Welcome back to Miami! Where dance is art, and the moms are never happy. Seriously, though — the moms on the original Dance Moms might have to deal with Abby Lee Miller, but at least they know how to have fun. These Miami moms are taking their fifteen minutes seriously, and their nerves are showing.
Angel presents The List, where the tiny dancers are ranked based on last week’s dance competition and overall performance, and Lucas (the boy!) is at the tippy top. “It was your first time doing it with a girl,” says Victor (cue: our giggles). “But you nailed it.”
Perfectionist Kimmy is second, only because “You dropped too early for the straddle part,” says Victor. Kimmy doesn’t understand why she wasn’t first, just like a good little over-achiever.
Third is Sammy. Fourth is Hannah, which means Jessi is last. To remind you all, Jessi’s mom is Susan, often referred to as “psychomom” in the promos. Living up to her nickname, Susan decides to take her anger out on Deb, which is really not a good idea.
To summarize: During a previous competition, Jessi yanked Hannah’s trophy out of her hands. This is, of course, a sin. So Jessi is repenting by keeping her lips zipped whenever she’s placed at the bottom of the list. But Susan doesn’t know how to zip it, and decides to weep, and take it out on Hannah’s mom, Deb.
Deb is basically this show’s equivalent of the Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Rosie. She’s bigger, she’s cruder, and her “youse” accent gets more and more distinct the louder she yells. She’s also the dimmest bulb in a group of barely lit ones, which makes her a dangerous presence. We’re keeping our eye on that Deb.
Susan actually pulls Jessi out of class, crying. “That was an embarrassment to ME as a mom.” “I want you to be at the top of that list. You owe ME that.” Oh, the ego.
Victor tells the group that they’re headed to California for this week’s competition. “They’re hot, they’re trendy, they’re really advanced.” Angel says, “We were not happy with your image, the way you carried yourself.” Maybe that’s because they were told to wear shirts that displayed their biggest insecurities across their chests.
Angel gets off a decent line when Susan takes her daughter outside. “Never ever, ever will I follow a problematic mother outside.” Angel sits Susan down after she’s taken a breather and popped her violet contacts back in. “We run a studio, I’m not a therapist.” But then, he basically becomes the best therapist ever. Victor compares Susan’s grabbing Jessi out of practice, to Jessi grabbing the trophy out of Hannah’s hands. Victor says he’s not a shrink, but if that isn’t shrinking someone down to size, we don’t know what is.
“This is not a zoo,” he alerts us.
Watching over Sammy’s solo rehearsal with Victor, Angel is not impressed with Victor’s choreography, and he is wearing a colorblocked rainbow scarf. “I don’t want my name to be with her in this number,” says Angel. The boys continue to fight and wave their fingerless leather gloves around each other’s head space.
Angel watches Victor work with Lucas next and seems more impressed. Lucas really loves his splits, and that’s all we have to say about that.
When the boys fight, the moms’ idea of a snappy joke is, “I think he has PMS.” At this point it’s clear that all the action on this show will happen in the studio, especially when Victor begins screaming, “Get it together or we’re not gonna compete!” at the top of his lungs, and Angel yells at them for falling. The boys fight a little more, and are all, “You’re dismissed!” And some snaps are snapped, and some sass is tossed, and we know the whole thing is painfully staged, but these D-list boy divas in their leather gloves and rainbow scarves are starting to grow on us. Their freak flags are flying.
In Deb’s very Miami-ish kitchen, where both her daughters are bedazzled in hair bows and sparkle shirts, we find out that Deb is from New Jersey. We pat our finely tuned reality show-based accent detection on the back.
Angel oversees Hannah’s solo rehearsal, which is full of emotional head thrusts and arms whipping past ears. Angel corrects Victor’s sushi roll choreography. He says that all he saw was Sammi rolling around on the floor, like a piece of sushi. Victor just does not need the drama, okay? But Angel truly wins this round, because he is wearing a lilac and white striped button-down, and he looks like he could play Armand in The Birdcage. We applaud.
Ohmygod there’s an Abby Lee Miller commercial, and it looks like new Dance Moms is on the way! OMG to the extreme!
Back to the Miami divas. Everyone’s checking in at the “Hollywood” competition, which is actually in Long Beach, and Hannah’s solo is up first. It’s okay. One of the lady judges makes one of those “Aww, look at her, putting in all that adorable effort” smiles, before writing down what we assume is, “Cute, but no.”
Lucas’ shirtless dance is next, and he does all of his standing splits and back bends, and extends his arm towards the audience like he’s dusting them with glitter. The moms fawn and faint, and everyone loves a dancing boy. “If Lucas’ dancing was a voice, it would be screaming,” says Victor, which we assume is a good thing.
Sammy’s outfit reminds us of Jane Sterling’s on the LCD episode of Mad Men, which is startling and amazing. Her solo dance is pretty good, but we think we spotted a booty shake in there. Booty shakes are not “art.” Awww, Lucas hands Sammy a white rose and calls her performance “stunning!” Sammy is all, it’s “awkward” that Lucas has a crush on me because “he’s only like, 9, and I’m 12.”
Susan starts whispering very loudly about how her daughter Jessi is obviously the best dancer in the group, which is unacceptable in the Dance Moms universe. Victor is all, “No she isn’t, she’s at the bottom” of the sacred List. The other moms say how not classy it is to say that in front of all the kids. But Susan wants to throw a hissy, so she does, and walks out. We’re pretty sure the producers told her to say that, but we’ll let it slide.
Mainly because we highly doubt the producers told Victor’s mom, the studio assistant, to say how every one of the dancers is great, “even Hannah.” What did we say about poking the Deb beast? Not the best decision.
The Jersey accent is unleashed in the form of phrases like, “Whaddya mean, even Hannah? Who are you?” She’s the dance studio owner’s mom, actually. And she says that Hannah is not at the same level of the other girls.
Hannah gets a blah 4th place for her solo. Lucas gets 2nd place, and he says he’s having fun. And Sammy wins 1st place overall, which just boosts Sammy’s ego a bit. Everyone’s all smiles. And Brigette gets the last word in with “If my kid got fourth place, I’d be embarrassed!”
The group number is pretty good, mainly because Lucas is playing a “city boy,” and sticks his tongue out, and he is wearing skintight pink shorts with a chain. And the group wins 1st place overall! Jessi gets to hold on to the trophy this time.
Molly Friedman is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @MollyFriedman.
Catch an all-new Dance Moms: Miami on Tuesday, May 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.