We’re only three episodes into Season 5 and the Christi/Kelly conflict seems years away, doesn’t it, Dance Moms nation? Especially considering Holly’s meltdown(s) last week. Surprisingly, Melissa (looking at the floor and cleaning her teeth with her tongue) actually pipes up right out of the gate to find out how “Holl” is after last week’s “you’re only promoting three kids” throwdown. At least we got Melissa to look away from Abby’s-ass-kissing the cue cards, now we just need to work on her, “I care/I’m empathetic” voice.
Holly, the moral pillar of our program, starts off the show in her nasal-iest whiny-voice and tries to explain why conflict resolution is the way to go — and here comes the queen of conflict.
Humble Holly asks for a Mom Meeting before the girls come in to discuss last week’s competition. Jill thinks that’s a fine idea. Melissa’s body language promptly shifts into an, “I swear Abby; I am not a part of this!” Abby shuts it down with a nice, loud “No” and I don’t blame her! Call and make an appointment if you need some therapy, Mamas.
Before we get to pyramid, Abby feels compelled to reiterate that she knows what she is doing even if everyone else picks it apart. So eyes on Abby, everyone. Ignore your harping mothers.
After quick congrats for the group dance win, Abby says we’re heading to in10sity Dance in Jersey. Well, most of us. The chosen one has some charity gig in L.A. with Sia this week and won’t be available for her team — but we need to think of it as her blazing the trail for ALDC L.A. And anyways — here’s the new headshots! The girls hug and squeal.
Is it just me or does anyone else realize that Kendall gives far more insightful interviews than her mother? Kendall tries to explain Abby’s “rude” behavior and let us all know that “she knows what she’s doing” I hope you think that the next time you’re crying and running for the door, Miss Kendall!
Pyramid time. Bottom: Kendall, because of course. “What? Why?” Jill, seriously, have you absolutely no intellectual recall whatsoever? Holly helpfully explains that everybody cries sometimes. Next up is Kalani for placing fourth overall. Sorry Kira, but this was your girl’s big chance to show her stuff against Maddie and it didn’t go so well. Nia is next — second week in a row, Abby has nothing but compliments for her. Humble Holly, shows her appreciation via an eye roll. Mackenzie is next for doing a great job of jumping up and falling down really well in the group. And top of pyramid is, of course, Maddie, even though she took second place. (But remember — Eva and her mom rigged it) Abby says that’s OK, because it’s good to get beat once in a while.
Jill decides to compete with Holly for Best Eye Roll and wins.
This week’s group routine is about religion diversity (cue scrunched-up mom faces). But enough about that…SOLOS!
Mack gets the usual Acro Jazz routine — but Abby reminds her that if you don’t do it Abby’s way, this could be your last solo ever! Who’s next? Someone who understands character and never, ever cries to Mommy. The camera lingers lovingly on Nia’s photo and Holly un-smushes her face into a glowing pride because obviously Abby is talking about … JoJo with the BowBow from Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition! What?! Woot! I seriously love this kid; she’s hilarious and talented! And what in the hell is that top she wearing?
Of course JoJoBowBow can’t help herself: “Do you think I could be the next Chloe?” she burbles. The Pitt Crew moms groan and gasp, but Abby, unfazed, gives her usual spiel about working hard and anyone can replace anyone! Well, anyone except Maddie. Bam!
The mothers barely get their butts parked in the Mom Loft before Jill just has to ask Jessalyn what her intentions are by being here. Just in case Jess lives under a rock, Jill clarifies that it is Maddie who gets preferential treatment. Melissa keeps nervously froofing her hair. Doh! She’s nervous! Last week Kalani was up against Maddie, this week JoJo is up against Maddie. Somebody needs a Xanax!
The Abby asks JoJo to improvise to prove to the rest of the girls what is so special about her. But the mothers are too busy circling the fresh meat in the mom loft to notice much. BowJo’s inability to filter any thought that comes into her head is clearly the apple that doesn’t fall from the Jess. Jess has a fake confidence that I could smell a mile away; unfortunately, Jill cannot. Jill’s going to show her, yes sir! In typical Jill fashion, she points out the obvious: JoJo is NOT a member of the ALDC so why should she get a solo — much less be able to dance with the team at all!
Maybe Jill should do these recaps.
But Jess nips back and dangles the 14K carrot, “You guys are going to L.A. right?” she wonders. Blam… the moms can’t help themselves: “Yes.” Jess informs them that her JoJo has the L.A. look. “Pfft!” says Jill. Bottle of peroxide, rhinestones, bows … so not the ALDC, honey. I’m Jill and I know how things work around here; you, interloper, do not.
Group routine “Something to Believe In” is liturgical: Each girl is playing a different ‘religion’: Catholic Nun (Mack), Hare Krishna (Kendall), High Priestess (Nia), Muslim (JoJo), and Hindi (Kalani) — God (Maddie) will sadly not be there. Abby wants the girls to understand differences and “embody something that she is not” — something she feels is important to learn before they head for L.A.
Hate her all you want, but I think Abby’s routines are thoughtful and always have a purpose in extending the girls’ skills.
Holly’s smush face is back and she feels the need to go on a gentle “disappointment in Abby” rant. But Jess is no dummy! She jumps on that like a kangaroo avoiding a crevasse and says the moms are lucky to have Abby in their kids’ corners! Melissa (looking at knees…was the cue card guy sick?) opts not to get into it. Jill throws down, Jill style: random, obvious, and poor, poor Kendall.
Smelling weakness, Jess keeps pushing Holly’s tantrum button and we have a middle school back-and-forth between 14-year-old versions of Holly and Jess.
Kira is awfully quiet this week.
Because nothing is more inspirational to a child than being told another child is better than you, JoJo is summoned to Mack’s solo practice and instructed to give Mack her bow. Mack grins. Melissa does this.
Up in the Mom Loft, Melissa fidgets and Jill suddenly switches sides, pointing out that JoJo is a cute kid and oh well if she makes Mack nervous.
Even though Jessalyn says they came here to stay, I wouldn’t bet on JoJo sticking around for too long — Abby just gave the baby Bette Midler a lyrical solo. She wants to see if the devil child can be an angel when she has to. Or not. That lasts about 5 seconds until Abby realizes that this is possibly the most ridiculous thing she has ever concocted and just like that JoJo gets a bouncy jazz routine. The moms are astounded that JoJo gets a JoJo routine and I want to shake them. It benefits YOUR children, too, when ALDC doesn’t put a joke onto the stage. She’s not being sassy — she’s taking ownership! Jessalyn says its because she really cares about JoJo. Melissa gives the hair flip of rage.
But God forbid we have a competition without a lyrical piece from the ALDC. Quick! Go get … SARAH! Enter everyone’s favorite mom of all: Christie. Jessalyn says you usually see a woman like that at the thrift shop or the hotdog stand or NASCAR races, not a dance studio. Ugh. I can think of few people fiction or real that give me the visceral reaction that I get when Christie is a part of an episode. But the Pitt Crew Moms seemed relieved to let Christie do the smack talking with Jessalyn.
In the Dancers’ Den, JoJo and Mack talk about their favorite dance styles and Mack says she’s really an advanced tapper. Following in Maddie’s footsteps.
Also she is not the least bit nervous about anything.
Kalani – who has even more experience with JoJo than anyone given their AUDC background — says JoJo is nuts.
Up in the Mom Loft, Christie and Jessalyn continue to trade insults, which Jill says gives her a headache. You love it, Jill. You know you love it.
Then it comes time to rehearse the group dance and all the mothers are momentarily distracted by the idea that the routine might make people think they are dissing their religion. Abby tells Nia she is the Maddie of the routine and that if the routine fails, it’s all her fault. Use your face, child. Be regal.
Then we get a peek at Maddie’s rehearsal for her Hollywood Bowl performance with Sia. Maddie says she has never performed in front of 17,000 people before and she’s bummed that every time she does a “Sia thing,” Melissa is always home with Mackenzie. She calls her Other Mother, Abby instead, who takes the opportunity to slam Maddie’s teammates during the conversation. Maddie doesn’t bite. She wishes them all good luck and says she misses them.
Come competition time, Abby is nowhere to be found, leaving Gia in charge. Gia says Abby is New York, but Holly thinks she is really in L.A. supporting Maddie. Either way, she is not surprised. Praise for Melissa for having her priorities straight.
Jessalyn tells JoJo that this is “her big chance in life.” That’s right, kid. Once you hit 12, it’s all down hill. Melissa tells Mack she believes in her. Gia says whatever happens happens.
JoJo’s solo suits her and she says Abby knows that she is a Hollywood star.
Just as Mack comes onstage, Abby sneaks into her seat and Jess feels the need to lean over and whisper to Abby that JoJo worked hard and they are very disappointed by her absence. Christie says get over it. (News flash Christie, your kid is at the same status as JoJo here. I wouldn’t be so smug.)
Mack performs just fine and we get to experience the collection of Melissa’s 1.000 dance mom faces.
In the dressing room, after some fussing from Holly and Jess, Abby lets everyone know that she was en route from her court date ,which is why she was late (don’t we feel badly now, moms?). When the girls come in, miss JoJo just can’t keep it shut. “I killed it,” she burbles. “Since I’m your guest, like, do you feel sad that you didn’t get to see my solo?” Abby response, “No.” To Jess, “You are creating a monster.” Not-so-humble-Holly reminds us all that apple’s don’t fall far. Even if the tree is big.
The group number is a little strange, but kind of moving and the dancers do fine — maybe not their best, but fine.
Sarah wins the really tiny people category with her JoJo/Maddie replacement lyrical piece. It makes Abby do this.
JoJo takes third in the junior division. UhOH JoJo! Mack is back! She takes first (Boom!).
The group takes second place. Abby. Can’t. Stand. Being. Second. They blew it. And they know it. Maddie would have made the thing a winner.
Jess decides to cut Abby off (first mistake) saying, “By the way [Christie]…JoJo had 2 more points than Sarah. Death mistake. Finally Kira speaks: Bad comparison, Jess! JoJo is older and scored differently; you actually just made your kid look like a fool. Nicely done. Abby asks JoJo for her opinion and she happily gives it — truth hurts, people. (Nail in coffin).
When Abby takes the girls from the room to “properly thank the judges” — what?! — Holly decides to school Jess on dressing room etiquette and all hell breaks (predictably) loose. The ALDC moms decide to walk out, and Jess says they need to thicken their skins or L.A. will eat them alive. Holly says she’s from the Bronx, so she’s good. And classy. And out.
Next week on Dance Moms, Abby’s bangs get even taller and JoJo’s sass gets sassier.
New episodes of Dance Moms premiere Tuesdays at 9/8CT on Lifetime.