'Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition' S2 E3 Recap: Gods and Mortals

Chloe from Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition, season 2
Chloe from Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition, season 2

On Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition (AUDC), aspiring dancers between the ages of 10 and 13 compete for $100,000 cash and a full scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School of New York. Every week, judges Abby Lee Miller, Richy Jackson and Rachelle Rak eliminate one contestant. This week, on AUDC Season 2, episode 3, the remaining dancers are judged on the mythology theme, “Gods and Mortals”, and the skill “Power”. There would be nine dancers left at this point, but last week judge Richy Jackson used his “callback card” to save Chloe from being cut, so there are ten. Maddie and Mackenzie Ziegler, from Abby’s other hit show, Dance Moms, appear on this episode.

This week on AUDC, the Group Dance Challenge (GDC) skill is “Power”, and the winner will get to make all of the assignments for the competition dances that follow a mythology theme, "Gods and Mortals."

Abby introduces sisters Maddie Ziegler and Mackenzie Ziegler, who star on the show that made Abby Lee Miller famous, Dance Moms. They demonstrate a dance battle (aka a dance-off), and of course, Maddie wins. Then, Abby starts the GDC by calling two contestants at a time to battle, and she eliminates them one-by-one in this order:
  • Travis vs Tyler; Travis wins.
  • Gianna vs Travis; Travis wins.
  • Haley vs Travis; Travis wins. When Abby yells at Haley for landing a side aerial without pulling her arms up, Haley’s mom Melanie doesn’t console her at all; instead, she says, “I told you that, you’re ridiculous.” When Haley says she can’t remember, her mom says, “Well, you know what, then you don’t belong here.”
  • Trinity vs Travis; Trinity wins.
  • Chloe vs Trinity; Trinity wins.
  • Kalani vs Trinity; Kalani wins.
  • Kalani vs McKaylee; McKaylee wins. 
  • JoJo vs McKaylee, McKaylee wins, but JoJo scores some points with Abby, who notices she's taking her advice and being quiet today.
  • Ally vs McKaylee; Ally wins.
Ally’s prize is that she and her mom, Tiffany, get to cast all of the routines for the competition. Melanie says, “Tiffany is the biggest villain in this competition; she’s gonna sabotage everyone.” Tiffany says, “I don’t want friends, I want money  and scholarships... This week I’m doing everything I can as a mom to keep Ally at the top. My strategy was to disrupt everyone.”

Abby informs the contestants about the assignments Tiffany and Ally have made, then they meet Maddie and Mackenzie. Haley asks Maddie how to handle Abby, and she answers, “Whenever she says something mean to you, just block it out and fix the correction. She’s hard on us, but it just makes us better.” Chloe, one of the nicest young ladies I’ve ever seen on a show like this, imparts words of wisdom: “Abby is pleased with Maddie from Dance Moms, so that means she can be pleased with somebody.”

Meanwhile, Tiffany, Sheryl (Travis and Tyler's mom) and Melanie go to a salon, which is awkward for Melanie, because she believes the assignment Tiffany gave Haley was picked specifically to set her up to fail. Melanie tells Tiffany this, and Tiffany’s response is, “We’re not damn Disneyland; part of mythology is battle. I’m telling you both right now, it’s war.” Melanie’s response to Tiffany? “You’re a bitch.”

Abby makes her rounds of the competition rehearsals. She wants to see “Who’s confident, who’s strong, and who can think quickly on their feet.”

JoJo, Gianna and Chloe work on their “Hades and the Lost Souls” modern funk routine with choreographer Matt Cady. For this number, JoJo plays Hades, and she has to control Gianna and Chloe, who are the Lost Souls. Abby arrives and critiques the rehearsal, specifically calling out Chloe for not pointing her feet. She tells Chloe's mom Angela, a dance teacher, “When she was born you didn’t start working on those feet? Mother, fail.”

Trinity and Travis work on their “Medusa’s Tragic Romance” lyrical piece with choreographer Tessandra Chavez. Travis has to support Trinity in a lift, and his mom Sheryl says that as usual, Trinity is “hitting things hard.”

Haley and Kalani work on their “Birth of a Goddess” jazz dance with choreographer Anthony Burrell. Kira (Kalani's mom) says, “Poor little Haley’s gonna get eaten alive.” Abby shows up and gives Haley corrections on her timing.

Ally, Tyler and McKaylee work on their “Sirens” contemporary number with choreographer Tarua Hall. The girls play sirens who lure Tyler to his death. Abby gives Ally the correction to work on her confidence, and Tiffany starts over-thinking her choices, and she tells her daughter, “You’re dancing scared again.”

While the kids practice, the moms work in the costume room, and the conversation turns to the next elimination. Cindy (Gianna’s mom) predicts Haley will be on the chopping block this week. Shari (McKaylee’s mom) comments that Haley is a shy girl. Cindy elaborates that Haley “cries a lot, I don’t think she can handle the pressure.” Haley’s mom Melanie overhears this, bursts into the room, and gets in Shari’s face. She tells all the moms, “My daughter is obviously better than your daughter, and your daughter, and your daughter, and your daughter. Worry about your own kid!” Then Melanie says she should take a sword and whack Shari across the throat with hit. It’s a prop sword, but still, yikes!

Back in their bungalow, Tiffany cries and tells her daughter Ally, “These moms are out there for blood, you have no idea what I’m going through.” Shortly after, Kira (Kalani's mom) remarks, “Tiffany sabotaged the competition, now she’s freaking out because she just doubts the choices they made. Karma is a bitch.”

Host Kevin Manno introduces the judges: visual director and choreographer Richy Jackson, Broadway star Rachelle Rak, and the "infamous" Abby Lee Miller. Abby says, “We are looking for somebody who has the energy, the strength, the conviction in their movements.” Kevin reminds the audience that Abby and Rachelle still have their callback cards, so they can save an eliminated contestant of they disagree with who gets cut.

Backstage, Melanie gives young Haley her version of a pep talk: “Remember what I told you , nobody is real here, nobody wants you to stay.” Haley says, “Tiffany paired me and Kalani together because she wanted to make me fail, but this is a dream come true and I’ve been wanting to do this my whole life. I’m not going to fail.”

Haley and Kalani take the stage for their “Birth of a Goddess” jazz duet wearing gold costumes; Kalani has gold leaves in her hair, and Haley has a full wreath. For a few counts during the dance, a piece of Kalani’s costume sticks to her face and covers it. When the number is done, Abby calls Kalani out for dancing “pigeon toed.” This annoys Abby because she’s given Kalani this correction before, and she says Kalani could be going home this week. Richy tells Kalani, “I really enjoyed your performance,” and he commends her for dancing through her costume mishap. Rachelle praises Kalani’s flexibility, but says she lacks power. Rachelle thinks Haley had a lot of good moments, but that the faces she makes while dancing aren’t emotionally authentic. Abby compliments Haley, saying she not only kept up with Kalani, but that she “stepped it up,” and also says that Haley has beautiful feet! Big smile from Haley! You go girl!

Ally, Tyler and McKaylee go second with their “Sirens” contemporary trio. The girls wear metallic bikinis; Tyler wear beige long shorts and a matching tank top. Backstage, Gianna wonders if it was a mistake that Tiffany put her daughter Ally with McKaylee, who is a strong technical dancer. It’s a valid point; McKaylee is one of the better dancers on the show this season. Abby thinks Ally brought the confidence, but needs to improve her feet. Rachelle thinks Ally starts strong, but that she disengages. Richy says Tyler was fantastic; Abby wants to see him do more. Abby tells McKaylee that she looked like a working, employable dancer. Rachelle gives McKaylee minor corrections for her prop work.

Trinity and Travis are next with their “Medusa’s Tragic Romance” lyrical duet. Trinity wears a shiny blue costume with flowing chiffon pieces in the back; Travis is in a tattered shirt and what looks like leather pants. Their number has a move in which Trinity leaps onto Travis’ back, and it's lovely. They give a well-executed, emotional performance - they dance beautifully together. At the end, Abby yells “Woooo!”, Rachelle stands up and spins around, and Richy does his finger wave of approval for the first time this season. Abby calls Travis “Herculean.” She praises Trinity for some of her moves, and reminds her to work on her flexibility. Rachelle says it was nice to see them dance as one, and that tonight, they were her winners. After watching all four teams perform, this was my choice for best dance of the episode.

JoJo, Gianna and Chloe dance last with their “Hades and the Lost Souls” modern funk trio. The older girls wear silver skirted costumes; little JoJo is playing Hades and has on a black and red unitard. Toward the end, Chloe falls (off camera). After the performance, Abby tells JoJo she “rocked it out,” but Richy thinks he’s seen JoJo go harder than she did for this dance. Abby chides Gianna for timing issues, and Rachelle mentions that Gianna had technical problems with her feet. Abby says Chloe fell because she didn’t hold her center, then instructs her to kneel on the stage, and critiques the way she curls her toes. Rachelle says Chloe has great moments, but also terrible moments. Richy, who used his callback card to keep Chloe from being cut last week, says it was totally worth it to save her. Richy tells her, “Yes, you fell… but at the end of the day this is the person I wanted to see last week, so thank you for showing up, Chloe.” 

The judges deliberate, then they name Kalani, Gianna and Chloe as the bottom three, and Abby reminds them, “Tonight, one of you will be going home.”

Abby tells Gianna, “You executed a jump way too early. You admitted your mistake. Gianna, you’ve been blessed tonight, join the rest of the cast.”

Abby moves on to Kalani: “You have the legs, you have the feet. You should have shined in that duet, instead, you fell short.”

Abby’s remarks for Chloe are, “You’ve been here before. I told you about the feet, I made the correction myself. You have improved. A phoenix? I don’t know.”

Abby tells Kalani and Chloe that neither of them brought this week’s skill – Power – to the stage, and then says the dreaded words: “Chloe, today is not your day.” Chloe is cut, but Richy sends her off with words of encouragement: “When you leave here tonight, know that I totally saw the phoenix rise from the broken bird.” I really like Chloe - she seems like a nice girl with a good head on her shoulders. I hope we'll see more of her in the future. 

Next week on season 2, episode 4 of Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition, the theme is “Vegas.”


To see all of our AUDC recaps click here.

To see all of our Dance Moms recaps click here

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

Photo by Danny Feld, courtesy of Lifetime

Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013