by Kylene Hamulak
Abby didn't show up for last week's Dance Moms, but I'm sure she read my recap to get all caught up before returning to the studio. And if she didn't? It's fine. Cause Melissa went to her house to make sure everything was ok.
It's weird seeing Abby at home, fresh out of the shower with a towel on her head. It's also weird hearing her talk like a normal person. She's telling Melissa how much pain her mother is in, and Melissa's response? Maddie needs Abby for nationals. You know who needs Abby? HER MOTHER.
But then she goes crazy again and says that as long as Kelly is at the studio "causing everybody stress," she won't be there.
Gianna is running the studio again this week, but at least this time Abby talked to her. Chloe will have a solo, Asia and Kenzie have a duet, and Maddie will be featured in the group. Jill is a little perturbed that Kendall won't have a chance to prove she's worthy of a solo at Nationals, but on the flip side? No one seems TOO broken that they're not officially having pyramid.
We don't know where the girls are competing this week, but apparently the Crazy Cathy is bringing whatever her most recent team happens to be. Anthony's not around, which Cathy thinks will be helpful as she prepares "her" team for Nationals instead of playing referee. Except that all the Candy Apple moms are crazier than the Abby Lee moms, so yeah...good luck with that whole not playing referee thing. Cathy gives a solo to Zack, hoping he can beat Chloe.
Gianna, meanwhile, is rehearsing with Chloe, who is an even better dancer when she's not stressed out. The Moms are curious about how Abby will determine routines for Nationals when she's not even there, and Melissa's playing coy about whether or not Abby even mentioned it.
Here's my thing with Melissa: If you're going to lie? At least get better at it. A simple, "No, she didn't tell me anything about the roster for Nationals" would suffice. Instead, her pussy footing around it with, "Well...ummm...did she?" makes all the Moms roll their eyes. She did, Melissa. She told you Maddie would have a solo. And alllll the Moms know it. Still, they're a united front when they sneak away for lunch to discuss how Abby will react when she returns.
It's at this point that I realize Leslie is not around. So apparently Payton is not "on" the team.
Anyway, as they discuss what Abby's reasons for not coming are, Kelly plays the martyr and promises that she will leave if staying will hurt the other kids. She doesn't say it, but I like to imagine that Dr. Holly is thinking, "Don't do us any favors, Kelly." I mean, I don't think what Abby said was fair, but Kelly does kind of have a history of pulling her kids out of the studio and then coming back a few episodes later.
See, that's what's nice about the Candy Apples. You never really know who Cathy will have on her team for any given week, so you really don't notice whether people have walked out or not. Well, except Anthony. You kind of notice that. But Candy Apple Cathy insists, "I'm perfectly capable of leading this team to victory."
And besides Cathy? Well, Hadley's mother (you remember, "Roadkill"?) she's going to lend a hand too. And by lend a hand, I totally mean completely take over to the point where she may just choreograph herself into the group number. Yeaaah, Cathy's having none of that.
By this time, the ALDC Moms have learned that Candy Apples will be at the competition too, and the question seems to be whether or not Abby will show up to battle Cathy. As the girls rehearse, the door opens, and you just know...you know she's back.
"It's just amazing to me how Abby can walk in a room and totally suck the life and the fun out of the room," says Kelly. She thinks her kids are terrified. Um, I think that's true because I, too, and terrified of her. And I haven't pissed her off. Yet.
So Abby enters, and she's got a huge smile on her face. "That should've been the first tip off that something's going down," notes Jill.
The "something" turns out to be a plan to work Brooke and Paige's "lazy butts so hard they're going to wish they never walked back into this studio." They're getting solos, but they'll have to learn them as quickly as Maddie learns hers. I know that's supposed to be punishment, but hey - at least they get solos!
Abby calls the Moms down to court - uh, I mean, the STUDIO - and an argument immediately ensues over where Abby was and what she was doing. Then an argument ensues over Kelly, which we sort of knew was coming. Kelly makes a point that Abby promises to provide a healthy environment (but doesn't), and Abby asks Melissa if she agrees. Melissa is only to eager to respond, "NO! Absolutely NOT!"
Yep, that's gonna win you friends upstairs.
Kristie, of course, fights her own battles and no one else's (can't really blame her for that), but Christi? She's not shutting up. Still, it actually goes better than I expect it to...you know, considering. I mean, no one gets kicked out, so that's pretty good for Abby Lee Miller, right?
Kenzie and Asia are working on a "killer duet" called "We Hit Harder," designed as a competition between each other as well as the other dancers. Abby wants to challenge Mackenzie to beat Asia to earn her spot at Nationals.
The day of the competition, in an entrance that is COMPLETELY AUTHENTIC and NOT AT ALL STAGED, Candy Apple Cathy pulls up in a stretch...I don't even know what it is. It's a huge ass limo-truck thing, and there are fans with signs and shakers and banners to greet them. Abby Lee Dance Company arrives and of course there's yelling and hands in faces and...well, you know, all the polite greetings that go on between these two teams when there are children present.
You know who isn't around, however? Abby.
Mackenzie and Asia's duet goes first, and they're pretty adorable. Of course Kristie thinks Asia dominated the routine, but they both did very well. Zack's solo goes first for the Candy Apples, and it's hard not to admit he's a breathtaking dancer. Even before Chloe takes the stage, Christi thinks she's "25 times more confident" than she normally is, when Abby is there to critique her. Her routine is beautiful - Chloe is one of my favorite dancers on the show, and it's great to see her feeling good when she leaves the stage.
Of course, the big drama always happens in the hallways when the Crazy Apples are in the house, and today is no different. When the two teams meet and somehow (TOTALLY BY CHANCE) begin discussing the choreography of their routines, one of the Crazy Apples mentions that Cathy did all of it - no credit is given to Hadley's mom. She goes BERSERK! and runs off yelling about not being able to take it anymore. The ALDC Moms offer her a seat with them, but Kristie is all like, "Forget them, you can sit with me - these people be CRAZY!"
Ok, WHO CARES. Who cares? I mean, isn't this about the kids? Does anyone really care who choreographed the routine? Especially before they've even seen it?
"I thought that getting rid of Anthony, I'd be getting rid of the drama. Boy was I wrong. I've traded in yelling for tears," says Cathy. She doesn't care. Just like I thought.
Well, the Candy Apples perform "Phoenix Rising" first, and it's a pretty strong routine. Cathy thinks they should win, buuuut...I mean, what else would she say. Our girls come out with "Black & Blue," which looks emotional as all get out. Disheveled hair and make up bruises only tell part of the story - the girls are fierce in the performance. Melissa calls it "flawless," but...I mean, what else would she say.
Awards are announced, starting with Mackenzie and Asia earning 1st Place for their duet. Chloe gets the top score for her solo, with Zack coming in behind her. And as for the group performance? Well, Candy Apples are 1st....RUNNER UP. Abby Lee Dance is victorious again, getting the top score for the competition.
Of course, it doesn't end on the stage - the Moms go in to confront the Apples, which is pretty uneventful really. I'm sure that will change for Nationals. In the ALDC dressing room, there's a celebration to be had. "I'm really glad Abby flew in on her broom this week," says Christi. "I needed it for the CLEAN SWEEP."
Oh that Christi...always with the jokes.
They're still crying in Candy Apples-land. One the moms says something about whether or not their team will be back, but again I ask...WHO CARES?
So tell me - do YOU care about the Candy Apples? Or are they just filler til we get back to ALDC?
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(Image Courtesy of Lifetime)
Follow Kylene on Twitter at @keepingupwithky!