Everyone ready for another episode of the Abby Lee Miller Spiral into Madness show? Great. Me too. We start off with Jill and Melissa trying to coax Abby out of a back room of her studio where she is still in her pjs and has her hair up in faux rollers. It’s mid-day and Abby hasn’t come out to the rehearsal studio once. Jill and Melissa try to butter her up and they talk all sweetly to her like they are dog catchers and she is a mutt with rabies. Abby says that no, she will not be coming out of the back and when Jill says that the show must go on, Abby looks up at her like a spoiled child and asks, “why?”
Abby says that as soon as Jill can stop the federal government from indicting Abby for fraud, she will happily to go out there and teach the girls their stupid dance. Ha. That’s the first time Abby has made me snicker in…maybe forever. The rest of the moms come in to Abby’s office and also try to get her out and into rehearsal. Ya’ll, Abby DNGAF. When Holly brings up the option of the girls dancing over at the Debbie Allen studio, Abby seems all for it and tells them to get out. I think Holly was trying to use this a motivation tool but it totally backfired. Abby hilariously tells Jess that in this country she still has the right to not work for you. You guys- I really haven’t enjoyed “Abby-on-the-way-to-crazy”, but I am LOVING “Abby-past-the-point-of-crazy”.
Jill and Melissa keep trying to comfort Abby after the other moms have already given up but Abby just keeps crying and doodling. They tell her that it’s hard to see her like this and she tells them to “walk away”. So they do.
Back at rehearsal, the girls are already more than halfway done with the dance for this week anyway because Abby already gave Gianna the choreography. Wait, then why the hell do they need Abby? Was everyone just feeling too good about themselves this week and needed to get knocked down a couple of pegs by getting screamed at like only Abby Lee Miller can do? The dance is a jazz steampunk themed number called “Well Oiled Machine” which is exactly what the girls and Gianna are. They’ve got this shit. Everyone else is freaking out about this or that, but it’s just business as usual for the Junior Elite Competition team. The competition this week is in Phoenix and Jess says it’s the first big competition of the season.
The solos are for Brynn, Kalani, and the 3rd one was supposed to be for Maddie but she won’t make it in time to learn it so she is just going to be in the group dance. Jill asks if Kira (Kalani’s mom who has been sidelined with a new baby) knows that Ashlee is still with the group because apparently those two have beef. They are both from Phoenix and it’s really hot there and the heat makes people sweat out their smarts and rational thinking skills (don’t believe me? FLORIDA). But of course Ashlee and Kira have beef. Ashlee is a commercial slaughterhouse who has beef with everyone. Jill hopes that Ashlee and Kira can keep their drama in check. This is the Jill-Pot calling the Kira-Kettle black.
Holly again suggests that the team goes to Debbie Allen’s studio. Everyone seems pretty receptive of the idea this time (including Melissa) and Jill tells all the girls that Abby doesn’t want to teach them (harsh, bro) and asks if they think they should go to another studio. The girls, god bless them, just want to dance and other than Abby’s rejection of them stinging a little, they seem fine with the new plan. Also- why is Kendall COVERED in makeup? It’s a rehearsal and all of the other girls look fresh and natural.
Holly calls up Debbie Allen and by the next scene the moms and girls are outside her studio. The moms keep trying to justify this decision by saying “Abby left us no choice”. Ladies, Abby literally locked you out of her studio. She has bigger fish to fry and does not give a shit if you are rehearsing at Debbie Allen’s studio or in a dumpster. Also, since Abby is MIA this week, she did not give the moms costumes. Fortunately, Kira has a store in Phoenix that can hook them up. The women pat themselves on the back for being a resourceful “well-oiled machine”.
At lunch, Jess tells Ashlee that it will actually be in her best interest if Abby doesn’t show up to the competition because Kalani is going to “wipe the floor” with Brynn. That’s mean. I get that these women don’t like Ashlee and I get that Ashlee and Brynn aren’t an official part of the ALDC team yet, so they aren’t under the “don’t talk shit about the kids” protective umbrella as of right now, but I get really cringe-y when the moms get snotty about a child’s talent. Ashlee says Kalani used to be a good dancer but is no longer any good. Bah. They are all horrible, but see the photo below for Holly’s awesome reaction to what Ashlee said.
For her solo, Brynn is performing a lyrical piece called “Mystical Beauty” and she is feeling the pressure since she is performing against Kalani, and both girls are from Phoenix. For her solo, Kalani is performing a contemporary piece called “Arizona Star” and she’s excited about performing in her home town as well as for her mom who hasn’t seen her dance in a long time. Kalani is a stunning dancer and Ashlee can shut the help up. For the record, Brynn is also a stunning dancer and Jess can shut the hell up.
Debbie Allen shows up in the middle of the girl’s group rehearsal. They are all really excited to see her and they should be because Debbie Allen is a BFD. She asks to see their routine and gives an awesome and inspirational critique. Kalani performs her solo for Debbie who compliments her “incredible control over her instrument”. I would pay a year’s salary to have Debbie Allen compliment me while I do something that I’m good at, like eat soup or pet my dog. Brynn performs her solo as well, or a small section of it because she is scared of forgetting it. Debbie says that Brynn is lacking joy in her face even though her legs and feet are beautiful. I’m sure Ashlee is going to handle that maturely and with dignity when the rest of the moms inevitably bring it up.
The women are in Phoenix a day early because they can rehearse in Kira’s studio there. The moms (minus Ashlee) are excited to see Kira. Apparently Abby is also in town and she was on the plane with the other moms. What? I’m tired of this “Abby quit, oh wait no she didn’t” plot line. Kira says that Abby is probably nervous to come to Phoenix because there are a lot of good dancers there. Jess, being a total shit-stirrer, says, “Not according to Ashlee. Ashlee says Kalani isn’t good anymore”. Nice Jess. I know that was a “gettin’ paid” move, but still.
Maddie is also back for good since her movie shoot is over. YAY! I heart me some Maddie. and we don’t end up seeing enough of her this episode.
Abby shows up with fast food and the women confront her in the parking lot. Abby makes some crack about how she doesn’t need to go into rehearsal because Debbie Allen has it under control. She’s trying to be bitchy, but for the record Debbie Allen ALWAYS has it under control. Even when she isn’t in the room. Abby finally comes into the studio and promptly says that the room stinks. She asks to see the group routine that she has had nothing to do with all week.
In a talking head, Abby makes a good point that I completely agree with. She says that the moms are always bitching about her not being there, but because she did her job so well for the first few years with the girls, they should be on autopilot by now. And they are- they go into rehearsal, they stretch and warm up, and they can learn choreography from anyone. None of them can drive yet, but they are all little professionals. I also don’t get why the moms insist on having Abby with them at all times. It’s pointless and the girls do just fine without her.
Kira and Kalani are late and most of the moms are a little irked, but no one so much as Ashlee who decides to use Kira’s lack of punctuality as a platform for why she and Brynn should be permanent members and Kira and Kalani should be out. I agree with Jill that this makes Ashlee look like she is desperate and nervous about the competition. Kira shows up right as Ashlee is talking shit to a completely apathetic Abby (“I don’t care if she shows up 5 minutes before competition…” – seriously you guys…I love this Abby). Kira reminds the women that she has a newborn and between pumping enough milk for the day and making sure the baby is settled before leaving, things took a bit longer than expected. The OG moms accept this, but also know they don’t have to voice any frustrations because Ashlee is on a rampage about how Kira just “doesn’t care and never has”. Reminder- these women are all over 40 and have children. Let that sink in for a sec.
Oh lord. So then, Kira says that she doesn’t care what Ashlee thinks and Ashlee says that SHE doesn’t care what KIRA thinks, because Kira has 3 baby daddies and a criminal record. Jess grins like a fox in a henhouse. Kira calls Ashlee a real “pathetical” person, which Ashlee naturally jumps on because, of course, pathetical is not a real word and Kira is supposed to have a masters degree. A few things on that- First, Kira just had a baby and still has pregnancy brain because that doesn’t go away for a long time. When I was pregnant, I forgot the word for “spaghetti” and called it “noodle tubes”. Secondly, my little sister got her chemical engineering degree from Cornell, but until recently she didn’t really understand how to drink beer out of a bottle. She said something about the “suction” messed her up. My point here is that degrees don’t always equal certain smarts. Regardless, Kira misspoke and Ashlee is thrilled about it.
Kira looks to Abby for support, but she hasn’t been around the last few weeks and so she doesn’t know that Abby couldn’t possibly care less about their squabbling. Through the entire fight, Abby literally just sits there reading what looks like a magazine (or maybe it’s the competition program or quite possibly a blank piece of paper). Getting zero support during the fight, Kira storms off.
Jill, Melissa, and oh yeah, her daughter Kalani, run out and beg Kira not to leave. Kira doesn’t want to be there or “play the games” but none of this should be about Ashlee for Kira. Her daughter, who she hasn’t seen in MONTHS, has a solo. The moms remind Kira of this and she says she will stay but she isn’t going to deal with Ashlee. Fair enough.
We see Kalani’s solo first and Kira sits in the back of the audience with Abby, while the rest of the moms sit up front. Kalani looks awesome. Her dance is a Native American inspired contemporary piece and Kalani’s lines are gorgeous. The rest of the girls are so young that when they dance, we rarely get to see the level of maturity that Kalani can bring to the stage. Her face was great in it too- Debbie Allen is right- Kalani knows her instrument really well.
Brynn’s “Mystical Beauty” lyrical solo is next and Ashlee hopes that Brynn can win and prove she is an asset to the team. Brynn is a spectacular little dancer. It looks like she took Debbie’s notes and is trying to emote more in her face. I still prefer the mature grace that Kalani was able to bring to her dance but a lot of that has to do with age. Brynn will get there.
Backstage before the group routine, Abby is concerned about the girls shorts all being different. The moms are taken aback that Abby is talking shit about the costumes when the moms had to scramble to find them in the first place. Abby says that she prides herself on her dancers looking their best on stage, but the moms are right that she probably should have thought about that days ago instead of letting the moms fend for themselves. Abby hilariously says “you’re acting like the costumes are all my fault”. You can imagine how that goes.
Costume drama aside, the girls look great in their group routine. It’s nice to see them do something a little tougher looking and less airy fairy. Mackenzie still looks so little. Is Melissa stunting her growth?
As the awards ceremony, Ashlee talking heads that Kira has lied, cheated, and manipulated to get Kalani as far as she has gotten but that today it will all catch up with her because Brynn is going to beat her. Oops. Kalani wins 1st place in the overall scores and Brynn doesn’t place at all.
The girls place first with their group routine and the moms pat themselves on their backs for getting a win with virtually no help from Abby. Abby comes in and congratulations them on the win and comments that she didn’t even need to be there. Which is exactly correct. The girls had a win because they have the skills and talent they need to secure a win. Gianna was always the one who taught the girls the dance anyhow. Abby doesn’t dance. She gives choreography. To Gianna. Who teaches it to the girls. Who take said choreography and win with it. The CEO of a company doesn’t have to sit in every meeting that happens. If the girls aren’t complaining, and the team is winning, then what is the problem?
Next week, the girls are doing a dance called “the seven deadly sins”. Didn’t they do a similarly themed dance back in season one? And more importantly, what in my life was I not able to remember because my brain had already stored the knowledge of a season 1 dance moms routine and refused to lose it?
Recap written by Liz