On this episode, the Dance Moms girls planned to go to the Dance Explosion competition in Secaucus, New Jersey. However, that didn't work out.
Kendal was on the bottom of the pyramid because her mom was too needy. Nia, Brooke and Paige joined her. Maddy and Chloe took the middle spots. Mackenzie took the top spot.
Instead of a group number, each girl would do a solo this week...and each mom was in charge of finding her children's costumes. The criteria Abby gave was that she must have never seen the costumes before.
We found out that Abby makes each mom signs a contract every year when her daughter is enrolled, basically saying that Abby owns them for the year.
Next, we saw Cathy's studio, Candy Apple's. First, we saw everyone on the same row of Cathy's 'pyramid' to show equality. Then, she said that her dance school, like Abby's, would be hosting an open call for a new dancer. The difference between Cathy's and Abby's is that Cathy's open call would be a fun one, whereas Abby's was not.
In a clearly cast move, Peyton from Abby's studio auditioned for the Candy Apple's team. Her mom did this for revenge on Abby. When Cathy offered Peyton a spot, Peyton was hesitant - she said she missed her friends and was worried about the drive. When Cathy said that Peyton wasted her time, Peyton's mom Leslie went into confrontation mode and annoyed Cathy. In the end, Peyton did not end up on Cathy's team.
The moms from the Abby Lee Dance Company presented their costumes to Abby for approval. In typical Abby fashion, she didn't like them. This should not surprise any of you.
After all of the training and costume design, Abby got a call telling her that the Dance Explosion competition was cancelled. Fortunately, Abby was able to find a competition called the M.A. Dance Competition in Clute, Texas. Abby was quite let down when she arrived - the dance floor wasn't a stage at all - it was a gymnasium floor.
Brooke went first with her lyrical dance. She did really well. This was one of my favorite routines of Brooke's. Mackenzie was the next to perform from Abby's team. That kid is talented. My only thought about Mackenzie's performances are that Abby really ages her down and plays on her childish cuteness. It's adorable but I think Mackenzie's genuinely talented and deserves better than that.
After Mackenzie's dance, Kendal's mom Jill showed Abby Kendal's costume. It turns out that Jill didn't make the costume - she used an old one. Abby told Jill that she was breaking the rules because she was trying to teach everyone that her girls could win, even when wearing homemade costumes. Jill ended up storming out in a dramatic manner that was strong enough to rival Abby's own drama.
Melissa went to comfort Jill and ask her to come back and let Kendal perform. Jill pulled Kendal out and told her that she wouldn't be dancing. Kendal's response? "I want to dance." Jill said that she wanted Kendal to dance too, but she had to stand up for what was right.
Nia wasn't doing great during this competition. She was hurt, and before she was set to go onstage, Nia had a panic attack. Holly did her best to calm Nia down, and it worked enough to get Nia onstage for her lyrical dance. Nia did great. She's still not technically perfect, but she's improved so much since Dance Moms premiered.
Note: Regarding Nia, Abby said it's okay to dance when you're sore, but not when injured. That being said, I remember Abby saying something different to Brooke when she was hurt. She made her dance no matter what her body felt like.
After that, Abby told Jill to get Kendall changed into a plain white costume, and Jill obliged. Kendal did well onstage.
Chloe danced next. She was awesome. Maddie followed. She was awesome. Her dance had Spanish flair and she pulled it off perfectly...until she fell during a flip and landed on her butt - HARD. (This didn't look staged, but I bet the producers were thrilled to see some legitimate drama on the show.) She had to be carried offstage. Melissa held Maddie backstage, and Maddie cried for two reasons - she thought she'd never dance again and she thought Abby would be mad at her. Abby wasn't mad, and Melissa commended Abby for being kind. That being said, Abby still told Maddie that she second guessed herself, which made her fall. Abby also noted that this was Maddie's first major fall, but it wouldn't be her last.
Paige danced next. She seemed to really come into her own during this dance. She had confidence and style, and she was fantastic. She even had great facial expressions. Even Abby complimented her afterwards!
At the awards ceremony, Brooke took third in the solo competition, Chloe took second and Paige won. Go Paige!!!
Abby joined the moms and dancers backstage in a great mood. She commended the kids (and the moms for the costumes), and noted that now people that didn't know them at all now knew who they were. Abby noted that all of the girls got perfect scores for their costumes. The moms were thrilled.
Before the episode ended, Abby gave Jill an ultimatum: play by the Abby Lee rules, or take Kendal off the team. Jill said she and Kendal would discuss their options. We will see what happens.
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