An hour couldn't contain all the drama of this week's Dance Moms
. Lifetime had to give us an extra thirty minutes to chronicle all the water-splashing, purse-slapping chaos was was the battle between the Abby Lee Dance Company and Cathy's new boy bandish Apples Cores. This episode aggravated everyone's chronic conditions: Nia had stress pain in her foot, Abby's blood pressure shot through the roof and Cathy just couldn't stop gloating because ... well, we'll get to that in a minute.
Dance Moms is available on Amazon Prime.
Is RND really No Big Deal?
As always, the episode started by ranking the kids on a pyramid, letting the vulnerable youngsters know who's on top and who's barely hanging on. In a shocking move, Abby elevates Kendall to the pyramid's point (probably as a reward for putting up with so much abuse), and she drops Chloe's head shot to the bottom (but not before scrawling "suspended" across the photo with thick black marker).
Nia falls somewhere in between, which doesn't earn her a solo this week but does grant her a duet with Paige. Nia's excited for the opportunity, but she's worried that she's not in top form. It's not just minor nerves. Holly tells us that Nia suffers from RND, or reflex neurovascular dystrophy, which causes Nia serious physical discomfort whenever Nia's especially anxious.
At this point, every Dance Moms viewer in American should be wondering why Holly has Nia signed up for this show. (I mean, they should have been wondering anyway, but especially after this news.) The condition has landed Nia in the hospital before. She's been wheelchair bound from the pain. Holly insists that Nia loves dancing and shouldn't back out because of the condition, but you have to wonder what's really motivating everyone here.
When Abby learns that Nia's in pain, she urges Holly to take Nia to a doctor and get a letter of permission before letting her dance in the duet. I'm shocked that for once, Abby seems like the reasonable adult when arguing with Holly! It seems logical and responsible so have Nia's foot looked at before dancing. Of course, Abby's probably more concerned with winning than she is with Nia's health, but she's still making a wise demand overall. Holly takes Nia to the doctor, who begrudgingly writes Nia a letter of permission but also urges her to rest her foot as much as possible. How much rest is possible when you dance for Abby Lee Miller?
In the end, Nia gets the bit of the rest she needs. Holly and Abby exchange harsh words at this week's dance competition, and as punishment, Abby pulls the duet from the lineup. Never mind the fact that she's punishing Nia, Paige and Kelly with this move. Holly called Abby "a monstrosity of evil," and Abby felt the need to punish the remark. "Abby giveth and Abby taketh away," she tells the ladies, reconfirming her wild God complex. Abby sticks to her guns and the duet is nixed.
Rotten to the Core
This week's other source of drama is the showdown between Abby and Cathy. Cathy has returned with her all-male dance group, the Apple Cores, and this time, they roll up with swagger in a stretch Hummer. Cathy brags about her boys and mocks Abby for being a "shambling mess," and even the Apple Core dance dads get in on the action. The horrified look on Holly's face is priceless. The pre-competition fight is nothing compared to the post-game war because, well, Abby's group dance loses to the bboys. Badly. The ALDC takes third place and the Apple Cores win first. Abby doesn't like losing to anyone, but she hates getting third place, and she despises losing to Cathy.
After the awards ceremony, things get ugly pretty quickly. Cathy boasts in Abby's face, as does a belligerent Apple Core dad. Abby flings water at Cathy hoping "the witch would melt," and Cathy slaps Abby with a purse in return. Everybody yells and screams (except for the children, who are more mature than the adults). Jill has her hair, clothing and parenting skills mocked. It's pandemonium on Dance Moms! It's so insane that not even Abby can take the heat.
Abby dismisses herself to make a phone call to her mom. She cries and wipes away mascara, relating the chaos to her mom while Melissa warns her to stay calm because she has high blood pressure. People may accuse Melissa of being a suck-up, but she's the only dance mom nearby who wants to prevent a heart attack, which I think is worthy of some praise. Good for you, Melissa.
At the end of the episode, Abby staggers away from the competition hall yelling, "I've had it. I'm finished," and walks out. First Chrsti abandons the group, and now Abby. Where can Dance Moms go from here?