We begin this episode of Dance Moms scared for Abby Lee Miller. We’ve all seen the preview showing her and Kelly going at it in the dance studio, throwing chairs and insults across the echo-filled room. We know Abby’s strong, but with all the tears shed on this show week after week, can we really handle watching Abby, the one who is in charge of the tears, start shedding them too?
Abby begins with one of her usual encouraging rallies: “You walked into this room just as sluggish and boring as you walked out on that stage.” She yells, “You’re boring!” Way to stay positive, Abs.
Pyramid of Doom
On the bottom is Maddie, because “They announced you, and you’re bawling in the audience,” says Abby. Next is her sister Mackenzie, for getting 10th place last week. Abby says, “I don’t do 10th.” Then it’s Paige, for forgetting that crucial step in the group number.
In the middle are Brooke, for not showing any enthusiasm, and Nia, whose place in the middle is actually a compliment, sort of. Abby yips, “I didn’t have to hear your mouth all day long.” At the top is new superstar, Chloe.
This week the tiny dancers are headed to the Energy Dance Competition in Chicago. Nia and itty bitty Mackenzie are doing a duet, and they love it. Paige gets a solo. Brooke gets a solo. Chloe gets a solo called “Unchained.” Chloe gets reprimanded for going to the doctor.
You Have a Face. Use It.
In the Moms’ box, Melissa is pissed that Maddie was at the bottom of the pyramid. Kelly points out that Melissa’s kids are at the bottom because Melissa is no longer working for Miss Abby, nor is Melissa sucking up to Miss Abby every minute of every day. “Abby doesn’t need me anymore,” laments Melissa, who had been working in reception at the Abby Lee Dance Studio, which is a very prestigious job in the Philadelphia area.
But apparently, after they found a replacement for Melissa, she has been getting non-stop emails from people! “They miss me,” says Melissa with giant teardrops in her eyes. All the moms shake their heads and place their tongues in their cheeks in one collective, synchronized movement.
Abby keeps yelling at Paige to be “Big! Bigger!” She yells, “Face!” because “You have a face! Use it!” “Either make a fool of yourself or win,” she tells her stressed out student, because those are the only two options in life.
Brooke’s number is actually really cool. She basically transforms from one shape to the other without moving her feet very much. Brooke is, of course, famous for her neck dancing. If anyone can dance on her neck, it's aspiring Lilith Fair headliner Brooke.
Abby tells Kelly that she must put stoppers on Paige’s prop chair, so that it doesn’t go slipping and sliding all over the place. Remember that sentence, dear readers, because it will come back to haunt all of us.
Enter Kathy the voice teacher. What a red-headed surprise this Kathy is! Brooke is dressed all pretty for her private singing lesson, and it turns out she’s a budding songwriter! She’s singing in the wrong key, but Kathy thinks Brooke can sing as well as she wants to.
Boring. Yawning. Sloppy.
Holly, the former working mom, is overwhelmed with getting costumes done for the group number. Holly wears her blazer to go shopping for costume parts and costume design class, because she wants to show the other moms that she is a professional, no matter what she’s doing. Even if it means sitting in a hot pink room with glitter and ribbons and saying things like, “We’re cutting things up, we’re distressing them.” Kelly goes outside to stomp on a black prom dress and imagines she’s stomping on Abby’s face. That’s not a joke there. That’s what this grown woman actually did on television.
“A hot pink effing rhinestone chair. I’ve heard it before,” says Christi, ingeniously giving us an automatic title to this recap. They’re back in the studio, and Abby says to Paige, “Boring. Yawning. Sloppy.” And then we can’t decide which quote to use as the recap title! On to more important things, like the effing chair.
Abby touches the chair and knows right away that Kelly “the dingbat” forgot to put stoppers on the legs of the chair. Kelly mouths “F**k you.” Abby looks at little, crying Paige, and inquires, “Doesn’t that make you embarrassed? That’s language a truck driver uses.” Kelly comes storming down the stairs, and lets loose. “Good luck making your bills without my tuition.” She tells Abby that she should stop eating, because that’s why she’s fat. Abby tells us that Kelly has always been a mean girl, and we tend to agree.
She pulls Brooke out of the studio too, which obviously is ridiculous, since Brooke can still do her solo. Isn’t that why the moms are here in the first place? To dance? That’s all the girls want to do, so moms like Kelly should stop letting their ego start screaming all over the place, scaring their own kids, and grabbing them by the arm to take them away from their dance lessons.
Of course, Kelly comes right back to the studio the next day, and her children, quite literally, jump for joy. Kelly, Melissa, and Christi go outside to make costumes, and the girls start rehearsing. As Chloe jerks her hardest across the floor, Abby yells, “Faster!” and “Stop it!” But she does well.
I Hate That Face, Maddie
Maddie loves Miss Abby, which we get to see during Maddie’s private dance lesson. Melissa comes downstairs crying, and blubbering, and saying, “When those women say bad things about you, it hurts my heart, and it hurts Maddie’s heart too.” And Maddie runs out of the room because she’s embarrassed. She starts saying bad things about the other moms, saying how incredibly jealous the other moms are of her! Paging Teresa Giudice! The whole thing is gross.
Melissa takes Maddie into the bathroom and tells her to ask Abby if she can dance her solo since Paige and Broke are no-shows. Melissa says, “Remember that face, I always say ‘I hate that face, Maddie.’” Which is, well, sort of encouraging? Maddie eventually gets her way and is allowed to do her solo.
But lo and behold, here are Kelly, Paige, and Brooke! It turns out they just avoided riding in the bus with Abby. Ugh, we just can’t deal with Kelly anymore. Now that Maddie is dancing a solo, Kelly decides to ruin her kids’ lives by putting her ridiculous stomping foot down and not allowing them to dance, even though they’re right there, ready to dance! We say, “Ughhh!” out loud to our TV screens.
Blame it on the Music
Finally one dancer shows up to do a solo, and that is Chloe, who wears a black sparkly onesie, and looks fantastic. Next up is Maddie, dancing her re-do solo, and then all of our hearts stop, because the complete loser whose only job is to play CDs backstage so that little girls can dream of being ballerinas, suddenly has a meltdown and throws his jazz hands up in a tizzy because the music skips.
But Maddie continues, even through the skipping music, and we have never seen an audience explode the way this one does. Men with white beards in the back row are screaming for her! It’s heartwarming, actually. Time for the solo awards. Chloe gets 3rd place for her solo, and Maddie gets 2nd place. So, once again, Maddie’s on top of Chloe.
Backstage, Kelly tries out some convoluted argument that she doesn’t want to support Abby Lee as a teacher, and that she does want them to dance in the group number, because you shouldn’t let a group down. She blubbers and cries.
Mackenzie and Nia’s duet is next, and it is so frickin’ adorable. Mackenzie plays a tiny lion, and Nia plays the lion tamer, and Mackenzie walks on all fours (because she’s an itty bitty lion!), and we could seriously watch one hour of just this and be so serene.
The zombie number is this group at their best. They’re in sync, their costumes look perfect, and the choreography is very Black Swan meets calisthenics meets Gwen Stefani meets Thriller. Then we remember why we watch Dance Moms and not Mackenzie’s dancing lion for one hour. These girls are so good! Speaking of the lion, Mackenzie and Nia win 1st place for their duet!
The group dance rightfully wins 1st place, and everyone is thrilled. Abby comes backstage yelping, “Whoo-hoo!” But Kelly’s dumb decision has to be confronted. And it is, but in the strangest non-sequitur we can possibly imagine.
One minute, Abby is talking about kids who want to dance, and the next, she screams at Kelly, “I was the first one at the hospital when your husband ran over your kid’s foot!” Um, what? But seriously, whaaat? Kelly decides not to respond, and we wish we had the energy to ponder this deep, dark mystery of The Husband, The Car, and The Foot, but maybe one of you readers knows more than we do. Til next week!
Catch an all-new episode of Dance Moms on Tuesday, June 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.
Molly Friedman is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @MollyFriedman.
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