This week on Dance Moms, the girls competed in the iHollywood competition. Melissa stayed home, leaving Maddie and Mackenzie in Abby's care.
In Hollywood, Abby rented out the practice studio where Britney Spears and Lady Gaga have performed. She said nothing is too good for her girls. She also brought in a special guest: drag queen Shangela, AKA Laquifa. Abby said that she wanted Nia to see Shangela because it will help her embrace her heritage.
Melissa stayed home during this competition because she was spending time with her boyfriend. The other moms were critical, stating that Melissa should be in Hollywood with her young kids. However, Melissa's boyfriend pays the girls' dance bills, so Melissa had to take some time off from being a dance mom to be with him.
Paige Branches Out With a New Choreographer
For this competition, Nia and Mackenzie did a duet. Chloe got a solo. Maddie also got a solo. Paige and Brooke didn't get solos because Kelly went off on Abby Lee last week. Abby told Kelly that Brooke and Paige are welcome to get their own choreographer and enter as an independent, but then they'd be out of the studio forever. Despite the threats, Kelly took the chance and hired a choreographer for Paige. The choreographer worked with Ke$ha, Lady Gaga and others, so he's sure to have some tricks up his sleeve. Paige was nervous about having a new choreographer. She was also afraid to make Abby mad.
Paige was tense during her rehearsal with Mike, the choreographer. Mike's dance had a lot of body movement but not as much technique. Mike called Paige out and said she was clearly scared of something. He then reassured her and told her that he wants her to do the best that she can. We never hear that kind of positive talk from Abby! Even with the positivity, Paige was upset and went to cry in the bathroom.
Later, Abby told Kelly that she won't allow Paige to be in the group number if she does a solo as an independent. After some back-and-forth between them, Kelly said she just wants her kids to have good choreography. Abby contended that she does good choreography, and although Kelly wants her kids to feel special, Abby said that's not her job.
As it turns out, Paige was only able to learn 30 seconds of her dance before the choreographer ran of time. Abby told Kelly that she can pull Paige out of the solo competition or stay in the group. Kelly cried and walked out, and Abby said, "Don't cry. It's all your fault to begin with." Kelly ended up pulling the solo, and Abby, of course, criticized Kelly going back and forth on her decision.
Cathy Presents a Poison Apple - I Mean, Has Candy Apple's Dance Studio Compete Against Abby Lee's
Cathy set out to get her revenge on Abby Lee by bringing Vivi, Justice and Taylor from the Candy Apple's Dance Studio to the iHollywood competition. Cathy played dirty - the solo song she chose for Taylor was the one that Chloe would be dancing to. Cathy lectured Vivi and Justice about how Abby didn't use Vivi to her full potential and told them she was ready for a showdown.
Cathy walked smugly into the Abby Lee Studio's dancing room, and Abby and the moms looked horrified. She immediately had Taylor talk about the three titles she's won. She made it very clear that she was in Hollywood for the challenge and she was there for the win.
Cathy was so confrontational with Abby. She said she doesn't typically do competitions but decided to give it a try. Then she said Abby's choreography was old and stale, and she'd be bringing new choreography to the table.
Abby Showed an Emotion Other Than Anger
Abby found out her mom was in the hospital, and for once, she actually seemed emotionally affected. Well, Abby has emotions a lot - but the emotion is usually anger. We don't often get to see her tough exterior crack like it did when she heard about her mother.
When Abby took Maddie to lunch, they discussed the fact that Abby missed her mom like Maddie missed hers since she wasn't on the trip. Abby, once again, broke down a bit. She called her mom to check up on her, and her mom said that her stomach was in a lot of pain. Abby looked positively defeated.
Abby then complained that the moms don't seem to understand that she has life outside of the dance studio, but that's a bit hypocritical, as Abby doesn't want the moms and kids to have life outside of dance. As we learned in an earlier episode, Abby encourages the girls to miss school for dance.
The iHollywood Competition Was Dramatic
Maddie's solo was a contemporary piece called Disappear about a girl who was abused and eventually commits suicide. Abby said that 'some would say it's too mature for an eight year old' but Maddie can handle it. I'm in the camp that thinks the concept is too advanced for an eight year old. Before Maddie dance, Abby cried and told her that she inspires her and wants her to do her best. Abby said she doesn't want the dance to be controversial - she just wants the judges to see that it's good. Maddie danced beautifully, as always. The music was haunting, but the dance was much more appropriate than the missing child related group number from a few episodes ago.
Vivi-anne and Justice danced next. Their dance was really happy, which was a stark contrast to Maddie's. During the dance, it was clear that Justice has a lot of talent, and I have to say, that's the best I've ever seen Vivi dance. Her technical skills were way off, but she did get the choreography correct. For example, she got the look at the end correct, but she seemed to lift her leg late and drop it way too quickly. I think Cathy gave Vivi a duet, not a solo, because she knew she couldn't snag the win on her own.
Nia and Mackenzie's duo was next. Let me tell you, Nia and Mackenzie SHINED. The dance was very acrobatic, which was a criticism Cathy had for Abby's dances, but it worked. I think Holly's criticism may have kicked in with Abby, because Nia was very much on point and seemed to have improved dramatically. Or maybe Abby just gave her dances that were appropriate for her skill set.
Taylor from Candy Apple's went next, and Abby looked appalled when Chloe's music began to play. From backstage, Christi was confused because she thought Chloe may have missed her cue. Taylor did dance well, so the competition was sure to be stiff between her and Chloe. Fortunately, the girls' costumes were very different, and Chloe was definitely the better dancer. I think the competition with Taylor caused her to dance even better. Chloe was amazing! I feel bad for Taylor because she was clearly just a pawn in Cathy's game, and because of that, I hoped she wouldn't win.
The group number was theatrical jazz, and it was great! Nia kicked butt on the death drop. Seriously, it was awesome. The suggestion to do that was perfect - it made the dance really great.
Despite Cathy's claims that she'd have to win, she didn't. Nia and Mackenzie took first place in the mini-duet/trio competition. Chloe won first place for the junior solo. Unfortunately, the competition wasn't all good for Abby - Maddie had her first loss. She took second place in the mini solo competition. Maddie took it so well. She's such a great kid. Abby Lee's group also took third place for junior small group.
After the competition, Cathy approached Abby Lee's group looking smug again. She said she can go home and fix what her kids did wrong, and said "you can't fix ****". She then said that Abby hasn't seen the last of her Candy Apple's dance team.
When Abby actually showed some positivity by saying she was proud of the kids, she and Kelly started arguing. Chloe stood up for Kelly, saying that since Abby's not a mom she doesn't understand why Kelly wants her kids to feel special. Abby did not take this well, and arguments ensued.
I've been saying during the entire season that Cathy Nesbitt-Stein was planted to play the foil to Abby's plans. This is evident more than ever, especially because Cathy stole the music from Chloe's solo music.
Despite taking some losses, the girls danced great this week. Nia was especially awesome during this competition.
It's good that Chloe took first place when Maddie didn't. It's not good for Maddie, but at least Chloe got a spot in the sun!