After last week's toxic episode of Dance Moms
, it's actually refreshing to see Cathy and the Candy Apples again. After all, Abby needs a nemesis that isn't on her own team, and Cathy fills that position nicely.
That's not to say that Abby was nice to her dancers and dance moms this week -- far from it! Abby threw fits, dancers cried and moms stormed out with their children in tow, cursing the day they ever learned the name "Abby Lee Miller." But the episode focused a little more on dance and a little less than dramatic brawls than last week's irredeemable episode did, and for that, I'm personally grateful. When Abby's focused on crushing the Candy Apples, the Abby Lee dancers bring their A-game, and Dance Moms viewers win.
Don't Drop the Hat
Since the dancers took fourth place last week, Abby posts a blank page at the top of this week's pyramid and explains that no fourth-place dancer belongs at the top of the pyramid. Harsh, but not shocking. After an embarrassing finish last week, Abby wants the girls to get their heads in the game. She gives solos to Kendall, Chloe and Nia (finally, Nia!) and assigns a group dance called "Pink Lemonade" involving hats.
The girls will tuck their long hair into the hats, then lift the hats during the dance to let their hair cascade down, creating a dramatic affect that Abby hopes will wow the judges. It's a solid plan, but Abby worries that it'll backfire if a dancer drops a hat. Her solution is to tell the girls that if they drop a hat, they're cut from the team, ejected from the studio and shamed from ever dancing on stage again. The moms laugh at the ridiculousness of it all, but Abby snarls, "Let somebody drop a hat and see what happens." Heads will roll, obviously. Dancers: don't drop your hat!
Boys with Crowd Appeal
Over at Cathy's dance studio, the coach stands before her secret weapon: a team of break-dancing little boys. The guys are Cathy's key to beating Abby since, she explains, girls are "a dime a dozen" at dance competitions, but boys stand out and make the judges take note. When Abby sees Cathy's team of boys, she thinks the same thing; judges want to encourage boys to keep dancing, so they'll award them top prize even if they aren't technically the best dancers. It's a crafty, clever plan. "She's a snake," Abby says of Cathy.
The crowd goes nuts when the b-boys take the stage. Judges laugh and cheer, the audience applauds and one middle-aged guy behind Abby throws his arms up in the air and celebrates like no guy I've ever seen at a dance performance. Jill admits that the boys are crowd-pleasers, but she's not sure if they're technically better than the ALDC. She hopes the girls can come out on top.
Christi Storms Out
Though the girls perform "Pink Lemonade" well, Chloe drops her hat, and Christi just knows Abby will take every opportunity to tear Chloe down over it. Christi may be my least favorite dance mom, but in this case, she definitely knows what's up. Abby storms backstage screaming at Chloe about supposedly ruining the dance for everyone. Christi, to her credit, calmly collects her coat and her child and tells Abby she's leaving since Abby can't treat her daughter with respect. Christi only loses her temper when the camera man follows her out the door and down the hall. "Get away from me!" she screams repeatedly. Okay, so there's a little bit of talk show drama to this episode, but thankfully not too much.
Truthfully, Christi should've stuck around. Despite the dropped hat, the ALDC girls won first place in the group competition and beat the Candy Apples. They did the nearly-impossible in the dance world and beat the boys! Their victory over the Candy Apples is especially sweet.
Next week, Abby continues to focus her wrath on Cathy, and the two dump water bottles on each other like they're champagne-flinging Real Housewives. As long as the kids stay out of the splash zone, I'd say Dance Moms