This week’s Dance Moms season 5 premiere opens with the girls taking center stage, but that’s not where the action is. The title of the episode reveals that Abby has “99 Problems But a Mom Ain’t One.” Does this mean that for at least one episode there will be no mommy drama on Dance Moms? If not the moms, then what could upset Abby Lee Miller?

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The Girls Share

The Dance Moms girls do open up and no moms are there! Maddie, MacKenzie, Nia and Kendall return and no one has heard from Chloe. They have tried to get in touch, but Chloe won’t talk. They sincerely miss her.

The LA studio will allow Abby to expand her manager role, but there is someone special there. Maddie has gotten opportunities from “Chandelier,” but she can’t talk about them. See, Abby is already working the LA scene.

More news! Nia finally won a title this summer while on break. The girls also think that Nia won the street dance-off against the Candy Apples. MacKenzie admits that Abby favors Maddie, but Maddie denies it.

JoJo (from Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition) joins the girls. Oh great! JoJo thinks she’s better than our girls. I see drama there. The girls do ask the fans not to blame them because Chloe’s not on the team.

And Here We Go with Abby

It’s rehearsal time in Pittsburgh. Wow! Abby has lost weight.

Holly is worried about this season as they all notice Chloe is missing. While Holly wants the girls to retain their confidence, she knows that things aren’t the same.

In the studio, Abby reminds everyone of what happened at Nationals. Abby wants Chloe back but doesn’t know where she is. Abby announces that ADLC LA will happen. Each girl will dance, act and sing and they all will be stars in LA. Abby, this is Dance Moms. Don’t promise what you can’t give!

Oh, great — a pyramid with Kendall and Chloe on the bottom. Nia and MacKenzie are on the second tier due to their great group performances. That means Maddie (again) is on top. Abby sees Maddie as a professional and a team member.

This week, they are traveling to Niagara Falls’ Sheer Talent competition. There are three solos, with Nia and Kendall getting one each. The third was to go to Chloe, who is missing. The group number is “Freak Show.” They must be “bigger, better” and perform this dark piece. Nia will be the strong one in the carnival, while MacKenzie is a contortionist. And Maddie and Kendall are Siamese twins.

“Dark” Rehearsals

As the girls rehearse, the moms go upstairs, worried. It’s not Dance Moms with only four girls. Our moms try to call Christi and get no answer. Downstairs, Abby is telling the girls they are to be dark carnival folks. Abby thinks she solves the problem by calling in Kalani. Now Holly is really worried because Kalani was the catalyst for Christi leaving. 

Holly sees Nia’s dance as a chance to shine. Holly is going to LA because she wants Nia to be the girl from the street competition. Abby, meanwhile, is telling Nia she is challenging her to do something different.

Oh, great — upstairs, Kira immediately brings it by asking what happened to Christi. Things don’t get better when Kalani gets Chloe’s solo. Holly sees this as preferential treatment and tells Kira who tells her to discuss the matter with Abby. We all know what happens when Abby gets involved with trouble.

As the week progresses, Christi and Chloe’s absence is felt. Kendall is pushed to be bigger than life and fill Chloe’s role with the company. While Jill tries to support Kendall, she’s told she can leave like Christi if she disagrees with Abby.

At the last rehearsal, the dance isn’t right. Holly misses Christi, but Melissa doesn’t. Christi was mean to her girls. Christi is using social media to express her anger. Jill feels that Christi and Kelly are trying to destroy Abby. I don’t think that they are, Jill. Holly feels that they didn’t do anything to Christi, but it is coming back on the girls. She feels betrayed and Kira agrees.

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The Competition

As they get on the bus, Melissa tells everyone that Paige is suing Abby. Holly tells Melissa that they need calming vibes. Jill feels that the sides are drawn. They need to rally around Abby. On the bus, Abby addresses the issue. She’s upset over the ungratefulness of Kelly and Christi.

They arrive at the competition to see signs of “We love Chloe,” and Abby is greeted with cheers. Jill is so relieved that the waiting crowds support the moms, the kids and Abby. Dance Moms is about the girls. In the dressing room, Abby still seems upset but refuses to go to pieces.

Kendall is first with “Victorious.” She’s strong and shows more technique than before. Nia follows with “Streetstar” and does a beautiful job. Kalani looks mature while trying to be Maddie, but she doesn’t seem to have the right vibe.

As the group prepares and Kalani comes out in a beard, Abby gets a message and leaves. The press has shown up at her house over the lawsuit. The moms offer encouragement as Abby breaks down and calls Kelly and Christi a “side show.” Abby gets it together and offers encouragement as the girls prepare to dance. The routine is brilliant and the girls don’t get distracted.

The Results

Nia gets second in the preteen category, while Kendall gets first and they hug. In the teen category, Kalani gets second. The group dance comes in first. Abby’s girls have shown that they are still a group.

Abby is offered support from the host of the event and invited to the stage to applause. She tells everyone that there are always going to be critics, but if you love what you do, keep doing it.

This Season on Dance Moms

Abby decides this season is for the legacy and it’s about the students. The moms have breakdowns, while the girls are pushed to be the best. 


Dance Moms airs Tuesdays at 9pm on Lifetime.

(Image courtesy of Lifetime)

Linda Martindale

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV