'Dance Moms' Recap: Maddie Stops Dancing, Starts Choreographing
'Dance Moms' Recap: Maddie Stops Dancing, Starts Choreographing
Sarah Watson
Sarah Watson
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Abby pulls Maddie from this week's group number, "See No Evil," and promotes her to assistant choreographer. The surprising move serves a few functions.

First, it allows Maddie to use her dance talent in a new way (and Abby just can't stop gushing about Maddie's incredible gift for dance this week). Also, it forces the rest of the group to step up their game instead of allowing Maddie to carry the team on stage. Not that Maddie's the lone star in the ALDC, but you know -- Abby's been known to play favorites every once in a while.

Magnificent Maddie

As usual, the episode begins at Pyramid, where Abby sings one long song of praise to Maddie the Magnificent. Maddie has the kind of personality this country was built on, Abby tells us. Maddie is America the beautiful! She's a champion, a winner and an artist. Holly grumbles that Abby makes Maddie out to be the only dancer with talent and ambition, and while Maddie is certainly deserving of praise, Holly makes a fair point (as usual): there are other dancers on the ALDC with star quality. Most of them, in fact! 

Abby wonders if the other girls are kicking back and letting Maddie do the heavy lifting in group routines, though, so she decides to mix things up, asking Maddie to help choreograph the group dance instead of performing in it this week. Then she pairs up Nia and Asia for a crazy drag-queen-inspired duet before returning to normalcy: pitting Maddie and Chloe against each other in an Ohio-based solo showdown. 

The Fame Monsters

In other news, Abby's been invited to guest-host The View and blast her opinions across the table at Barbara Walters. Sounds entertaining! The girls are invited to perform, too, so Abby asks them to rehearse their winning public service announcement about texting while driving, "The Last Text." There's just one problem. Since Mackenzie's still benched with an injured foot, Asia takes her place in the rehearsal, sparking all the emotions that make Dance Moms run: jealousy, anxiety, amusement and blind fury. 

Melissa claims that Mackenzie's foot is healed, and everyone calls Melissa a liar. Someone starts a rumor that Asia's bullying Mackenzie, and someone else whispers that the opposite is true. Jill weighs in on every dramatic moment even though her daughter's not remotely involved in any of the drama. Kendall wisely flies under the radar this week. Christi says a bunch of nasty things, like she always does. New Kristie rolls her false eyelashes at everyone, dramatically. This is the longest season of Dance Moms ever. 

While everyone else gets wrapped up in conflict, Kelly hires a singing coach to prep Brooke for next week's trip to New York. The coach tells a glassy-eyed Brooke that hard work will be the biggest determining factor in her success. Brooke stares off into space, dreaming of shopping, boys and a life without Abby Lee Miller and the cutthroat world of Pittsburgh stage mothers. Kelly might not get to live vicariously through Brooke's singing career, but at least she gets a good line in this episode. While Chloe elegantly rehearses a solo called "About Mother," Kelly narrates backstage, "Let me tell you about my mama: She's a bitch! My dance teacher hates her." Truer words were never spoken on this show. 

See No Evil 

Despite all the usual Dance Moms madness, the girls shine at this week's competition. Maddie sparkles as always and wins first place for her solo, and Chloe's tribute to her mother is just one point behind Maddie's score. Nia and Asia overcome a few obstacles (like energy imbalance, a tricky lift and a mixed-up performance schedule) to win first place for their duet. The group wins first place overall for "See No Evil," proving that they can win even without Maddie dancing in the number. They also prove that they can make a clean sweep despite all the dirty gossip swirling around backstage, closing their ears and eyes to evil.

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(Image courtesy of Lifetime)