by Kylene Hamulak
As Dance Moms opens with this week's pyramid, Christi - "for once" - can't argue with Chloe's spot on the bottom. That's where you belong if you forget your solo. You know who doesn't belong on the bottom but is anyway? Mackenzie, who was put in charge of the stupid red carpet that didn't roll out.
"I will never forgive Mackenzie for what she did," Abby tells us. "She made a mockery of that routine."
Holy crap - so an EIGHT YEAR OLD sabotaged your entire dance because some dumb prop you never even rehearsed with didn't work correctly? Uh, ok. To borrow a quote from our Mackenzie: ha ha Abby, they won anyways!
So anyway, no surprises, everyone gets compared to Sophia, who is on top of the pyramid. Kelly says she thought maybe the ceiling was going to cave in now that Sophia has taken over Maddie's spot at the top. Actually, she called her Sophie. It actually happens several times throughout the episode, and it's hard to tell if it was just a mistake, a nickname, or if the Dance Moms actually think the kid's name is Sophie.
Interestingly, Sophia is at the top of the pyramid, but she's not at the studio - she's in LA, shooting a movie, which Abby says is just another feather in her cap. Brooke, who IS at the studio, isn't on the pyramid at all, and Kelly questions what her status is. Oops - seems Miss Brooke only spent ONE day at the studio over the weekend after she didn't travel to the competition. Bad move, Brooke. You're not allowed to be a semi-normal 14-year-old going to a friend's house and working on school projects! That doesn't put ANY feathers in Abby's cap!
Maddie has shown up to rehearsal with a braided bun on top of her head today, a hairstyle that Abby points out is "Sophia's." Everything about the team is Sophia's nowadays, including a group number designed around her skills. Though Maddie has a duet with Kendall, there's more than a tinge of sarcasm when Melissa says her daughter is "tickled pink!" to have a duet in place of a solo.
If you'd like to know just how indebted the Dance Moms feel towards Abby, check out tonight's group activity: cleaning out Abby's garage. Oh, not the studio garage. No, this is actually ABBY'S garage.
Let me paint you a picture. Abby's garage is not some neat little warehouse of old props and costumes and sparkly feather boas. Oh no. Abby's garage looks a lot like yours - cardboard boxes teetering precariously, Tupperware containers stacked to the ceiling, difficult to tell what animal might be burrowed under the stacks, having never been exposed to the light of day. In fact, the only difference is that that animal might actually be a tiny ballet dancer, and Melissa is there unearthing things in a light pink peacoat.
MELISSA. She TOLD you the job was cleaning the garage, didn't you have something more sensible to wear? Holly looks like she's going fishing for crying out loud! What were you thinking?! Christi refuses to touch anything with her bare hands. "God knows what's growing in that garage, and I do not feel like getting a case of scabies."
As the ladies excavate old records and photos of Abby, Holly discovers a dead mouse. Not just a dead mouse. A squished one. With things on it. And she screamed. And you know the last time I heard a scream that loud last that long? The night a huge lizard crawled into MY house. I was not amused, by the way. I'm pretty sure the damn thing was a dragon. But I digress. After running from the garage, Holly explains simply, "I don't do mice." To be fair, I think the dead part of it is worse than the mouse part of it.
Back at the studio, Mackenzie is learning her solo routine, "Lemonade." She tells us she's gonna be a "big glass of L-E-M-O-N-A-D-E!" and Abby has added some of her new tricks to the routine to push the difficulty. When it's Paige's turn, Kelly is nervous for her, but the other moms assure her that Abby will be in a good mood because Kelly cleaned out her garage. "You hooked her up," Jill says. "You only stole two things!"
Rehearsal continues with the group number, which is supposed to be about immigration. "More acting!" demands Abby. "I don't think you understand that, like, there's people with machine guns in their cars that won't let you get out of the car." Uh, yeah, I think it's safe to say they don't understand, Abby. That kind of thing doesn't happen a lot in Pennsylvania.
While the Moms try to read Melissa's take on her daughter's duet, Maddie admits that, even though the dance with Kendall is fun, she wishes she was doing a more challenging solo. Melissa and Jill are viewing the duet as a downgrade too, while Holly says she's just happy when Nia gets to dance. UGH! It's so hard to figure out which one is the crazy mom! (Hint: It's not Holly. And it's probably not Melissa this time either, although that pink coat in the garage stunt makes it a tighter call.)
Jill is so unhappy, in fact, that she confronts Abby about the duet, and Abby tells her that MELISSA was the one who said she wasn't happy that Maddie was dancing with Kendall, which, as usual, isn't EXACTLY how that conversation happened. Doesn't matter to Jill though. "Melissa, you're BUSTED," she says. "You lied to me!"
Anyway, it's almost competition day, and Abby hasn't heard from Sophia. The Moms, as they often do, are getting their best gossip out in the parking lot, where Jill is reinventing history and telling Christi and Kelly that she very innocently went in to THANK Abby for the duet (don't rewind guys, my DVR didn't catch that part of the convo either) and instead found out that Melissa said she didn't want to do the duet. I can with 100% certainty tell you that I don't for one second believe it when Jill says, "I don't want to cause any drama with this duet." Sure you don't.
Guess what happens when she tells Melissa it hurt her feelings to hear that she thinks Maddie is too good to dance with Kendall....if you guessed "Melissa lied straight to Jill's face!" you win the top of the recap pyramid for this week! And then we get the "ya busted!" sound byte again.
Ok, so let's get back to the immigration thing, as Abby is explaining to the moms for costume reasons. "I'm listening to Abby's definition of immigration," says Holly, "and I'm confused." So am I, as Abby's describing it as a voyage across a border and saying it doesn't matter WHERE they are, just that they're going home. Which....is kind of the opposite of immigration.
On the way to the competition, Abby gets the fateful text from Sophia - last day of filming in LA, which means she will NOT be in the competition. Kelly points out that Brooke should've been in the routine from the beginning, but an irritated Abby tells her she wants STARS, not mediocre. See, the difference is that Sophia missed practice because she was shooting a movie. Brooke was at school. "There's a big difference," Abby explains.
At the competition, Mackenzie's solo is the first routine we see. She's got lemons on her head. Awesome. I really hope they don't fall off, especially after Abby reminds her about the bow that slipped off during her last solo. The dance goes off without a hitch, and even Abby admits she did a great job.
Paige comes out next to perform "I Wanna Dance," and she says she can hear Abby's corrections in her head. Now, initially I thought that was going to be a really bad sign, but Paige does a good job. Which is really lucky because this is the scene of last season's "whore" comment by Kelly, and Christi was egging her on for a sequel. Hmmm...there's still time, Christi. After all, we've got the duet to deal with!
Ah, the duet. Before we even see the kids, Jill brings up the situation again, and Melissa explains that she said she wasn't happy Maddie didn't have a solo. In her defense, this is how my DVR remembers the conversation, despite Abby's remark to Melissa: "Everyone in this room knows you have a selective memory." As Kendall and Maddie rehearse, however, it's Jill who is battling with Abby as she corrects Kendall.
"Stop! You're making it stressful!" Kendall tells her mom as Jill tries to direct the whole show. Don't ya hate it when kids are smarter than their parents? Sometimes they're smarter than their dance teachers too.
"Get everything out of your head what Abby said," Maddie tells her friend as they wait backstage. "You're amazing, ok?" You're tops on my pyramid, Maddie.
The routine looks great, but that doesn't stop an Abby-Jill war of words backstage. Abby tells her that every time she says Kendall's name she should be thanking her, good or bad - it's when she stops saying it that Jill should worry.
At the Solo and Duet awards, Mackenzie takes the top prize, with Paige coming in third in her division. "For Paige? That's pretty good," says Abby. Maddie and Kendall also came in first for their duet, and, while Abby is not surprised, she thinks it's because the judges were watching Maddie. Sorry, Jill.
The "Voyage Home" group dance goes pretty well. "MOST of the girls did a good job on the group dance. I just hope the judges weren't watching the immigrants with the sickle feet and the bad timing," says Abby. Apparently they weren't, because Abby Lee won first place anyway. Again, Abby credits Maddie with the win, so I guess she'll return to the top of the pyramid next week.
Best quote of the night? Abby: "I don't wake up amazing. It takes me hours to get this way."
Tune in to Dance Moms every Tuesday at 9/8c on Lifetime!
(Image courtesy of Lifetime)
Follow Kylene @keepingupwithky