Abby Lee Miller‘s dance studio may be a thing of the past. On Dance Moms season 6, Abby has been acting way out of line when it comes to teaching her Junior Elite team. Not only has she cast them aside for the Minis, but she also tried to sabotage them in a recent competition by going behind their backs to get their group routine disqualified.
The Junior Elites have finally had enough and will be parting ways with Abby for the next competition. Will this departure pay off or will it prove just how badly they need Abby to succeed? Let’s find out in the beginning of the two-part season finale, titled “Two Teams, Two Studios Part 1.”
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Due to all of the conflicts they faced with Abby, the Junior Elites decide to leave the ALDC and return to a studio that means a lot to them. As fans will remember, when Abby and the girls first arrived in Los Angeles, they rehearsed in the 3rd Street Studio while the ALDC LA studio was being finished. The Junior Elites will rehearse here again, and they will be joined by a very special guest.
The moms decide to reach out to Erin Babbs, who is the head of the MDP dance studio, to train the girls for the next competition. Erin and Abby were rivals earlier on in the series, thanks to the numerous competitions in which their teams competed against one another.
The Junior Elites and their mothers are thrilled to be working with Erin. For the competition, she will choreograph a group routine, titled “And Then There was One,” which will deal with the loss of Maddie, Mackenzie and Jojo on the team. To celebrate this great idea, the moms decide to take a photo with Erin, post it on Instagram and title it “#NewBeginnings.”
Back in the ALDC studio, the Mini moms quickly see the Instagram post. They decide to go check on Abby to see how she is doing. Obviously, this photo really affects Abby, and it causes her to break down over losing her girls, whom she cared so deeply for. “I love those kids as if they were my own. I would lay down in the street and die for some of those kids. I made them into stars. Why don’t the mothers understand that?” Abby asks herself.
Abby quickly pulls herself together and reveals that the Minis and her lost Junior Elites will be competing against one another in the same competition, so she plans several numbers for the Minis. They will be performing a group routine, titled “Going, Going, Gone,” while Elliana, Alexus and Payton will all have solos. Elliana’s is called “Sing for You,” Payton’s is “Infected Spirit” and Payton will do the uniquely-titled dance “I Love Trash.” Will the Minis be able to handle all of these routines?
Things then only get better for the Junior Elites. Coming off of a great rehearsal with Erin, Holly receives a phone call from Alexx Calise. Alexx is a singer whose songs have been used in several routines on the show, including Maddie’s iconic solo “Cry.” Alexx asks Holly if Nia can sing with her at an upcoming gig. Holly agrees and asks if Kendall can join Nia on stage as well. The Junior Elite moms could not be more excited for this huge opportunity for their girls.
The Stakes are Raised
The next day, Holly and Nia head to a recording studio so Nia can record her first ballad. There is a lot of pressure on Nia. Not only does she need to deliver a solid vocal performance when she sings with Alexx, but she also needs to prove, once and for all, that she doesn’t need Abby to succeed.
Clearly, Nia will need to work a little harder to prove herself. As she enters the booth and begins to record her new song, her voice is all over the place. It cracks, gets flat and then becomes pitchy. This makes Holly become even more worried because she knows a bad performance could make people think that Nia really does need Abby by her side.
The stakes are high for the rest of the Junior Elites as well. Erin enlists a well-known choreographer, Will Johnston, to bring the girls’ routines to the next level. The moms know that he will give them more challenging choreography, which Abby has failed to do this entire season.
Even just from his explanations of the girls’ solos, his ideas seem to be infinitely better than Abby’s. Brynn will be performing “Left Cycle,” which is about fighting against the monotonous parts of life that keep us from growing. Kendall will be dancing in “Above Still Below.” This solo’s message is about using the negativity from others to create strength in yourself. Kalani will then take a stand against disingenuous relationships in her solo, “False.”
Amid all the chaos, the moms receive surprising messages from two people. Kira reveals that Melissa actually reached out to her, wanting to learn more about why the moms left the ALDC. She also received a text from Abby, who begged for somebody to be there to talk to her. None of the other moms feel bad for Abby because this is all her fault. “She ran us and our kids out single-handedly. She did it herself,” Jill says about Abby.
Despite receiving a heartbreaking message from Abby, the moms are all in agreement that they cannot return to the ALDC after this competition. Not only are they still upset with Abby for how she treated their girls, but they are also concerned about a major moment in Abby’s court case. They reveal that Abby may receive her jail sentence shortly, so they cannot be associated with her. “This week, she lost us. Next week, she finds out if she’s going to prison,” Kira explains.
Things then explode inside the ALDC. Since Payton’s solo is called “I Love Trash,” Abby puts Payton in a dress that has actual pieces of trash attached to it, including a maxi pad. Kerri is livid to see her daughter dressed this way, so she tells Abby that she refuses to let her go on stage in this outfit. Despite Abby being oddly excited for this garbage-inspired number, Kerri causes her to take the solo away from Payton and even removes her from the group number as well.
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The Big Night
Just before Kendall and Nia take the stage, the Junior Elite moms reunite with the Mini moms, who have decided to come to the performance to show their support for the girls. While the Mini moms are explaining all that their girls have gone through while preparing for the competition, they are shocked by the arrival of an unexpected guest: Abby.
Nobody wanted Abby to show up because of her negative attitude. Almost immediately after walking in, she tries to throw subtle digs at the Junior Elites, and she even refers to Kendall and Nia’s performance location as “tacky.” The Junior Elite moms have no interest in hearing what Abby has to say because they are just interested in supporting Kendall and Nia.
After Alexx performs some of her set, it is time for Nia’s moment. She takes the stage and debuts her new ballad, “Winner.” Despite being shaky while recording the track, Nia owns this performance. Of course, Abby is the first to doubt that Nia is truly singing live, which she actually may be right about.
The good times keep on going, as Nia returns to the stage and brings Kendall with her. This performance seems to be live, and the girls do an incredible job of showcasing their vocal talents. They have both proven that Abby was wrong to continuously push them aside for all of these years.
All of the moms are so proud of Kendall and Nia for putting on a great show. However, Abby refuses to say anything about the performance, nor does she congratulate the girls. With the next competition being just one day away, it has become clearer than ever that there is a serious divide between Abby and the Junior Elites, and it may not be repaired anytime soon.
What did you think of this episode? Were the Junior Elite moms wrong to leave Abby or did they make the right decision by moving on? What did you think of Kendall and Nia’s performance? Will the Minis be able to handle all of the pressure Abby has placed on them? Which team do you think will perform better in the upcoming competition, the Junior Elites or the Minis? Let us know all of your thoughts in the comments section and in the poll below.
The Dance Moms season 6 finale airs Tuesday, November 22 at 9/8c on Lifetime. For even more news on the ALDC, like our Dance Moms Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of Lifetime)