Dance Moms Season 5 episode 20 recap: Return of the Mack (Oh My God!)

dance-moms-mackenzie-wins Lori Acken

Man, Tuesdays come around fast, don’t they Dance Moms nation? But we ended last week on a win, so maybe this week will finally be California sunshiney for a change? Yes? No.

We don’t even make it into 3rd Street Dance before we’re comparing Abby to a big ol’ baby who doesn’t handle transition well. Well, I suppose. If the bootie fits. But anyway.

And furthering my theory that Abby is a wily hostage of the DM producers and is going to make them pay but good for that, when Jill expresses surprise that she’s actually in the studio when they do go on inside, Abby doesn’t look up from her phone. “Well,” she shrugs, “I have to do pyramid.”

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What’cha watchin’, Jill wants to know. The group dance, says Abby. YAY! Oh. Not yay.

What Abby sees when she watches the winning dance is that when Maddie leads a dance, it’s all eyes on her. When Nia does, it’s just … meh. Yeah, but it won. Because maybe the whole freakin’ group got to shine. Which is how a group dance is supposed to go. But what do I know?

In a moment that does not feel staged AT ALL, Nia confidently tells her teacher that if she had more opportunities, maybe she would be better at taking the lead. You’ve got ’em, kid. Just not here.

Also, I am calling this week’s recap Dance Moms Gets a Lobotomy, because on my screener, the tops of everyone’s heads are chopped off — and sometimes not there at all.

AGGGGHHHHH!

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AAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!

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Speaking of which — pyramid time. Even though she led the winning group dance that was designed (and named) to shame her, Nia is bottom of the bottom. Solo was fifth. Abby thinks it should have won. Uh. Dude. No. No matter what you saw on your phone.

Next is JoJo because, as commenter Kei so accurately pointed out last week, she too must exit from the Bad People side of the stage. Oh, and also she was late on the video tape.

Next is Maddie. Maddie didn’t stand out in the group dance either. No one did, Abby. Or, more aptly, they all did. And it won.

Last in Row 2 is Mack. Took a correction. Good for you.
Then Kendall. She didn’t dance (Abby’s fault), but her video premiered, so that’s good enough for second place.

Top of the pyramid belongs to Kalani. Abby calls her out for not remembering her dance — a crime punishable by death in some instances — but, you know, she looked good and she won and she’s not Nia, so Kalani for the win.

Before Abby can map out the plans for the week, half of Jill’s head would just like to mention that they have a family commitment this weekend, so no performance for Kendall. Abby shrugs. It’s the best Abby can muster these days.

Mack gets a solo called Sink or Swim.

Because she will be competing against her big sister. Who will be doing her specialty, which is Sia videos tapping. Aw! Maddie looks like she misses tapping.
JoJo gets a solo, too. Called Rebel Without a Cause. Good one, Abby.

Oh, and all three solos will be competing against each other.

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This week we’re having a guest choreographer who has three MTV Video Awards and has worked with Lady Gaga, J.Lo, and best of all — Michael Jackson for over 20 years!

Ladies and gentleman, Mr. Avis Paynf!

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That’s Travis Payne on your screen, and here’s his actual cred. It’s impressive. What are you doing here, Avis Paynf?

Here is all of Travis Payne. I am pretty sure I love him.

Travis worked on This Is It, Michael’s final project before he died — what ARE you doing here, dude?! — but he says he’s happy to be here working with tomorrow’s superstars and he looks like he means it, so win. Tomorrow’s Superstars will be doing a dance reminiscent of the dance styles of the ’80s. It’s called Beautiful Bizarre and Abby says it better win, because if it doesn’t, it certainly isn’t Travis’ fault.

Ladies and gentlemen, Sha Francis! Well, most of her.

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On your screen, she’s Aisha Francis, Avis Paynf’s assistant, and she’s worked with Beyoncé.

In the Mom Closet, we’re all happy to have some fresh energy and to see the girls having some fun. Now to see if Abby can make good on her promise to sit back and hush. She can’t. Mack’s out as the centerpiece of the dance and Maddie is in. Abby’s work here is done. Well, maybe.

Why, I do declare, Mizz Abby is wearin’ a fall! (That would be a weave to you young’uns. Back in the day, they called them a fall, I swear.)

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An unruly one at that.

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Excuse me, Miss Abby, but we have comp’ny here in the parlor and perhaps detaching and reattaching part of your head is not quite what a lady would do.

Also, cover your mouth.

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Take that, Jeff Collins. Love, Abby.

Maddie’s solo is a called You Go-Go Girl and I would show it to you, but if I show you her go-go boots — which I totally had in second grade — I’m lopping off her head. And if I show you her head, no go-go boots. I had shiny black ones, too. Man, I loved those things. I was all kinds of Go-Go in Mrs. Krake’s class.

Also, Abby expects Maddie to know what the Frug and The Jerk are. The Frug is what you probably are with this dance — completely frugged — and the jerk is the one who expects you to know a 50-year-old dance.

Also, are the new interstitials of the girls dancing in slo-mo everyone’s favorite part of the show now, or is that just me?

While Maddie practices, JoJo, Travis and Aisha are also in the room, minding their own business.

Abby stops the go-go girl, and turns to the other one, requesting that JoJo to tell her what being a master teacher is. Seems JoJo and Jess booked a Master Class without Abby’s knowledge. And someone is a little sensitive about it. Just because — and these are Abby’s words, not mine — someone needs to make a quick buck because Daddy doesn’t make enough money, doesn’t mean they can call themselves a Master teacher.

Wow, Abby. Really?

Jess has had enough. She tells Abby that JoJo is not teaching the class, she’s taking it. And a master teacher is teaching the class. JoJo begins to tear up. I’m sure the attack on Dad wasn’t much fun to here atop everything else.

Travis to the rescue. “You’re kidding me, right?” he says, coming into the room. Telling JoJo she’s one of his favorites, he says she should brush off Abby’s teardown — she yells at everybody — and focus on JoJo. That’s the only thing that really counts.

Oh and one more thing. “Get a bigger bow, honey!” he laughs, following her back into the studio.
“I know, right?!” says JoJo.

While Abby continues to exorcise her need to Frug via Mack’s dance, her mother is telling the others that Maddie’s new video scored almost a million hits in one night. Oh! Wait! Sia just texted her! Hit a million! Hmmp!

Yes, but your other daughter … and besides, the comments the other mothers are seeing right here say stuff like boring and no dancing and ruining the child. That’s ten-year-olds, says Melissa. The real people who matter like it. Like Shia Lebeouf, who just texted Maddie. Way more important than the ten-year-olds.

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Hear that, ten-year-olds? And mothers of ten-year-olds that idolize Mack and Maddie? Melissa lets grown men text her preteen. Oh, and also that’s what Maddie’s mother thinks of you. But head for iTunes and buy,  buy, buy right now! Your dollars are still important, no doubt.

While JoJo finally runs her solo, Jill helpfully — because our Jill is a helper — tells the other mothers that they are delusional if they think Abby expects anyone but Maddie to win. Jill. Sweet Jill. This is not news. This has not been news since Season 1, episode 1. But thank you for filling some time.

Travis runs another energetic group rehearsal then tells the girls that not everyone is going to have their best interests at heart , so they need to find balance between dance and just being true to themselves. He shares a story about Michael being so trusting, but also so hard on himself.

Abby seagulls him, taking Mack’s technique to task. He shoos her. Nicely.

Come competition time, Maddie says people might wonder while she’s still dancing with the team, but it is still her No. 1 priority. So that’s nice.

Maddie’s hair is Abby’s No. 1 priority. And it’s not poofy enough.

Why, Miz Abby, sharing is a very special thing. Yanking something off your own head and cramming it into the head of a child is … gross. Just ask the child.

JoJo goes first. Her dance is franticly paced and she seems a little overwhelmed by it, but JoJo always does her thing with style.

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A swimsuited Mack goes next. Melissa makes this face.

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The dance is almost entirely tumbling, but Mack is good at tumbling and she clearly hasn’t lost any of her skills set to neglect.

Abby says Mack was close to perfection.

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Maddie goes next. Abby expects her to bring the house down.

Melissa makes this face.

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Hmm. Why would you put a kid in Go-Go attire and have her do your basic shuffle-shuffle-tap-tap deal. It’s a perfectly serviceable shuffle-shuffle-tap-tap deal. But still. Wasted talent. Wasted costume.

And thanks to Lobotomy screener, here’s the best look I can give you at it.

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Abby says she’s head and shoulders above everyone in the building.

In the get-ready, Holly and Jess take Abby to task for spending more time on Maddie’s solo than the other girls’. In an aside, Melissa says they’ve been with Abby since Maddie’s been three and Mackenzie two, so of course they rank higher.

Abby runs her tongue around her mouth as is her habit of late and says she cares about JoJo as a child. As a dancer. Eh. It’s a revolving door.

Here comes Papa T wondering why he can hear the children fussing all the way out in the hall. The hell, you people. Hush!

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Ten minutes to showtime. Travis calls for a moment of thankfulness and unity, which is genuinely charming. Even Abby seems to feel it.

And what have we here? A dance that makes the most of everyone’s strengths? Like everyone, everyone? And then turns it up to 11?

The song just said they’re sick and sexy. Yes, Melissa. It did.

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Dang. Girls. That. Was. Awesome. Stay, Travis. Do not leave me. *Attaches self mentally to Travis’ ankle.*

Results time.

JoJo gets third. Jessalyn says she was neither confident nor prepared.
Second goes to … insert lame attempt at dramatic tension since we all knew happened here weeks and weeks ago … Maddie!

Abby’s hand flies to her mouth. Melissa says oh, too, bad, poor Mack didn’t place. Oh, but she did. Meet your winner, people.

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Mack beat Maddie. We can shut out the lights and go home. No? We can’t? Sure we can. Let’s try it.

No such luck.

Abby says good for Mack, because people buy Mack’s records because they love her as a dancer. And by the way, she’s working on record number 2. Buy buy buy.

Beautiful Bizarre gets second. Seriously, competition people?! A Travis Payne dance — well danced — gets second? Someone send me the YouTube for what got first.

In the hallway, Melissa booboos her little winning chickadee, causing her second-place chickadee to get her feathers ruffled. “Mom,” Maddie snorts. “It’s just a stupid dance.”

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Luckily, Travis shows up before she can give the editors anything else to work with. Because he is the coolest person in the whole wide world — DON’T LEAVE ME, TRAVIS! NOOOOOOO! — Mr. Payne says that second place lets us realize how much we enjoy first place, isn’t that right? That’s right.

And congrats, Little Winner.

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I take back what I said about nothing more to work with. Hey, Melissa, how’s about you make it worse by getting pissy with Maddie and making Maddie worse pissy? And then telling Mack to shut up.

After Abby snags the girls to go celebrate Mack’s win, the mothers decide to help Melissa put her foot in her mouth. Hey Melissa! Do you think Mack shoulda beat Maddie? Melissa can’t say. Not a judge.

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See?! I’m smiling! Neheheheheh … now shut up.

Aw c’mon, Melissa. Truth.

WE CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH! Well, I can’t, anyway. Melissa tears up and says Mackenzie looked like a seven-year-old on the stage. But Maddie. Maddie was fabulous.

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Oh the travesty, lady. Your daughters placed first and second. In a freakin’ children’s dance competition. The results of this competition will have zero lasting impact. What you’re doing to your daughters with behavior like this? On television? Where Mack can relive it again and again and again? Bizarre. And not the least bit beautiful.

Let’s end on this, instead.

Next week on Dance Moms, it’s the return of lyrical. And Erin Babb. And slumber party!

So what say you, Dance Moms nation? Did Melissa and Abby reach new levels of nuts? Is Abby bating JC, Executive Producer Superstar? Are you proud of Mack? Do you love Travis as much as I do? Can we please keep Travis? What did you think of Beautiful Bizarre? Have at it in the comments section below.

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

59 Comments

  1. P.S. In what universe was Maddie’s tap dance an award winner? I totally agree with you, Lori that is was a lot of shuffle, shuffle, tap, tap, ball change, turn. Mackenzie won because her solo was packed with content (even if it was a lot of the same stuff she always done). I sat there just waiting for her to do her backwards cartwheels and then there they were!! At least she didn’t do a full circle of them this time. I also agree that she needs to get out of the pig tails already! Abby is always talking about how she needs to grow up and then she puts her in a basic performance fancy leotard and pigtails! JoJo did a great job, but I could really tell by her lack of sass that she wasn’t confident in herself this time. If she had had enough time to fully prepare, and had been able to inject her personality into it, she would have won hands down. I actually thought that Maddie’s number really lacked personality, too. After they just released a whole video of her making faces, she hardly broke a smile during that tap routine. Mackenzie really deserved the win for really doing it well and for that award winning smile at the end!

    • Ditto to everything you said, Kathryn! When Abby said that Maddie’s tap number was “Fabulous!” and Melissa said that MacKenzie should NOT have beaten Maddie, I had to wonder if they saw the same thing that I did. Maddie’s number was a big ol’ Yawn. Boring. Amateurish. As Kei mentioned, if Maddie had done the stay-at-home-Mom tap number that was outstanding when we saw it before, I would have understood Abby’s & Melissa’s remarks. And you could see Jojo’s lack of confidence by the lack of her usual pizzazz. She still did well, tho! Go JoJo!
      Lori, it does look increasingly like Abby is making the producers pay for holding her hostage. Wily Abby. Hehehe 🙂

      • Whoop Whoop, I got another mention, that’s practically equal to LIKES on FB or Favorites on Tw*TTer! And I also agree with you GK about Jojo, Jess may have said she was super confident about this solo, but we’ve seen Jojo perform, THIS was not her utmost confidence just like THIS was not Maddie’s best tap…I honestly blame Abby for that one, it’s the west coast, Maddie should have been tappin UP the walls!

        • Kei, there are some YouTube videos of Sophia Lucia tapping up a storm, a cappella no less, when she was only 9 years old! And she captivated the crowd!! Maddie’s West Coast tap routine, at the age of 12, was pathetic in comparison. SMH. Yep, that was all Abby’ fault.

  2. I think last night’s episode should have been entitled, “Exposed.” It just seems like people’s second face was shown to us. Or in Abby’s case, yet again one of her multiple personalities. I had a boss once that used to say when things got bad, stop trying to hold it all together. Sometimes things are meant to fall apart. It looks like Lifetime has that same work ethic.

  3. I also thought this episode hit an all time low. First if all with pyramid. Abby coming up with any excuse to keep knocking Nia down, ‘You were featured in the video and the team won, but not because of you and I thought your performance was ‘meh’ so you are at the bottom of the pyramid.’ What could that have been about except for Abby continuing to draaaaaw out Nia’s punishment for being a ‘traitor, heathen and murderer’ (according to Abby) because she had the audacity to try to make something of herself to take advantage of the opportunities that Abby never intended to give her. Abby totally forgets that she tried to sabotage all of Nia’s chances whenever anyone showed interest in her over Maddie. She forgets that Nia wasn’t invited to any of the Australia stuff. Good for Nia for reminding Abby of reality no matter how Abby tries to twist the truth around to make it fit her own opinions. I truly believe that Abby is also having some kind of psychotic break. Maybe she is manic depressive and has stopped taking her meds. Maybe it is like I have said before…getting bypass or the lap band, or whatever she did can cause people to have mental issues because they no longer have the crutch of over-eating and they become ill when they eat crap (I wonder if her ‘illness’ that she talked about on the phone that day was because she has been ‘sneaking’ junk food). Junk food can truly make you sick after bypass surgery and a lot of people totally lose it after they have lost a lot of weight. Many become drug users or alcoholics because of no longer having the crutch of over-eating. Her behavior on some of these shows…the business with her hair bump and her looking unkempt a lot of the time. That one episode when she showed up with no hair or makeup done at all…in clothes she probably slept in. Her treatment of Nia and JoJo doesn’t just ‘border’ on child abuse. It is child abuse. With all of these other family shows being called on ‘decency issues’ (such as ‘Here comes Honey BooBoo and now the Dugger Family), when is Lifetime going to wake up and realize that Abby is an abusive bully who has gotten way out of hand with her treatment of anyone who isn’t Maddie.

    I agree about Maddie being the worst poor sport. She would have been OK if people left her alone, but her Mom supposedly consoling her just always causes her to get more upset than she would have otherwise. Jill’s treatment the night of Maddie’s ‘goof’ in Australia is a good example of that. If Jill hadn’t instigated, Maddie would have been OK. Same last night. She would have been able to fake her way into letting us think she was OK with it if everyone (especially Melissa had just shut up). In a way, it is like Maddie has become the adult and Melissa the child. Maddie runs the show. She is the bread winner and has eclipsed her mother and I think that Melissa is making a huge mistake with her treatment of Mackenzie. No one on this show has ever been allowed to enjoy a win when it wasn’t Maddie. Anytime Chloe would win, Abby would always have some kind of back handed insult to go with whatever compliment she might have had. Yeah…you won, but…

    What a shame that Abby wouldn’t let Mackenzi be in the center in Travis’s dance. I agree with you, Lori that Travis needs to stay. This was the coolest dance we’ve seen in a long time. I can’t say it was ridiculous that it didn’t win because we didn’t see the winner. Some of the dances from other groups that they showed this time looked pretty good. I wonder if it won in Juniors but not overall. Of course, overall is all that matters to Abby, so who knows. It would be interesting to know, though.

    I was feeling relieved when I thought that Abby’s other shows had been cancelled, but I heard recently that both Abby’s Ultimate Dance and Abby’s Studio Rescue are going to be on again. I just don’t understand it. A fall is coming. I really think that Abby is balancing on the head of a pin lately and due for some kind of breakdown. I just hope that she doesn’t take anyone with her.

    • It was just great to see a guy who could teach children, inspire them and not be the least bit patronizing or mean.

      • Amen! You really don’t have to put kids down to make them perform well. I don’t care how mean this business can be. I don’t think that there is a studio out there that is as mean as Abby is. If she thinks that the way she acts somehow prepares these kids for being turned down in an open audition or being passed over for an important role, then she is just as delusional as she has been acting lately. You can be strict, you can be no nonsense and you can even be exacting and expect no sass or talking back, but there is no way that you need to have someone cut you down personally. It seems more and more that Abby is dealing with a lot of old baggage where she is somehow getting back for being teased for being overweight in high school. She used to call both Kelly and Christi to task for always going for the cheap shot by calling Abby fat or calling Melissa a tramp, so how is that different than Abby saying what she said about JoJo’s dad. Shame on her and double shame on Lifetime. Shame on the sponsors, too. I am about ready to start boycotting the products that advertise during this show. Somehow we need to get through to Lifetime that the way Abby is treating these girls isn’t OK. I wish there was another way to support the girls and care what happens to them other than watching. The train wreck aspect is becoming more like airplane crash with no survivors lately.

      • Entirely because of Travis Payne, this is my favorite episode I’ve ever seen. I was astounded to see genuine joy from the cast while working – never seen that before.

  4. WHITE TAPPING

    Hey little sister, what have you done?
    Hey little sister, who’s mom’s only one?
    Hey little sister, who’s your superman?
    Hey little sister, who’s the one you taunt?
    Hey little sister, got one!

    It’s a nice day to tap again
    It’s a nice day for some tap dancing
    It’s a nice day to tap again

      • Point taken Lori, I’ll try to stick to parody.

        My sincere apologies to anyone I offended last week in comments. I certainly understand there are hidden disabilities that require the parking privilege. My ire was based on my many years of being the driver for disabled parking placard users, and the numerous times I’ve seen someone as mobile as Abby strutting away from last disabled spot, while I am forced to block traffic to unload the wheelchair.

        This week’s episode got another 0.3 rating – that’s 4 weeks in a row with 0.3. This episode was in 75th place for Tuesday with 1.035 million viewers.

        PS. Can anyone explain to me why anyone would pay $1.29 to download a music video from iTunes that is free on Utube?

          • Thnks Lori. :::extednds arm palm down, drops mic:::

            I thought it was good advice to quit while I was ahead – in light of my secocondary commentary last week.

            Once again, the best re-capping of any show anywhere!

        • Hi John. I just want to tell you that i have a disability license plate (placard too easy for me to lose 🙂 ) and by looking at me you wouldn’t see the problem. Mine is neurological with walking and balance. That said, I was in no way offended by what you wrote. I don’t take myself so seriously that i would be offended if someone were to ask my why I have a handicap plate. It is all cool. Please don’t feel bad about last week. 🙂

  5. Hopefully the backstage behavior at this competition was staged or editted to look bad….although I am suspecting that Maddie’s behavior and Melissa’s comments were not a real stretch from reality. Maddie has been groomed to think she is the best and that the sun/moon rotate around her. She has been lead to believe that she is basically guaranteed a win every time she steps on the stage….I blame Abby and Melissa for this. She is also use to being the center of the attention even when she loses. I think Melissa is worried that Maddie losing will somehow effect her star quality and in turn lose Melissa her time in the spotlight. I think Melissa is more concerned with “how many views” the vidoes get or what new opportunities Maddie is getting then Maddie is. Maddie is just having fun with whatever comes along…Melissa is the one that is worried it will all go away and that effects her comments.

    I am starting to get tired of all the bad behavior on this show being blamed on staged scenes and editting. It seems like every time someone acts bad or like a brat, they are quick to blame a scripted scene or editting….I suspect that some of this behavior is a true reflection of their personality.

  6. The whole backstage debacle after the awards was undoubtedly staged. Abby, Melissa and even Maddie all appear delighted when Mackenzie (i refused to call her by her singing name, as it is ridiculous) wins. Maddie hugs her and is actually beaming for her. So backstage is either 1) staged or 2) edited out of context. Both are quite common when it comes to this programme.

    Also, when I read the results from this competition a few weeks ago I was the first to cry “fix!!!”. But Mackenzie was actually amazing last night. Her new tricks are outstanding, and she really embodied the 1960’s beach character.

    • Yeah, I thought Melissa’s reaction seemed extreme for the circumstance (and even for her). Then it occurred to me what actually might be going on and I felt horrible for her. No matter how nutter she behaves, I do believe she loves her kids to bits.

    • Totally agree with you! Everyone seemed so happy for Mackenzie when she won and then suddenly backstage Maddie and Melissa get all pissy. It’s almost like production said “you guys are being too happy about Machenzie’s win, go act mad” haha

  7. Hey LORI!!!! 3 things….

    1.) AWWWW THANK-YOU FOR THE SHOUT-OUT!!!! I try to be your extra set of eyes amongst the madness so you’re not stuck pullin out YOUR fall in a tizzy!

    2.) You don’t need my extra set of eyes to see Maddie gets the final look…again. Would it REALLY have been that bad to let Mack do it? Probably not, as long as it wasn’t Nia…or Jojo since as we know, she exited stage left and she is ON.ABBY’S.LIST.OF.TRAITORS!!

    3.) Is it just me or does it seem like Mellissa is almost insuring that Mack will have her apartment set up at 18 so she can stop bein second banana even in mom’s eyes??? Good grief! I mean maybe if Mellissa didn’t want her daughter to look like a seven year old on stage, the two high bowed pig tails look should stop! She can rock a pony tail. And she did deserve to win over Maddie since Maddie’s done harder tap dances, remember that stay at home mom one she did? She was tappin all over the place, this one was…just good for Maddie standards, not great.

    *4* (I know I said 3 but I noticed something) Although we got our normal drama it wasn’t as crazy as it has been like over the past 3 or 4 episodes, and I noticed, this was an episode with very little Jill…coincidence? I think NOT. Jeff knows EXACTLY who his chief pot stirrer is!

    • Oh and I want to say I don’t think Mellissa is a BAD mother, not in any sense, but because she is riding the Maddie train so hard, I think she forgets she has to chug for little Mack too, but I think there’s a reason why. Mack seems a little tougher than Maddie at least when it comes to not always being number 1, she takes it in stride like “I’ll do better next time,” but Maddie takes it hard like “WHY CRUEL WORLD!!!” and Mellissa might know she has comfort Maddie a bit more than praise Mack. What Mellissa should have done though is just leave Maddie alone, she wants to deal in peace and not have everyone getting on her about things.

  8. There is something wrong about this episode but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Let’s see, ALDC gets first, second, and third in the individuals, does a very unusual group dance that is well executed but finish second in the group dance category. How did that happen?

    Solos – I found all three dances petty bland. Of course I am an ALDC fan and take into consideration the overall body of work of each dancer. I loved JoJo’s costume, she gave her usual sassy performance but something was missing in the song choice and choreography. What was up with Mack Z’s hairstyle and bows in her hair? I thought that her routine was about showing that she has the talent to dance against older dancers and leave the cutesy girls behind. The costume looked like an ordinary swimsuit. She executed all the acro tricks and added 2-3 very difficult new tricks. Mack Z gave a technically superior performance but not a memorable performance. Maddie, bland music, bland costume, and bland choreography that had her dance in a very small area. You always have to give Maddie credit for getting the most out of what she is given, and she ready had to work to pull something out of this mess!

    Group – Wow!!! I was taken back by the choreography and how the girls embraced it. JoJo and Mack Z were great. From the opening to the end they were energetic and their execution was great. They set the tone from the opening and were in the front of the line during the dance. Here we go with Maddie again; this young lady ready is focused on being the best dancer she can be. Her face and body language showed that this was the most fun she has had dancing in quite a while. She embraced the challenge and gave a great performance. Nia looked comfortable in this style of dance and was very good. I noticed Kendall and she did a good job with her movements and quick change of directions during the dance. The one dancer who faded into the background was Kalani. There certainly wasn’t any long fluid moves that would highlight Kalani’s legs or gracefulness.

    I might be a sucker but I believe that Abby enjoyed all the dances and was surprised/joyful (you can ignore the voice overs used to thicken the DM plot lines) when Mack Z won. Poor Melissa, the producers picked all the worst close-ups of her facial reactions, and then cornered her into the Mack Z beating Maddie story line. I also believed that Maddie was not mad and was proud of Mack Z but had to follow the plot line. I would have preferred a little more sister kidding each other over Mack Z win than moving it to a moms’ den 2-3 episode snipping sessions.

    • Oops – I put Kendall name instead of Nia. So Nia was the dancer I noticed and she did an outstanding job. Kendall was in New Orleans with her family that weekend.

    • That’s what was different about Maddie’s solo, I couldn’t put my finger on it, other than the loose rattling taps – she usually uses the entire stage instead of just one spot. Some judges will actually deduct points if you don’t use the entire stage, so I bet that hurt her score too.

  9. It’s official, I have seen the light – I FREAKING LOVE JOJO!!!! I never thought I’d ever say that but that kid impresses me more and more every week. Hell even Jess is growing on me and I always said it would be a cold day in hell before I ever liked either one of them.

    First off with the solos, I thought Jojo’s was amazing, her technique has come leaps and bounds since she’s been with Abby, so I guess I can give Abs credit for that, but what really impressed me was the expression and the attack she had when she performed it. No wonder Travis was impressed with the kid, he knows potential when he sees it. Anyone notice how he never really said anything about Maddie, or how amazing she supposedly is and how professional? No? Me neither, but I’m glad he saw something in Mack that he liked. Mack’s solo was alright, definitely not as cutesy as her other acro solos used to be, no more butt shaking, duck lips macking for the cameras. Now Maddie’s…….did anyone notice how noisy her taps were on her boots? Any tap instructor or dancer would have made sure those taps were securely screwed onto those boots, they were so loose one good kick and a judge would have gotten one between the eyes. I think the boots, while effective, were distracting, and that’s why Maddie lost. It was nice to see how happy/surprised Maddie was for her little sis when she won, there was obviously more behind the little hissy fit in the dressing room instigated by Mommy dearest. Personally I would have put Jojo ahead of Maddie in the standings, performance-wise. OMG can you imagine if Mack AND Jojo had beaten the golden child Maddie???? Melissa would have been fit to be tied, not to mention Abby…yikes. We can all dream can’t we? LOL

    • JoJo and Jess are my favorites, too, just like Asia and Kristie grew on me. None of them let the show turn them into something they weren’t/aren’t. I find Jill totally hilarious this season, too, since she’s so willing to be the sh*t-stirrer this season now that Kendall has the armor that is her video.

      • I miss Asia and Kristie. I vote the Jeff Collins Executive Producer bring them back!!! Anyone want to start a petition??

        • I’m going to guess they moved onto bigger and better things than getting caught up in this sort of crazy train again.

          • I actually liked Asia and Kristie before Asia had her own show, Mama came across as a stage mom from hell, not to mention completely neglecting their other daughter. I’m kinda glad the show ended, hopefully that was all for “show” and that little one wasn’t forgotten about while Asia was the star of the family.

          • Also Lori, I was able to see most of the Dance Moms Miami, they definitely better than this one, I just wanted to squish Kimmy, she was adorable. All the kids were great, but Kimmy and Hannah were my favorites.

          • I loved pretty much everything about Dance Moms Miami. Victor and Angel were delightful, Kimmy and Lucas killed me dead, the mothers were amusing-bitchy and the dances were wonderful. Let’s hold our breath and stomp our feet until we get it back.

  10. Its no news that Abby is a psycho but what she said about jojo’s daddy is out of line. And Melissa being Melissa again, crying because Maddie didn’t win is just stupid(PS, she is a dummy). So glad that Mackenzie won. And thumbs up to Nia, she’s such a well mannered young lady. This show is getting out of hand

    • I agree, and I thought that style was perfect for Nia, I noticed her more than the other girls put together, she did great.

  11. Did anyone notice how happy for Mackenzie Maddie seemed when onstage? It was only after the adults butted in with their crap that it got uncomfortable. Me thinks we saw some gratuitous pot stirring by the producers to generation tension/conflict.

    • She’s an Actress, smile for the camera, if you watch her from season 1, you’ll know she always make a face when someone else takes first place. such a sore loser even to her sister. This show made her that less humble anyways

  12. Maddie is such a sore loser it’s pathetic. Sorry, but I’ve seen dozens of amazing tap routines and hers wasn’t one of them. Her facials and her arm movements were so bad they were distracting. I feel sorry for Mackenzie since her own mother couldn’t care less about her. Telling her to be quiet instead of letting her enjoy her win. What a bitch.

  13. The whole “Your mom has you doing these master classes because your dad doesn’t make enough money really ticked me off. So I looked it up….Jo Jo’s father Dr Thomas Siwa is a chiropractor. I think she doesn’t need to earn her own keep.

    • That was particularly painful. But as I’ve said, I think Abby’s just baiting the producers. Doing completely out-there stuff to see if they’ll actually leave any of the footage in.

      • I think Abby is falling apart because the kids she is working so hard to squash are finding ways to thrive apart from her. I don’t think it’s the producers, at all. I think Abby is just throwing the spotlight on them in her interviews to keep us from looking at her.

        • See, and to me that makes no sense – isn’t that what any dance teacher wants? For their students to find successes outside of the studio? She prides herself in creating “working employable dancers”, you’d think she’d be proud as a peacock over what they’ve accomplished at such young ages.

  14. Just found the site….Love your style.

    I feel guilty every I watch this show. I can only hope money is being put aside for the therapy they will all need later. Even though so much of it is staged, it is so abusive. Nia is the shining light, and Holly will keep her sane. As for the others, oh gosh there is no hope. As much as I think JoJo is obnoxious, I fear Abby will break her spirit, and that would be devastating for the child.

    Maddie is very talented, but once puberty hits and she gets the bumps in all the right places, she will not be as much in demand. It just so borders on child abuse.

    • Thanks, Kathhie. I do what I can to give us all a laugh after we get run over by the train(wreck).

  15. Oh! As to why the group dance didn’t win, my guess is that it was due to spacing issues (which would’ve been less obvious with Mack in the center). It was a fabulous dance, though!

  16. I love it when Abby gets that smug look on her face because she’s about to say something she’s sure is absolutely brilliant and it comes out something like this: “Blue spoons because unicorns. Unicorns!” Then she smirks because she’s sure that now, finally, we all see what a mastermind she truly is. Cracks me up! Every. time. She has truly lost it and no damage-control interviews like the one she gave to ET can cover it up. She is truly insane.

  17. What this show is becoming is horrendous. I honestly don’t know why I watch still; it’s getting harder to watch every week. Maybe I’m just being hopeful that it will turn and be a positive show with positive influence on young people’s life. I know life time can do it because they also produced “Kim of Queens” and “Bring It.” These shows actually allow the girls to believe in themselves and tell the girls that winning isn’t every thing; that being a decent human being matters (what a marvel concept), but this, what this show does to these girls, the moms, and even Miss Abby Miller herself is beyond me and saddening. You can tell the producers “no” and not appear to be a monster for ratings.

    On a much happier note, I am happy that Mack won and that Nia stood up for herself. I loved Travis and what he imparted in the girls and I wish he can stay for the rest of the season. Those were the highlights for me.

  18. I’m happy Mackenzie won, Melissa needs to be happy with what BOTH of her daughters accomplishments and not just one daughter.

    • I thought she actually was — until the tears. Unless, and sadly I am hoping that this is the case because of her thrilled reaction in the audience, the producers made her say what she said for the sake of the “storyline” and she couldn’t hide her emotions at having to do so.

  19. Mackenzie told Melissa to shut up as well when she said “You too” after Melissa told Mackenzie to shut up. Wow, what a mother. I wanted to be happy about Abby being happy for Kenzie, but then I remembered the whole “Lucky Star” catastrophe with Chloe. Did anybody watch ye flashback episode that came on after? It was like the same episode as the new one, but earlier. Maddie is a brat, sore loser and narcissist. Mackenzie is still rocking pigtails and doing acro. Nia at pyramid gave me life! Yaassss little sister! You tell Ursula about herself Ariel! What was the point in Jill and Kendall staying for the whole week when they weren’t going to attend the competition? Made no sense.

    • “You tell Ursula about herself, Ariel!” — *falls on floor laughing.* I’m stealing that, Shanice.

  20. I vote to keep Travis and dump the psycho.
    I am biased since I have despised melissa since season 1, episode 1, but tonight she hit an all time low. Telling mack to shut up, then saying mack shouldn’t have won and that maddie should have won. Then proceeded to do absolutely nothing when brattymaddie told her mother to shut up. Had i ever told my mom to shut up i would have gotten a slap or two. That kid is way too big for her britches and needs to be reigned in.

    it took me a few minutes to figure out this “maddie’s new video”. it was that rediculous thing where she slapped herself like a nut one. old new there melissa!

    exactly what is maddie doing now, while Jojo is touring with Kidzbop??? Not a darn thing. Get over yourself maddie.

    And i thought they were in L.A. for this so called new studio. I guess we aren’t supposed to notice that?

    GREAT recap Lori!! 🙂

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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.