'Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition' Season 1, Episode 6 Recap: Dancing through the Decades

The judges from Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition

On Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition performers between the ages of 6 and 13 vie for $100,000 cash and a scholarship to the Young Dancer’s Program at the Joffrey Ballet. The judges are Abby Lee Miller (Dance Moms), Richy Jackson (Lady Gaga) and Robin Antin (The Pussycat Dolls). The series opened with twelve dancers, but now in season 1, episode 6, there are seven girls left.

For this week’s Group Dance Challenge the skill Abby is looking for is the ability to improvise. She wants the dancers to think on their feet, think smart, and only do what they do well. There is no guest choreographer, instead, they are having an improv dance-off in which they free-style in pairs, and are eliminated one-by-one until only the winner is left.

Asia dances against Hadley, Lexine, and Amanda, and beats all three. Abby tells her to take a break and puts Madison with Jordyn, and Madison comes out on top. Finally it’s Madison against Asia, and Asia wins the challenge. Some of the other Mothers protested (to the camera, not to Abby) saying Asia did the same steps over and over, or that their daughters were technically better, but the fact is Asia has star quality – at age six she is a consummate performer, and her sassy moves had us laughing out loud.

For this week’s Competition Dance the theme is “Dancing through the Decades”, and as the Group Challenge winner Asia gets to pick her routine from a list of three solos and two duets; she chooses an 80s pop duo.

Next we see the contestants rehearse. Madison learns a 60s go-go dance to be performed on top of a big cube. Mom Coreen is nervous that Madison will fall off of the box and interrupts the rehearsal to the point that Gina Starbuck tells her, “No more notes from you, I’m choreographing this piece.” Brianna practices a 20s flapper solo. Despite the fact that she’s the strongest dancer on the show, she’s nervous because it’s her first time doing a solo in this competition. Asia and Lexine work on their 80s pop duet, and Lexine’s Mom Maria is in tears due to homesickness and the pressure of the competition. She is also concerned about Lexine pairing with Asia because, “she has that magic in her.” Hadley and Amanda get their 50s swing number down, and Jordyn rehearses her hip-hop routine with a choreographer named “Q”.

A few of the Moms get a break from the competition and go for coffee. Some of them still feel resentment toward Yvette over how she slotted some of the dancers in last week’s “Sabotage” episode, some are more pragmatic. This week, thankfully, there’s very little mama drama. In fact, we see somewhat of a kinder, gentler Yvette (if you’re just tuning in she’s a notorious instigator). She encourages her daughter Hadley by telling her, “It’s never your setback that matters, it’s always your comeback that counts.” Also, when Lexine’s Mom Maria starts falling apart, we see Yvette helping her finish her costume.

There’s still plenty of strife though: As Jordyn practices, her Mom Kelly yells at her so much that the young dancer is near tears, and dancer Brianna locks herself in a bathroom (or dressing room?) because she’s still nervous about doing a solo.

Then it’s time for the competition.

First up is Brianna, 13, doing her Roaring 20s flapper solo choreographed by Joyce Chittick. Brianna uses a divan as a prop, and her dance is wonderful. Abby is impressed and says she loved the subtleties and nuance, Richy tells her she’s the kind of dancer he would hire, Robin likes it too but wants Brianna to learn to dance in heels. Abby closes by telling Brianna, “You’re on your way to a great career.”

The second act is Hadley and Amanda, both age 12, with a swing dance duet from the 50s choreographed by Joyce Chittick. Abby smiles though the number, and then says the choreography was spot-on perfect, but calls Hadley out for flexing and hooking her feet. Richy tells them they did a nice job, and commends Hadley for getting into character. Robin says the performance was fun and calls Amanda “beyond words perfection”. Then Robin tells Hadley, “Amanda’s better than you – she’s just a better dancer”. Richy puts an end to the uncomfortable moment by telling Hadley she did a great job, and we move on.

Then, sadly, we see Maria making her daughter cry. Lexine says Maria is putting a lot more pressure on her than in the past. Minutes before she has to go on stage, Maria is threatening to pull Lexine out of the competition and go home. It’s just awful. Finally Asia, 6, and Lexine, 11, take the stage for their 80s pop duet choreographed by Gina Starbuck. Abby chides Asia for technical issues, but compliments her too, saying if you put Asia behind bars she would still be able to get to her audience. Richy calls Lexine a breath of fresh air, but Robin tells her, “It was a solo piece for me because I kept watching Asia.”

Next we see Madison, 13, doing a Psychedelic 60s go-go dance choreographed by Gina Starbuck. Abby applauds and says Madison was outstanding on the prop and commends her for executing dance moves in the dark while on the big cube. Richy says sometimes Madison soars, but sometimes he can’t tell where she is. Robin says the performance is a million percent what she loves, but also agrees with Richy. Abby reminds Madison she can no longer play it safe.

The final dancer of the night is Jordyn, 12, with a 90s hip hop number from the choreographer named “Q”. Jordyn is phenomenal and really knows how to work the classic hip hop moves. The choreography was excellent too – there was a slow motion segment that was very cool to watch. Richy gives the dance two finger waves – the highest praise a dancer can earn from him – and says he loved her “full throttle energy”. Abby says she loved it but that Jordyn’s feet weren’t properly turned out. Robin disagrees and called Abby crazy (gasp!), because in hip hop that’s how the feet are supposed to look.

Maria and Lexine
Then it’s time for the judge’s decision. Madison, Jordyn, Asia, Amanda and Brianna are safe. Hadley and Lexine are in jeopardy, and then Lexine is sent home. Abby tells her, “this is just the beginning”, and later Lexine says, “The biggest lesson I learned is to push harder.” We really like Lexine - she’s a good dancer with a good attitude and a lovely personality – we’re sure she’ll succeed in whatever she does.

Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Lifetime

To see all of our AUDC coverage click here.

Photos ©Lifetime

Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 12:45 PM