This week on Dance Moms, the girls went to the Starbound competition in New Jersey.
As usual, Abby Lee opened the episode by showing us the pyramid of her dancers. On the bottom was Nia for her mistake in the group number, Kendal for starting a dance move early, Paige and Mackenzie, who would not be in the group number, but would have a solo at Starbound.
The middle row brought us a surprise: Maddie! This was because Abby wanted her to see what it's like to be back in the middle, even though she won for her solo. Chloe joined her in this row.
Brooke was at the top of the pyramid because she proved herself to Abby.
Next, Abby announced the solos for the Starbound competition. Mackenzie would do a jazz dance to a song called Showtime in an act that Abby called My Parade. Maddie was assigned a jazz dance to Lights, Camera, Action. Chloe was given a lyrical routine to Don't Catch Me. Maddie and Chloe would be going head-to-head in the competition.
The group number was called Born to Dance and it's about a baby being born and features a touch of mystery. Abby said the song is provocative, yet wondrous, and is done
artistically. She said she wants the dancers and their costumes to
appears if they're just being born. Brooke was the featured dancer, and Abby told her that she needs to be the glue that holds the group together.
Not shockingly, the mothers were not thrilled with the nature of the group number. They firmly believe that their kids should be kids and not learn about mature topics too early. I agree with them, and I think that Abby chose this number strictly to cause controversy and interest for the show Dance Moms. I don't know Abby in real life, but I don't think anyone in their right mind would have girls under thirteen dancing as if they've just come out of the birth canal. Even to an adult, the subject matter being featured in a dance is kind of disturbing.
In a scene that was obviously staged, Brooke went to a football game after dance practice, and in the confessional let us know that Abby had been too hard on her at rehearsal that day. She sat in the front row, and her friends and one of the cheerleaders encouraged her to try out for cheerleading. Then, we saw a shot of Brooke, suddenly in full cheerleading attire, on the field giving it a try.
Brooke approached mom Kelly about her desire to be a cheerleader. As if by magic, her mom knew that tryouts were on Saturday and Brooke would have to (gasp) miss a dance competition. If she did this, Abby would freak out. Kelly pointed out that if Brooke didn't go to the competition, Abby may not let her back onto the competition team.
Kelly approached the other moms about Brooke's decision to possibly pursue cheerleading. Kelly wasn't sure what to do because she didn't want to make the decision for Brooke and not let her go to tryouts. She wanted to give Brooke the opportunity to make her own choice, even though she may not enjoy cheerleading.
Group practice was already in progress when Abby said, "Stop! Where's Brooke?" as if she magically didn't notice when she lined up the girls that one was missing. When Abby made the realization that Brooke was missing, Kelly hid upstairs waiting to find the right time to tell Abby. She didn't have to make the choice because Abby went to find Kelly to ask for Brooke's whereabouts. Kelly told Abby that Brooke found something that she wanted to do at school and wouldn't make it to the weekend's competition. Kelly also said she was allowing her to do that.
And then there was silence. Just for a second, there was silence. Kelly had stunned the words right out of Abby.
Then, Abby opened her mouth and said, "So she's out." Abby went off on Kelly, saying that Brooke was determining Abby's fate and the group's fate. Kelly argued that she was determining her daughter's fate. In retaliation, Abby cancelled the group number.
Holly, Christi and Melissa approached Abby after the announcement of the cancellation. Abby immediately shot Holly down and said she wouldn't be traveling this weekend. Christi spoke up and said that she and Melissa (who I guess are getting along now) wouldn't travel just for a solo and wanted to stand behind Brooke's decision.
So what did the oh-so-mature Abby do? She called Christi an a**hole. Then an a**. Abby followed that up by saying she wouldn't support someone breaking a contract, to which Christi said that she was supporting a friend. Then, Abby got personal about Kelly, asking if Christi would support her friends when her kid goes to Harvard and Brooke goes to community college like her mother. Ouch, Abby. Inappropriate!
Without a competition there wouldn't be a show, so Abby decided to let the girls go to the competition...but not perform under her name. And she wouldn't choreograph. She would let one of her employees, Gianna, choreograph, but she just couldn't tarnish her name by participating. Oh, the drama! Even after this, Abby wouldn't let up, saying she'd never let her daughter shake her pom-poms so some guy can go to college for free.
Gianna loaded the girls on the bus to the competition, and it seemed that Abby wouldn't be joining them. The atmosphere on the bus, like it seemed to have been at rehearsal, was light and fun. And then, darkness descended, and by that I mean that Abby boarded the bus.
The mood only got darker when Melissa got a phone call from Cathy (yes, Candy Apple's Cathy) saying that they should get their girls together. In a totally not staged at all fashion, Melissa asked if Cathy was headed to a competition, and SURPRISE, she was headed to Starbound as well! Since Cathy's dancers are closer to Brooke's age and Brooke wasn't in attendance, Abby pretty much declared war on Brooke if Candy Apple's beat her group in the competition, especially since the Abby Lee Dance Studio was last year's national winner.
Mackenzie danced first. Abby told her not to even get onstage if she thinks she'll forget her routine, and Melissa even worried that she might run offstage. On the contrary, Mackenzie rocked it. For all of the BS that Abby gives Mackenzie for not being as good as Maddie, she was incredible! She has gymnastic flexibility that I've never seen from Maddie. She actually seemed to be more like Brooke than Maddie.
Chloe was second. I think she executed her dance beautifully, but I didn't love the choreography. That being said, Abby said she messed up some things, so maybe those weren't the moves I didn't like.
Maddie was third. Her facial expressions, as always were on point. She was good, although she didn't seem to believe it. She said that jazz dancing felt weird.
The screen flipped to Cathy, who (like magic) noted that Brooke was missing, and also came to the revelation that she's trying out for cheerleading. After that, the camera broug ht us to Brooke's tryouts. Brooke had trouble saying the words while dancing, but her jumps were immaculate. In the end, Brooke made the team...which meant she'd be walking away from dance.
Mackenzie took first place for the Junior Petite Overall award.
For the Junior soloists, Maddie took third place and Chloe took first. Abby told Melissa that Maddie didn't win because she looked professional, whereas the other girls looked like amateurs.
The Group Number
Abby was interested in the group dance again, presumably because she wanted her girls to beat the Candy Apple's girls. The Apples danced first to a song called Mermaids. They danced well for the most part, although I didn't love their choreography, and I hate to say that Vivi-anne, who just ran on and off stage, made their routine look bad because her dancing was flawed. Abby noted that Vivi was only in the routine at all to bring the age group down so Candy Apple's could compete against younger girls.
Abby Lee's girls danced next. I have to admit that I really liked it, although that's probably because it didn't even remotely think of babies and birth, aside from the song.
The girls competed in the Junior Groups award category.
Candy Apple's came in 8th. Ouch!
Abby Lee's girls came in 1st. Cathy looked mad! And after all was said and done, the girls danced - and won - using the Abby Lee name.
Abby took her girls to see Cathy's team under the guise of saying good job, however, she had an ulterior motive: she wanted her bee costume back. Cathy said, "The ugly bee costume? I gave it to Goodwill." And then she insulted Christi's nose again. The women then got face to face and argued until Holly pulled Christi out of the room.
Next week, we'll see Payton (remember her from last week?) join the dance team, presumably in Brooke's place. We'll also see Chloe cry and Abby yell some more.
And that's it for season two, episode three of Dance Moms, featuring the Starbound competition in Nutley, New Jersey.