Dance Moms Season 5 episode 19 recap: I got 99 problems (but this itch ain’t one)

dance-moms-abby-itchy-nose-2 Lori Acken

Well that was a short-lived respite, wasn’t it Dance Moms nation? What did everyone do with their Lonely Tuesday? According to Lifetime, tonight’s is actually episode 517, but I’ve done 18 recaps even before this bugger — and not counting the specials —  so if everyone could kindly just march along to the beat of my episode-count drummer so we all stay on the same parade route, I’d be grateful. We cool? Good.

So anyway, ALDC L.A. starts today! Well, kind of. Everyone is in L.A. , but we’re still squatting at 3rd St. Dance. Jill says Abby is a big fibber. Three trips west. Zero studio. The hell?

Before we head inside, Holly thanks everyone for coming to Nia’s Aussie performance, and Melissa points out that now it’s Kendall’s turn.

Inside, Abby’s a’waiting. And she has just revealed the source of her superpowers.


You guys, I’m serious.
She needs them.


Where are they?


That’s a new cookie. She just bought that.
You stay away from that, Melissa.


So are we having rehearsal or is she cleaning out her purse, wonders Holly. Abby says, well, she likes Holly’s earrings, if she’s so eager to move it along.

Ha! Abby made a funny.


Low blood sugar, Abby. Eat the cookie.
Even if it does taste like quarters.

Holly says L.A. does not bring out the best in Abby; it brings out the crazy.
And the itchy nose.


The really itchy nose.
The super, ultra itchy nose.


And it’s contagious. Just ask Jill.


Pyramid time. Jill wants to know what it’s based on, Australia or what? Abby says yes, Australia. This should be good.

Bottom of the bottom is Kalani for taking me-time. That she didn’t want. That Abby says she sanctioned.

Then JoJo. Too hoppy at the Astras.
Mack rounds it out. Not working hard enough.
Whoa. No Nia. Am I awake? *pinch* Yes. Awake.

Row two starts with Kendall. She did good. So. That.
There’s Nia. Abby offers her congratulations. Had to go to a cocktail party instead, but you know. Good job.

Top of the top is Maddie, even though she biffed it at the Astras. Abby gives her credit for wanting to include her entire team at the performance — which we punctuate with a hilariously misguided clip of Maddie nodding at the other dancers and telling reporters that even those guys listen to Sia’s music. Oh, poor Maddie. What this show does to you.

This weekend we are headed to Energy Dance. Well, we not including Abby. ’Nother cocktail party, Ab? Nope. Abby blames contractor drama. The mothers pout.

The group dance will be called “Shame On You,” but Abby’s not tellin’ how come. So much more fun when it’s a secret. The worst kept one ever, but let us humor you.

Solos go to Kalani, Nia and Kendall.

Oh, and Kendall’s video is going to premiere tomorrow night, too, Jill says this is why Abby is Kendall’s manager. Such huge announcements … in front of 12 entire people.

In the mom closet, the ladies discuss how unprofessional it is of Abby to not show up for the competition. Let’s go gang up on her. That always goes swell.

Abby will not attend this competition. This is America and therefore she does not have to. I Dream of Gisoni did not realize that “optional attendance of dance competition” is in the “America” contract.


The next day, the mothers are still pouty and Abby cares predictably much. She’s been at her new studio and also, she’s ready for the big reveal about why the group dance is called what it is. Like there is a single one of us who didn’t know it in the first place.

But let’s play along.
See, we’re a team. But we have a traitor.

See? Traitor.



And the traitor has a mother.
Who has looked like this through 97.83% of this season.


And the traitor is not going to take the title lying down, because she’s bad-ass Nia Sioux now!


Oh yeah? Well Abby wasn’t invited to your recording studio thingie either, so there. Where were we?

So we have a traitor and she’s all trying to get the other girls to come over to the dark side. Why are we doing this? Because Nia’s 13 now. She should be able to sabotage better opportunities all by herself. Or something. Whatever.

Holly says shame on Abby instead. Not going to get the Fraziers down, no ma’am. Nia has the opportunity to take the lead in the group dance and she’ll take the rest for what it’s worth.

Kendall’s solo is called “Just An Illusion.” Abby thinks she’s terribly clever for coming up with it. Also she wants to stab Kendall in the heel with a needle.

The pressure and exhaustion start to get to Kendall, whose lips begin to tremble. Abby bellows. Jill asks Kendall to suck it up. Kendall does. She is allowed to live to the premiere.


Kendall! Kendall! Kendall! And the crowd goes wild.
Now everyone remember — little girls should look like little girls in their videos.


dance-moms-kendall-video-2 dance-moms-kendall-video-3

Don’t get me wrong. I think the song is cute as a button and Kendall is adorable in the video and I’m proud as punch of our girl. But it was no less mature than Nia’s. So Abby owes Nia one of about 9 million apologies for the diss. Also, hi Payton.

Speaking of maturity — Nia congratulates Kendall on drawing a larger crowd than she did to her video premiere. Kendall gathers the team and says they’re all sisters. That, people, is how you do maturity.



Nia gets to wear two masks in her solo, Master of Disguise, because that should be comfortable. The mothers talk about how it’s another phrase for two-faced and Abby really needs to let it go. Or stick It in her purse. That should be sufficient enough to lose It for good.


Rounding out a trifecta of message dances is Kalani’s solo, “Unbeauty.” In other words, stop relying on your looks. Be pretty on the inside. And smart. Holly says, whatever … the deck is stacked … Abby knows who she wants to win. Doesn’t she aways.

Meanwhile, Abby is “Unorganized.” Can we dance about that?

Remember, potential ALDC LA participants. This would be how your business owner handles her affairs. The mothers have a good laugh about it.

Time to head to Valley High School for the competition … in a slightly less swanky ride than our tricked-out bus of yore.


True to her promise, Abby is not there, but Jessalynn says that just gives them the opportunity to prove that they aren’t nothing without Abby. Everyone certainly looks more relaxed.

Nia looks like this.

Enjoy your nightmares, little children.

So Kalani has a costume. Nia has a costume ..ish. Where’s Kendall’s costume? Gia doesn’t know. But no costume, no prop, no dance. Short-lived glory for poor Kendall.

Ladies and gentlemen, Justin Timberlake.


Kalani is pretty in pink and graceful as a swan. The dance is particularly lovely. But it wasn’t Unbeauty. To wit:


Oh well. No Abby, so pfffft.

Not practicing with her masks comes back to haunt Nia instantly when the first one goes sailing on her as soon as she begins to move.

It’s a weird dance. Nothing more to say. But Nia takes the whole mess in stride.


Dancy McSwitcherson hears you, lady.


And props to you both for getting the job done, regardless.

Back in the get-ready, the mothers wonder how they can trust Abby when she can’t even provide the basics — adequate practice time, proper costumes, props.

Thankfully, the group dance is pretty much flawless. So booyah!



Awards time.
To her massive credit, Nia gets fifth.
Kalani gets first for her improv-ed beauty.
The group dance wins, too.

“Who wants to call Abby — Maddie, I vote you!” jokes Jill. OK, Kalani, you do it, instead.
So that’s handled. What should we do next? I know! Let’s call back with excuses!






And  blow your streaming nose for you?




Abby said “groin.”



And also, the dog ate Kendall’s costume.
And Abby needs an accountant. And Abby-time. And …



Next week on Dance Moms, Maddie’s new Sia video gets the usual reception, we get a guest choreographer and the West Coast crazy train chugs onward.

So what say you, Dance Moms nation? It was a farce from start to finish, but ya gotta admit it was pretty funny to watch. Where do you think Abby was really? Were you happy to see the moms all playing nice for a change? Did you like Kendall’s video? Will you rub my leg cramp and fetch me a tissue? Can I see what’s in your purse? Sound off in the comments section below.

New episodes of Dance Moms air Tuesday nights at 9/8CT on Lifetime.


1 Comment

  1. Three points: I have a permanent disability permit without a visible disability. I also have a sticker on my car that says “Not all disabilities are visible”. I’m delighted to find that Abby souvenired a A$20 bill, not that you can buy an awful lot with one. And thirdly, “rooting” in Australia has an entirely different meaning and is not to be used when discussing teenagers and younger children! I had hoped that the ALDC and fans might have imported the more acceptable “barracking”. It could be our contribution to American English.

    PS:It tickled my funny bone to see that Nia’s big production was at Federation Square in Melbourne’s CBD whilst the ALDC (Lite) was out in the ‘burbs (Ivanhoe). Goodonya, Nia!

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About Lori Acken 1195 Articles
Lori just hasn't been the same since "thirtysomething" and "Northern Exposure" went off the air.