Tuesday night TV shows are all about liars, and this week, Dance Moms is no exception. The moms try to give Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game a run for their money with "Liar Liar Dance Mom on Fire," the episode that explores Melissa's, ahem, diplomacy around the other moms.
Long story short: When Abby downgrades Maddie from star soloist to Kendall's duet partner, Melissa tells the moms she's thrilled, but she admits to Abby that she's disappointed. This doesn't fly with Jill, who takes Melissa's disappointment as an insult to Kendall (and, by extension, Jill herself).
The other moms are mad at Melissa because, oh, I don't know -- they're drama vampires who feed on conflict? Who knows. I mean, yes, Melissa was a little dishonest, but putting on a happy face for the sake of the group seems like an awfully minor offense, like telling someone her Botox looks natural. "Sure, Jill, I'm thrilled that my daughter's dancing with yours!" Is that really so bad? I don't think so, but clearly Jill and the other moms disagree.
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Immigrating Home ... or Something
While the moms try to get inside Melissa's head, Abby preps the girls for their next dance competition. The group number is called "Voyage Home," which Abby tells us is a very serious performance about immigrants struggling to cross the border into their former home. This is symbolic of their girls' journey from exile back into the Abby Lee Dance Company, of course. Also, as Williams College grad Holly informs us, it makes no sense as a definition of immigration.
Holly blows off Abby like Michelle Obama eye-rolling John Boehner at the inauguration. "I'm listening to Abby's definition of immigration, and I'm confused. How on earth can you immigrate home?" Thank goodness for Holly. She elevates this show to another level.
Sweet as Lemonade
The kids continue to dance their hearts out despite the adults' feuding. Mackenzie gets a solo called "Lemonade" and gives one of the cutest interviews of the season. "I'm going to be a big glass of l-e-m-o-n-a-d-e," she tells the camera. Abby hopes she doesn't get a lemon -- a concept she defines for Mackenzie like the kid will be driving a Prius home from the dealership anytime soon.
As it turns out, Abby's got nothing to worry about. Mack leaps and bounds through the air, blowing kisses to the audience and giving the judges a sugar rush. She wins first place for her solo.
Kendall and Maddie also win first place for their duet, probably because Maddie gives her teammate a precious pep-talk before they step onstage. The "Voyage Home" group takes first, too, but not without criticism from Abby.
Abby vs. Kendall and Jill
Compared to last week's episode, I'd say Abby showed some restraint with the kids this week. She was hardly nice, but she gave some positive reinforcement to Mackenzie and Paige, which was refreshing to see.
Unfortunately, Kendall was not on the receiving end of many compliments this episode. Abby was really hard on Kendall, discrediting her contributions to the duet and blaming her for supposedly screwing up the group number. (Remember: both the duet and group dance won first place.)
When Jill fights back, Abby insists that every time she confronts Kendall about her performance, she's improving her. "Every time I call her out, good or bad, I am fixing her. Say 'thank you.' Every time I say your kid's name, it should be a 'thank you.' When I never say it, start worrying."
I'm torn. Sometimes I think Abby gives tough but smart advice (like a Simon Cowell of dance), but other times, she just seems out of line. What do you think of Abby's teaching methods this week? Share thoughts in the comments.