So we’re back in L.A. Dance Moms nation. Who else got a nice chuckle out of Jill’s “I kind of feel like we never left” remark? Given the amount of recycled footage you guys have pointed out — I really need to learn to pay attention better — who knows if we actually did.
But anyway, Jo Jo says L.A. is the best! Melissa says Mack went with Abby to look for studios the other day and it was so much fun!
The moms just hope the memories from this go-round are much more pleasant than those from last time, and Holly even goes so far as to hope we will be entirely drama-free. Holly clearly bumped her noggin hard on the overhead bins while getting off the plane from Pittsburgh.
Jill asks her if she plans to work on Nia’s music career while they’re out here. Holly says of course. So drama-free should last about 4.5 seconds.
Jill says the only reason she is happy to be back out here is because of Kendall’s music, too. Does everybody want to be a pop star now? And what does this say about our dance teacher? But Jill has placed Kendall’s musical dreams in Abby’s hands, so everyone light a candle for KendV.
Jill also says Abby promised that the whole focus of the trip is to make a music video for Kendall. The whole focus? That should last about no-point-zero seconds, too.
Let’s go be squatters at 3rd Street Dance.
Abby is all rejuvenated by the West Coast sun and rallies a group cheer. Jill throws in one of these. Holly is not about the hip bump.
Then Abby tells Kendall that her video will no longer be about a high-school band. Now it includes the armed forces. Kendall thinks that’s so cool. Jill thinks she’d like to see the contract now.
Abby says her attorney is stretched pretty thin — snort! — so she thinks they should just sally forth and deal with that whole contract business, you know, later or whatever. Just like that MattyB deal. Cause that worked out great.
Since we’re talking videos and contracts and all that stuff, Holly decides that now is as good a time as any to make sure everything is copacetic with Abby about Nia doing her video while she’s out here, too. Because when opportunities come along, Holly is going to take them.
Abby says she wants everyone to hear this: All that she asks is that when one of them there opportunity dealies comes along, you pick up the phone and you let Abby know. Because, people, this is the best friend you will ever have.
And with friends like this …
Pyramid time. Let’s just go ahead and rename it The Stack, because it hasn’t resembled a pyramid since I don’t know when.
Mack’s at the bottom. Awful tuck. Just awful.
Kalani, Nia and Kendall make up the middle row. They were all in the group and the group didn’t win.
Jill says it’s just because the Apples were better this one time.
Mack says this.
Good one, Abby’s little mouthpiece, just in case we didn’t see her Instagram about being forced to do the Spice Girls dance.
Abby goes on to say that her reputation is based solely on the success of her students, which heats up a Bonus-Size kettle of bullcrap that you already know backward and forward from 4.5 seasons of practice.
Jo Jo shares the top of the pyramid with Maddie. Abby says it doesn’t matter who wins as long as we win. Jessalyn, to her enormous credit, is amused.
This week, we’re headed back to New York Dance Experience, this time in Anaheim. In other words, another trip to the non-competition that Abby is still calling a competition. IS ANYTHING REAL ANYMORE?? If a girl can’t count on Dance Moms to be real, then what??
Kendall gets a solo called Waiting.
Despite Abby’s bluster and fluster about Nia never ever getting another solo ever again, she gets one called “Never Knew.”
So if there were any lingering doubts that this is not a career-making competition …
The group number is lyrical and called “Together We Stand,” because apparently Abby was inspired by the Stand Up group number that beat her last week or what? But unity … it’s a beautiful thing.
So here’s the deal. We’re going to rehearse for the next two days and then spend Friday at an acting workshop. And not just any acting workshop. An acting workshop with the Lovato you have never heard of — Dallas. Er, yaaaaay! I guess. One degree of Demi!
In the mom closet, we discuss what a Nicey McNicerson Abby is today — even to Holly. Holly wants to know why Jill is so Zen about the missing contract, though, and Jill says she and Abby have the same attorney so whatever. Besides, she doesn’t even know what should be in the contract to begin with. Way to get your money’s worth from you attorney, Jill. Also, do not look at Melissa about this stuff, man. Not her wheelhouse. Legally binding documents pertaining to your child’s future. Icky.
The other mothers think Jill’s nuts. And spineless.
Abby shows up and kicks the other mothers out of the room so she can talk documents with Jill. She says there will be a talent contract between Jill, as Kendall’s representative, and herself. There will. Sometime. But for now, shut up because she’s spent $57,000 on Kendall this month alone so just hush. Unless, that is, Jill is asking if Miss Abby would like her to fetch her some tea and victuals.
Scribbling notes furiously in a teeny notebook and realizing she has nothing that will appease Holly therein, Jill tries one more time for an ETA on a contract. Abby says Jill doesn’t need one because all she is putting up is her kid’s talent. Same goes from creative control. You just sit there and look pretty, honey. Put that pencil down.
The day has come for Nia to meet the director and choreographer of her video.
Oh. Mikey Minden.
Holly rifles off his impressive resume and then Mikey Minion gets to work demonstrating how this thing will shake out
Holly loves his energy.
She and Nia both love that Nia’s makeup artist will be Janet Jackson’s makeup artist.
Not only that, but hair guy does Katy Perry’s hair.
Abby says Kendall’s solo is called Waiting because she’s always waiting to be the star. And the mothers give Jill crap for still waiting on a contract. It will protect you, says Holly. She should know.
Nia’s solo is called Never Knew because Abby says it’s all like, “I never knew if I worked hard for something, the payoff could be so good.” Lori’s all like, that’s because there’s never any payoff for Nia period, so it’s a tough lesson to grab.
Let’s razz Jill some more.
Then we get a lecture about toeing the party line at tomorrow’s Dallas Lovato thingie and the competition that is not a competition. You mess up, Abby’s business is down the toilet. Got that, people?
Time for the Dallas Lovato Triple Threat Seminar Of I Keep Losing Gigs To Demi And Selena Gomez, But I’ve Learned Stuff From it. Maddie looks bored stiff.
Dallas wants the girls to think up a character and whisper it to her. OK, let’s improv. We’re vacationing at the Eiffel tower. So how would our character act?
Apparently Kalani picked a “retail sales associate,” which does not lend itself to much interpretation at all. She goes with, “Where can I find a crepe to eat beneath this architectural marvel?” Kendall as Katniss in Franceniss comes sweeping and asks the hungry sales associate to snap a picture of her. The sales associate doesn’t know how to use Katniss’ imaginary phone. Mackenzie the nerd is not much help. But she is tremendous comic relief.
Dallas calls end scene and gives Kendall-atniss crap about not behaving like her badass, futuristic character at all. The Retail Sales Associate gets no feedback. Since Mack killed the exercise, she gets to pick the fate of the next three actresses.
Urban Diva Nia saunters all chill to her imaginary seat, sits down and puts on her imaginary Beatz.
Oh good God. Jo Jo picked an elderly Korean woman. This will not be racially offensive AT ALL. Apparently Jo Jo has been taking Korean lessons — KOREAN LESSON?? — so she gets the “hello” linguistically accurate, not that anyone else would know it.
All that getting inside Sia’s head has apparently rubbed off on Maddie who picks this.
The Korean grandma gets handsy with the girl who hates herself and Maddie grumps “Stop” and that’s the end of the scene, which Dallas, for some reason, thinks was great.
Dallas says Nia has to jump harder into that good subway. Adorable Jo Jo needs to work harder on her R’s even if she was speaking Korean and mock Korean … and oh God how did my job turn into this?
Then Dallas dares ask Maddie if she is tired and Maddie gives her a chilly look that says “I have done videos with Sia and the Grammys and Saturday Night Live and you have done Snowflake, the White Gorilla” before offering a clipped no. Dallas is undeterred. Sparkle, Girl Who Hates Herself, says Dallas. Uh … what? But she hates herself. Girls who hate themselves don’t sparkle. I think this may explain Snowflake, the White Gorilla.
A little more entirely generic acting advice for all and class dismissed.
Then Abby rattles on some more about proving that the ALDC is a winning organization at the competition that is not a competition. But I’m still happy about it, because Rachelle Rak!! Not nearly enough Rachelle Rak, but any Rachelle Rak is better than no Rak at all.
Pep talks that don’t mention the word “win” from the moms and then Nia goes first.
It’s a cool, slinky, jazzy solo and Nia works it.
Judge No. 1 says Nia is powerful, but she needs to learn to be soft. Judge No. 2 says the power worked for him. Hey. Where’s Rachelle?
Kendall goes next. It’s a typical Kendall solo and Kendall does it with typical Kendall panache — I so love to watch this kid dance.
Judge No. 1 liked her opening sequence. Rachelle wants her to give more at the performance level.
A little mama drama about contracts to fill the time while we get ready to dance the group dance. Then Abby asks the girls what they think a lot of money is. Maddie says a cool mil. Jo Jo says $100K. What’s the point? The point is their success is money in Abby’s pocket. Never mind their own careers. This is about getting other children into Abby’s coffers, er studio, so that when your Dance Moms contracts are up, Abby lives on.
It’s a beautiful dance, beautifully danced. Rachelle just wishes they would have looked at each other to display their unity. Judge No. 1, too.
Come awards time, we all get down to Kendall’s new song, which is totes adorbs and actually unites the Pitt Crew in a cheery moment of boogie. Jill says the fact that they are playing it proves Abby’s love.
Nia gets third in her division.
Kendall wins hers.
Yes, I know. No one won anything, but just go with it.
Abby says they can’t win anything but first place. Well, yes, that is correct because no one can win anything, including first place, but for the sake of the episode …scream and shout, they did it.
Back in the get-ready, Nia is feeling her oats and when Abby says they have to get her placement up, she offers this …
Good a place as any to end, you ask me.
Next week, the battle of the videos begins and Erin Babbs is back.
New episodes of Dance Moms premiere Tuesday nights at 9/8CT on Lifetime.