We begin with CHRISTy bringing Sarah in for a regular lesson. Abby and her choreographer are at the front desk. She tells Abby that Sarah dancing is really improving and despite Abby not liking CHRISTy, she should give Sarah a second look. So CHRISTy is back with Sarah just in time for the pyramid.
This week is not a pyramid, it’s a totem pole in honor of this week’s theme. On the bottom of the totem pole is Nia. Because, she’s Nia. Mackenzie, Kendall, Tia, Chloe she was almost nice to Chloe. And of course, Maddie is on top.
Mackenzie has a blues solo entitled Out of My Mind. Sarah is doing a lyrical routine to On My Own. Tea gets a musical theatre piece called No Crybabies. The three ten and under are competing for a solo at Nationals. Ava will be competing against Mackenzie and Tea in the 10-12 age bracket. This technically means that Sarah could win her group and one of the other two girls could still win 10-12.
The group number is “and ethnic piece” called Tribal Council. Abby pulls a headdress out of thin air in the most bizarre editing to date. As soon as I heard the word “ethnic” knew this was going to be Nia’s group number to win or lose. Sure enough Abby gives Nia the lead. If they lose it will all fall on Nia’s shoulders. If they win, it will be because Maddie was in the number. We know how this goes by now. The dance incorporates jazz, modern, acrobatics, gymnastics and contemporary. Sarah and Tia will not be in the group routine, just the elite team.
Before the choreography is even introduced, Abby tells Maddie to have a costume with her “just in case.” Sigh. Abby keeps trying to tell the girls to pretend they are doing a Vegas showgirl routine. As if all ten-year olds are familiar with the concept. Abby screams at Nia to give her face. The usual comparisons to Maddie are made. Nia seems to have shot up and leaned out some.
Sarah looks great in practice. Mackenzie’s routine is very technical and has a higher level of difficulty than the other too. Tea’s routine is musical theater. She’s good at it. It doesn’t have the technical points that Mackenzie’s does.
Abby keeps saying that Nia is the lead in the group number, but Abby is front and center and Nia is in her usual back row position. Abby stops rehearsal so that Maddie and show Nia how the lead should be done. I predict Nia is pulled from the lead at the last second.
CHRISTy tells Sarah to sit in the back of the bus with the girls. Sarah is crying and terrified because CHRISTy never lets her venture further than arm’s length away from her. Abby screams bloody murder. Holly tries to help Sarah. The odd thing is, is that the other moms were in the back of the bus already.
Is this show really 90 minutes?
At the competition, they show us the group routine first. I was not impressed with the choreography. There was a large drum that Nia started and ended the routine on, but to me it seemed that Maddie and Mackenzie were featured more than Nia. There were a couple of gymnastics moves that were solid, but I was disappointed. There won’t be any other dances to compare it with, so who knows how it stacked up. Also, at one point Nia’s headdress was removed. Since no one is freaking out I assume that was intentional and perhaps part of her being dethroned as chief for something.
Sarah’s solo was great. It was exactly like a Maddie routine from seasons back. You can tell the kid practiced her “Maddie face” and has it down pat. She’s a great dancer, but it didn’t feel like her dance. It felt like her doing a spot on imitation of Maddie. Which, to be honest, is exactly what Abby wants.
Tea’s solo was a reworked Mackenzie solo from the days when all Mackenzie did was adorable little girl routines. It was not as well executed as Sarah’s solo and she doesn’t stand a chance against Ava with that number. It was very babyish. It was never Abby’s intention to give Tea winning choreography.
Mackenzie’s choreography was jam-packed with potential points. She was miles better than Tea. There were a few little things but it’s not inconceivable that Mackenzie could win based on the higher level of difficulty.
Ava’s dance was very good, and likely will beat Mackenzie. However, I am distracted from her dancing by her anorexia. She really looks extremely malnourished, and it’s so unattractive it’s all I can think about.
Backstage, Abby suddenly gives Maddie a solo to go out there and beat Ava. Everyone is furious. Melissa essentially robbed Mackenzie of a solo at Nationals. Maddie does her old standby moves flawlessly. Same old same old. If it is the first time you’ve seen it it’s great. But at this point she is boring me with the same face and same routine in every solo.
Sarah wins first in her category. Oddly, there are already trophies in front of all the ALDC soloist before she is called. Tea comes in fifth place in her division. Mackenzie gets third. Ava gets second and Maddie wins. The regular elite team won first with Nia’s featured role. Abby actually compliments Nia. But when Holly asks about nationals Abby says that it takes Nia too long to get from the flour, the sugar, the eggs and the vanilla extract, to the cookies. HUH? CHRISTy asks about Sarah getting a solo at Nationals. Abby says if nationals is 9-11 Maddie is going in. Shouldn’t Abby know the age brackets for nationals? And if she is only putting in one solo, then why is everyone trying so hard to please her, because Maddie will be that one.
Ava and her mom come in after the competition and visit. Abby informs Ava’s mom that she is off the select team because she entered a competition on her own without asking her. Tea’s mom goes after her, but first she asks “Miss Abby” for permission to go to the bathroom! Really?
Next Week: Holly finally has enough of Abby and lets out seasons worth of pent-up rage.
P.S. Lifetime has taken a page out of Bravo’s ratings tricks and added Asia’s show as the last 30 minutes of Dance Moms. That should be some sort of a ratings rules violation.