Abby announced that the team would be traveling to Denver, Colorado for Intensity Dance. The group dance, the only one that was determined at this point, was called Angels vs. Demons. Abby then announced that she'd be holding auditions to replace Brooke and Paige.
During the auditions, in which we saw some very talented kids, Jill commented that the moms are crazy. This made me laugh because Jill and the current moms are pretty nuts sometimes, too, but whatever! Abby determined the finalists and said she'd be making an announcement soon after.
We flashed over to Kelly, Brooke and Paige at home. It seems like Brooke and Paige were conflicted on whether to continue but leaning towards no to pursue other interests. Kelly was incredibly opposed to their return because the environment wasn't safe and healthy for the kids.
Abby told Jill that Kendall would have a solo this week - the first of the season. The solo was called It Girl. Jill asked Abby if she's chosen the new people for the team. Abby said she'd narrowed it down but not made a selection, and wouldn't tell the moms who she chose. Holly asked if she'd be giving the new girl solos over their kids. Abby looked displeased. Jill asked if the new girls would be on probation. Abby walked out of the room.
We watched part of Kendall's rehearsal, which didn't go well. She was given the solo because she worked hard over the break, but Abby told her that she wasn't dancing well and the girls in auditions were better than her. Kendall cried to her mom, and Abby screamed into the room that the girl who was given a solo shouldn't be crying. At this point, Jill kicked in as a good mom instead of Abby's pet. Jill told Abby that she can't treat Kendall like this and expect her to perform well.
Next, the new moms arrived after the studio. There were two contenders - Ava and Ally. Ava would keep the age down but doesn't have her side aerial. Aly would compete in the 13 - 15 year old division. Ally was chosen for now, and Ava wasn't given a spot.
Cathy was also looking to replace a student who left - Justice. Then she got a crazy idea - take Vivi out for a bit and have an all-boy competition team.
Shelly, Ally's mom, met with the other moms in the viewing room. As the moms talked and watched Ally dance, Holly noticed that Ally was learning the special part of the dance that Chloe had previously been learning. Ally was being given the part of the angel in the group number - which Abby was stealing away from Chloe! Shelly was sweet and apologetic about, but Christi took issue with the fact that Shelly didn't stand up to Abby about it.
Chloe and Maddie practiced for their solos. Then, Abby met with Mackenzie for her solo, called Goody-Goody. Abby told her that she used to just be Maddie's little sister but now she's a title holder, so she expects a lot. She also told her she's gotten worse since the end of last season.
Abby talked to the girls about how they aren't as good as they used to be. She said that if the girls didn't improve, Abby would take away the group number and only have Ally do her part as a solo. Holly stepped in at this point - she said she doesn't want to go all the way to Denver if Nia wouldn't be dancing.
Abby took Shelly out to get to know her. Abby said the moms think that Shelly's just being quiet for now but is secretly an outspoken dance mom. In truth (or at least in Shelly's perspective) she's being herself with the moms - she just happens to be nice. Abby told Shelly to not let the moms get to her or react in front of them.
Shelly's mom, in the practice room, started talking about how it's not her fault Ally's in the group because it was Kelly's choice to pull her kids out of dance. The subject turned to the group number, and the moms encouraged Shelly to not let Abby turn the group number into Ally's solo. Shelly said she wouldn't speak out against the teacher. Shelly left the room to talk to Abby and encourage her, although nicely, to keep the group number as a group number. Christi said she wasn't sure that Shelly fits in because when Shelly talks, birds fly out of her mouth, yet when she (Christi) talks, fire comes out of her mouth.
Maddie's lyrical solo Don't Leave Me was first. As usual, she didn't disappoint. Chloe, who was nervous because of how Abby treated her, was next with her contemporary solo called Nobody's Perfect. It was funny - the song is about loving yourself the way you are because nobody's perfect, yet that's the exact opposite of what Abby teaches her girls. Chloe, like Maddie, danced great. Chloe said she forgot her steps, but Abby told both girls that they performed well, so she must have recovered well. Still, Abby couldn't help to put in a dig about how in a real show, Chloe can't change the choreography because she'll get fired.
Abby got a surprise visit from Mark, a friend from high school. He apparently knows Kelly as well, and shared a dig with Abby about how Kelly's kids forget their parts. He and Kelly used to date according to the dance moms, although Abby's in denial about that. Abby seemed to be pretty into the guy.
Kendall performed her jazz solo third. She danced okay but the choreo wasn't as special as Maddie or Chloe's. There wasn't anything special about the number. Even Jill admitted that the performance wasn't fabulous. Abby said the performance was entertaining, but she thought she should have done better.
Abby announced that all of the girls would be participating in the group number, as initially planned. She said she was doing something strategic the whole time by watching the other numbers or something. I'm not exactly sure what Abby was planning, but I don't know if we ever really know what Abby's got in her mind. Ally's dancing was beautiful. The girl's got talent. The other Abby Lee girls complemented her, and the dance was absolutely beautiful. To me, this is one of Abby's best numbers.
Mackenzie's solo was last. The girls prayed that Mackenzie would remember her dance so Abby wouldn't yell at her. Mackenzie did well, although her hairpiece fell out of her hair, and she subsequently forgot part of her dance. She kept going, though! Fortunately, Abby only told Mackenzie not to cry afterwards and didn't criticize her for her wardrobe malfunction.
Mackenzie took first place in the Mini Solo Award.
In the Elite Junior Solo Division, Kendall took fifth place. Chloe took second place. Maddie took first place.
In the Junior Group division, Abby's team won first place. And they definitely deserved it!
The episode ended with Abby saying she hoped she could get rid of Christi and hanging out with Mark. Do we smell a romance in progress?