on my screen says differently. The routine is pretty, though, and even the original moms have to admit it is very elegant, although pretty basic in terms of style and technique.
The Pitt Crew + Jade dances to a song entitled “America Gone” and they all wax nostalgic for simpler years when there was only one dance team and Abby’s hair wasn’t so big.
The pressure is on come awards time. Abby is on the hunt for dancers to take to nationals and only Maddie has a secured spot. As expected, she takes first in the junior solo division, but Ava only manages to snag third. That may have worked for Jade against Chloe, but it won’t fly after her mom’s talk with Abby. The group routines are only separated by a tenth of a point but the Select team wins again, Chloe leading them to victory over the Pitt Crew.
In the dressing room, of course, Abby has to express her doubts over whether the Selects deserved the win, but she’s quickly distracted by the chance to make fun of someone for not being Maddie. Ava and Jeanette leave in a huff and Abby offers Tia, another Select dancer, a spot on the original team next week. The moms are quick to point out the hypocritical turnover, but the Select moms know they are far too easily replaced for any of them to argue with an opportunity to be featured with the Pitt Crew.
Although this week’s results were not surprising, it may have set us up for some interesting drama next episode. Abby’s getting serious about who’s going to nationals, and we only have five more weeks to get there. The preview promises more CWAYzy times, a stand-off between this season’s youngest dancers, and offensive Native American headdresses so be sure to come back next week to vent with me about our love-hate relationship with Ms. Abby Lee and all things ALDC!
New episodes of Dance Moms premiere Tuesdays at 9/8CT on Lifetime.