'Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition' S2 E6: Broadway Backstabbers

Tyler from Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition Season 2
Tyler from Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition season 2

Previously on Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition (AUDC), Abby Lee Miller surprised everyone by using her "Callback Card" to bring back Kalani, her favorite contestant who had been cut a week earlier. Then, the aspiring dancers competed in a martial arts challenge, the winner's mom got to pick the bottom three, and that led to Haley being cut. This week on AUDC season 2, episode 6 titled "Broadway Backstabbers," the theme is "Broadway," and the skill the judges are looking for is versatility. Judge Rachelle Rak leads the Group Dance Challenge, McKaylee wins a solo, and during the elimination, Travis steps forward to quit AUDC.

This week's episode begins with Shari (McKaylee's mom) talking about how last week's critique of her daughter (in which Abby said, "You need a personality; find one") caused her confidence to plummet. In a separate interview, Cindy (Gianna's mom) says, "We're all sick and tired of Shari. McKaylee, McKaylee, McKaylee, that's all we hear, all day long." Then, Cindy emphases her point with a big yawn. Later in the episode, Kira (Kalani's mom) says that if they drank a shot every time Shari said McKaylee's name, "they would all be drunk within 30 minutes."

Abby and her fellow judge, Broadway star Rachelle Rak, arrive in the rehearsal room to set this week's Group Dance Challenge (GDC) in motion. For AUDC S2 E6, the competition theme is Broadway, and the skill the judges are looking for is versatility. For this GDC, the remaining eight contestants audition Broadway-style, with numbers instead of names. The winner of this challenge will get the first solo of season 2. Trinity points out that it's important to impress Rachelle, because she's the only judge who hasn't used her callback card yet. Tyler says that since Rachelle's style is feminine, he and twin brother Travis will have to work hard to make the choreography masculine. Shari invokes Ru Paul from the bleachers, telling her daughter McKaylee, "Come on girl, work!"

The contestants run the combination over and over, and Abby eliminates them, one-by-one. When she cuts Kalani for having facial expressions that were "way too animated," she dismisses her with, "Goodbye, fish face!" In the end, it comes down to McKaylee and Travis, but Abby says Travis never looked her in the eye, so McKaylee wins the GDC and the aforementioned solo, a lyrical routine in the style of Les Miserables.

Abby tells the group that their competition routines are going to incorporate several styles of dance, then she tells the camera she's looking for someone who can move quickly from one genre of dance to the next, and that it's also about personality, the story, character and technique.

Ally and Gianna work on their duet with choreographer Tessandra Chavez; it's called "Eight," it's inspired by Nine, and it incorporates salsa, funk, hip hop and jazz. Abby enters the rehearsal room to observe, and is unhappy when Ally drops her hand to the floor during a side aerial (Ally also fudged that same move during the GDC). Abby gives them corrections: Gianna is being upstaged by Ally; Ally needs to work on her jumps, kicks, turns and aerials. Ally mentions to Abby that she's nervous about dancing in heels and just needs to practice, and Abby responds, "Well do it."

McKaylee works on her solo with choreographer Anthony Burrell; it's called "I Danced a Dream," it's inspired by Les Miserables, and it incorporates lyrical and classical ballet. McKaylee says she's never been homeless or had a child, so it's hard for her to transform into her character. Not once does she complain that Anthony Burrell's choreography or teaching style is too difficult – McKaylee takes responsibility for her own performance. Cindy and Tiffany gossip about McKaylee. Cindy concedes that she's a good dancer, but they both think that she's boring, and Tiffany admits that every mom there is hoping McKaylee and Shari "fail miserably."

JoJo, Trinity and Tyler work on their trio with choreographer Erik Saradpon; it's called "Extra Extra," it's inspired by Newsies, and it incorporates hip-hop, Broadway-style and jazz. At first Travis is the lead dancer, but then Erik switches him out with Trinity.

Travis and Kalani work on their duet with choreographer Tarua Hall; it's called "Monster of the Night," it's inspired by Phantom of the Opera, and it incorporates hip hop, Broadway, jazz and ballroom. Travis says partnering-work is amazing but hard, but adds that he is after all he is "a ladies man, wink, wink." Abby observes from the doorway, then gives corrections. She chides Kalani again for making "fish faces," and says they both need to focus, be in sync, and look each other in the eye.

Competition day arrives. Backstage, Cindy cuts the fringe skirt on Gianna's costume so it will be shorter than her duet partner Ally's, and says it will make her stand out and not look like a background dancer. Tiffany tells Ally to go stand next to Gianna so she can cut her costume to match, and she gets in an argument with Cindy, who yells, "You're telling me what to do to my daughter's costume! Really?!" Tiffany tells the camera, "It's time for Cindy to get a reality check. Guess what, it's the Ally show, and you just became a backup dancer."

Host Kevin Manno, looking particularly spiffy in his three-piece suit, tells the audience about the prizes at stake – the competition winner will receive $100,000 cash and a full scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School of New York – then he introduces judges Abby Lee Miller, Rachelle Rak, and Richy Jackson.

Travis and Kalani dance first with their "Monster of the Night" duet. They wear black and white costumes and perform under flashing lights. When they botch a move directly in front of the judges table it's hard to tell what happened, but Travis explains that he slipped. Abby calls them out for odd hand placement. Richy thinks they were exposed as not being versatile. Rachelle says Travis needs to work on his timing, and that Kalani's facial expressions don't always match the steps she's doing. Abby reminds Kalani that she's already told her about the faces, and says, "I brought you back because I thought you were a contender. If you're not going to listen to what we’re telling you and apply those corrections for the future, you might as well go home again."

JoJo, Trinity and Tyler are next with their "Extra, Extra" trio. They wear old-timey newsboy costumes and use newspapers as props. The routine is current and cool – I dig Erik Saradpon's choreography. When the number is finished, the judges applaud, and Richy stands and gives a finger wave. Abby says Trinity's performance proves that she's in the running for the title. Richy also praises Trinity, and says that with her moves, looks and presence, "all we could do was look at you." Rachelle enthuses, "You delivered... you could be on Broadway today." Rachelle tells JoJo she roots for her, but that in this routine she had timing issues; Abby says she's not hitting the hip hop moves hard enough. Richy tells Tyler he has a lot to work on, Abby brings up that Tyler was moved out of the lead dancer position, and Richy agrees he would have moved him too.

Ally and Gianna go third with their "Eight" duet; their costumes are the same length. Richy gives then a finger wave. During the dance Ally successfully did her side aerial without putting her hand down – Abby says she made the right choice to go for it. Abby calls Gianna out for bad foot positions, but compliments her for her style and winking at Richy. Richy stands up and gives them both finger waves again, and tells them it was fantastic. He says Ally's performance star power was there this week, and if she keeps it up along with technique, she should go far in this competition. Rachelle gives them "A head roll and a 'bite the apple'" and says they were living their life, and it was amazing. She adds that Gianna was "all in," and that Ally that her star quality isn't an illusion. Abby says, "I keep hearing about these stars… tonight, I saw stars."

McKaylee performs last with her "I Danced a Dream" solo; she wears a grey chiffon skirted costume, and is made up to look scruffy. McKaylee is a graceful, technically skilled dancer, and she excels with Anthony's choreography; this is my favorite routine of the episode. McKaylee gets a standing ovation from all three judges, and Richy gives her finger waves. Abby has minor corrections for McKaylee, but says her acting, character and passion were "outstanding," and she ends her assessment with "Bravo!" Richy calls McKaylee amazing, and says she did a "great, great job." Rachelle enthuses, "I watched you tonight transform from a dancer to a storyteller. You have the talent if you take this step to the next and the next, you will be on your way to Broadway, and I will pass you the torch."

The judges deliberate, then all eight dancers line up on stage to hear the verdict. Rachelle says she will not be using her callback card.

First, the judges announce their favorites, who are safe: for Abby it was Trinity; for Richy it was Ally; for Rachelle it was McKaylee. Next, Abby tells Kalani and Gianna that "this is Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition, not easy street." She warns Kalani about her facial expressions, and Gianna about her feet, then tells them to go stand with their mothers – they are also safe this week.

The bottom three are JoJo, Travis and Tyler, but we quickly learn JoJo is safe, so it comes down to the twins – either Travis or Tyler will be going home.

Abby talks to the boys: "Travis tonight it was a difficult routine, and I think you need to do a lot more partner-work, that's important for a guy, especially on Broadway. Tyler, you've had every opportunity to dust the Great White Way, and you didn't." Then Abby says neither of them did a great job, but, "Travis, you’ve done really well in the challenges, Tyler, today is not your day." Abby tells Tyler that she does think he's improved, and that if he wants to come to Pittsburgh, she could use a few boys in the Abby Lee Dance Company.

It doesn't end there though.

Travis says he feels like he was the weaker link, and if his brother is going, he wants to go too. Abby is beyond furious, and snaps, "You know when your brother needs you? When he needs a kidney, or a lung… you're ridiculous!" Their mom Sheryl tries to explain "it's a twin thing," but Abby can't stand by and watch an aspiring dancer throw away the opportunities presented by AUDC. After an intense back-and-forth with Abby, Travis decides to stay. It's the most dramatic elimination segment we've seen so far this season.

Next week on Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition, season 2, episode 7, titled "Fairytales Come to Life," the prize for the Group Dance Challenge winner is a private lesson with Abby Lee Miller!


Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition is casting for season 3. For information on how to book an audition, click here.

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

Photo by Danny Feld, courtesy of Lifetime

Posted on Wednesday, October 9, 2013