On this week’s episode of Dance Moms, Abby once again puts the girls, moms and viewers through the agony of an open audition. When will she learn that we don’t care how many trophies she has? We started watching for the girls and not for Abby.

Preparation for the Southern Invasion

Melissa opens the episode with Jill observing home schooling. Jill is thinking of doing the same for Kendall so she can become a star. While Melissa is happy, I’m not sure it has helped Maddie’s social skills.

At the pyramid, Abby offers her praise on the team winning. She still wants to change the squad and Atlanta has fabulous dancers. Holly offers her administrative skills and Abby accepts. Holly does have an ulterior motive: to find out what is going on. Melissa can’t be left behind so she will be selling apparel at the audition.

Kendall, Brooke, Paige and Mackenzie are on the bottom followed by Nia and — shocker — Maddie. This means Chloe is at the top. This week, the team travels to the Masters of Dance Arts in Atlanta. The Southern Bell trio features Paige, Chloe and Kendall. During rehearsals, Abby tells them to be everything their mothers aren’t. Maddie will do a ballet solo to “Ballerina,” which Abby uses to emphasis the need for the girls to be home-schooled. MacKenzie will lip-sync and dance to “Love Overdone.”

The group dance is mature, historical, educational and Academy Award quality on the Civil Rights movement. Nia will be the young heroine while Mackenzie will sit the number out. The routine is called “At Last.” Abby immediately puts the stress on Nia’s shoulders. Holly worries about the dignity of the piece. Abby announces that the routine will be controversial. Holly worries about typecasting but will be careful with her actions for Nia’s sake.

Christi talks to Chloe about home schooling. Chloe tells her mother that she loves dancing but she wants public school. Chloe sees school as keeping her normal and I applaud her for this decision. Christi is proud that Chloe speaks up and realizes that Abby won’t like the decision.

Abby Storms Atlanta

At the Atlanta auditions, Holly and Melissa are in the audience with the potential moms. Abby wants high kicks and a certain type of look. She calls one girl on her hair. Melissa tells us that Abby likes the All-American look. As Abby eliminates dancers, the audience gets vocal. In fact, the moms make our Dance Moms look mild! Holly states that she feels like the audition has become The Jerry Springer Show. Abby warns the finalist to be professional if she dismisses them.

At the competition, Holly worries about Nia. She knows that Nia must be exceptional. Abby puts pressure on the solos and trio. Mackenzie does a good job on her routine. Maddie takes the stage for her ballet piece, but it resembles a lyrical number. The trio does a good job on their ‘Southern Belles’ number, although I see some spacing issues.

In the dressing room, the girls are nervous as they prepare for the group routine. Abby is going to use this to determine Nia’s position on the team. After Abby’s pressure, Holly talks to Nia about her role in an encouraging manner.

The girls take the stage for “At Last.” Nia looks beautiful and has a powerful stage presence. Holly cries because of Nia’s success and Abby looks happy. Nia leaves the stage to cheers and a standing ovation.

At awards, MacKenzie gets second place for her routine. The trio receives first, but Abby says that it doesn’t guarantee them a place on her team. Maddie is the highest scoring junior soloist, which seems to upset Mackenzie. In the elite junior team, Nia has led the group to victory.

In the dressing home, Abby gives Nia a hug and tells Mackenzie she was too far stage right. Abby wants someone on the team to push Maddie. Abby’s next stop is New York.

Next week on Dance Moms, Kim and a new Chloe join the team. Holly sees Kim as rude. Sparks are already flying and we don’t know whether Nia is still on the team! 

Dance Moms airs Tuesdays at 9pm on Lifetime.  

(Image courtesy of Lifetime)

Linda Martindale

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV