Mackenzie’s been benched for weeks with an injured foot, but now that the team is performing on The View, Mack experiences a miraculous recovery. Obviously, Abby and the dance moms aren’t buying it. There’s only room for one mini-dancer in “The Last Text,” and new Kristie wants Asia in the number. Original Christi just loves to rake Melissa over the coals.

Holly and Kelly voice support in Asia’s general direction, sort of, but don’t seem terribly invested either way. Only Jill seems to really side with Melissa and Mackenzie, and only because she wants Kristie placed firmly at the bottom of the totem pole (right below Jill herself). Abby, of course, wants nothing more than to teach Melissa a lesson for trying to have her cake and eat it, too. Abby is, after all, the ultimate tough teacher, and this week, she wants to school Melissa.

A Text Message 

The pyramid ranking is never exactly a breezy occasion, but this week’s meeting is especially tense. The Abby Lee Dance Company has some major events coming up. They’ve been invited to perform on The View (and Abby’s been invited to co-host), and they’re preparing for the national dance championship in New York. At Nationals, the ALDC will face off once again with Cathy’s hated Candy Apples, so the stakes are especially high. 

To make preparation for The View a little easier, the group won’t be learning a new dance for the occasion. Instead, they’ll perform “The Last Text,” a message dance that’s already won the ALDC a major prize. Still, there’s the question of which dancers will be featured in the number. Mackenzie knows the role and wants to perform, but after all the fuss about her injury (and general lack of enthusiasm about dance), Abby doesn’t know if she should go on. Asia doesn’t know “The Last Text” as well, but the talented dancer could obviously jump in if needed. Abby privately tells cameras that she wants Mackenzie to have the role, but she also wants to hold Melissa accountable for her words. Was Mackenzie ever really injured? Is she still in pain, but Melissa’s covering it up so that Mackenzie can be on The View? Abby doesn’t trust Melissa, and she’s using the situation to teach the diplomatic dance mom a lesson and foster a little healthy competition between Asia and Mackenzie as well. 

Drama aside, the dancers diligently prepare for Nationals as well as their spot on The View. The group dance is yet another “message dance” — this time about runaway youth. While coaching the girls, Abby urges them to consider that no matter how bad things seem at home, it probably isn’t as bad as being cold, hungry and on the street. The moms ponder the message and its potential to educate. Holly thinks the dance can influence the audience in a positive way if it’s done tastefully. That’s very true. It will probably influence the judges positively as well, which, you know, is probably Abby’s main goal. 

The Big Candy Apple

While the ALDC prepares for their busy week, Cathy rushes through her own dancing to-do list in New York. Her team needs a female dancer for the number she’s planning for Nationals, so she holds auditions and tells the group that they must “dazzle” Vivi in order to be chosen. Vivi stares at the group with cold, dead shark eyes to demonstrate how tough their job will be. The talented Victoria makes the final cut and joins the boys on the team. 

Cathy’s segments don’t usually draw my attention as much as Abby’s do, but I must admit, Cathy, Vivi and their chorus line of hopeful dancers kind of steal the show for me this week. Cathy and Vivi’s post-audition lunch is especially cute. Vivi says that her favorite things about New York are shopping and pizza (which, incidentally, are my favorite things about NYC, too). Then, when Cathy pries and wonders if Vivi digs Jalen’s “swag” and has a crush on him, Vivi’s deadpan death-glare is pretty hilarious. The pair is very cute this week. 

Abby Gives Her View 

Over on the set of The View, Asia struggles with her role in “The Last Text,” so Abby replaces her with Mackenzie during rehearsals. Backstage, the moms tear into each other about which dancer deserves the part, and while they don’t quite come to a consensus, they at least seem to relish the chance to blow off some steam. Anyway, Abby calls all the shots on Dance Moms, and she decides that Mackenzie will resume her role in “The Last Text,” with one caveat: Abby will accompany Mackenzie to future dance-injury-related doctor’s appointments because Melissa cannot be trusted. No one seems to mind too much. Mackenzie gets her dance back! Kristie thinks it’s unfair and the other moms quietly judge Melissa, but Asia handles the setback with maturity and patience, and that’s the important part. 

Abby’s co-hosting gig is similarly successful. She seems to hold her own with the other hosts, and while they admit that she’s a “tough teacher,” they respect what she does. Elisabeth Hasselbeck makes the point that if a child feels supported at home, they won’t be damaged by what a teacher or coach says. That’s probably debatable, but hey, debate is the whole point of The View. At any rate, the ALDC briefly celebrates this new addition to the group’s resume, then begins thinking about the next big competition: Nationals! They’ll be up against Cathy’s group and their interesting Day of the Dead dance. Will the dancers hold their own when it matters most? It seems likely, but anything can happen.

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Contributing Writer, BuddyTV