|Brooke Hyland from Dance Moms (Lifetime) released a CD on August 13|
In recent weeks, Dance Moms viewers have witnessed the drama between dance teacher Abby Lee Miller and Kelly Hyland, mother to students Brooke and Paige. Despite the fact that Kelly and her kids walked out a few weeks ago, Abby has kept the girls’ photos on the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) pyramid. However, last week when Kelly showed up at a competition, Abby wouldn’t let her sit with the group. This week on Dance Moms season 3, episode 33 titled “Gone, Abby Gone”, Abby is missing, so her assistant Gianna “Gia” Martello runs the show, and Kelly takes advantage of Abby’s absence by sneaking her daughters back into the studio.
Normally, Dance Moms episodes begin with studio owner Abby Lee Miller revealing her pyramid, the ranking system she uses for the dancers in the ALDC. This week on Dance Moms S3, E33 “Gone, Abby Gone”, Abby is mysteriously absent from the episode, so there is no pyramid. Instead, Gianna “Gia” Martello (Abby's assistant choreographer and right-hand at the studio) will be the one who handles the choreography and assigns the dancers their routines for the Believe Competition in Sandusky, Ohio.
Where is Abby? No-one knows, but the moms have several theories: Melissa (Maddie and Mackenzie's mom) thinks Abby is with her mom, Maryen Lorrain Miller, who “is ill and getting sicker by the day”; Kristie with a K (Asia’s mom) thinks Abby is in Los Angeles looking for a new studio space; Jill (Kendall’s mom) thinks Abby is “with that creepy werewolf guy she’s been seeing”; Christi (Chloe’s mom) thinks Abby is “at a headband sale somewhere.”
While Gia and a choreographer named James run group rehearsal, the parents hang in the Mom’s Den and argue about who should do solos. Leslie thinks her daughter Payton (who has been filling in for Brooke for the past two weeks) has earned a solo. Kristie thinks her daughter Asia should have a solo, but Jill disagrees because Asia has been away for a few weeks. A loud argument follows in which Kristie explains that they were absent from the ALDC because Asia was working, and Jill answers, “I don’t care where the f--k you were.” The back-and-forth continues with each of them calling the other a “hot mess”.
With three days to go until the competition, Abby is still missing. While the team rehearses, Christi receives a phone call from Kelly (Brooke and Paige’s mom), who infamously walked out on the ALDC during recital rehearsals, then showed up at last week’s Believe Competition in Orlando, Florida (Abby wouldn’t let her sit with the team). Christi tells Kelly that Abby isn't around, and suggests that this would be a good time for Kelly to return to the studio with her daughters. This, of course, angers Leslie, because she doesn’t want Kelly and her daughters to come back, she wants her daughter Payton to have a permanent spot on the team. Leslie asks Christi, “What makes you think you have the right to invite them back? You’re really crossing the line here.” Melissa thinks “Abby is going to freak.”
Gia already has her hands full, so she doesn’t get into the argument; when Kelly and her girls arrive, Gia lets them join the class. Leslie, however, is not as welcoming, and won't give Kelly her regular seat. She knows that every time Brooke shows up, Payton gets thrown off of the team.
While Holly (Nia’s mom) and Gia talk at the front desk, Gia has a three-word phone conversation with Abby: Abby asks “Gianna?”, Gia responds “Abby?”, Abby says "Goodbye", and then she hangs up and sends a text message with instructions.
Per Abby's text, all nine girls will be in the group number, a contemporary piece call “Just Be”; Asia will do a jazz solo called “Lightning”; Maddie will do a lyrical routine called “Holding On”. Since there are normally four numbers, but Abby only assigns three, Brooke asks Gia if she can do a solo. Gia tells her that maybe they can work something out, but that she can’t do anything without talking to Abby first.
Kelly calls Abby and leaves a message asking if Brooke can have a solo. Considering that Kelly and Abby have been fighting for weeks, this is a bold move, but Kelly says, “I’m not going to let her scare me.” Jill cautions her, “I would take baby steps if I were you.”
While the team rehearses, Melissa calls Lori, a woman she knows through the Starlight Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children with chronic and life-threatening medical conditions. Melissa invites Lori and her daughter Hannah to watch rehearsal and attend the competition with the team. Hannah is a young, Pittsburgh, PA native who loves dance, and is inspired by Maddie. Hannah was born with Chiari malformation, a condition that caused her to stop breathing and made her brain tissue protrude into her spinal canal. Hannah had extensive surgery when she was younger, and needs ongoing medical treatment. Thankfully, she is now well enough that she was able enroll in dance class this year.
Christi follows Abby on Instagram, and notices Abby posted a photo of herself – it doesn’t seem like she is with her mother. Christi says, “Abby’s all about making money, and if some competition dangles money in front of her to judge, she'll be there.”
Meanwhile, Gia has a problem. Abby says she’ll fire Gia if she choreographs a routine for Brooke. Melissa says it's tough seeing Gia cry because “she’s a rock.” Gia puts on a brave face and tells Brooke, “Abby didn’t say whether you’re dancing or not, get something prepared and see what happens.” Brooke choreographs her own routine to a song called “I Hurt” – it’s from her new Brooke Hyland CD released on August 13, 2013, on iTunes. The song is about Abby, mama drama, and what Brooke goes through as a member of the ALDC.
Leslie is getting angrier by the minute. She is furious that Kelly walks out on the team over and over, but is always welcomed back. She is also tired of her daughter Leslie being a fill-in instead of a permanent member of the ALDC competition team. She says, “I will not leave this team on my own; the only way I’m leaving is if Abby kicks me off.” Then she calls Abby and tattles: “I’m here watching Brooke do a solo. Could you please get back to me as soon as possible?” Leslie gets a text from Abby with explicit instructions to read it out loud to the team. The text says Brooke should not do a solo or the group number, and that Payton can do a solo. After all this wrangling though, it seems Leslie doesn’t think Payton has enough time to learn a dance.
Finally, it’s the day of the Believe Competition in Sandusky, Ohio. As the team arrives at the auditorium, the crowd is unaware of Abby’s absence, and they chant her name. The Moms continue to argue in the dressing room until Hannah shows up to hang out with Maddie and the girls.
Asia is up first – she does her “Lightning” jazz solo in a purple costume with one long leg and one short. It’s a snappy routine with cool moves – I particularly like when she jumps into a straddle. When she’s done, her teammates hug her backstage and tell her it the “best solo ever.”
Maddie is next, and does her lyrical solo to “Hold On” in a white and lavender costume with silver trim. Maddie dedicates her performance to Hannah, and as always, she dances well.
Before we see more performances, Melissa talks to Abby on the phone and asks, “When are you coming home?” Abby answers, “Whenever Brooke and Paige get the hell out of my studio.”
Brooke starts to cry and says, “She doesn’t want us here,” and Kelly is emotional when she hugs Brooke and says, “Don’t cry, there’s nothing we can do.” Shortly after, Brooke tells the camera, “I’m not sure about doing this dance because Abby already hates us," then she adds, “What if nobody even likes my song?” Brooke does do her solo though, a contemporary routine in a two-piece outfit with black shorts and halter top. She dances to her own song, “I Hurt”, and she looks beautiful.
The group dance is next. The team does their contemporary “Just Be” number in pretty white and taupe skirted costumes. I definitely like the choreography; it’s more modern than usual, and the team looks great doing it.
The awards ceremony begins. In the 8 and Under Solo Division, Asia wins 1st Place. In the 12-14 Solo Division, Brooke is awarded 4th Place. In the 9-11 Solo Division, Maddie wins 1st Place – she calls Hannah to the stage and gives her the trophy. In the 9-11 Small Group Division, the ALDC wins 1st Place. It’s a big deal for Gia’s choreography to do so well at this competition because they beat really good dancers; Holly says it’s like winning the Olympics.
Jill tells Melissa to call Abby and let her know about the win, and when she does, a woman named Mandy answers. She says she's handling Abby’s phone calls, but she has no information about Abby’s whereabouts or plans. At least for this episode, Abby’s absence remains a mystery. We do hope Abby’s mother is okay.
Where was Abby Lee Miller this week? Will she let Kelly and her daughters Brooke and Paige return to the ALDC? Will Payton get to stay on the team, or will she be let go again? Did you like Gia’s choreography? (I did.) Leave a comment and tell us what you think.
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Dance Moms airs on Tuesdays at 9/8c on Lifetime
Photo courtesy of Lifetime
Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013