It was inevitable. We knew we’d have to see that face, that makeup, and that beef jerky store again. Welcome Cathy and her elderly Candy Apples dance crew back to Dance Moms, everyone!
Right away, Abby Lee announces, “We will be traveling to Ohio,” which is Cathy’s home state, of course. Everyone, tiny dancers and moms included, collectively groans. Christi pulls out her trademark sarcasm with, “Oh yippy skippy!” The kids put their hands to their heads and start moaning like little old ladies on the deli line. They are 7 to 13 years old, and they are exasperated!
Abby says awesome things like, “We are going to be so hot that they become apple pie. And your group is going to be like the a la mode.” Also, “We’re going to stick a stake right into that beef jerky!” Cathy’s husband, who is a Rick Santorum voter (still!), owns the beef jerky store next door to Cathy’s Candy Apples. Still no word on Cathy’s sure-to-be genius plan to synergize la boeuf and la danse, but we believe in her.
On the bottom of the Pyramid of Doom are Brooke, who is still on probation since she chose an 8th grade dinner dance over Abby Lee’s heart and soul; Mackenzie, because she chewed gum while dancing; and Nia, who just couldn’t nail her turns.
In the middle are Paige and Chloe for small mistakes. And at the top it’s Maddie … and Maddie again! Way to put those favoritism accusations to bed, Abs! In the last episode, you see, Maddie won “two crowns, two titles, in less than two hours.” But Christi just thinks Maddie’s a “gremlin” because her face multiplies under water on the Pyramid or something, and we hope somebody understood what our girl Christi was getting at because we sure didn’t.
So this week’s competition will be in the lovely hamlet known as Ohio state, and Paige (loving the curly hair, by the way!) will be their “title entrant.” Which means that Paige will be competing directly against Kendall from Cathy’s Candy Apples. In case you’ve forgotten Kendall, you need only remember The Screams. The Screams were born when Kendall’s mother Jill made her Dance Moms Season 2 debut, all high volume and ear-shattering noise. So not only will we get to see Cathy and the little engine that couldn’t known as Vivi-Anne, but Jill and The Screams will return to our TV sets. Joy!
Chloe will also be doing a solo called “Angry Bird,” and Christi calls Abby out on bird racism. Why does Chloe always get bird-themed dances? Swans, birds, “what’s next, a peacock?” As Dance Moms obsessives, we know that Christi is a bit self-conscious of her nose, especially since Cathy loves to call it a “beak,” and tell her she has a big ol’ schnozz. We’ve always wondered why Christi didn’t tell Cathy that her face is covered in so many makeup pancakes that it’s heard to hear her, but maybe Christi has more dignity than us. Maybe.
Up in the Moms’ box, Melissa is getting a hard time since Maddie won twice.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Abby’s elite, older dancers are here, and they are like that moment when Valerie showed up on the original Beverly Hills, 90210 and we all realized that nothing would ever be the same, because there were older girls hanging around and stuff. Since Cathy always puts “ringers,” also known as “the elderly” in her group dances, Abby wants in on that game. So we meet three tall, slender, oddly polite young ladies who will be filling in the gaps this week.
Christi is offended, though! Holly thinks it’s incredibly hypocritical since Abby always used to complain about Cathy’s “elderly” trick. And Kelly, who has been begging for Paige to get her own solo for months now, wants to complain about Paige’s solo. So there’s that.
Suddenly Cathy is talking about Asian princesses fighting over handsome Asian princes and yes, Toto, we’re in Ohio now. Begrudgingly, we should point out that Cath’s new, longer hairdo is pretty fantastic. Well done, Ohio hairdressers (or lack thereof).
H, Jill! Jill is at a mini-Scream level now, because she feels like Cathy was “gangbusters” over her Kendall at the beginning of their membership, but now Kendall is just another dancer on this, ahem, ensemble dance team. It’s Big Star or nothing! Easy now, Mama Rose.
Two studly men are introduced, and we temporarily lose our hearing since we’ve never actually ever seen a “studly” anything on Dance Moms, and it takes us a moment to grasp our bearings. They are some kind of guest choreographing team who has “seen the Abby Lee Miller dance company.” They speak, and they’re not straight, and we’re not surprised.
“I think I’m going to go down and say something,” says Kelly, and those are the words we most dread on this show. Kelly is complaining since Paige isn’t getting any private instruction. Abby, rightfully, says that Paige has won titles on this dance already, and there’s nothing new to learn. Kelly screams louder, without saying anything! Except that “the dance sucks.”
Christi and Kelly go to an elegant and empty restaurant decorated with wine bottles. Christi, amazingly, tells the server, “I’d like a glass of water and a Cosmopolitan.” Now that is how you order a drink with class. Kelly says that she is going to re-choreograph Paige’s solo because the dance “sucks.” Um, Kell, didn’t Abby scream and throw a chair last month because you forgot to put stoppers on it? How do you think she’ll react when you secretly redo her effing job? Somewhere, a Dance Moms producer squeals with delight.
The Candy Apples choreographers are doing a tribal number with stomping and wild hands waving around, and this must be Cathy’s idea of “Asian.” She also tells Kendall in a private rehearsal that she needs to “open” and “pop pretty hands” to get better. Cathy says she’s sub-par. And Jill will not have it. More producers squeal.
Kelly gives Paige her “redo” choreography, and Paige is a very good girl for saying, “I don’t wanna change the dance because Abby’s gonna throw a chair again!” Then she starts to cry. Kelly! Ugh, Kelly. We say “Stoppit!” to the TV the same way we do to our dog when she tries to eat her own poop. Kelly needs to stop eating her own poop.
It’s time for the Ohio competition, so the tiny dancers and Abby’s massive seashell necklace travel to “Cathy’s territory.” Paige still looks like she’s going to cry just moments before going onstage for her solo. Even Kelly says that she’s a “nervous wreck.”
First up is Chloe’s bird solo, and she is wearing tattered taffeta and feathers. There is a small catastrophic moment when Chloe’s earring falls out, but Chloe is the perfect professional, and pulls off the number. We adore Chloe, as always.
Next up is Paige with her “redo” number, choreographed by Kelly. There are lots of sultry, smiley, seductive chair dances and kissy faces. Abby calls it an elementary school effort, and Kelly bites her lip.
Then we have Kendall from Candy Apples. As usual, Kendall looks like she could be a great gymnast, but a graceful dancer she is not. The music skips, and Cathy is running off a list of all the reasons why Kendall’s dance was “mundane.” Abby calls it a “hot mess.” And then Jill is crying to the not-straight choreographer in a stairwell, and Cathy says, “she thinks her kid is way better than she really is.” The Screams get really sad, and we feel terribly for Kendall. Someone make a Save Kendall t-shirt and make it multiply like gremlins.
Abby has turned a neon green scrunchie into a ring, and we thought that was distracting during the Abby’s Wrath scene, where she yelled at Paige and Kelly for changing her dance into a mess. Paige, goodness bless her, manages to keep her eyes dry as Abby points and screams. “Don’t raise your kid to be a sneak, Kelly!” she yells. And then Kelly has the nerve to say, “I’m heartbroken.” You ate your own poop, Kells bells, and it’s time to digest.
The tiny dancers are dressed in some kind of white, lacy bridalwear for their group number. But first up are the Candy Apples, wearing kimonos. Everyone lifts up Vivi-Anne like the “human prop” that she is, and Abby calls the whole disaster a “Chinese buffet.” Christi asks, “Did they seriously just bring a gong onto that stage?” The answer, unfortunately, is yes.
Abby actually seems nervous as her girls take the stage. But they are gorgeous, and perfectly synchronized. Abby thanks God, and we do too, for those older girls, who are ladylike and don’t get flustered. So who gets the prize?
For the solo awards, Paige ends up with 7th place, and Chloe gets 6th place, and poor Kendall doesn’t even place. Save Kendall! For the group numbers, Abby’s team gets 5th place, and oy, the Candy Apples don’t place here either. Cathy may look better than usual, but no amount of studliness can save her team.
Cathy and Abby have a little confrontation in the hall, and Cathy says that Abby’s “goon squad” has mouths that are “running like a typewriter.” Seriously: “Their mouths are running like a typewriter.” That’s all, folks!
Dance Moms airs on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.
Molly Friedman is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @MollyFriedman.
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