Last season on Dance Moms, the girls moved to LA and Maddie quickly became a superstar. So what will season 6 bring? Let’s see! (I predict it’ll be drama.)

“There comes a point where it’s not about the winning,” Kendall’s mom, Jill, states in the season 6 premiere, titled “New Season, New Rules,” claiming that she hasn’t talked to dance instructor Abby Lee Miller all summer. Speaking of summer, the moms all catch up, and Melissa announces that Maddie is already busy filming a movie. That Maddie — what can’t she do?

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Speaking of Melissa’s talented kids, she has another one this year — she’s taking guardianship of Kalani, whose mom is pregnant and elsewhere. Y’know, just in case Kalani needs to go to a doctor or something. Let’s hope Kalani’s mom returns to claim her at some point.

Abby Lee meets with the girls and talks about the humiliation that was Nationals. Simply put, these girls need to work even harder than ever before. 

“Abby, that doesn’t make sense,” Holly claims, after Abby tells the girls that all of their other priorities must be squashed for dance. Except for Maddie, of course. Maddie is a superstar, so she can do whatever the heck she wants.

“Kendall and myself have been loyal to you,” Jill yells. The moms tell her not to go there. “I don’t want you to talk!” Kendall interrupts, worried about her mom causing a scene. Don’t these moms know that their outbursts result in Abby giving their kids an insanely hard time?

The Pyramid

It’s Pyramid Time. The girls grab their headshots and realize that they’re all at the bottom of the pyramid. Again, since they lost at Nationals. 

In Maddie’s absence, Brynn is brought in. In case you forget who Brynn is, she’s danced with the girls a few times during the last season. Her mom, Ashlee, is more than serious about keeping Brynn in the group this time around. As a big slap in the face to the other girls, Brynn is immediately gifted a solo.

The Routine

The dance routine this time is based around “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble,” which I’d like to secretly think is about that episode of Seinfeld with a similar premise but is probably about the John Travolta film from 1976. One of the dancers will be inside the bubble for the entire dance. 

“It’s a type of immune deficiency,” Abby Lee explains to the girls. “If they catch these germs, they can die. It’s a very serious matter.” While the girls practice, the moms gossip. 

Ashlee immediately targets Melissa, saying that at a Dancing with the Stars event, Melissa referred to Brynn as a “backup dancer.” The big shame is that Brynn and Maddie are somewhat close. Good job bringing the drama in early, Ashlee. 

Back to the bubble — Jojo gets in and immediately gets stuck inside. While Abby is very familiar with the bubble boy deficiency, she obviously has no idea how bubbles work. “The zipper is stuck!” she cries, while Jojo honestly looks anything but panicked inside. 

So Does Jojo Suffocate?

It turns out Jojo is okay, since I think that if she had died based on a dance prop, we would have heard about it already. 

As the girls compete, Kendall gets some criticism from Abby. In a confessional, Kendall admits that while she loves Abby Lee, she’s still a human and her own person. Smart girl.

Jill brings up the issue with Abby, and Abby claims that Kendall was a “hot mess in ballet” during a prior class. As expected, a fight erupts and Kendall bursts into tears. She’s had it with your antics, Jill. Let the girl dance!

Now let’s focus on the BDA Team (for some reason), otherwise known as “the team that won Nationals.” Young dancer Gavin was on The Ellen DeGeneres Show recently, so obviously he’s a threat to everyone in the ALDC. Gosh, I love how there’s always a “rival school” on this show.

Kendall and Jill get some more airtime, where the two of them try to reconnect. While they had left mid-practice the day before, the other moms somewhat understand why. But then the attention to Kendall briefly vanishes, since Maddie has decided to FaceTime with the group and tell them all about her movie. “She’s working her butt off, but she loves it,” Melissa says with a motherly glow.

Abby pulls Kendall aside and makes sure she knows that it was her mom who had the tantrum, not Abby. She pretty much says that Kendall needs to work a bit harder. And she’s super, super nice and professional about it. Point goes to Abby on this one.

Solo Work

Abby Lee is quick to work on Brynn’s solo, which seems to include a lot of writhing around on the floor. But the thing is, is it enough to beat idea-thief Jeanette and her team of child monsters over at BDA?

BDA’s dance is called “The Waiting Room,” and you might remember it from the season 5 finale, as performed by the ALDC. Jeanette claims that her routine actually includes sympathy and empathy, unlike the routine that Abby’s kids performed. Then she tells a story about how her sister was killed in a car accident, and she had to wait in a waiting room until her parents came. “So take that,” Jeanette claims while tearing up. I guess that in order to have a good routine, you need to suffer through the worst tragedy of all time?

The ALDC moms are outraged about the stolen routine, praying that the BDA doesn’t show them up. Their routine, using what Holly refers to as “a giant hamster ball,” seems to be somewhat of a mess.

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The Competition

It’s almost time for BDA and ALDC to square off, and as expected, it’s not pretty. The BDA moms claim that the only thing similar in their routine is the song itself, but I’m sure it’ll cause a few curse words to come out of Abby’s mouth no matter what.

Maddie is there to cheer on her team, even though she’ll be on the sidelines. “I’ve been really busy these past few weeks,” she claims, continuously rubbing it in that she’s kind of way past this show at this point.

Gavin vs. Brynn

It’s time for Solo Contemporary, which means it’s Gavin versus Brynn. Gavin’s dance is “The Comeback,” and that little dude can lift his legs pretty high. While I personally gasped when it looked like Gavin totally kicked himself in the head with his contortions, it’s probably nothing to Gavin, who is definitely a pro.

Brynn’s solo performance, called “The Coronation,” is up next. Dressed in a purple sparkly number, Brynn sets off to prove that she’s indeed the next Maddie. Abby Lee looks like she has tears in her eyes while watching from the audience. “I think Brynn has a real future here at the ALDC. She’s definitely a clean performer,” Abby states. 

In the BDA dressing room, the moms chant “National Champions!” as a way to encourage their kids. Meanwhile, in the ALDC dressing room, the girls are dressed in costume face masks and figuring out what to do if Jojo can’t escape from her bubble.

The Group Performance

Let me just say this: Jojo is more graceful in that bubble than I am while simply walking down steps. But there is the matter of the bubble zipper, which takes the girls a while to figure out on stage. If it weren’t for Abby mumbling, “Come on, girls, get back there!” I wouldn’t have even realized there was any hesitation.

Are you ready for the next “The Waiting Room” dance? So am I, and so is the audience — but based on the team taking way, way too long to set up the chairs, they’re disqualified from the competition. Lesson learned, team. If it’s not done in a minute and 45 seconds, you’re toast. 

Luckily, Jeanette manages to weasel her way into having her team dance, but Abby makes sure that points are deducted for their screw-up. Smiling gleefully, she’s won regardless of the outcome.

The BDA routine includes a lot of chair movement, sirens and awkward beeping. While I thought the bubble dance was much better, Jeanette seems super pleased as to how things turned out.

So Who Won?

Ready to hear some scores? For the pre-teen solos, Gavin gets second place, while Brynn secures first. Brynn seems absolutely shocked, not even realizing that Abby was using this win as a way to leverage whether or not she’d fill Maddie’s shoes.

For the teen group, “The Waiting Room” gets second place, while ALDC wins with the hamster ball routine. Let it be known that BDA is good with dancing but rough on chair set-up. I don’t think anyone will hire them to set up an outdoor wedding anytime soon.

“Tomorrow, I’m leaving for New York for two weeks,” Maddie says to the group backstage. I’m sure they’re all super proud of her and not at all jealous. Melissa bursts into tears, since not seeing her child on stage this week was tough for her, which must have made Mackenzie feel amazing.

Abby Lee starts to cry as well, claiming that she feels like she “has shackles holding her down.” Maybe this is a hint to all of the legal trouble she’s gotten into this year? I guess we’ll find out next time!

Dance Moms airs Tuesdays at 9pm on Lifetime.

(Image courtesy of Lifetime)

Karen Belz

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV