Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dance Moms: The Starpower Competition, The Last Regional Competition Before Nationals - 8/16/11

On this episode of Dance Moms, Christi had to decide between seeing her ailing grandmother and taking Chloe to the last regional competition before a national dance competition.

Abby Lee began the episode by assigning new solos, and Nia's mom was upset that her daughter once again did not get chosen. Christi, on the other hand, was thrilled that her nine year old daughter Chloe would not be competing against eight year old Maddie.

Abby had a crazy idea for the group dance number, which was called "Where Have All The Children Gone?" It is based on all of the children that go missing, or become victims of bullying and suicide. The goal of this dance is to tell a story, not just be a dance, and it was intended to be dark, haunting and creepy. Abby's goal was to stand out at the competition, and I think this does, but not necessarily in a good way.

Chloe noted that she doesn't understand the concept of the dance, but she says that Abby said that they were giving a message to parents about being safe. She did say she liked that the dance was creepy and cool.

Whereas Chloe seemed fine with the dance (although Abby reprimanded the kids for not interpreting the dance, despite the fact that they hardly understood what it was about), the moms were less than enthralled.

Holly confronted Abby about why Nia isn't given solos. Holly explained that she wants Nia to feel special. Abby countered that Nia needs private lessons to get to the next level. It seems like Holly eventually caved and said she'd do whatever it takes to get Nia to earn her solo dances.

Kelly's Birthday

Cathy insisted that for her 40th birthday, Kelly gets Botox. She then insulted Christi, saying that even though she's the youngest, she's got awful lines on her face. Despite the insults, the three women ended up going and having a good time. Although Cathy didn't actually get the Botox, saying she didn't need it. After the Botox, the women had lunch. First, Cathy managed to insult Christi again, saying that she needs a nose job.

Later, the women met up to continue celebrating Kelly's birthday. This was one of the only times that the women seemed to have fun and stop fighting over their kids and dancing. (Spoiler alert: it doesn't stay this way later in the episode.)

Christi's Grandmother

Christi got a text saying that her grandmother was rushed to the hospital, and her grandmother is like her mom. She's been Christi's strongest mother figure. When she went to visit her grandmother, she brought Chloe to show her where she grew up.

Christi then said that it's so important for Chloe have a place to sign onstage, and during this scene, it became evident why she feels that way. Christi used to dream of taking dance lessons, but her grandparents weren't able to provide them for her. She's passing her dream onto her daughter.

Fortunately, Christi's grandmother's health improved, and Christi knew that she'd made the right decision to accompany Chloe to the Starpower competition.

Regionals

As Chloe and Christi were preparing to leave for the dance competition in Long Island, Christi got a call that her grandmother was unconscious and on a ventilator. Christi broke down. She wasn't sure what to do: go with her daughter to regionals or go to see her grandmother. When she thought it through, she knew her grandmother would have told her to go with Chloe, so that's what she did.

Remember how happy Christi was when she learned that Maddie and Chloe were competing in separate categories? Abby went ahead and crushed that. She bumped Maddie up to the next age division, which, as you can guess, pitted her against Chloe. Even Chloe was disappointed because she thought she'd finally have a chance to win since she wouldn't be competing against Maddie. Christi took this as a personal snub, saying Abby did it just so Chloe can't win.

Brooke put on her costume, and it looked atrocious. The best solution was to take the top from Vivi's costume, and Cathy was mad because Vivi's costume was custom made. After making the decision to share the costume, Cathy decided she changed her mind. She went up to Kelly three dances before Brooke went on and caused the scene. Kelly told Cathy to go back to her studio (Candy Apple), to which Cathy replied that she's at Abby Lee's studio to stay. The argument continued as Kelly said that the girls all share costumes. While Kelly did give Cathy the costume back, she ripped out the stitching she'd done and told Cathy to do it again herself. It was ridiculous that Cathy created the drama that she did so soon before Brooke's dance. At this point, I really hope Cathy was just planted on the show for drama because she causes so many problems.

Chloe's solo was first in the competition. I think she was supposed to be some kind of French mime. Maddie was next, and she was prepared to win against her older competition. Her dance was fantastic. In the end, Chloe claimed second place, and Maddie took first place. Maddie won by half a point. Christi, of course, was angry. Even Chloe was disheartened because she was so close to winning. Fortunately, taking first and second place qualified both Maddie and Chloe for Nationals, so at least Chloe would get her change in the spotlight.

Brooke
's acrobatic dance was crazy...in a really good way. She had these ridiculous acrobatic moves that normal people can't even remotely do. Brooke said that Cathy's drama caused her to mess up a bit, but she definitely still did well. Brooke ended up in sixth place, and Cathy claimed that it's because she wasn't good, not because she was shaken from Cathy's ridiculous outburst.

Cathy demanded that Kelly fix Vivi's top, and Kelly did, despite the fact that Cathy (and therefore Vivi) didn't deserve it. It astounds me that Cathy purposely messed up Brooke's dance, yet she still demanded that Kelly finish putting Vivi's costume together. Selfish, selfish, selfish.

Next, we saw "Where Have All The Children Gone?" It was not my style, to say the least. First of all, Vivi just sat on a swing the whole time, which I guess was good because she is not a good dancer. Secondly, Nia had to pretend she was choking, which instead of being artistic, looked like something out a low-budget horror movie. Someone pretended to be stabbed or something, but even after all that, the scariest part of the dance was seeing how scarily skinny Paige is. The dancing was great and the concept was haunting, so I do give credit for that, but I still am not convinced that the overall concept and performance were as great as some people are saying it is. The girls ended up winning first place for this dance, which is surprising to me, but that's probably why I'm not a dancer or a judge at a dance competition.

I think it was interesting that when the dance took first place, the one of the moms said, "That's why we trust Abby!" Yes, she hit it spot on this time, but did you completely forget about the completely inappropriate outfits we saw earlier in the season? Not everything she does is a hit. It's interesting how quickly people forget about the negative aspect when something positive comes through.

Takeaways

Abby Lee was cruel when she put Maddie in Chloe's age division. It really wasn't necessary. Maddie's obviously a good dancer, but there was more of a risk of her not winning when she's up against older girls. It didn't work out that way, but if Abby really only cared about her girls winning titles, she would have left Maddie in her own division.

I still hope that Cathy was planted on Dance Moms simply to cause drama. I actually can't believe Abby Lee allowed her to be on the show, since her daughter clearly can't dance and she's causing problems for everyone. I stand by the fact that she must have been planted for TV ratings because I feel like Abby would have destroyed her and kicked her out of the dance studio after her impromptu dance solo in last week's showcase.

Abby ended the episode by saying that things were tough, but they are going to get tougher. And while I can respect that the kids are training to be professionals, I think Abby's hard enough on them now. I can't even imagine what will come next.

It looks like Abby Lee is going to get some serious heat from Nia's mom Holly next week when she dresses Nia in leopard print and puts her hair in an Afro. (If you aren't aware, aside from Vivi, Nia's the only girl who isn't Caucasian in Abby's competition group.) Can we say that this is going to get nasty? I think it will.

5 comments:

jacamo said...

The dance waas brilliant, thank you for being able to see the light.

Anonymous said...

The dance gave me a chill down my spine. Nia's choking scene gave me a horrible feeling and Paige's jumping off the stage was unbelievable. Chloe grasping the air for her life, Maddie getting stabbed and Brooke running off the stage for her life to the beat to the breathy music, all in white gowns, made me fear like I never had before. I thought it was innappropriate since (a) they, as Chloe has pointed out, don't understand the concept of the dance, since they are too young to get the true tragedy of abduction and suicide and (b) they are basically the age of most childhood abduction and suicides and people in the audience, as Abby pointed out, might have had a child that was abducted. What would they thing when they see a child about the age their child was when abducted, dancing in costumes that made them look deceased? I think it was overly inappropriate, and I hope everyone else thinks so too. I get that they were trying to warn parents about child safety, but this was too much.

Anonymous said...

The dance was really good and the girls executed it brilliantly. However, they won first place in thier age group - which was 8 & under. Funny how most of the girls are over 8. Makes you wonder how the girls can feel good about beating younger girls. By having 1 or 2 girls at a young age really messes with age groups.

Cadence said...

To the poster of the second anonymous comment, how are age divisions for groups determined? By the youngest kids? Or by the number of people of each age? I'd love to understand.

Anonymous said...

This dance freaked me out.I almost wanted to scream.it was totally not for this kinda gourp.I can not even think of why Abby would put this dance on for little girls!

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