Abby began this week's episode by congratulating the girls on their performance, then breaking them down in the pyramid.
The bottom row of the pyramid was pretty typical. Paige was there because she needed to fix her arms, Brooke was told that she doesn't smile and Mackenzie didn't dance at Maddie's level at her age.
Chloe took her usual spot in the middle row for being average, and Nia joined her.
Maddie took the top row because she's a born leader.
This week, the girls went back to Fire and Ice, only this time it was an elite competition for the best dancers. Chloe and Maddie had solos and the group number would feature the girls dressed as showgirls.
The kicker? For the showgirl number, the audience should think the girls are nude.
The routine was one that had been done in the past, and it featured fans that cover the kids' bodies. Each girl had a fan in the front and one in the back. The moms protested, but Abby said that she's a professional and knows how to be classy, even though her young dancers were intended to look naked onstage.
Melissa began discussing the wedding dresses from last week's episode again and suggested that one of the moms renew her vows. Yet she still wouldn't tell the women that she's engaged - despite her new engagement ring.
Cathy's husband Mike, who now owns a beef jerky store (what?), told Cathy he wanted to do a commercial for his store, Tommy's Jerky Outlet. The couple discussed Vivi-anne starring in it, and Cathy suggested that it advertise the dance studio as well. Mike suggested that the dance studio share the cost. A commercial for a beef jerky store and a dance studio in one? Strange. Very strange. When Mike told Cathy that getting a commercial made was too expensive, Cathy magically stepped in and said she'd film the commercial and feature her dancers. Not staged at all, of course.
Next, we saw dance practice at Abby's studio, where Abby told the girls to hold the fans up their butts and boobs. They're kids, for goodness sake! They shouldn't be thinking about having assets!
We saw a shot of Mackenzie dancing to the showgirl song, and it was just wrong. Mackenzie's such a kid with an innocent face - it's terrible that she's dancing as a showgirl when she shouldn't even know what one is!
Abby presented the costumes to the moms, and they were tiny, skin-toned boob covers and shiny bikini bottoms. The moms, including Melissa, were concerned. Christi was speechless. Holly looked appalled. Abby defended her choices, saying everyone knows the girls are actually clothed, but still...I don't think people should even be thinking about the girls in inappropriate ways.
At this point, Cathy pulled a surprise move - she called Christi to ask if Chloe could star in her beef jerky commercial. Her reasoning? Chloe has video experience. Christi said she'd talk to Chloe about it, but Cathy said she'd need an answer now, so Christi said yes. Chloe would be getting paid, so Christi chose to look at it as pure business.
The filming of the commercial was a mess. Cathy's husband tried to make suggestions and Cathy shot him down. Next, Chloe arrived - and her costume came out. It was covered in beef jerky, theoretically inspired by Lady Gaga. As a (sort of?) bonus, Cathy said Chloe can eat the sausage when she's done. Cathy definitely used the words, "boom, boom, I'm fabulous meat!" in explanation of Chloe's performance. Oh, my goodness.
Abby noted that there would be no Cathy at this week's Fire and Ice, and she'd be happy to never hear her name again. That's exactly when Christi brought up Chloe's commercial. We watched it along with the girls. It was awful, and there was no dancing in the commercial. Also, the phone number that flashed at the end was fake. Abby was angry about Chloe's performance, and said that this would come back to haunt her one day. Maybe true, but hardly relevant, and horrible to say before Chloe had to go onstage at a competition. Also, being on Dance Moms will affect Chloe way more in life than a being in a fake commercial.
Despite Abby's criticism, Chloe danced beautifully to her song, called The Raven. If anything, the sadness she felt enhanced her dark-themed dance. She was very intense, and her facial expressions were fantastic. Maddie performed second to I'm Already There. She was also fantastic. It was very soft and happy, which strongly contrasted with Chloe's dark number.
The girls prepared for the group number. Fortunately, with jewels on their outfits, they looked more clothed. Still, the dance did not look appropriate, and the moves were way too sexual for the girls. I felt kind of disturbed watching the dance, and one of the male judges looked like he was laughing nervously. Holly was appalled because people were 'hooting and hollering' (her words) at the kids. Still, Abby stood by her dance and said it was totally appropriate.
During the awards, Chloe took second place in her category for her solo. Maddie took first place in the solo competition - all ages, not just her division.
For the junior small group competition, Abby's girls didn't even place. Not surprising. Abby was quick to say that it's not all about winning. Yet when the girls take second place because one girl is out of place, Abby throws a hissy fit. Just saying.
Earlier in the episode, Kelly suggested throwing Melissa an engagement party with a stripper. It was a quick discussion that didn't go anywhere, but as it turns out, it led to a surprise party for Melissa after the competition. Melissa was appalled - she wondered why she was getting an engagement party when she wouldn't even admit that she's engaged. She also said the stripper was disgusting, although Abby enjoyed the stripper. Abby said he wasn't a dancer, but she seemed to enjoy his performance in any case.