Dance Moms episode 27 recap: Tick, Tick, Boom

dance moms abby episode 27 Lori Acken

I would like to start today’s Dance Moms recap with a moment of silence for the absent Select Team… Yes, you read that right. After three excruciating weeks of watching the wannabe dance moms parade around our screens like we owe them something, it’s finally time to settle back into the comfortable familiarity of Abby screaming at the Pitt Crew.

dance moms crabby abby

After last week’s atrocious cultural appropriation (which Abby dared to call a “dance routine”) managed to win, one would hope that leading lady Nia would make the top of the pyramid for the first time in… forever? But alas, no one can beat Maddie even when she’s shoehorned in at the last minute to make up for Abby’s choice to use only young dancers in a weighted age category.

Unfortunately, this week sees the team go up against the Cathy and her Candy Apples once again. Adding to the drama, Gino is back to dancing for the Wicked Witch of Canton and is slated to take on his one-time dance partner, Maddie. Abby’s star pupil is faced with a dilemma, however. She may be scheduled to go to Miami and shoot a web series on the day of the competition.

Rather than pull the number and give attention to someone else, Abby decides to let this be another in-house competition. Chloe and Kendall will understudy Maddie’s number and whichever one “does it right” will get to dance in the coveted shoes of Maddie.

As the group rehearsal starts, the moms settle in and discuss this latest effort to compare everyone to Maddie. Finally, they decide it’s time to get some “quantitative data” on Abby’s mistreatment of the rest of the girls and Christi — whose dress looks like it’s made from the top of a circus tent — starts taking a running tally to see how often Abby negatively criticizes each individual girl.

dance moms christi tally

In Ohio, the Apples have also begun rehearsal. Gino is practicing an intense number entitled “Warrior” about his desire to beat ALDC or… something. Cathy is pretty sure he has a chance against Maddie which is doubtful. Good luck, kid. The adults in your life have sent you on a path to self-destruction.

The producers have finally decided the girls are old enough to start speaking for themselves and we get a nice little cutaway scene of Chloe, Kendall, and Maddie warming up together. They talk about understudying and both girls seem alright with this decision. They relive the week of Maddie’s first kiss and the star of the show takes her teammate’s teasing pretty well, but has no kind words for her former dance partner. It’s refreshing to finally hear the girls talk about themselves but hopefully this doesn’t signal a future where the girls argue like a pack of mini-moms.

Meanwhile, the Mom Loft gets a new addition: A giant whiteboard with the name of every girl (except Maddie) and space to tally Abby’s negative notes. The tallies stack up quickly and the moms are super pleased with themselves. Melissa finally begins to express some personal opinions and, as usual, they’re about how the other moms have “singled Maddie out.” Unlike how normal and not-special she was before.

As the girls rehearse the solo, it becomes pretty clear that Abs only intends to spend time teaching Maddie. It is Maddie’s solo, after all, but the Abby monster’s refusal to even look at Chloe while she dances might, debatably, take that point too far.

During group rehearsal, Abbie finally comments on the board and speculation runs across the dance floor. None of the girls know what’s going on, but they do notice Maddie’s name is missing. Chloe even mouths “Take it down” to Christi, but the moms are sure they’re doing the right thing by making this very large and visible. Because pointing out Abby’s behavior to Abby herself always goes over really well and never backfires.

dance moms white board

As rehearsal continues into the third day, the Mom Board quickly becomes a distraction — and makes increasingly less sense. Although they first said it was meant to track the number of times Abby says something negative to their kids, the definition of “negative” now includes not only saying something mean or derogatory, but also making basic corrections. As the girls focus more on the board rather than rehearsal, Abby confronts the moms but they still refuse to take it down, launching Abby into a “take your money somewhere else” speech.

As the day of competition dawns, the Pitt Crew enters Wayne, New Jersey with their usual fanfare followed by an atrocious wake-up call from Cathy over the loud-speaker. It’s always nice to see such a fearless leader who will set an example for her kids by doing such respectful, socially acceptable things like projecting insults about people’s clothing over a speaker system for a building full of strangers to hear!

In the dressing room, Jill starts problems of her own by asking if all three girls can dance the solo in competition. Earlier in the week, Melissa mentioned that it would make a nice trio, but Jill has got to go all the way. It’s solo or bust for Kendall.

Abby, never known for her ability to take criticism, pulls Jill vaguely to the side and informs her that she’s not going to put Kendall out on the competition floor just to “humiliate herself” against Maddie. She also mentions that having three girls dance the exact same solo would be “ridiculous,” apparently having forgotten that she already did exactly that with Maddie and Chloe once upon a time.

Although Abby may be in the right, Christi is quick to point out that this “private” conversation is happening in the dressing room and within earshot of everyone, including the girls. Abby doesn’t even pause, however, as she lays out Kendall and Chloe’s flaws for the whole team to hear.

dance moms abby episode 27

Meanwhile, in the Apples’ dressing room, Gino prepares for his solo and is confident that Maddie isn’t as strong a dancer as Abby makes her seem. If anyone would know, it’s Gino — but Maddie’s numerous “overall high scorer” awards would suggest otherwise. I guess we’ll see when they hit the dance floor. Is it bad I’m almost rooting for Gino at this point?

Solos compete before groups and the Apples have the stage first. Gino’s warrior dance would probably by more convincing if he were two feet taller and fifty pounds heavier, but he hits some complicated choreography. The contemporary choreography is an interesting break from the perpetual slew of lyrical dances Abby has been sending her girls to perform, but Gino just doesn’t have the look (Or the costume. Booty shorts? That’s what you’re gonna fight in?) of a real warrior.

Maddie’s lyrical routine is as pretty as her last million lyrical routines.

Back in the dressing room, the moms are still b****ing. Melissa agrees that the routine would have made a good trio, but no one is impressed by her lack of backbone against Abby. Not that you can blame her. Half of the reason Maddie is the favorite is the fact that Melissa refuses to participate in 85% of the drama in the Mom Loft.

Abby finally calls out the whiteboard (which they bothered bringing all the way to the competition) as the mostly ridiculousness that it is. Holly steps up as the most vocal of the group, but our Abs is having none of it. She threatens to pull a solo Nia was slotted to have next week and claims that twelve is old enough to have kids and get married (in that order) in some countries.

Holly pretty much speaks for all of us when she calls Abby a vile, ugly woman and flees the room. The moms (including Melissa) rally around Holly over Abby’s rude words about a preteen girl. Holly even refuses to talk on camera, she’s so angry. Go Holly, standing up for your kid!

The moms do return to get their daughters ready for the group routine but Abby disappears without a word. The Candy Apples perform their routine (which is made of chiffon, Valentine’s Day cards, and cancer (?)). They look clean, but certainly aren’t groundbreaking.

Their win is assured, however, when the MC announces that the ALDC routine has been dropped from the competition.

The girls are hurt and confused (having not been around for the fight) but Abby is quick to assure them it’s all because of their mothers. The girls are still forced to sit on stage for awards (Maddie beats Gino, if anyone but Abby even cares about that any more) but the moms jump ship before the group numbers are announced.

Backstage, Abby and Holly have yet another go at it. Holly accuses Abby of being a bad teacher and Abby officially pulls Nia’s would-be solo.

The girls’ fates at Nationals are still up in the air and we leave things with a distinct feeling of being incomplete. The preview for next episode still shows Nia on stage, though an additional two Select dancers seem o be practicing with the ALDC team.

Who’s right and who’s wrong here, Dance Moms Nation? Everyone seems to have lost their minds; Cathy doesn’t even look like the crazy anymore! Tell me all of your feelings on the tick board, shouting matches, Abby’s atrocious remark and nationals futures and failures in the comments below!


  1. I’m confused. I heard a lot about cultural appropriation and racism when it came to Abby’s Native American inspired group dance. Good points made by all. But where is the outrage this week over Gino’s “Warrior” dance, complete with a tribal tattoo on his face?? Isn’t that the same thing?? Abby is vilified, but we root for Gino? I am genuinely bewildered by the seemingly hit-or-miss feelings of outrage. Please explain…I really am trying to understand. Thanks.


    • Whoa Tonto, first of all, take a deep breath. Second, how about you take your keyboard off of Caps Lock and speak like a normal human being that wasn’t raised by animals. Third, how about we keep the comma usage to a minimum. I’m all about being grammatically correct, but I’m certain that you should only use one comma at a time. Whether you’re one of Abby’s minions or not, I think I speak for everyone when I say if you would like to leave another comment, please be sure to act like a mature adult and not a screaming buffoon. Thanks.

        • Oh my goodness, seriously? It’s just an expression saying “slow down for a minute.” Wasn’t meant to be racist in any way and I really don’t see why you’re so “offended.” You’re making a big deal out of nothing and I think you’re just one of those people who look for things to bitch about. I’m not going to apologize for offending you because it wasn’t meant to be offensive and no one probably saw it as “offensive” until you said something. Get off your high horse.

          • It’s all good, MD! I wasn’t offended at all. Nor should anyone else be. I was just trying to point out, in my own inept way, that a lot of people were “offended” by Abby’s Native American-inspired dance, when I believe no offense was intended. I was also trying to point out how expressions like “Whoa, Tonto” which is quite harmless and funny, are used all the time without meaning any offense, as well as honest, if misguided, tributes to the Native Americans. The outrage that some people feel seems to be rather hit and miss. No hard feelings, I hope, MD!!

          • Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry!! I really thought you were being serious (I obviously cannot sense sarcasm haha). I felt the same way you did about Abby’s Native American-inspired dance and I thought it was just ridiculous how people were calling it racist, which is why I thought it was ridiculous you said you were “offended” by the expression “whoa Tonto.” Even though Abby isn’t the nicest person, I don’t think she would ever intentionally choreograph a routine to offend anyone. Once again, I’m so sorry for going off and acting like a huge bitch. No hard feelings!! Oh, and thanks for the Orange Pants Guy story on the other article!! I wish they would bring him back!!

  3. Dance Moms is just about over. The last few week’s ratings and viewership are fully one half of one year ago. Also, every spin-off has flopped – badly.

  4. I feel like Abby had to say something else to Holly besides the big feet and can get married at 12 comment. Holly is used to Abby and her ways but for her to get up and say what she said was “vile” and “Nasty” makes it seem like there was more that was said that set her off. Besides Melissa who says nothing bad against Abby, Holly has the most respect for her and lets her do her thing so if she had to get up out the room, ALL the moms chase her down (and we all know Melissa will do cartwheels if Abby asked) it seemed like more was said.

  5. Abby Lee Miller is a nasty human being. She is very lucky she doesn’t behave this way in public or she would probably have her a*s beaten. I know a lot of this is scripted but I don’t see how any one can defend Miller. Her behavior is indefensible. She is a vicious, ambitious idiot.

    I hope that Melissa is happy with the agent/management fee she pays to Abby on all of Maddie and Mac’s earning. Maybe Abby can give some of it back to them when the kids age out of their dance competitions and endorsements and find themselves uneducated and unemployable.

    How much longer is Lifetime going to allow this nonsense to continue?

  6. That entire mess last night was fake. Notice the names on the white board, done too perfectly. That was producer inspired fight crap. that group dance was actually disqualified because miller used real fire. they faked the board and they faked the pulling of the dance. it was disqualified.

    as for holly, too little too late. she signed the new contract with miller. christi is the only one who refused to resign, and is now out of there.

    I doubt they will try another season but if they do, it will be without Christi and Chloe. And for all the maddyites who love to shout “Christi is in it for the money” (like the others don’t get paid) her refusal to resign proves just who the fame/money whores are – jill. holly, and obviously melissa.

  7. I have watched Dance Mom’s since day 1. Abby has turned into a cold, hard, calculating and sometimes abusive instructor. I feel so bad for those little girls, loving the art of dance so much that they and their mom’s are willing to put up with the emotional and verbal abuse from a woman who seems to lack empathy, heart, compassion and genuine concern for all her students not jut 1. I for one would not subject my child to that torture any longer. No dancers like these girls and there is no show for Miss Abby. She can be replaced. Then I wonder if there would be tears in her pillow. She acts like Hitler for God’s sake. Her only passion is the trophy’s won and the money for lessons that she clearly is not totally attentive for all the girls. I think she is a poor instructor in that she does not know how to be good or nice to children or anyone for that matter. I think she is a nasty, mean, cold hearted woman who needs professional help… Just sayin’

  8. Holly looked ridiculous in this episode. I think Holly is amping up the drama so that she can remain relevant to the storyline. Nia is a lovely kid, and a good dancer, but clearly she is the weakest dancer among all the girls. Holly knows this so is super defensive and, yes, jealous.

  9. Once again I am appalled and feel sick to my stomach over Abby’s treatment of everyone who isn’t Maddie. Abby has set up each win for Maddie by giving her the best choreography (the proof being Kendall’s win when she got to do Maddie’s number. Kendall is a great little dancer, but she isn’t better than Chloe, but she beat Chloe that week because Abby gave Chloe horrific choreography thereby insuring Kendall’s win). I think that Abby’s horrible treatment of Chloe has gone ‘underground’ in that she rarely says anything ‘bad’ about Chloe because so many people have expressed their feelings that once Chloe is gone they will quit watching (me too on that one). I think that Chloe isn’t even taking classes from Abby anymore and that she just comes for the show (starting with the pyramid) and because of that Abby can say stuff like, “Chloe doesn’t even come to rehearsal’s and that’s why she’s not up to snuff anymore” (forgetting that Chloe won first place just a few weeks ago and got 6th place because of her crappy choreography…oh by the way…that 6th was ‘overall’…Chloe actually won in her own devision, but they will never show that).

    As for the horrific thing she said about Nia…well…maybe now we have some insight into why Abby thinks that these girls can stand up to their mothers and somehow manage to get to class and to competitions without their mothers. Abby truly believes that a 12 year old is an adult and no longer a child, so she can say any horrible thing that she likes. It is glaringly obvious that since Abby has never been a mother, she just doesn’t get that 12 is still a child. 13 is still a child. Abby used to never be as bad as she has gotten. There was this fine line of trying to keep the fact that she punished the girls for their mother’s transgressions a deep, dark secret. Abby now seems to believe that her own ‘popularity’ gives her the right to do whatever the heck she pleases and to heck with anyone who disagrees. Everyone is replaceable…remember? So…once Chloe is gone…so are all of us. The end.

  10. I have been reading the comments here and on other sites about this show for awhile now, and finally I am going to try to bring some fresh air to this b*tch fest. Look, these kids have danced with Abby since they were toddlers; the moms aren’t new to her methods. At this point, all their grousing truly does just make them look jealous of an 11 year old girl. Even the other girls don’t mack on Maddy. Why on earth are their mothers doing it? At this point it just looks desperate. And Holly going off the deep end is the height of absurdity. The white board was a terrible idea; Chloe asked her mom to take it down but, as usual, her loud-mouthed mother was more interested in her own feelings than her daughters’. That goes for the rest of them, too. These moms have somehow decided they are better teachers than the teacher they hired and, in addition, that any “new” moms must be smashed and ridiculed should they dare step into their rarefied loft. They did the same thing with Kristy Ray, and her kid now has her own show. So much for their superiority.

    • S Klein – Have you watched the early seasons? In the first season or two, Abby was tough on the girls but fair. She seemed to really care about the success of all the girls. Yes she singled out Maddie as the “best thing since sliced bread” but she also complimented the other girls and gave them constructive criticism….not screaming, yelling or ignoring them. I remember the really nice converstion she had with Chole back at the end of season 1 when she was struggling with confidence. The last couple seasons she has gone way beyond constructive criticism and into personal insults, belittling and destructive comments while fawning over Maddie like she is the best dancer to ever live….which is a bit embarrassing to watch.

      Somewhere I read that Abby is Maddie and Mackenzie’s manager…which would explain her behavior towards Maddie. As her manager she want to make sure Maddie always looks perfect…or at least seems perfect. She makes sure she has great choreography in a dance style that suits her best (lyrical, tap or musical theatre).

      I don’t think that the other moms were dumping/hating on Maddie just because they point out the differences between Abby’s behavior towards Maddie and the other girls. I personally get tired of everyone (Melissa included) assuming that all the moms are jealous or hating on Maddie whenever they point out the inconsistencies or the harshness. Melissa keeps her mouth shut because it is not her daughter being torn apart.

    • Were you even paying attention? The point they were trying to make was that Abby builds Maddie up and tears all of the other girls down. She has gone past constructive criticism to being absolutely hateful. They have all known this for a while, but it’s much different seeing it in writing.

  11. I have watched the Dance Moms from almost the beginning. I love watching the girls and how they have developed their talent. It makes me half sick to see how Abby belittles the girls. I am particularly fond of Chloe and what Abby has done to her is unforgivable. It is painfully obvious that Abby always gives Maddy the best choreographed dances which are always designed to beat everyone on her team. I’m sad too for all the other girls because I believe that they would excel at competition if they were given the same opportunities as Maddy. I love watching the girls. I hate having to see Abby on the same show. I surely do wish that they could find a better way to develop their dancing skills.

    • I was especially disappointed in Giana (Gia???? Can’t ever remember her name….). When she told the girls their moms were rude to Abby I was shocked. That was a flat out lie. Abby was horrible to Holly and when she realized she was being called out for being wrong, she retaliated by kicking the girls in the teeth. At least it wasn’t just Chloe they treated like dirt this time. The way Abby spoke to and about Chloe and Kendall in class, with Giana/Gia looking on and showing full agreement and approval was awful. Once Chloe and Christi leave, I’m out, too. Just 3 more episodes….

      • I completely agree with you, but I think we need to remember – Abby holds Gianna’s employment in her hands, she’s threatened to fire her if Gia crosses Abby or goes against her wishes. I think Gia cares about the girls but knows she’d be out of a job if she stuck up for them. It’s a shame, she’s a great teacher and choreographer in her own right.

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