Dance Moms Season 5 episode 22 recap: Little Miss Loose Cannon

dance-moms-abby-bra Lori Acken

Welcome back, big bunch of losers that we are, Dance Moms nation.

But at least we get a peek at the brand new studio — or the mass of cement and beams that passes for the new studio. But Abby says it will be our fully completed home in just three short weeks. Uh huh. Will too.


Let’s get down to business. Which is, for the most part, that we’re a big bunch of losers and it’s probably going to cost Abby business.

OK, Mack is not a total loser. She’s on set filming the Nick series Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn. Which is actually a thing. So the last first-place winner we have isn’t here. Leaving a bunch of total losers.

Jill — who is super amping up the hair in her asides lately — says that’s because we’ve been all helter-skelter with our training. No teachers. No classes. So the technique is suffering.

Ladies and gentlemen, Farrah Fawcett Vertes.


Abby takes the criticism well. OK, no she doesn’t. She says if  they’re going to be all like that then Mommy is going to take away their auditions and their meetings and their performances. Nothing but school. Mleah.

Holly says it’s about balance. Abby says it’s a joke.

Let’s do pyramid.

Kendall is bottom of the bottom. Then JoJo. Then (Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and) Macky. No reason for her placement there, but Abby does use the opportunity to rub it in Maddie’s face that Mack is filming a TV show and she’s standing here in the skeleton of a dance studio.


Maddie is proud of her sister and nothing Abby says is going to make her say otherwise. Good girl, Mads.

Row two is Nia and Kalani. They were fine. Whatever.

Maddie is at the top of the pyramid. She was very mature in stealing the lead in the group dance from her sister. It makes sense to Abby.

This weekend we are going Believe Talent Competition, which is the one where they critique you right onstage.

First solo goes to Kendall, who looks — and rightly so — like it’s more punishment than honor. Nia gets one called “Can I Do This?” because of course she does. Last solo goes to Maddie. It’s called “Loose Cannon.” Abby’s reason for that makes zero sense, so I am making up a new one: It’s an homage to Abby Lee Miller. There. Much better.

Group dance will be a ’50s musical theater piece called Dance Bop. Melissa loves it. Abby says it’s about history. And getting to do this.


Back to 3rd Street we go, where we talk about Abby’s lack of dance training for the girls since we came to L.A. Kira says Kalani doesn’t want to act or sing — she wants to dance. Period. And while all the other dancers in the nation are taking classes and getting better, well, Kalani’s out there boppin’ ’50s style.

Since she’s showing such passion about it, Holly and Jess think Kira should take over the training part of our show out there in L.A. and Kira believes she just might take the ladies up on that. And she knows to whom she’ll make that first call. That would be Tessandra Chavez, who worked with Kalani and JoJo on Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition.

Look how cute.



So cute! They grow up so fast.

Tessandra is a big deal here in L.A. and has worked on all the competition series. Maybe she could just, you know, drop by and maybe accidentally teach a class or five while she’s at it. Tessandra says sure — she’ll have the girls back in shape in no time.

Shhhh. Here comes Abby. And she’s leaving. She has carpet to buy, which will certainly help us win the competition this weekend. Well, then, the hell with it. If Mom is leaving anyway, let’s not tell her we’re throwing a dance party and we invited Tessandra.

Carpet shopping must not have gone to plan, because Abby comes back crabby. Or maybe the barbs about her dropping the ball on training still sting, because she wants to know why we’re not sitting on yoga balls every morning. Especially when they sell them right across the damn street at Ross.



That does it for Melissa who rants passionately about how great the kids are and how Abby doesn’t realize it. Jill tells her she’s preaching to the choir and needs to go give the lecture to the high priestess of mean.

Oh hell no, says Melissa. Abby will tell her she is dumb and stupid and a bad mother.
Soooooo … it’s OK that she hands the girls their butts, but you draw the line at you. Great.


What’s this?! Maddie’s dance really is about Abby?! Abby tells Maddie to dance like someone who “loses it every day” and uses herself as an example.

Well I’ll be durned. Sometimes the universe just handles itself.


Maddie can’t do a thing to please the Loose Cannon during her solo practice.
Nia either. Kendall either.
Only one doesn’t let it bother her. Up high, Nia. Woot!

The moms decide to bang the training drum harder. In fact, let’s go talk to Abby about it. Abby says they can break their contracts and go take training classes in hell. Her words. Not mine. Also, they already are, toots. They already are.

Holly’s not scared of you, tantruming 5-year-old. Jill either. Abby says then fine, they’ll do class right now. Stretching. And Kendall is a failure. Jill tells her to stop picking on Kendall; it’s not her fault they haven’t had stretching classes in months. Abby says Kendall is smart enough to stretch on her own. Jill says she shouldn’t have to. Caught in the middle of the women’s screaming match, Kendall flushes pink and begs them tearfully to stop.

Speaking of classes. Anger Management, Abby. It will do wonders. Maybe they’ll throw in one on How to Handle Conflict Like A Grown-up, too. And afterward, we’ll all go out for a nice cold pitcher of Pick On Someone Your Own Size. Mmmmmm!

The mothers bail.

Next day, Abby has a surprise for the moms. The girls are going to do the group dance for them right here in the studio. And the moms have a surprise for Abby too.



Not surprisingly, Abby doesn’t like surprises. Especially not of this nature.

Tessandra doesn’t care. She strides right up to the woman pretending not to know her even though they worked together and tells her that’s she’s here to teach some classes at the mothers’ behest — but only if Abby says it’s OK. Because she’s all old school like that.

Is it OK?
It’s not OK.


Holly says Abby’s behavior is beyond embarrassing.
Let’s speak low and slow and see if that soothes the loose cannon. It does. Briefly. Abby tells Tessandra that Kira is overzealous — which is a bigger word than Kira knows — and Tessandra quits while she’s ahead.

Jess says that once the L.A. dance community gets wind of this, Abby will have trouble getting teachers for her studio. Kira reminds Abby of Tessandra’s credentials. Abby turns to the current teacher Gianna, smirks  and tells her she’s



Turns out, Gianna isn’t entirely unflappable. She pulls the plug on practice. Talking amongst themselves, the girls say it was kinda rude for another teacher to come in and want to teach them right in front of their teacher. Everyone agrees this day was a



Competition day. Let’s take the bus to Fresno.

In the get-ready, Holly whips out the word abysmal to describe Abby’s behavior and Melissa frets that Abby thinks they’re not on her side. Here’s a little word — duh. Abby says Tessandra should never have gotten out of the car.

Mack’s back from Nicky, Dicky, Huey, Dewey and Louie and she gets to be in the group dance, I’m guessing because we spent most of our time yelling at each other and didn’t really practice the thing anyway. What can it hurt?

Here’s Abby. Let’s remind Maddie that Mack beat her, for about the 100 millionth time and throw in the fact that Nia’s and Kendall’s solos are amazing. Feeling good? No? Good. That’s the way we like it around here.

Nia’s solo goes first. Kalani tells her to “slay.”

Now I love me a Nia solo that’s moody and bluesy as much as the next girl — or, say, Abby since it’s the only kind Nia ever gets — but after seeing Nia grow up and throw down in her video, what’s the harm in letting the girl funk it up a little? It’s clearly her forte. I say we try it next time.

The nice blond lady judge with fancy hair tells Nia to stay in her ballet and technique classes — oof! — but says she danced like a mature performer instead of a student. Nia beams. The girl has come into her own.


Kendall’s solo is surprisingly high on spunk and surprisingly low on jazz, which freaks me out — and she performs the bejesus out of it.

Nice Lady calls Kendall a hypnotic beauty and says she was in the zone and awesome. I’m virtually certain it’s because she walked to the Ross and got a yoga ball to sit on. I’m sure of it. Or maybe it’s just because the kid has style.


The loose cannon — and sweet Jesus, if that’s not Abby’s theme song, I do not know what is — does her usual Maddie thing and Nice Lady tells her to work on her technique and keep on keepin’ on. Competitive world out there, you know.

The mothers come back to the get-ready full to burstin’ with the we-told-you-so’s about classes. Jill decides to see if Abby agrees that they told her so. Yeah, not so much. Then Holly chimes in. Then Nia chimes in. Then Jess. Then Kira! Mutiny!

Abby does not like mommies playing dancing school. Er, Abs, I think the point is actually that the mommies don’t like Abby playing dancing school when she doesn’t have one going on at the moment. But you were close.

Kira says she’s been in charge of Kalani’s training for 14 years and that’s why she’s the dancer she is.


Oh oh.


Oh oh.

Jill tells the girls to go hug Abby’s troubles away. When Kalani, Nia and JoJo try to take their turns, Abby tells them to get away from her. Kira’s had enough. She tells Abby that those girls have supported her as much as the other three and when Gianna and Abby smirk and stand up to leave, Kira explodes. Abby will not treat her daughter like someone secondary after all this time.

“Your kid would rather be here with any other mother than you,” Abby bellows.

Kira orders Kalani to come with her. Abby says she wants Kalani with her — not with someone who sleeps with a guy she’s not even married to. Well, I guess we know Abby’s not gettin’ any, if that’s what makes her the better choice. Maybe that’s why she’s so cranky.

Kira doesn’t want any comfort from any of the other mothers either. I would like some comfort from someone, because Abby just decided it’s a fine idea to go before the cameras in her bra.


Take THAT, Jeff Collins. Love, Abby.

Also, Abby has not done this crap for four-and-a-half years to be treated like this, so peace out bitchaz!


I hear ya, sister.

Wait, that’s not the end of the episode? How come? Abby peace-outed us. We’ve been out-peaced. Oh. We didn’t actually do the group dance yet. Kalani decides to stay and perform and Kira lets her.

The dance is cute as button, but again with the spacing issues. And the whole thing just kind of seems beneath their skill level.


Still, Nice Lady says she felt like she was watching a professional show.

Results time.

Kendall gets fifth. Whoa.
Nia gets fourth. Whoa, again.
Maddie gets third. Maddie Ziegler gets third. I believe I’m getting the vapors.

Melissa says Maddie has never gotten third. We’ll vapor together, Melissa.
Group gets third, too.

Holly wonders what the heck they’re even doing in L.A. No studio, no new opportunities, no classes and they’re getting their butts handed to them on a weekly basis. Not that the woman in charge seems to care.

Back in the get ready, morale is low all the way around. Maddie says she’s afraid of what Abby will say. First Mack beats her. Now she got third.

Kendall shrugs and says she hasn’t won in months, so big whoop.

“Yeah but I’m Maddie Ziegler and I’m a perfectionist and I like to win, so that’s just me,” Maddie responds. It’s hard to tell if there’s any irony in there or if it’s just 100% Grade A preteen insolence.

Kira says she doesn’t know whether she and Kalani will return for more of Abby’s mistreatment, which leads the girls to huddle up in a group of tearful misery. And this time, no one is turned away.


Next week on Dance Moms, Abby is gone and Kalani is gone and Jill thinks she might be gone, too, and  Melissa cannot deal with any of it.

So what say you, Dance Moms nation? Another thoroughly depressing episode on the books? Do you agree about the class situation? Was Kira out of line inviting Tessandra onto Abby’s turf? What did you think of Abby’s reaction? What did you think of Gianna’s reaction? What did you think of the solos? And that group dance? And Abby’s bra? And her pot shot at Kira? Was Kira right to blow her stack? So much to talk about in the comments section below.

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


  1. Is it just me or did anyone else find that choreographer (Tessandra) a bit creepy? She was way to touchy-feely for me, as I don’t care for anyone getting in my personal space, especially strangers. Her whole look, from her style of dress to her cropped bangs and hippie hair just weirded me out. Are there no other teachers in LA than the ones we’ve already seen on Lifetime?

    • A lot of dance teachers are “hands on” in their methods, not everyone sits on their butts like Abby does lol.

  2. BOTTOM LINE – Every professional ballet and most other professional dance troops have technique class every day. Get with the program Ms. Jackass.

    • Exactly, even teachers take classes to learn new styles and choreography, if you don’t use the skills, you lose them.

  3. A bunch of evil soulless woman prostituting their children for selfish gain. Disgusting.

  4. Hey LORI!!!

    Excellent recap as usual!

    I tried to play a wine drinking game with this episode to see how many times Abby would be rude and lets just say your homegirl slept pretty well that night and possibly slept in a but the next morning. I mean WOW Abs hit all sorts of levels of #RUDE did she not?

    But can we just say how impressed we are with how unbothered Nia is by it, I mean I think it of course gets to her when yo have a teacher who blatantly doesn’t seem to care for you because of something you did months (in the show) ago but she never lets Abby see her sweat.

    If I could get inside the girls heads that was turned away cuz of the MattyB video because CLEARLY she is gonna hold that over their heads until…..time ends I’m guessing I bet it went like this…

    (Kalani reaches for a hug)
    Abby: Don’t. Get away from me.
    Kalani (thinking) WHHHHYYYY?!?! What did my mom do?

    (Jojo reaches for a hug)
    Abby: Don’t. Get away from me.
    Jojo (thinking): Well that wasn’t very nice.

    (Nia reaches for a hug)
    Abby: Don’t. get away from me.
    Nia (thinking): cool, I need to get that eyeliner brush before it drops on the floor anyways.

    And then the way she treated Tessandra, like I do get it, Abby felt disrespected, the moms actions were understandable but the approach was horrible, but Abby acting like she didn’t even know who she was, I mean you don’t know Tess, you don’t know Mikey Minden, and all because they haven’t been on TV for years? I didn’t realize dancing ability was judged ONLY by reality TV standards, if so those Julliard applicants are kinda up (poop noise) creek huh? Guess Tess won’t be returning to guest choreograph season 3 of AUDC!

    Also for a woman who was all about technique the first few seasons, her lack of enthusiasm towards them now is just odd. Like I said, I DO get it, the reason behind her NOT having classes is cuz she has NO TEACHER CUZ SHE HAS NO COMPLETED STUIDO (at that point) and Abby wouldn’t let another teacher touch her students but jus to expect them to correct themselves is silly, I mean for stretch class, probably, you learn the stretches you do them at home, but for tumbling and other ballet techniques that requires someone SAYING “no hon, that’s wrong…it’s like this” and then they demonstrate or help get you in that position and do it over and over and over again. They’re not the professional of professionals yet, they’e still kids. Abby could’ve saved herself a world of messiness if she just would have said, Gia will do what she can and if you got somebody better, do it but don’t blame me if it sucks, like she has in the past, but like you Lori I’m convinced Abby is playin with these producers just to do it. And I know the reason she came in with her bra on was cuz they’re not suppose to film in their undergarments so she just wanted the cameras off her, she probably wants a vacation, like a real one away from the show for a like a week or 2 and she’s just playin with them being kinda the worst she has been until she gets it.

  5. This episode was all kinds of wrong, and I basically disagreed with everyone at every point from start to finish. So, instead of commenting here are 2 dances that are slightly more uplifting to watch!!


    Can you read them
    They blog about us
    Telling lies
    Well, that’s no surprise

    Can you see them
    See right through them
    They have no deal
    No secrets to reveal

    It doesn’t matter what they say
    In the spoiler games people play
    Our scripts are sealed


    PS. Present blogger company excepted.

    • A slight pulse in the ratings this week: up to a 0.4 rating for this episode in 42nd place.

      “You can’t cancel me! I quit!”

        • What will Lifetime come up with to replace a show about an insane leader who dominates and manipulates with fear the lives of young girls in order to fulfill their leader’s ego?

          From *Variety* article July 1st:


          Lifetime has greenlit an original movie about the women in Charles Manson’s life.

          “Manson’s Lost Girls” (working title) follows the teenage girls who fell for Manson and helped him carry out his brutal murders in the late 1960s.


          • Thanks G K, I appreciate it, I was kinda worried maybe I was being too harsh.

    • I’m “overJealous” of your song parody abilities, John Linen!! 😉 😉 😉

  7. A while back I wrote that the show had reached a new low, and now I must say it again! It just keeps getting lower and lower. Abby is losing it and it’s kind of scary to watch. I have stated a couple of times that I think that the cause is her dealing with no longer having the outlet of food that she used for so long. I disagree with the person that said she is regaining the weight. She is still losing and it looks like she’s lost 80 to 100 already. I believe she had gastric bypass or got the lap band. She can still eat junk food, but it will make her sick. My sister in law had the surgery and was sort of the poster child for when all goes well, but she found out early on that she couldn’t eat a lot of the foods that she had used for years as comfort. A few m&m’s could make her really sick. I think that Abby doesn’t know how to cope without food to fall back on. The camera’s have made a real point of showing her sitting in her car eating, but we also have seen her looking completely ill and there was that call that someone supposedly left their cell-phone and walked away from, where Abby was complaining about how sick she had been and almost had to go to the hospital. I won’t defend her behavior, but it all fits together when we see her completely overwhelmed by having to deal with the new studio and the show and everything. She probably should have taken time off to get the studio built BEFORE everyone moved to L.A. I am with Holly when she said, “for what?” No special opportunities, no dance class…just a lot of competitions where the girls are given 2 days to learn a routine. It isn’t going to fly that they stop all training and the only dance they are getting is the choreography for a new dance a couple of days before they are supposed to perform it. I was actually quite surprised to see that the girls performed as well as they did given the preparation that they had.

    As any dance instructor and any dancer or dance Mom knows, training is all a part of being a dancer. A professional company trains every day (sometimes they get Sunday off). Being a dancer is a grueling thing, and training is so important for any dancer to keep on top of their game. By stopping all training, Abby is setting these girls up for more failure. She knows this and her denial of it is another manifestation of her need to control every aspect and if you don’t do it her way, you are through with her. Her mentioning MattyB to Kalani at this stage of the game and her refusal to let Kalani, Nia or JoJo hug her just shows again that she will NEVER,EVER forgive them for doing something that she didn’t want them to do. Her whole persecution of Nia is part of that mindset that she has. She will never forgive Holly and through Holly, Nia for getting Nia an opportunity to succeed when Abby had fore ordained that Nia was not one of her choices for promoting. Remember the photo shoot where Abby worked with everyone except Nia and Abby said in an aside that Maddie, Mackenzie and Kendall were the only ones that were going to get opportunities in L.A. Her whole show of being upset is a contradiction in itself. She was sabotaging Nia on purpose and didn’t really want to do anything for her, so how dare Holly get opportunities for her. That in itself was a big part of when this season started to turn into the horror that it has become. It was Chloe all over again only faster. I mean, with Chloe it built up over a couple of seasons. With Nia she hit right away and it was probably harder for Nia in the beginning because it was so sudden. Thank goodness that Nia is as grounded as she is. Every week it is more of, ‘just how low will Abby sink to hurt and humiliate these girls?’ Lifetime is the true enabler here. They should have pulled the plug when Brooke and Paige were treated so cruelly and then her attempted destruction of Chloe. The irony there is that Chloe is training and happy and dancing and getting video shoots and giving us a new video every week of her new, happy, dancing life. No….she’s not getting millions and millions of plays, but she is getting several hundred thousand for almost every video and that says a lot. She is dancing better than ever because she is training with her new studio every day and every week and improving her technique and craft and growing as a dancer. I actually have felt sorry for Maddie (although her smug, self importance is always irritating…,”I am Maddie Ziegler…yada yada yada”) because all of the sudden it isn’t Maddie and her back up dancers, but all of the girls struggling, including Maddie. Her technique and execution have really declined. Being told you’re perfect all of the time when you aren’t has taken a toll, too and now all the sudden Abby turns on her and says she’s a mess. Guess what, Abby…the Mom’s are actually right! Remember when you went on and on about all the girls being home schooled so they could come to class every day? Remember how Maddie really looked good for a while when she was training every day? That led to her getting the Sia video and now that is all she has. The last two Sia videos were more about Maddie’s angst face than about her dancing,. No dancing at all in the last video. Just a couple of minutes of Maddie making different faces.

    Now…the end of the show. Abby was completely out of line with what she said to Kalani and then to Kira. Kira should take Kalani out of this crap fest no matter what, but she has a contract. We all tend to forget that. They have to stay or else pay a lot of money. That is why Christi had to wait until the last show of the season to pull Chloe out. The reason we didn’t see the girls gather around Chloe (as I am sure they probably would have…) is because Christi took her and left before the other girls knew what was happening. Then there was a black out of communication. I actually think that Abby had made it clear to the girls that their support of Chloe would mean that they would risk Abby’s wrath. I think that is another reason that there wasn’t as big a show of support for Chloe from the girls and then that big , ‘what happened to Chloe?’ at the beginning of this season and them saying they had tried to contact her to no avail. Could have just been as simple as Christi saying ‘put it behind you’, too.

    I was really shocked by Abby coming out in her bra. I was, like, Oh My Goodness! (cleaned that up at the last minute). Her coming to practice with no make up and her hair in it’s natural state, her sudden inability to hold onto her emotions (yet none of the girls can dare to cry), and now this craziness. It all adds up to someone who is truly losing it. I heard recently that there was going to be another season of AUDC and of the studio rescue show (I can’t believe that when no one watched it the first season), but I just can’t imagine anyone wanting to deal with Abby. I wouldn’t take my kid to her studio for all the money in the world. I know that there are people who will sell their kid’s souls (the current dance Moms) for a little bit of fame, and I guess that there are always those that are willing, but something’s got to give here, and hopefully it won’t be the girls who have to continue suffering. I disagree with those who have said that this is still a good stepping off platform for these girls to be future dancers and for them to deal with a difficult business. Yes, it can be tough…and yes, producers and choreographers can be cruel, but Abby has gone beyond any true measure of how bad it can get. What she is managing to do is to kill these girl’s love of dance and if she doesn’t wise up soon, killing their ability to be good dancers. Maddie no longer being a guaranteed winner is the first sign that things are declining. I was actually happy for Nia that she got both some good advice and also that she scored better than last time. That makes her the winner of this meet in my opinion. If Abby continues to insist that the girls don’t need to train, the mother’s should just shut their mouths and take them to class somewhere else whenever they aren’t with Abby. Don’t try to bring a teacher. Go and get them the training they need. It is the only answer if they have to finish out the season due to contract. I actually hope that Kalani gets away, but I doubt it. At least not until the show ends for the season.

    I was also horrified by Gia’s smirk about the ousted 3, and her acting like Abby. We know Abby is a cruel monster. How awful for the girls that Gia has decided to join in. Makes it all the more sad.

    • I’m absolutely HORRIFIED at how nasty Gia has gotten lately. She was always the calm to balance out Abby’s crazy, but with this season especially she’s become a little mini Abby, agreeing with her rude comments and even making rude ones of her own. It’s really sad.

  8. Abbylee is a disgrace to all women of the world !! Gianna better start looking for a new mentor, god help them both!!!

  9. Abby and her bra. OMG that was awesome and yet frightening at the same time. I as like What the What?! and did you catch the slimming undergarment aka girdle as well?

    Kira, way to stand up for your beautiful girl.

    I still think Christi and Kelly must be sitting at home watching this and screaming with laughter as they play the Abby drinking game. I know I would if I were them.

    I’m always amused by the senior Dance Mom’s who get the newer Moms to do something stupid like confront Abby or invite a teacher in to teach the girls. They know exactly what’s going to happen, you can tell by their smirks. They did it to Jill, to Asia’s mom, to Jessa, etc. It is always sad to see these new Moms just trip down those stairs into the lions den with what they think is going to be “constructive” critisicm or helpful hints to see them dimished to tears or leave angry. Sad but funny.

    I love watching Nia dance these days, she is beautiful and strong and deserves so much more than what Abby can give her, which is nothing but grief. Kilani and Jo Jo are awesome too and need to run as fast as they can from Crazy Lady.

    Very well written again Lori, loved it, watched the episode because I had a feeling a little more crazy than normal would be on display and my Splatoon game on the WiiU was undergoing “maintenance” so I tuned in. (that’s really why).

    Abbs has had some type of weight loss surgery and/or diet meds. She is definately looking better but definately acting more crazy.

  10. I’m so disappointed in Gia, I thought she was better than Abby but seems she’s just Abby mini me. That stupid smirk is just ridiculous. It was Nia and jojo before, now Kalani has join the group of the outcast or the traitors(according to Flabby miller).Gia said on twitter that she was merely doing her job(what stupid Job is she talking about). This is so disheartening how Adult like Crabby do to kids.

    • This is such odd behavior for Gia that I’m inclined to think there was editing involved somehow to give Abby at least one ally. But who knows.

      • I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt until that smirk, but I want to believe that there was more to it. I just hope that the cash Gia gets from selling herself out lasts until she can land herself another job. Any connection to Abby and the treatment of those girls can’t look good to potential employers. What happened to that sweet teacher who was willing to lose her job to teach Brooke that solo when Abby was away?

      • I am still puzzling over Gia. The word is that production booted Abby–so I am wondering if Gia was responding to some signal to get Abby out before things went any further. Like maybe they don’t like the legal fees or other expenses they incurred from the Abby/Kelly fight and it looked like maybe Abby was amping up to go after Kira.

        And since we know how much of all this stuff is set up (including the visit from Tessandra) by production, I suspect that even if Abby was surprised, that Gia knew it was coming. Abby had this little aside that seemed to be aimed at an off-camera Gia during that scene. Sort of an et tu Brute?

        Apparently the bra scene was Abby’s attempt to make certain they didn’t film her return to collect her things. If you watch carefully there IS some production person telling the camera people not to film. Oops.

          • Gia also said on twitter that the girls are her life. I wonder how true that is. She should have said Ziegler girls are her life. Or maybe she sees Nia, kalani and jojo as boys

  11. Why would Abby push Nia, JoJo and Kalani away and hug the other girls. That is so hurtful to a kid. I am sure these girls are used to it, but maybe if Abby showed some kindness and fairness to all, they would work harder to please her. I can see where Abby is coming from with some of her teaching thoughts, but her style needs some smoothing out. Hope she lets Cassandra (sp?) come back and teach a class to the girls until things settle down for Abby. For once we saw Gia take a stand.

    • Abby has always punished the children for their mother’s actions. She has also punished them for listening to their mothers and doing as they say instead of doing what Abby says to do.

    • I’m thinking she’s still bitter over the MattyB video debaucle, Kalani, Jojo and Nia were the ones who “betrayed” her, so she’s pushing them away.

    • I think that the script calls for her to support Maddie, Mackenzie and Kendall and diss Nia, JoJo and Kalani. That seemed to be the way things went in Australia. Jill has given an interview in which she thought that the current plot line making it look like she chose wrong by letting Abby produce Kendall’s video while Holly went elsewhere was unfair to Abby. She referred to the producers “throwing things” at Nia, by which I think she means things like flying Nia’s choreographer to Australia. Recall that Nia’s premiere got a full stage presentation–with back-up dancers and special effects, while Kendall just got big-screens playing the video. I am quite certain that the difference was not money that Holly put in, but rather what the producers made possible for them.

  12. This show has always been a train wreck, hard to watch but can’t stop looking, but it has gotten worse with Abby’s odd behavior. She is clearly on something. Gianna is the enabler, the moms are in total avoidance and the girls are the victims.

    Drug addiction is no joke. Abby, I hope someone loves you enough to get you the help you need. Life doesn’t have to be like this. Melissa – supposedly you are that person so it is time to step up and provide some tough love. Protect your daughters from her and protect Abby from herself.

    Gianna – time to take a look at yourself and ask yourself how you became the enabler. It is not pretty on you dear.

    • I stand by my assessment that addiction isn’t the problem — Abby knows she has to film the monster she created, but she’s not going to make it easy on the producers. Sure makes for some trippy recaps, though. And I may be entirely wrong.

      • Still to take off your shirt and show all that!!! That’s some serious, hard-core self-destruction. (Or probably more likely a middle finger to the producers.)

        • Could it be that Abby was trying to get the microphone off so she would not be recorded. And tore her shirt in the process to get the microphone off.

          • That makes sense, otherwise the woman should have been hauled away in a straight-jacket since clearly she’s had some sort of mental breakdown….still wouldn’t surprise me though if she has.

      • I actually hope you are right. I don’t like to see anyone going through that, even Abby.

      • I agree, I don’t see addiction. However, in spite of anything that production may do to play up Abby’s dysfunctions, I think that they have always been there. And the most obvious is her complete inability to handle any sort of conflict. Any reputable teacher realizes that parents and teachers have differing points of view–while sharing certain common goals. And the common goals provide a basis for being able to resolve the differences. Abby has a very limited set of avoidance tools–my way or the highway, out yelling or out insulting, or punishing students in order to manipulate parental silence. Layer on top of that a capacity for denial (some might call it lying), whether about the girls and parents, or about the show’s producers–and we see a woman chronically unable to deal.

        Anyone could see the tougher scene in LA coming–whether because it’s actually more competitive out there (and I believe it is), or because the “invitational” events have been restructure to allow a higher caliber of competition. Either way, Abby is not a person who is able to accept loss as a learning experience.

  13. Like most of the comments posted so far, this episode was real life versus the fairy tale life we envision the girls to live in. The psychological problems of the adults spilled over into the kids dance world. Yes, competitive dance is a lot of pressure but not to the extreme we saw last night. I felt like I was watching an intervention program for people with personality issues versus a children’s dance program.

    Let me start with the person I was most surprised with in the episode – Gianna. I have always liked and admired Gia, as she did her job, seems to be more connected with all the dancers, and took on more and more responsibility over the past several years. In this episode she looked like a clone of Abby. Instead of resolving issues she, like Abby, just picked up and walked away from the kids. The first time was went she ended the practice session and her reaction to Abby rejecting hugs from Nia (who was with ALDC for over 12 years), JoJo, and Kalani was horrible. Come on Gia, you and smarter, better person than that.

    Abby’s up next, but let me say than I am generally in agreement with her approach with training the kids. You have to be tough to be in a business where you can be passed over for any reason, including ears, eyes and body shape. I feel like I am going to drop back into the Christi/Kelly mantra of: is it Abby or is it the dancers? Yes, Abby deserves great praise for directing a group of dancers from Pittsburg to all the amazing opportunities/experiences that they have had. Here it come – to me the key question is did she do it for the love of the kids and helping them or did she do it for herself? There are small segments on the show where Abby shows that she loves the kids and loves teaching them. There are more examples (on YouTube) where she is freer to be herself.

    So where do we look for the answer for the question above – it is in Abby’s heart and last night we saw the heart of a sad human being. Oh, she can mask it with her resume, and hide it by always being a dictator, but sometimes in a split second we get a glance of the core of Abby. I was concerns for Abby at the beginning of season 5 with the dramatic weight loss, and now I see the weight coming back. In Abby’s mind she has linked the success of the dancers with her LA studio success. The ALDC team is a great advertisement but Abby’s (and she tells us all the time) success will be based on her overall success rate of producing employable dancers. Just reminding Abby that she is on record as saying when you get to be 16 years old she is done with you!!!!!!!!!!!! Where will you be and what will you be doing when Maddie turns 16, Abby?

    Come down Abby, you have the skills to survive.

    Dances – Nia, a little dash of Nia’s personality would have helped. Kendall, a little sloppy, but a very enjoyable dance. Maddie, she always gets more out of a dance than anyone else. She keeps expanding her skill set, works very hard, and will always be at the top. The Group Dance was very entertaining, but did not show an advanced skill set. I did not like the combination of the costume and shoes. The 1950’s was about color, so a red shoe would have taken the eye to the foot movements, or a white top with a puddle shirt would have been more fun.

    I know this review is boring, but I have to comment on the last shot in the episode. I was surprised (but happy to see) to see how emotional Maddie’s reaction was. Remember Abby always told her that the other dancers would walk away from (Paige/Brooke) dance, and that you dance with anyone. Maybe it happened off camera but I did not see this type of emotion when Chloe left. I do think all the girls on the team really like each other. Kalani, who is older, seems to be filling the mother role of the group. I truly believe Kalani is a loving free spirit and energizer for the group.

    • I was sort of disturbed seeing Maddie’s sadness when it looked like Kalani was leaving compared to how she seemingly brushed off Paige, Brooke, and Chloe’s departures. She knew the other three girls since she could remember, but Kalani is a beautiful popular girl that Maddie idolizes. Typical preteen clique behavior, I guess.

      • I was thinking the exact same thing, where were the tears when the other 3 girls left? Maddie, Nia and Mackenzie had danced with them since they were toddlers, but there were NO tears whatsoever from them….sickening.

        • I know I’m late to this convo, but we really don’t know behind the camera when the others left. And I’m giving a Nia a pass on her emotions towards the other girls because she’s the only dancer that still talks to them.

  14. Abby’s world is falling apart and it is fun to watch! She took herself off on a giant first-class ego trip when she left Pittsburgh for LA. Thoroughly buying into her own narcissistic logic, she thought the kids of the rich and famous would clamor to get into her LA studio. Didn’t happen. She is stuck with the same older, less cute Pittsburgh girls who are all showing signs of teenage sass. She is also stuck with a halfway-built studio and a diminishing bank account, only to find that neither Collins Ave nor Lifetime is willing to foot the bill or give her a raise. On top of that, she is clearly on some kind of drugs or weight-loss medication–all this lip-licking, dry-mouth stuff is new (you don’t see her do that in early episodes). Her tantrums and meltdowns are worse than ever. Appearing on national TV in her underwear? Really? That’s not what successful businesswomen or dance instructors do. It is not even what successful reality TV celebs do. And who mouths off that a teenager would rather live with any family but her own? Abs clearly has a screw or two loose, but even though I’d rather see more dancing it’s entertaining as hell!

    • This is exactly it, and while it’s horrifyingly amusing, it’s also just *sad*… sad that she actually thought she could invade LA and have people clamoring to attend her studio just because of a silly reality show. Newsflash, Abby: the kids in LA have studios ten times as fancy and prestigious as yours. They don’t need your crazy TV show when they’ve been trained properly and win trophies all the time.

  15. Well, rumor has it that there was some sort of physical altercation between Kira and Abby and that’s why Abby went bra-less to the camera since Kira allegedly tore her shirt. (doubt it since we saw Kelly smack her on camera but whatever, fun to speculate right?). Also, she didn’t just leave the competition, the producers actually kicked her out, and she won’t be in next week’s episode because of that. This definitely leads me to believe that more went on than what we saw on camera (as per usual). Everyone says that Abby’s ego has grown bigger than Texas. I have also heard that this will definitely be the last season of the show and that Melissa and her kids got the spin off (we’ll see how reliable the source really is in a few weeks won’t we?).
    I stopped watching the show after I learned about the Abby’s eye comment towards Chloe. I always check here for your reviews, though. Only episodes I actually watched this season were the girls in Australia so I could see Nia’s concert, and then this one because I wanted to see what went down between Kira and Abby.
    I was really disappointed when I saw Gianna smirk. I always imagined she just shut up and did her job and didn’t really get involved in anything but I see her so differently now. Guess she was still sour about the Tessandra incident. I hope it was just edited in at a different time.
    But the moms are definitely right about the girls needing class, and I speak from CURRENT experience. I haven’t been able to dance for nearly 2 months because I did a stretch incorrectly and ended up pulling my hamstring. Yes, there are stretches you can and should do on your own every day but you also need your teacher there to correct you when you’re doing things wrong and tell you not to do certain things. Flexing your foot in one position may be beneficial and deepen your stretch, while flexing your foot in another position can cause injury.
    Besides that, you could definitely see the girls falling off in their technique. Kendall’s turns weren’t that great and she’s usually quite good at them. And I’m pretty sure everyone knows Kira and Kalani will be back and finish the season (if you didn’t know that sorry I spoiled it for you).

    If you want to know the winning routines and soloists I have them for anyone who wants to check them out. All of these were performed at different competitions, not the one we saw last night but it is the actual solo that they performed for the show.

    1st-Paige Landseadal “Dream”
    2nd-Basia Rhoden “Gravity”
    1st place group- Dolce Dance “All By Myself”
    2nd place group- Dolce Dance “4.0”

    Dolce Dance is the studio that 1st place winner Paige Landseadal attends.

    Can we just take a moment to be proud of how much Nia has grown? She actually beat Kendall!

    • Sorry, forgot to add the links but they will pop right up when you put them in the Youtube search engine.

    • They had to show the Kelly/Abby fight because there was a court case. If it hadn’t been on TMZ I don’t Kelly’s departure would have been edited quite that way. Really until this season and the start of the “Let’s Pick on Nia” story arc Abby still owned the “Most Favorable Edit” crown. I haven’t read anything about a possible Kira/Abby physical altercation, but if no one pressed charges, the producer’s basically (and sadly) get to tell the story however they want to.

    • From your mouth to Lifetime’s ears, madam. And it furthers my belief that Abby is trying to kill her own Frankenshow.

  16. Language warning ahead.

    You know, I always wondered about Gianna because we’d see clips of Abby talking shit about Chloe and even though we couldn’t always see Gianna I assumed it was directed at her. And she obviously witnessed things, like the Lifetime extra clip we saw where Chloe was crying after Abby criticized her for beating Maddie in an unaired solo and the infamous edited comment about Chloe’s eye. How can someone who teaches children just stand by and watch a child be treated this way. Well, her reaction when Abby rejected hugs from Kalani, JoJo and Nia just shows that this woman is as fucked in the head as Abby.

    I may not always like Kira on the show, but I was 100% behind her on this one. Good for her for standing up to Abby after she told three girls to get away from her. Defending your child in front of the adult who is bullying them, what a novel concept. Of course Abby hit below the belt. Her judgements are so off base. Remember the old “selling t-shirts in a bar!” outburst? This time we got your daughter wants another mother, premarital sex and I want full custody. And then classing it up in Fresno in your bra. (I’d love to see the unedited version of events here, but let’s just go with it at face value for now.) And good for Kira for telling Melissa to go to hell. It’s easy to tell someone else how they should behave when your daughter is in favor, isn’t it Melissa and Jill? Kira should leave. If all her daughter wants to do is dance she doesn’t need to be on a reality show anymore to do it. She won’t, but she should.

    Oh, and apparently at some point there was dancing.

    • Jenny has gone right out there and written the epitaph for the series: “Oh, and apparently at some point there was dancing.” 🙂

    • I was SO happy when Kira told Melissa off. That woman is so deep in Abby’s pants that she has no concept of right or wrong anymore.

  17. OMG this show needs to have its plug pulled. The girls are getting mistreated; nobody teaches them anything new (which is why they’ve been losing for the past three weeks), the Moms and Abby no nothing but yell, and its obvious by this point that Abby has so much going on that doing the whole LA thing wasn’t planned one bit. I’m not a professional dancer, but training is necessary no matter what the skill is. Classes need to be taught, improvement is for the better, and if they can’t get that from Abby or won’t let anyone new come in, then just cancel the show and send them back to Pittsburgh. In the five years I’ve spent watching this series, I would have never thought that things would have gotten this bad. Does Jeff Collins even care at this point? He must be reading the reviews after every episode. I feel so sorry for these girls, I know its fake, but that’s no excuse for what’s going on right now.

  18. Okay. Just wow. I think I’m left utterly speechless and need to find my words and make a comment worthy of this blog. Apparently I’ve got people counting on me with this thing too (I’m looking at Michelle and a few others I just don’t remember their names…) Dear lord. I think I understand a little bit more about you Mrs. Acken. I never thought I’d say this, but Lifetime has outdone itself tonight my fellow commentators and bloggers. I thought last year’s nationals could never be topped, but oh boy they did it today!

    Pyramid, I disagreed. Jojo should’ve topped the cap for us, it was her week and her moment of dedication to her grandmother (which I can’t still get over how beautiful it was. Abby herself even said that it wasn’t about winning with that number but she’s struck down for it in a sense because of her technique, which I’ll admit could’ve been better. Pyramid for me would’ve been Jojo at the top, 2nd would’ve been Maddie, followed by Nia, then Kalani, with Mackenzie after her, and Kendall taking bottom of the bottom for this week. I loved the titles of the numbers. Anyone find it rather peculiar that Abby is doing a musical theater number this week? After she’s said numerous times that they’ll go back to lyrical FOREVER? Huh, hypocrite with a capital H.

    With the classes thing, I completely understand. Maddie hasn’t been all too strong lately, Mackenzie isn’t soaring as she’s used to. Kendall’s turns are dipping, Nia is needing more improvement on the feet. Jojo and Kalani can’t get critiqued too much since they aren’t Abby’s students. I’m about to Dance Moms geek here, and later on too. Abby said Maddie’s training was suffering during Episode 10: The New Maddie? She was going up against Brynn and said it. Abby reiterated that in Episode 15: Maddie v.s Kalani. So now I need to know, where in the right mind is she getting this from? I can’t stand her. She is so hypoFREAKINGcritcal it’s unbelievable. I want to cuss, but I’m trying to mind my manners for this blog. Nothing like ruining your reputation by dropping f bombs everywhere. The girls need class. It’s a necessary component to dance. There are going to continue to lose out here in L.A if they keep this thing up.

    That first solo practice was ridiculous. Abby screaming at the kids about a yoga ball? Shut up woman! It wasn’t recorded, on camera at least, that she asked, so it was a definite surprise. Having the gall to tell her kids they don’t care? Those six kids dance their butts off (yet again, don’t want to cuss), win for her, are afraid of letting her down, and more things and she tells them they don’t care? Grow up! It pained me to watch Maddie get teary about it. I loved how Melissa got it a little bit and scuffled up, but then succumbed to her mentality of Abby is God or whatever. I cringed during Maddie and Kendall’s solo rehearsals. They just weren’t on it. Abby screwed with their heads. I think Nia is used to it.

    The whole bit with Tessandra? The fact that she lied about not even knowing her made me want to throw my AP World History textbook at the screen. She was bull-faced lying, and it sucked for everyone involved. How she brought Gianna in the mess who then got all panty twisted and acted smug? Give me a freaking break. I would’ve loved to see Tessandra teach a class. It would’ve been golden.

    Competition time at Abby doesn’t even give the mothers a single facial expression. Classic, immature Abby. I don’t care if this is a TV show and that the woman is made to act like this. If she is, well the show made a monster they can’t handle. If that is how she really is, God help the woman and smack her a few times. Send her to hell to take a dance class for good measure! (Man, I’m not like this normally. OOH, my blood is boiling)

    We get the same old blah blah blah blah thing about Maddie needing to win, Mackenzie beat her so now you’re a failure (which is bull**** by the way. None of the girls are ever failures) (Yeah, this cussing thing hurts. If a word slips, I’m sorry). Nia and Kendall don’t need to make Maddie nervous. They are hardly going to do that, ever.

    So we had Nia. The solo wasn’t shown in full glory, not at all. I personally don’t remember if that was the original song either. Her costume was gorgeous, absolutely beautiful. She is getting some nice costumes, I appreciate the gesture to her. The flexed foot choreography made me gag (I can’t stand flexed foot stuff, it’s so disgruntled to the eye and the beauty of it all). She danced like a mature lady. Never Knew + her music video was the best thing that happened to her. The judge who gave the critique, well said- even though I wished I heard the whole thing.

    I loved Kendall’s costume. It was out of this world. I surprisingly loved the song too. You’re right Mrs. Acken, not enough jazz. I personally think she killed it however, technically. Her turns gave me some eh moments. I did notice that her facials weren’t there in this one. She did not give face, or not enough for a number like the one she had. The critique she got buttered her up to make you think she was going to win. I knew the placements beforehand so I knew she wasn’t going to win, but it was still a sneaky tactic played by Lifetime.

    Maddie was very surprising to me. I expected a lyrical boring solo that although she dances wonderfully, doesn’t give me much more since she’s been doing it for so long. SO LONG. She had new moves in there that I don’t think she was ready for, such as the turn where she grabbed her turning leg while her supporting stayed firm. But, I enjoyed it. I must say, I liked the little feather placed on her head. Nice touch!

    I disagree with your opinion on the group dance. I LOVED IT! My goodness it was great! I think that number was judged poorly, I must say. It was so freaking good. The shoes weren’t my favorite since it looked hard for the girls to point their toes and keep the straight legs but I thoroughly enjoyed the number. I love when they do side aerials together, or at least in that two by two fashion. Plus, the part where they danced in pairs? Kill me with cuteness. I absorb the cute.

    Awards. DUN DUN DUN, ALDC got screwed. Kendall was 5th, I was indeed surprised. They actually showed the division placements for once, normally it’s the overall scores of the competition. Jill was right. Abby would have been pissed off of her rocker. Nia came in 4th! Yeah Nia! I’m surprised no one commented on how she beat Kendall, someone who consistently has beaten her over and over again. Maddie got 3rd, which to be honest was deserved. She cannot win all the time. Even Sophia Lucia has lost her solos, or they aren’t scored. Melissa lied, totally lied with that. In recent history, although it was three years ago- Maddie got 4th with Helen Keller at an Energy Dance competition. Season 2.5, Episode 16: I Know What You Did Last Competition. She then didn’t place In my Heart whens she forgot it at Starbound; Season 2, Episode 13: Abbygeddon. And, she has placed 3rd! It was when she danced Lights, Camera, Action at Starbound; Season 2, Episode 3: Brooke’s Turning Point. Melissa, you are a liar. Sorry. Even it happened forever ago. Maddie’s winning streak has come to an official end. It’s sad to see that happen. And the group was 3rd. Nope, like Kira said last week, I disagree!

    *sigh* Now comes time to address that awful ending… err, mid point before group. Abby can’t handle the truth (reference to Few Good Men anyone?) No one was attacking her. Not a damn soul. I can’t help with that one there. She starts boofrickinghooing. She demands people respect her and then cannot back up her own damn words? She’s a joke. A JOKE. She was bitter to Nia, Jojo, and Kalani. I wonder what was going through their heads when she said Get away from me.

    She is low. Like Christi said, “No one is lower than Abby. She crossed the line. Dance isn’t worth it.” Kira snapped awake to realize it. Holly and Jessalyn have realized it for awhile, Jill balances on the line, and normally Melissa sticks her head up Abby’s butt not to realize, but she can at times. I was disgusted, I loathed Abby’s reaction. Way to diss MattyB by the way, I bet that opportunity well never happen again for her girls. Abby is a cockroach. Her comment about Kalani wanting to be with any other mother than Kira, y’know what Abby? F*** OFF! You aren’t a mother. I guarantee it, Kira isn’t abusive or demeaning to Kalani at all. The comment of Kira with a man who isn’t married? Christi made the same comment about Melissa and her marriages, but it’s fine from Abby’s standards? What gives her the excuse to say it back? News flash Abby, it’s not yours to give!

    I can’t believe I’m doing this lol. For most of this time I’ve spent commentating, I’ve been angry by this episode. I’m fifteen. I shouldn’t get mad like this. I hope it’s normal, right? Anyways, Kira will be back.

    Before they officially showed the quote of Jill talking about whether Kalani and Kira would be back, earlier in the preview you see Kira standing behind one of the girls. Bad editing! I don’t think Abby will be in the episode which is a two handed sword because it’s Gianna we have to deal with. I used to like Gianna, but something about her for the past two seasons most of the time is rubbing me the wrong way. Really bad.

    Something I find funny is that my mom watched the episode with me. When it was over, she looked at me and asked, “Why do you like this show?” I shrugged and said like any sensible person would, “I don’t know.” And that’s me in a nutshell about Dance Moms. I started watching when Season 2’s Nationals came on- I was 13 years old and I’ve been hooked ever since.

    Well, that’s my two cents. If anyone wishes to oppose me on my views, like Mrs. Acken says, sound off below. Man, my energy is spent.

    ~ Christian

    • Dear Christian,

      Its OK to get mad at the show, I’m mad at it right now and I’m nine-ten years older than you. I agree with everything you said, but as I’ve stated in my comment above, “Training is necessary no matter what the skill is.” I wish these girls the best and would not be surprised if this show gets pulled off the air once this current season is over with. I couldn’t stand a season six honestly.”


    • Well, Christian…..color me impressed;) Your writing skills exceed your 15 years of age.

      My observation: The only reason Melissa got upset was because Maddie cried. Mackenzie gets raked over the coals every week and cries, but this was one of the very few times Abby has ever made Maddie cry.

      • The blatant favoritism that Melissa has for Maddie over Mackenzie is SICKENING. You’re a freaking MOTHER. Grow the hell up.

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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.