Abby Lee Miller and her ALDC are closer than ever to Nationals. Of course, the road to this pivotal moment of Dance Moms season 7 is full of drama for the team.

Perhaps the most dramatic part of this journey is the battle to be next leader of the ALDC. This role was always Maddie’s, but now that she is off of the team, the Junior Elites are buzzing as to which of them it will be. Will Abby finally make up her mind about this as Nationals are just six weeks away? Let’s find out in this episode, titled “ALDC Ain’t Dead Yet.”

Recap: Abby’s Controversial New Routine Sends the ALDC into a Panic >>>

The Pyramid

The ALDC is coming off a major win. Despite always losing in Fresno, the girls won first place for both their group routine and Brynn and Camryn’s duet during the recent competition. Since Nia led the group number, Holly is hopeful that Abby will finally start to see her daughter as the true leader of the team.

Abby reveals that the pyramid, from bottom to top, is Lilliana, Maesi, Elliana, Kendall, Kalani, Brynn, Nia and Camryn. After hearing these placements, Holly immediately lashes out at Abby for not putting Nia at the top of the pyramid for leading the winning group piece. Both she and Nia say that whenever Maddie led a group piece, Abby put her at the top of the pyramid. Holly refuses to put up with this and storms out, but Abby couldn’t care less.

For the upcoming competition, the team will be traveling to Phoenix, Arizona. There will be two solos. One is going to Lilliana, titled “Dainty But Also Dangerous,” and Elliana is taking on “Charlie,” which is inspired by Charlie Chaplin. Since he was a silent film star, Abby is hoping Yolanda will use this as inspiration to keep her mouth shut.

The group routine will be another deep, dark piece, called “Six Feet Underneath.” This will feature the girls portraying gravediggers. Only Brynn, Camryn, Kalani, Kendall and Nia will perform. Abby is not letting Maesi, specifically, be a part of the routine because she just doesn’t think she is mature enough to take this one on. This obviously upsets Jaime, but Abby just laughs it off.

After seeing the negative reactions from Holly, Jaime and almost all of the other moms during the pyramid, Abby warns them that with Nationals just six weeks away, they need to start doing whatever she says. “If they wanna be up on that stage at Nationals, it’s my way or the highway,” Abby explains.

Follow the Leader?

To prepare for the group number, Abby takes the girls on a field trip to a cemetery. She wants them to learn that being a gravedigger means that they help the deceased pass on to the other side. They also figure out that working in this occupation is grueling, hard work, so they need to make this apparent on stage.

When the rehearsals pick back up, the moms are all buzzing about who will be and who should be the leader of the team. Some of them think Abby should consider other dancers, like Nia or Kendall, rather than the typical Brynn or Kalani.

Yolanda also has a bone to pick with Abby. She doesn’t think it is fair that Abby isn’t working on Elliana’s solo enough, so she interrupts the rehearsal to get Abby to focus on her. When Elliana finally gets her chance, she forgets her number, prompting Abby to cut her rehearsal time short. The rest of the moms have no clue how Elliana can ever dance to her fullest potential since both Abby and her own mom berate her constantly.

The leader drama then becomes even worse. Abby gives Brynn special choreography for the routine, which makes the moms see that Brynn is, yet again, the star of the group. The moms still think Brynn is being forced into this role and doesn’t have what it takes to lead. However, if Brynn helps the group win again, her time as the leader will become even more frequent.

Quiz: Which Reality Show Should You Compete On? >>>

The Competition

As the team arrives to the competition, Yolanda makes a bizarre scene. Since Elliana’s solo is Charlie Chaplin-themed, Yolanda shows up dressed like the actor himself. Some could see this as Yolanda just trying to support Elliana, but Abby and the other moms think she is taking the spotlight away from her daughter.

The first performance is Lilliana’s “Dainty But Dangerous.” This piece is creepy, eerie and full of stunning acrobatic moves. Lilliana may have just proven to Abby that she is not one who should be sitting out of the competitions any longer.

Elliana goes on next. Her number, titled “Charlie,” starts off slow, and it seems as though it could hit its stride later on. However, Elliana messes up by dancing too far down stage, which infuriates Abby. She also misses part of her routine, and Abby had hoped this specific moment would’ve been the standout moment of the dance. Abby, of course, doesn’t want to hear any of the excuses Elliana has and becomes quite rude with the Mini dancer, which the other moms cannot believe that Yolanda allows to go on.

The final piece is the group routine. This is yet another incredible number from the ALDC in season 7. The girls are completely in sync with one another, and their moves are as sharp as ever. Each one of the girls stands out during this performance, which is sure to please both Abby and the judges.

The Awards

The first prizes to be given out are for the solos. It is a battle between Elliana and Lilliana’s solos, but only one of them can come out on top. Things don’t start off too well because Elliana’s “Charlie” only wins fifth. Lilliana, luckily, does much better by taking home first.

Will the group routine place as high as Lilliana’s solo? They definitely do by also taking home the top prize. This is their third win in a row, so the team is on a high.

Backstage, Abby praises Lilliana for her win. This upsets Elliana, and she even feels the need to apologize for winning fifth. The rest of the moms are floored by this because they think Elliana is petrified to make a mistake. Yolanda says they are acting like she is abusing her daughter, causing her to break down and storm out. The moms tell her to get it together because Elliana may not be able to last on the team much longer if this keeps going on.

What did you think of the episode? Is Abby being too hard on Elliana? Should Yolanda pull her from the team? Who deserves to be the next leader of the team? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments section and in the poll below.

Dance Moms
season 7 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Lifetime. For more news, like our Dance Moms Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of Lifetime)

Jordan Dunnigan

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV