As the weeks fade from summer to fall, Dance Moms remains the same. We know Abby will have a reason to place the usual suspects on the bottom. We know that Abby will not be happy with anything that is imperfect, yet she admits in the opening of this week’s episode that she has no group routine. What? She’s the choreographer who always knows what is best. With the group heading to a National Championship, I’m afraid that Abby’s demands will reach a new high.
This week, Jadi, from the special team, will join Abby the elite team. Abby is still looking for Maddie’s replacement. So on the pyramid, we have Chloe and Nia at the bottom because they can’t get the job done. MacKenzie follows because she’s not doing what Abby wants. What? Maddie is there because of her absence from the solo. Kendall is at the top because she won. Jill is so happy and wants Kendall to always get Maddie’s solo. In your dreams, Jill.
They’re going to a new competition, Imagine Dance Challenge, in Woodbridge, Virginia. Studio Bleu, a highly ranked studio, will be there and they are Abby’s nemesis. The competition will feature other stellar studios and everyone will be gunning for Abby, who refuses to use the routine she planned. Instead, she will shelve it and use it at Nationals.
On the solos, Jade will do “Far East.” Chloe will be doing “They Don’t Want My Kind Around Here.” It’s another dark piece, and I’m worried that Abby is sending a message to Chloe to win or get out.
Abby tells Gia that the teams coming are doing routines they’ve done for six months. The moms upstairs are worried because there is no routine planned. Jill wants them to do this special routine and Jade’s mom, Loree, agrees. Jill states the obvious: Abby’s scared of Studio Bleu.
Abby decides to use the girls’ fears for the dance. Jill wants the girls to ask Abby what her fear is. Abby has each girl improv her fear to develop the routine. Christi shows us her fear as she expresses her displeasure of Chloe having to compete against Jade. Loree disagrees and states it’s two good dancers up against each other. MacKenzie suddenly appears upstairs because she’s not doing what Abby wants. Wow! I have just realized how much MacKenzie now looks like Maddie. When MacKenzie gets back on the floor, she’s benched from the routine.
The soloists rehearse. Jade will be doing an acrobatic number and Loree is concerned. Jade’s routine is beautiful, but Loree states that the judges will either love it or hate it. Jade is getting a head start on her routine, which upsets Christi. When Chloe starts, Abby does hint at the hidden message but excuses her statement by saying it is a cool song. As Chloe rehearses, Abby works on Jade’s costume and again doesn’t watch Chloe.
The group routine is rehearsing and Abby visits the moms, who are upset because MacKenzie is out of the routine. Abby’s purpose behind the group number is that they should fear losing. Jill sees it as a way that the dance won’t go against Studio Bleu. All the moms realize that she’s placing the girls at a disadvantage by putting them in a higher category.
In the dressing room, the moms confront Abby about her decision to have the group in the teen category. Abby won’t make eye contact or even answer questions. Holly urges Loree to express the moms’ concern teacher to teacher. Loree asks Abby to put MacKenzie back in, which will lower the group below teen. Abby refuses because MacKenzie acted up and Abby’s foot came down on poor MacKenzie’s head.
Chloe and Jade are preparing for their solos. As Chloe runs her number, Abby is working on Jade’s costume. Christi encourages Chloe, but you can see the hurt on Chloe’s face.
Jade is up first with her Far Eastern costume and acrobatic dance. The routine is crisp and precise, but Jade misses a few full extensions. Chloe is next and her costume is beautiful, but it’s her makeup that makes you stop and think. Chloe looks like a ghost. Could she become the ghost of the dancer she once was? The routine is lyrical and you can see the story. Chloe uses more ballet steps and I love this dance better than Jade’s routine. Abby isn’t happy and calls Jade’s performance safe and gives Chloe an okay.
Now it is group time. Abby reminds the girls that they are now a teen group and to react to their fear. Their fear should be Abby. You can tell by her face that Abby isn’t happy.
Studio Bleu is up first and has more dancers on the floor than Abby will. The routine has a modern dance feel and is not what I typically enjoy, but it is good. Abby’s girls take the stage and Jill expresses the moms’ fear of losing to older girls with an incomprehensible routine. Jill shouldn’t worry. The dance is really good for what it is.
The awards are presented, with Chloe getting an overall sixth place. Jade gets a third place overall award. Loree is disappointed and blames it on acrobatics. Kaeli from Studio Bleu wins first place. Wait, didn’t she dance for Abby once?
In the group routines, the second place regional championship goes to Abby, while first place goes to Studio Bleu. This will not make Abby happy.
In the dressing room, Abby says they probably would have won if they were in their usual category and reminds them they will be getting older. Loree expresses her displeasure and Abby gets upset. She leaves and stars thinking about Nationals. Will Loree be safe? Will Chloe dance on the new team or the old? Turn in next week as Abby starts culling the team.
Dance Moms airs Tuesdays at 9pm on Lifetime.
(Image courtesy of Lifetime)