Dance Moms kicks off the “National Dance Competition” season this week in Waterford, Michigan. As the season winds down, we’ll see these nationals continue to the ultimate one. We also still have Abby’s recital to go before the final episode of this season.
Sarah and Christy arrive for lessons and Abby looks upset. Gia tells Abby that Sarah has worked hard in private. As Abby congratulates the team, I sense something is brewing. Sarah and Christy join the group, with Abby telling Christy to keep her mouth shut.
Pyramid has only one person per row. Nia is at the very bottom followed by MacKenzie, Kendall, Tea and Chloe. Maddie is at the top of the pyramid. So what else is new?
This week, the team will go to Waterford, Michigan, for the Energy Regional Competition. MacKenzie has a blues solo called “Out of My Mind.” Sarah will be competing with a lyrical piece, “On My Own.” Of course, the title is aimed at Christy for not letting Sarah go without her to a competition. The last solo will be Tea with a musical theater piece called “No Crybabies.” Abby is going to see which of the “little ones” will get the solo at Nationals. The group number will be “Tribal Council” with Nia having the lead. The routine has jazz, acrobatics, gymnastics and almost everything but the kitchen sink.
Oh, no! Ava will be competing against two of Abby’s dancers. Immediately, Abby does damage control by telling Maddie to have a costume in case she is needed. Abby is not going to lose to Jeanette at any cost.
Upstairs, the moms are upset because Ava will be going against the younger girls. Jill feels Jeanette is using this to showcase Ava to Abby. The real question is: how will Abby really react?
Group rehearsal begins with Nia as the lead. Abby saw Cher in Las Vegas do something similar and knew that she could do it with Nia in the lead. Abby tells her to channel Cher. As Abby yells “Use the face!” I think this is a rehearsal.
As the solos begin, Abby is concentrating very hard on the routines. Tea is to have a tantrum on stage. As the moms watch, Christi asks Tami if she likes the number. Tami does and the moms warn her that cute doesn’t win Nationals.
It’s back to the group and Abby doesn’t think Nia can handle the emotion of the dance. She keeps telling her to be Cher. Of course, Maddie is called on to demonstrate. Nia must succeed or be off the team.
Melissa thinks that Nia is perfect for the routine, but Holly points out that Maddie got the kudos. Abby arrives to tell Holly that Nia gives her nothing. Holly gets her lecture but tells Abby, “Whatever,” as she leaves. Finally, Holly takes a stand.
Christy encourages Sarah as they get on the bus. Abby tells Sarah to be independent and not rely on her mother. While Holly offers encouragement, Sarah cries. Abby yells, “No crybabies,” and tells us that she trains employable dancers who do not need their mommies. No comment from me.
Cheering fans greet everyone, but Abby is determined that Jeanette will not win. Christy is worried about the pressure on Sarah, while Melissa thinks that Ava didn’t have only two days to learn her solo. Tami is upset and warns Jeanette to stay away. According to Jeanette, it was Ava’s choice to perform.
The group dance is first and Nia looks beautiful and in control. If she doesn’t win, she knows she is off the team. Holly knows Nia can do it, but she is worried. The group takes the stage and Nia tells us she doesn’t want to lose. She does take the dance seriously and has stage presence. The dance is good, even if Maddie does try to shine. Nia’s facials are also very effective. Holly breathes a sigh of relief as Abby applauds.
Sarah looks like Cosette and is good, but can she beat Tea and MacKenzie? Tea is up looking like a baby doll, but the number is babyish. She nails the facials but goes from smiles to temper too quickly. MacKenzie looks mature. Her dance has a sophistication that Tea’s doesn’t. Abby sees problems with both of their routines.
Last is Ava, who looks too old to be dancing against these young children. The routine is mature and Abby says it will be a close call. In the dressing room, Abby complains about each dancer.
Wait a minute! What is this? Maddie takes the stage with “Happiness.” Abby is pulling a fast one. Christi sees this as costing MacKenzie a chance of winning. Maddie does her usual superb job, with Melissa grinning in the audience. The moms are upset, but Melissa looks smug and sees no wrong.
Miss Energy and first place in petite goes to Sarah, and Abby is happy. In the junior solos, Tea places fifth, MacKenzie places third and Ava places second. This means that first and Miss Energy Junior is Maddie. In the group awards, the original five girls win with Nia as the lead.
In the dressing room, the moms congratulate the girls. Abby is happy with Nia and offers congratulations. She compares Nia’s dancing to cooking. Christy asks about Sarah’s chances at Nationals, but Abby doesn’t see her as being strong enough to win. As Jeanette and Ava walk in, you know drama is brewing. Abby kicks Ava and Jeanette off the team.
Dance Moms airs Tuesdays at 9pm on Lifetime.
(Image courtesy of Lifetime)