First of all, Dance Moms nation, I’m sorry for botching the blog post six ways from Sunday last week. Bad case of the donna-mos, I guess. I’m back on track, I swear.
We open with Gia at the front desk greeting dancers and mothers, including Ashlee and Brynn. Yay! Ashlee’s back! Ain’t that right, Jill?
Everyone’s in shades of green as we gather for pyramid and Abby’s bangs are in fine form…because I know you’d want to know.
Bottom of the bottom is Nia, because her dance was dumb and Abby’s knows it and that wasn’t Nia’s fault. Then Jo Jo, who didn’t stand out in the group routine. Abby says that’s a good thing, though. Rounding out row three is Mack and she gets a compliment to go with her crummy placement, too — way to grasp the choreography, young’un.
Row two begins with Kendall. It’s her birthday AND Abby thinks her solo was outstanding. Then some nonsense about staying the age that Maddie isn’t that everyone looks bored with. Next is Maddie, who has mastered her poker face this season. It’s probably the “I’ve got Sia and I don’t need you” face, but apples to apples, I say.
Kalani gets top of the pyramid. Her solo was the highest scorer of the day.
This week, we’re going to Sheer Talent in Wayne, New Jersey, which everyone seems excited about — until Abby mentions that Cathy and the Apples will be there, too. Holly says it’s weird that they’ve seen so little of her, so something is sure to go down.
Maddie gets the first solo because, one, we are going up against Cathy and, two, because the “Chandelier” video got nominated for four Grammys. Well, not quite, Abby. “Chandelier” the song got nominated for three Grammys and the video for one, but there’s no arguing that Maddie made that thing mesmerizing.
Abby’s so excited that she’s going to the Grammys! Except for one teensy problem.
<chortle> Atta girl. No wonder your mom is sucking her teeth so much these days.
The next solo goes to Brynn. It’s called “Diamond in the Rough” because that’s what Abby thinks Brynn is. She just needs a little ALDC polishin’.
The group dance will be called “Dance in the Rain.” Because we can’t wait for the storm to pass. We dance in the rain. Because the rain never stops when Abby Lee Miller is your Mother Nature, children.
Oh and one more thing. Mackenzie and Nia are both national title winners at Sheer Talent, so put your crown and your banner in your suitcase because you get to wear them when you hand out trophies … to other dancers. Abby wonders why Nia isn’t smiling. If she can’t smile about this, she shouldn’t ask to compete for another title.
Oh fer God’s sake, says Holly (who either has something weird going on with her hair or has a power cord coming out of her head these days).
The kid is just standing there! Enough with the nitpicking! Even Melissa nods along. It gets the moms excused into the dancers den, where we talk about how unfair Abby is to Nia. Brynn didn’t smile either when she got a solo, so what’s up with that?
Oh haaaayyyyyy, Welcome to Ohio sign! Where you been, my roadside bestie?!
At the home of the Apples, Cathy tells her dancers that she’s been observing the ALDC carefully and their trip to L.A. didn’t go so well. Ain’t that right, Erin Babbs, who is standing beside her, ready to bust out some Abby-beating West Coast choreo.
Nuh-unh, says Abby. She has dancers at Radio City Music Hall and group dance choreography that’s feminine and pretty because that’s what wins. Unless Nia screws it up.
Up in the Mom Loft, Ashlee wants to know if Abby’s attitude toward Nia is still about the Aubrey O’Day Recording Artist thing and the Pitt Crew moms say pretty much. Holly says she isn’t sorry one bit, but she IS sick of fighting. Jill asks if that means Hol would have a little peacemaking chat with Abby?
When we come back from commercial, Abby is talking to Brynn and Maddie about competing with each other and Maddie admits she’s the nervous one because of Brynn’s technique. Melissa cackles from on high.
Brynn’s solo looks a lot like a Maddie solo and she is a well-behaved little soldier like Maddie, too. The other mothers tell Ashlee not to get too excited about the effusive praise because everyone has had a honeymoon phase — and everyone has seen what happens next. Ash wonders if they’re just feeling threatened. Jess says au contraire —she’s tickled Brynn is there, because new toys make Abby happy and she’ll lay off Jo Jo now.
Jill handles the obligatory “why does the new kid get a solo” spiel, so we can get that out of the way and move on. To Abby telling Ashlee that God made Brynn special. However. If she goes to the competition as Abby’s next big thing and screws up, she’ll face the wrath of God — whoops, nope, the other mothers.
And we’re back in Ohio, where Erin Babbs’ group routine, “Torn,” requires McKenzie Morales to dance with the world’s largest taupe bedspread tied around her waist. Or maybe it’s a drop cloth. Did we paint recently?
Cathy says the concept of the dance is good versus evil, because, you know. But her dancers aren’t stepping up, Lucas especially. Brigette says that’s because he thinks Cathy favors the Morales family. Cathy says whatever it takes to win, man — especially against Abby. Tell your kid to toughen up and be a team player.
Back in Pittsburgh, the dancers are wondering about Nia’s absence and Maddie says she feels like the thing between Abby and Holly has gone on for far too long. Kalani says, yeah, and it must suck to have your dance teacher be constantly mean to you because of something your mom did. Maddie says it’s reaching Christi/Chloe proportions. We get a little look back at Christi telling truth, and Maddie says she gets it, but if you mess with Abby, nothing goes well. Ever.
Oh oh. Looks like someone found out she’s not going to the Grammys.
Abby is suddenly fretful that Maddie has too many irons in the fire and isn’t focused on the most important thing in the world, which is beating Cathy. She even yells at the kid in front of the other dancers. She yells at Maddie.
Then she says that Brynn has everything Maddie doesn’t — the legs, the feet, the flexibility. Am I awake?
<rewind, rewind, rewind>
Yes, she really said that.
<rewind, rewind, rewind>
She said that about Maddie.
<rewind, rewind, rewind>
About Maddie Maddie.
Someone hold me. I’m scared. And I’m not the only one.
Hang in there, kid. This is almost over, I promise.
Let’s see what’s shaking in the Mom Loft. We’re hazing Ashlee is what’s going on. The Pitt Crew moms say it’s very nice that Abby thinks Brynn is straight from the hands of Jesus, but ain’t no way on Earth that she’s going to let her Maddie get beat. Even if she’s being a meanie right now.
Ashlee, who is a whole lot less ballsy than she was in L.A. with Tracey by her side and gossip in her pocket, looks entirely unsure of what’s going on. Or what she should say. Or … what.
Meanwhile, the group dance is a hot mess.
Moving on, the mothers decide that if we’re bringing Ashlee with us, we may as well help her survive, and begin prepping her for her first experience with Cathy.
And it’s time to head to Wayne, where screaming throngs — and Cathy — await.
Heeeeey, wait just a minute! Shenanigans! I call Shenanigans! We’re recycling screamers. This kid was in Woodbridge in episode 6. Wearing that. Standing next to those guys wearing that. I know because she was my favorite part of the episode.
I’m all for a second look at little miss sunshine, but c’mon editors. Lazy. Can someone look in the editor room and make sure someone’s still in there?
Cathy has a white fur coat, Jackie O shades and a megaphone for the occasion. Erin looks a little embarrassed to be part of the proceedings, but Abby is clearly annoyed. And it gets worse. Cathy follows the Pitt Crew into the ALDC get-ready and when Abby bumps into her megaphone, trying to escape, Cathy bellows like she coldcocked her.
With Cathy hollering and pointing in her wake, Abby tears off her mic pack and makes a break for it, saying that she’s done. She’s not done. She comes back saying that she won’t give Cathy the satisfaction of running her out of the competition. But another Apple lurks — Brigette, coming to offer her good wishes. (Abby isn’t about boy dancers, Brigette. Don’t waste your time.) Cathy comes to collect her little runaway and say no-no!
Lucas feels about it like this.
I miss Victor and Angel, too, Lucas. A lot.
Maddie’s up first. The dance and lyrics are clearly designed to ring Chandelier-ian bells, but Abby scowls and says her star’s training has suffered for all the frittering here and there.
Brynn’s next. Jill says Abby stacked the dances in her favor. Could be. Lots of moves to make the most of Brynn’s long legs, grace and ouchie-ouchie-ouchie flexibility, but she still kinda looks like a little kid out there.
One more year and she is going to be a marvel.
Come group dance time, a twenty-something dude in a hoodie and construction boots appears, running through the dancers and looking like he’s trying to avoid the cameras. Oh. Cathy says it’s Abby’s new boyfriend.
That guy? Is he even old enough to drink? Did his mom drop him off here? Cathy tries to get him to talk it over, but he can’t seem to decide if he wants to be on camera or not.
Cathy has a poem about it:
He is young
and he is hot.
What’s he doing
with that snot?
Come group dance time, Dance in the Rain goes first. It’s very pretty and they dance it beautifully, but there’s nothing terribly original about it. Abby says it was poetry, so there.
Newfangled, fancy-pants, West Coast choreography and costumes have never worked too well for Cathy back here in the Abby Belt, so let’s see if this time’s the charm.
Hmmm. It’s a lot of waving Mckenzie’s even-bigger-now dress — like parachute time in grade school gym class — and trying to wrangle it and get it the hell out of the way at the end. Loads of showmanship. I’m not sure how much dance, especially on behalf of the boys.
Pretty cool, Holly says. She’s worried. But we’ve been worried before. Let’s see how this thing turns out.
Abby’s back on Maddie’s side come results time. Abby says Brynn’s green but has plenty of potential.
Brynn gets second.
Maddie gets first. Mack in her tiara and sash hands her sister her prize.
The announcer sounds like a junior Lawrence Welk.
Cathy lips off in an aside, so you know she’s going to lose. And she does.
Abby says she should just quit trying.
Out in the hall, the Candy Apple moms are good sports. “Your dance was nice,” Melissa says when Cathy comes strolling up, but Jill insitigates. Where’s the megaphone? she wonders.
Let the sniping begin. Same stuff as usual, except we seem to have a traitor in the ranks. Clearly looking for an exit route, Brigette stands up to Cathy and gets herself and Lucas thrown off the team. Except I’m pretty sure they were leaving anyway.
Mama Traina tells Lucas he should go back in there and tell Cathy he planned to quit before she cut him loose. Lucas says this.
You tell ’em, little brother.
Cut back to a constipated-looking Cathy.
Click click click click …whose heels could it possibly be?
“It’s not very nice, but I did it anyway,” says Jill. That’s how I feel about every one of these recaps, honey.
Though Brynn did well, Abby says she and her mother need to go home and get their ducks in a row. The little dancer looks pleased as punch with that.
Mack just has one question. How did this thing get here?
Let baby sister show you how it’s done.
Next week on Dance Moms, let’s make the kids be the bad guys and it’s moms versus moms until Holly walks out. Again.
So what say you, Dance Moms nation? Happy to have the Apples back in the spirit of the devil you know? Do you think Brynn is the heir apparent to Maddie or another one-ep wonder? What did you think of “Torn” — too awesome or too much drama? And what about Abby’s boooooooyfriend? Sound off in the comments section below.
New episodes of Dance Moms premiere Tuesday nights at 9/8CT on Lifetime.