Dance Moms Camouflaged Maneuvers
March 12, 2013
So this week and next week, Dance Moms has two hour episodes for some reason that I don’t understand. Last time there was an atypical episode length, we had Cathy hitting people with purses, and that was only thirty extra minutes. I can only imagine what they’ll do with a full extra hour.
We start with Pyramid right away where Abby reminds the girls how unhappy she is with all the second places from last week. Still, she isn’t yelling at them…she’s being cold instead. At the bottom of the pyramid is Mackenzie, then Nia, then Paige, Maddie, Kendall is second from the top, and at the top is Brook. Since Chloe isn’t on the pyramid at all, she asks about it and Abby snaps that she’s still on suspension. Abby tells the audience that she’s doing this to inspire her to work harder and resist her mother’s rebellious nature. Solos go to Brook, Kendall, and Maddie. The group number is an interpretation of the military concept of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Once the girls are sent from the room, Abby gets all her yelling out with the moms. She doesn’t want them to be happy with their kids getting second place. Outside, Christie tells Chloe to be so good that Abby can’t help but pay attention to her. When the girls are back in the studio, Abby tells them that she’s using the military theme because she wants them to get back to the basics. While the girls start practicing, the moms finally get a firm answer out of Melissa in terms of her impending wedding (a carry-over plot point from last season) and make plans to take her dress shopping, then they have another argument about Jill’s tactics concerning private lessons and Kendall’s duet with Nia from the week before. This ends like most of their arguments do, with Holly storming out of the observation room while Jill says that she doesn’t understand why she’s so mad.
While speaking with Melissa about something dance related, Abby gets a phone call and it is from a man. Abby is giddy and giggly, while the moms complain that she’s on the phone instead of working on the girls’ dances. This goes on for…a while. She apparently sets up a date. Evidently after she left speed dating, she met a man at a gas station. The moms want to help her get ready for her date and she reluctantly agrees.
Kendall’s solo is a contemporary piece called “Secrets and Lies.” Jill is elated that Kendall is being given a solo (as opposed to a duet, I guess?). Abby tells her that if she wants to compete with Maddie, she needs to work on her face. Just before group rehearsal, Mackenzie says that her foot hurts. Apparently she injured it doing a trick several days before. Melissa tries to explain this to Abby, but Abby says that Mackenzie either needs to do the group number or not do it, because she needs to plan the number one way or the other. Mackenzie does the rehearsal, but she’s nervous to commit to definitely performing it. The moms are confused as to why Mackenzie is rehearsing if she’s injured, but they brush it off and go back to planning Melissa’s bridal shower.
While getting her nails done for her date, Abby’s appointment is highjacked by Holly, Melissa and Jill. They misbehave and cause a scene and generally embarrass themselves and her. When the gentleman arrives, he’s not quite how she remembers him. By that, he’s a bit shorter than she recalls and she isn’t sure how she feels about that. Still, it’s “just dinner,” right, Abby? He tells her that they’re just going down the road and Abby assures him that the mad hens clucking at him are not her friends, but instead her customers, as they head out the door.
The guy explains that he rented the whole restaurant so they can have some private time. He seems…interesting, that’s for sure. He wants to write a book explaining how he’s figured out woman, a former male stripper, etc. The next day, Abby admits to the clucking hens that she isn’t sure if she was laughing with him or at him, but she did have a lot of fun and she does need more laughter in hers life. So she doesn’t know if he’ll be in her life or not, but she did have fun and fun is a good thing.
While Abby works on Brook’s solo and longs for the girl to get some passion for what she’s doing, Jill takes Kendall to get some new headshots. But then the shoot ends up being about Jill as much as Kendall. Then the moms take Melissa to her bridal shower. The moms observe that Jill is competitive even in something as simple as a party. Then come the dresses. The moms make plans to invite themselves to the wedding and make themselves her wedding party. Finally, Melissa finds the dress that makes her cry. They all agree that this is a turning point to cement their friendship.
The next day, Melissa arrives and tells Abby that she is dropping Maddie off and taking Mackenzie to the hospital. Abby is accepting about that and sends her on her way. The moms remark that they didn’t notice anything being wrong, but Melissa calls to ask Kelly to take Maddie home since Mackenzie was apparently in so much pain that she was crying quite violently. They wonder if Mackenzie’s foot might be broken, but observe that since the number is hiphop and the girls are wearing combat boots, maybe she’ll be able to blend in even with a boot for her broken foot.
When Abby learns that the girls don’t understand DADT, she sends the moms home to discuss the matter with them. The conversation between Kelly and her girls is…kind of weird. The girls kind of look like they already know what she’s talking about and are humoring her. That’s really the only conversation that we see and it’s probably for the best.
Meanwhile, we learn that Mackenzie sprained her foot and cannot dance for the next 72 hours. This means dropping out of the group dance, which means telling that to Abby. Melissa and Kelly note that Mackenzie is the only one who likes the hiphop dance, but Kelly thinks that maybe she got scared by how challenging the number is and she is trying to find a way out of it.
The competition finally arrives. Abby is also suspicious of Mackenzie’s mysterious foot injury, even after being given a doctor’s excuse. She even goes so far as to get a wheelchair to keep her off her feet. Kelly and Christie discuss the fact that Mackenzie was almost definitely intimidated by the hiphop routine and might just be looking for an excuse to not perform.
Kendall’s solo is the first in the lineup. I think she does well, but I thought Maddie did better than she apparently did last week. We won’t know until judging exactly how she does. A cool thing about the extended episode is that we get to see the entire routine (something I’ve complained about when watching from time to time). So that’s a nice change. After Kendall performs, Abby doesn’t think that she did well enough for first place, but we’ll see.
Maddie does do better than Kendall does, there’s no denying that. It’s a real treat to get to see her full number. You don’t realize how hard what these kids do is until you see the full results. Backstage, Abby discusses Kendall and Maddie’s dances with them, but just tells Brook to keep practicing on her own. Abby wheels Mackenzie out of the green room (and that little girl seems to have an odd little smirk, unless I’m much mistaken). Kelly is resentful that Abby won’t even watch Brook practice, but still expects her to be a passionate leader.
The moms apparently caught Mackenzie doing cartwheels earlier and using her wheelchair as a prop. The moms confront Melissa, who jumps to Mackenzie’s defense. The moms think the kid’s lying, Melissa swears she’s not. Finally they let it drop because Mackenzie is, you know, six.
Brook’s dance is beautiful but far from flawless. The camera shows Abby making a few bad faces during the performance and she hardly gives her a standing ovation, since she forgot a step. Backstage, Abby laments that Brook is might consider a calling other than dance. Then she asks Mackenzie how she’s doing. Melissa says she’s resting. Abby wants to know if she’s resting from all the cartwheels she was doing. Mackenzie denies having done anything and Abby interrogates the other girls. It seems she was doing tricks of some sort.
Before the group routine, Abby tells her that she’ll be watching her perform carefully. She wants her to start speaking up for herself, especially against her mother thwn Christie does something that breaks the contract. Then the girls go on stage. It’s actually a pretty cool dance and the girls seem to be pretty on top of things. They’ve done hiphop before with less than stellar results, but tonight they did better. Holly admits that it was not perfect, but it was entertaining.
Backstage, the girls are given 20 push-ups each , because they all made mistakes. Then Abby sends them out the door to await the award ceremony. There, the girls are awarded as follows: Brook earns second place, Kendall is given fourth place, Maddie gets second place, and the group is given…seventh. Abby comes into the green room waving a white flag. She gives each a lecture on what they did wrong. Then she sends them out of the room and rants and raves at the parents. She’s especially unhappy with Brook. It seems that Cathy is back for the second 2 hour special next week, so we’ll see how that works out next time.