February 12, 2013 10:12 PM by Stephanie Gustafson
The previews have promised us a “super-sized” episode of Dance Moms this week — and that means 90 minutes of Abby Lee Miller, Candy Apples and bickering mothers! That’s right, Cathy’s back in the picture and she is desperate to knock Abby off her pedestal. Will she succeed?
Last week’s episode of Dance Moms ended with Christi threatening to leave the studio. At this point, pretty much everyone has stormed out of the studio “for good” on at least one occasion, so I guess it was finally Christi’s turn. But if she’s like the other moms, she’ll eventually have to come crawling back. And when that time arrives, Abby will be all too happy to rub it in her face.
The moms and dancers (minus Christi and Chloe) file in for the pyramid of doom. This week, Abby shakes it up by starting on (gasp) the top of the pyramid. Kendall takes the place of honor for the first time ever, and while Jill assumes it had to do with Kendall’s hard work and dedication, I’m assuming that it was simply the fact that she beat Chloe. And that’s something I don’t understand at all, because I didn’t think Kendall’s last solo was particularly exceptional. But, as Abby constantly refuses to acknowledge, a lot of what goes on in judging at dance competitions is purely subjective. Sure, they get scored on dance technique and execution, but there’s also points for costuming and choreography, neither of which the girls have much control over.
But back to the pyramid…Maddie and Nia take the middle spots. Mackenzie’s on the bottom because she fell asleep in the dressing room — and frankly, I don’t blame her. Those dance competitions are exhausting. Brooke and Paige are also on the bottom, but that’s actually good news…or at least, it is for Brooke. Because as of last week, she didn’t have a spot on the pyramid at all. Abby’s quick to remind Brooke that she would still be off the pyramid if Chloe hadn’t made like a banana and split. Oh wait, she didn’t leave apparently. No, Abby clams to have kicked her out. This week, her picture has a big X across it, along with the word “suspended.”
This week, Nia and Paige will be together in a duet, while both Kendall and Maddie get solos. Maddie is relieved to finally have a solo again, but is then informed that, as with Brooke, it’s all a result of Chloe’s absence. The group routine will be about an avalanche, and, true to form, Abby is having all the girls portray their own gruesome deaths. It’s interesting to see how much she enjoys killing off the dancers in her choreography. Reminds me of a kid playing the Sims and torturing their poor little Sims for fun. Except, of course, these are real people we’re talking about.
Nia and Paige begin rehearsing their duet and it looks like this is going to b an interesting one. Nia is going to be the wallflower and Paige will be the wild child. I think of Nia as anything but a wallflower, so we’ll see how she pulls it off. But there’s a big problem: Nia’s been struggling with her reflex neurovascular dystrophy, a childhood disorder that almost put her in a wheelchair at one time. The condition can be triggered by stress and, given Abby’s mood as of late, Nia sure is stressed out. In addition to the RND, Nia has been experiencing quite a bit of pain in her foot. Holly promises to remove Nia from the dance should the pain become too severe. I’m sure Abby will be thrilled about that.
Now, for an update from the Candy Apples. Cathy is using every trick in the book in order to beat Abby, with the first being…bring in all boys. Again, the whole subjective thing — judges at dance competitions tend to be more lenient with male dancers, so a group of all guys is certain to give Cathy that extra edge. And of course, since she has no choreography talent whatsoever, Cathy is bring in outside help. She’s stolen the pyramid idea from Abby but it doesn’t work so well with only four boys. The new Justice at the top of the pyramid is named Gino and Cathy is intent on having him beat Maddie.
Back at the ALDC, the girls are rehearsing their avalanche dance when suddenly, Sophia and Jackie show up! Abby immediately gives Sophia a solo and promises to take away either Kendall or Maddie’s solo. Jackie’s concerned, because she doesn’t want to cause tension. And in a refreshing change from the usual emphasis on winning, Jackie tells Sophia to worry about doing her best, not taking first place. Of course, knowing Sophia, she absolutely will win if she does her best…because her best is incredible. Jackie also advises Sophia to say she’s sorry to whichever girl Abby decides to boot from the solo — she wants to stay in good graces with the other moms, although who knows how long that will last.
Not long evidently, because the next day, Jackie and Sophia are nowhere to be seen. Jackie had been really uncomfortable seeing Abby yell at all the other girls and evidently decided to remove Sophia from the situation. This is good news for Kendall and Maddie but bad news for Abby. She had been planning on using the shock factor, since evidently, Cathy doesn’t know who Sophia is. If that’s true, Cathy must have been hiding under a rock, because pretty much the rest of the dance competition world is familiar with this YouTube sensation.
Nia’s foot is acting up again and Abby, in a very un-Abby move, tells Holly to get Nia clearance from a doctor before she dances again. Turns out, there’s an ulterior motivation: Abby’s not too enthused about the duet and would love to have an excuse to pull it. The doctor tells Nia that she can dance but should take some time to rest the foot as well.
Abby’s dancers arriv at the competition in their usual bus, only to be greeted by Cathy in a stretch limo. Cathy makes fun of the ALDC’s mode of transportation, but really, I think the one who deserves making fun of is the stupid dance teacher who likely ppassed the limo cost on down to the parents of her new dancers. Apparently these new Candy Apples are made of money. I mean really, a limo?
Bothered by Cathy’s heckling, Abby snaps at Nia for being “immature” and, after being called a monstrosity by Holly, decides to pull the duet. She leaves to sulk and in the meantime, Cathy shows up to again taunt the mothers. Jill says that she hates to admit it, but she really wants the ALDC to beat the Candy Apples. The first step, of course, if for Kendall to o well with her solo. And it’s a nice dance, complete with a mask for a prop, but Kendall’s just missing that extra spark that is needed to capture first place. She’s followed by Gino, who is actually a pretty good dancer…but suffers from subpar choreography. Fortunately, Maddie doesn’t have that problem and her solo is amazing as always.
Cathy’s boys are next and their dance is…interesting. It’s categorized as hip hop but it’s the jazziest hip hop I’ve ever seen. I mean really, who puts pirouettes and leaps in a hip hop dance? But one of the kids does impress with a sweet head spin and based on the looks on the judges’ faces, they’re loving it. Abby’s girls follow and her choreography is clearly ten times better than what was displayed by the Candy Apples.. But the dance hasn’t been cleaned enough and as a result, there’s some obvious timing issues.
Time for awards! Gino takes eighth and, as Abby astutely observes, it’s all because his choreography didn’t suit him. Maddie takes first, of course, and she’s thrilled. Unfortunately, the group dance only takes third place, and the Candy Apples emerge victorious. I’m not sure how, because I really wasn’t impressed by the dance. But I guess having an all-boy group really does the trick. To add insult to injury, Cathy heads for Abby’s dressing room to shove her victory in the moms’ faces. The result? A fight in which Abby and Jill toss water on Cathy and Cathy retaliates by hitting them with her purse.
Melissa worries that Abby’s blood pressure is skyrocketing. Abby calls her mom in hopes of calming down and then says she’s had enough and is leaving. Of course, based on the preview for next week, she’ll be back…as will Christi and Chloe. Holly comments that karma’s always there when you need it and doesn’t seem too bothered by the third place — she’s glad to see Abby get her comeuppance for pulling that duet.
Phew, that was a lot of drama, even for Dance Moms!
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