Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dance Moms - July 24, 2012

Abby opened this week's episode of Dance Moms with something that looked incredibly scripted. She congratulated the girls on winning, and just as she was about to announce the order of girls on the pyramid, Kendall's mom Jill walked in asking if Kendall could be back in Abby's group.

If you recall, Kendall was part of Abby Lee's team until she went over to join Cathy and Candy Apple's Dance Studio. Jill, her mom, was thrilled with Cathy until the opportunities for Kendall dried up. Jill begged Abby for a chance, but Abby said she wouldn't be letting Kendall back in at that time.

The girls would be going to Starpower in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This would be a local but big competition.

Abby announced the pyramid next, and as usual, Mackenzie, Nia and Paige took the bottom row. This was unfair because Abby admitted Paige did nothing wrong, but she was part of the trio. Chloe and Brooke took the second row, and Maddie took her usual spot at the top of the pyramid.

Maddie was given a solo called I Can't Find the Words. Chloe got one called Creme De La Creme. Nia got a solo too, and hers was called Working Girl, and it was a Loquifa song like the last one that gave Nia a lot of success. The girls would be doing a group number called Vampire, and Abby was bringing in a boy for the group routine.

During rehearsal, Abby brought in a boy named Nick. The girls ran to hug him, showing that they know and trust him, which Abby said was important.

In the Mom Room, Jill spent time with the dance moms while Kendall appeared to be practicing with the girls (I thought she was rejected? Maybe I missed something). Jill defended her actions of walking into Abby's studio unexpectedly, but the moms weren't having it. Well, except for Melissa. Melissa was buddy-buddy with Jill right off the bat.

During Paige's rehearsal, Jill busted in again. Jill said she's doing what's best for her kid, and Abby told Jill that she had acted inappopriately.

Nia practiced her routine, and Abby made a snide comment about the number in her confessional. She said that the routine is about Nia's mom Holly, who, in Abby's opinion, thinks she's the first woman to ever work full time and raise a kid.

During the group rehearsal, one of Abby's staff members handed Abby a phone, and on the phone was a casting director for Drop Dead Diva, the Lifetime television show that the girls auditioned for during last week's episode. (During the commercial break, a commercial aired for Drop Dead Diva. Coincidence? I think not.) The girl who got the part was Maddie. Kelly made an interesting point - the casting director wanted a blonde, and Maddie was the only non-blonde to audition. She thought that Maddie was chosen before this even began. Christi was also not thrilled with the outcome. Holly agreed as well.

Abby seemed extra stressed as she rehearsed the group number, which featured the girls fawning over a vampire. She complained about things, including Nia having too much hair. Again, Jill showed up. Abby sent her right out the door.

Abby called the mothers together to discuss how upset she is that they didn't celebrate Maddie's success, and instead seemed resentful. Christi made a good point - Abby hardly seems happy when Chloe wins anything, yet she can't stand it when anyone goes against Maddie. Holly and Abby began to argue. Abby switched to the fact that Nia needs to change her hair, and Holly told Abby to change her face. Ouch, low blow!

Abby was concerned about how the negativity could affect Maddie, so she instructed Maddie to get her crowns, which Abby had asked Melissa to bring to practice. It seemed that Abby's point was to show that Maddie's a star and that the girls should be happy for her. Melissa walked downstairs after getting trouble from the moms about Maddie showing her successes and told the girls that it wasn't Maddie's idea to show the crowns, so the girls shouldn't be mad at her. Abby thought this was ridiculous because Maddie should own, not hide, her success.

The Competition

Right away, Abby noted in the confessional that she knew who'd be in the group number and who wouldn't be, but she wouldn't share that yet. Before the competition began, Kendall began to cry and said her stomach hurt. It was noted that maybe she's nervous about not being in the number since Abby hadn't decided the final members of the group.

Next up to break down was Nia. Abby criticized her as she practiced her song, and she froze and looked like she was about to cry. Nia said that she really wants to be in the group dance, but if she messes up her solo, there's no chance. As it turns out, Nia forgot part of the dance (per Holly 's comment from the audience) but from my perspective she looked great. She kept going and made it work. Abby even said that Nia did great. Go, Nia!

Maddie performed next. She was great as usual, but I didn't love her choreography. However, the dramatic effect of looking up and ripping up a piece of paper onstage was very powerful.

Paige followed Maddie. Paige was absolutely in her element. Her stunts were awesome and her stage presence was fantastic. This was the Paige we know and love - not the girl who's always on the bottom of the pyramid and beaten down by Abby's negativity. Abby admitted that Paige did great and said that if she wants a private lesson going forward, she'll get it.

In the very competitive Power Division, in which all of the girls were competing:
- Nia got ninth place and a special attitude award.
- Paige got sixth place.
- Maddie took first place, and she won it by 3/10ths of a point.

Back in the rehearsal room, Abby entered to find the girls getting ready, but only Kendall with a white bow in her hair. Why was this a problem? Because that was a piece of the costume for the group number, and Abby hadn't yet announced who'd be performing in the group number. When asked, Kendall said her mom gave it to her. In turn, Jill said Melissa gave it to her. In response to that, Abby said that Melissa doesn't own the studio and implying that she stole the bow.

Next, Abby asked one of the girls to do a standing back lunge, which she executed perfectly. Paige said she wanted to do one as well, and Abby and the mom told her not to. Finally the moms gave in and let her do it, and she landed badly - she hurt her foot. That knocked her out of the group dance. Nia and Kendall were also told that they wouldn't be in the group dance. Jill, of course, started a problem yet again, but that's not unusual.

I don't believe for a second that the girls didn't know who'd be in the dance, by the way - there's no way it could be that perfectly choreographed if the dancers didn't know exactly how to work and dance together.

When the remaining girls went on for the group dance, it was amazing. Truly well done nad beautiful. Also very age appropriate. This was a winner, in my opinion. And fortunately, the judges agreed - the team won first place.

Jill and Abby started bickering again, and Jill said that Abby should call her when she's ready to let Kendall in. After some more argument, Jill said Abby doesn't care about anyone but herself. Jill went on to criticize all of the moms and accusing them of bullying. Finally, Jill walked out and ended the episode.

In two weeks, we'll get the next episode of Dance Moms, and it looks like a good one. Paige was hurt and wouldn't be dancing for several weeks, and Jill's far from gone. I'm certainly looking forward to the next episode!

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