|Abby Lee Miller, star of Dance Moms on Lifetime|
Last week on the Dance Moms Season 3 finale, the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) attended the Masters of Dance Arts Nationals in New Orleans, LA, where Christi (Chloe’s mom) and Leslie (Paytons’s mom) had a physical fight that led to both moms and their daughters being sent home. This week, Executive Producer Jeff Collins hosts the Dance Moms Reunion: Hurricane Abby, and we see Christi and Leslie, Abby and Kelly, and Kristi and Jill argue. Also, Abby reveals that she’s holding auditions for season 3 of Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition (season 2 began airing three weeks ago), and also the ALDC Elite Competition Team.
Jeff Collins, the Executive Producer of Dance Moms, introduces Abby as “The Eye of the Storm”. He shows Abby footage of Christi and Leslie fighting in New Orleans (NOLA), and she looks totally disgusted when she says, “Those two adults, who should be grateful to me, first and foremost, have not only tarnished my reputation, but they have succeeded in destroying something that it took me 30 years to build. They are representing me. They acted like trash in the middle of Bourbon Street, and that’s exactly what they are. “
With that, Jeff brings out Christi and Leslie. He asks Christi what went wrong in NOLA, and she explains they were “having fun, and it just got ugly.” Christi admits, “I shouldn’t have done that... I wish it hadn’t gotten to that point… I felt bad about it, it was an ugly thing… I was wrong… I’m willing to take ownership that I behaved incorrectly.”
Leslie says that Christi is predictable, that she never looked at her the whole time she was telling her side of the story, and that she never apologized. Christi says she did, but that Leslie wasn’t looking.
Christi brings up assaults in Leslie’s past. Leslie accuses Christi of playing the victim again, then she reminds Christi that she’s been fighting for her daughter’s success a lot longer than Christi has, but the difference is, “I don’t step on peoples’ backs, I don’t burn my bridges, and I don’t ever treat people the wrong way like you do.” While Leslie is saying this, Abby appears to agree with her.
Jeff asks Abby’s opinion, and she replies, “I could no longer look the other way for the sake of the win, that going to Nationals with a number that didn’t matter as much as my contract and my reputation and putting my foot down for the future,” and she reminds everyone that when she has moms and dancers out at competitions, they represent her, not themselves.
Abby says Leslie was immediately remorseful and apologized to her and the group, but that Christi has yet to apologize to her or the dance company. Then she tells Christi that she owes an apology to her own daughter, Chloe. Jeff shows new footage of Christi and Leslie yelling at each other after the fight, and of Christi calling the NOLA Police Department to report an assault. Christi tells Jeff she shouldn’t have called the police, which is why she didn’t press charges. Leslie says the toughest part of of dealing with the Dance Moms is that they stick together, but that she’s not going to be run out. Christi says her biggest issue with Leslie is that she’s very aggressive.
Next, Jeff introduces Asia and Mackenzie, and they perform their “We Hit Harder” duet.
Kristie Ray (Asia’s mom) joins the group on stage, and Jeff asks her why she took Leslie’s side. She says that all the mother’s had a different story, and since Leslie wasn’t there, Christi should have set them straight. Leslie says the other mothers are afraid to go up against Christi, and Kristie says when Christi isn’t there, the moms say that she bullies them. Abby says “We’re looking at The Tinman, it’s cold, it’s calculated, it’s manipulative.” (Apparently, Abby watched a different version of The Wizard of Oz than I did; my Tinman was a sweetie.) Christi says, “She talks about me having no heart, when it’s her who has made it a mission to destroy a 12-year-old on television.” Abby responds, “It’s not a mission, you’ve destroyed your own 12-year-old,” and the crowd gasps.
Jeff closes the segment by saying, “With moods and alliances changing at a moment's notice, I guess we’ll have to wait ‘til the next season to see who will and who will not still be a part of this group.”
Next, Jeff brings out Kelly, “the mom Abby has known the longest.” He points out that Kelly has been defiant and combative this season, and she says, “I don’t want to fight with Abby. If my kids need to do something to get ahead in this business, they’re going to do it.” Kelly wants Paige to be able to pursue modeling, and for Brooke to pursue singing opportunities, without Abby getting angry at them. Abby tells Kelly, “Don’t let this be IT, let this be just the beginning.”
They talk about when Kelly quit right before the recital, and show footage of Abby not letting Kelly sit with the ALDC at a competition. Jeff says the producers told him Kelly stood there for 30 minutes, and she admits it’s true. Abby doesn’t appreciate that the incident caused the entire judging panel, and even people in the wings, to look at them. They fight about this point, and Kelly says, “You still think I’m 12. I’m 42. I’m paying you for a service,” and adds that she showed up at the competition “for my children and my teammates.” Abby tells her, “So stick your butt in a seat and shut your mouth.”
Jeff introduces the ALDC, and they do their group routine called “Gone Too Soon”.
Then they talk about Kelly sneaking back into the ALDC. Jeff asks, “Why did you come back to the studio?” and she answers, “Because I’m part of the team, and every single one of the moms and the kids want my kids there.”
Leslie thinks it was wrong for Kelly and her kids to show up then, because it made her and her daughter Payton uncomfortable. Then Leslie asks Kelly the same question she’s asked on previous episodes: “How many times do you think it takes for you not to be able to come back?” Kelly answers with a question: “Do we want to bring up why I leave?” Abby jumps in, and says that Kelly is solely responsible for Brooke and Paige’s decline in their dancing. Then Abby leans toward Leslie and calls Kelly a “wacko.” Kelly hears her, and they fight over this. Abby invites Kelly to leave Dance Moms, and then Abby walks out of the reunion.
Melissa, Jill and Holly join the group already on stage. Jeff asks what they think about Abby’s disappearance, referring to when Abby was absent from rehearsals and competitions toward the end of season 3. Holly just wants the courtesy of a phone call. Jill says Abby, “disappeared, she just left us high and dry.” They move on to talking about the pact the moms made, agreeing that if their kids were invited to perform on AUDC, they wouldn’t do it. Melissa did though, and Maddie and Mackenzie went to LA to be on the show. Kristie says it’s foolish (to agree to the pact) because if there’s an opportunity, Melissa was smart to take it. Then Melissa and Christi argue about whether or not Melissa sleeps around to get ahead (Melissa married a man who used to be her boss).
Jeff asks Melissa, “Why did you break the pact?” She answers, “My daughter wants to dance professionally, so I have to take opportunities.” She also says that Christi bringing her husband into it was “a low blow.” Jeff brings up how Christi got angry with Jill for admitting that if Kendall has been invited to dance on AUDC, they would have broken the pact too. Holly says it’s up to each parent to make decisions for their kids, but they should just be up front about it, and keep their word.
Then it’s time for Kristie Ray vs Jill. Jeff shows the fight between Jill and Kristie that took place after Jill complained when Asia placed higher on the pyramid than others on the team, despite the fact that she had been absent (Asia was in LA working). Jeff asks Kristie, “Some fans consider Jill to be a little bit pushy - how do describe her?” Kristie answers that Jill “needs to concentrate on Kendall and not me and Asia, and she’ll be less miserable.” Then Jeff asks Jill, “Why do you think Kristie Ray bailed on the Dance Moms right before Nationals?” Jill answers, “I know why, she got a better offer, she used our kids. She used Abby.” Kristie snaps, “Excuse me, let me put it straight to you, I’m not using your kids, and especially not your kid, so get that straight before you talk.”
Then, Jeff brings up the issues between Holly and Leslie. Holly, who never has a problem with anyone! This stems back to the episode in which Payton replaced Brooke, and said she would do “whatever it took” to get her daughter ahead. At the time, Holly took offense and said, “We’re not just raising dancers, we’re raising people,” and she scolded Leslie with, “Shame on you!” Now at the reunion, Leslie says “I am here to get Payton ahead,” and Holly tells her, “You shouldn’t have to compromise character to get ahead and be successful.” Jill adds, “I don’t think any one of the kids here are ruthless, I think the parents might be, but it doesn’t matter who here is ruthless... It matters what the child wants.”
We get a break in the arguing when Maddie performs a solo called “Drowning”.
After Maddie dances, Jeff says he was backstage and made an agreement with Abby: she would come back to the reunion if Kelly left, so he boots Kelly. Christi asks, “can I go too?” So, Kelly has to watch from backstage while her daughter Brooke makes her national singing debut with the single “I Hurt”. Before that though, Abby talks to Jeff and says she loves Brooke and Paige, and that Kelly has put the wedge between them. When Jeff mentions that Kelly thinks Abby is unfair to her and her kids, Abby says, “Everyone who’s kids not winning and not on top always thinks I’m unfair.”
Jeff moves on to how the moms have issues with Abby walking off stage and not showing up at competitions, because it’s the opposite of what she teaches her kids about taking responsibility. Holly says the girls look to Abby to set an example. Abby responds, “I’ve been doing this for 33 years, and I’d say for 25 of those years, I put my life on the back-burner, I put my aspirations aside for other people’s children.” Holly tries to tell Abby that they just want an explanation to give the kids a context about why it was okay for her to be missing. Abby’s answer to Holly is sarcastic: “Okay Holly, I’ll write it all down for Nia, she’ll get it.”
Then Abby reveals her big news. “This season, we will be auditioning nationwide for new members of the Abby Lee Dance Company. We’re taking it on tour, we’re going to be in four huge cities to audition for the new Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, and then we’re also going to be auditioning for members of the Abby Lee Dance Company Elite Competition Team, so when we go to a city to attend a competition, I will be hosting an open call.”
Jill asks, “Do you consider this team elite (meaning the girls on the team now), or are you talking about older kids?” Abby doesn’t answer, instead, she turns the question on Jill, stating that Kendall did a great job at Nationals after she was given a solo (due to Chloe being sent home), but then she went on a 5-day family vacation instead of attending “booty camp.” Abby says that Kendall, “missed all the rehearsals, the lessons, she’s right back at the bottom, Jill. You screwed up big-time.”
Brooke sings, and then Jeff closes the show by telling the audience that it's been “an incredibly rocky but incredibly entertaining season. Until next time, thank you, and thanks for watching.”
So, Abby Lee Miller, whose mantra is “everyone is replaceable,” is auditioning dancers for the ALDC? Uh oh. Next season is going to be a doozy. Until then, please join us in watching Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition every Tuesday at 9/8c on Lifetime; it's a fun show with excellent choreographers (Anthony Burrell is there!), cool kids, mama drama, and every week one contestant is eliminated. Plus, you never know, maybe one of the contestants from AUDC will make the jump to Dance Moms, just like Asia Monet Ray did.
To see all of our Dance Moms recaps click here
For our Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition recaps click here
Photo courtesy of Lifetime
Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013