|Ally from Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition Season 2|
Previously on Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition (AUDC), Tyler was cut so his twin brother Travis attempted to quit and go home with him, but he changed his mind after an intense conversation with Abby Lee Miller. This week, on season 2, episode 7 titled "Fairytales Come to Life," Travis and his fellow contestants compete under the theme "Fairy Tales", the skill the judges are looking for is turns, and the Group Dance Challenge (GDC) reward is a private lesson with Abby. By the end of the show, Ally's lack of formal ballet training does her in, and she is eliminated.
For Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition S2, E7, Abby Lee Miller makes her entrance wielding a magic wand. She tells the remaining seven dancers that this week's theme is "Modernized Fairytales", the skill the judges will be looking for is "turns," and the winner of the Group Dance Challenge (GDC) will get a private lesson with her. Abby also addresses last week's elimination drama with the twins: "After that stunt Travis pulled at the end of the competition, he's going to have to work really hard to be my Prince Charming."
Regarding the fairytale theme, JoJo states the obvious: "I'm very excited because this is like my week! I'm a princess, duh!" Tiffany (Ally's mom) has a different perspective: "What the hell is this fairytale crap? Abby has been harder on Ally than anyone, so Ally's life isn't a fairytale. This week is gonna be the JoJo show."
Lesley Bandy, a production member and accomplished dancer who attended the Royal Ballet School in London, choreographs the combination for the GDC; it's designed to showcase a variety of turns. The contestants run the challenge dance, and Abby eliminates them one-by-one with a wave of her wand and "Poof, be gone!"
Ally, Trinity, JoJo and Gianna are cut, then Abby switches it up for the remaining three by reversing the turns. McKaylee is cut next, leaving Travis and Kalani in the running for the private lesson, and Abby chooses Kalani. This comes as no surprise to anyone, including Cindy (Gianna's mom), who says, "Really? Isn't it so coincidental that Kalani won the challenge? Her favorite person! Why are we here? ... If that's what you want, Abby, send us all the hell home, let us get on with our lives, and have her the winner."
Abby dismisses everyone except for Sheryl, the twins' mom. Abby blames Sheryl for the situation with Tyler and Travis at last week's elimination, then, in the middle of laying into her, Abby notices Sheryl is chewing gum (a serious no-no in dance studios). She makes Sheryl spit it out into her hand, AND THEN ABBY PUTS THE GUM ON SHERYL'S NOSE. I kid you not.
Kalani goes for her private lesson, and Abby decides to focus on attitude turns. Abby says everything comes easily to Kalani because she was born with a natural facility for dance, but "if Kalani wants to become a star, she has to work for it." As Abby coaches Kalani, she tells her that if she gets cut again, there's nothing she can do to bring her back because she's already used her "Callback Card". This makes Kalani cry, and when Abby notices, she hugs her, and Kalani says she doesn't want to go home.
Ally and Trinity work on their "Evil Stepmother" routine with choreographer Tessandra Chavez. Ally plays the stepmother; Trinity plays the daughter. Abby arrives and gives corrections: she calls Trinity out for sickled feet, and she yells at Ally. Abby is hard on Ally because she has less training (especially in ballet) than the other contestants, and it leads to Tiffany saying, "Abby is an energy sucking vacuum. Abby's a hater on Ally."
Kalani and Travis work on their "The Ice Prince and the Snow Queen" routine with choreographer Peter Chu. Kalani is a more advanced dancer than Travis, and she's afraid he'll mess her up. Meanwhile, Travis is hoping to redeem himself from last week's "hot mess" of a competition number, in which he almost fell off of the stage. Peter gives Travis corrections on how to place his hands during lifts so that he doesn't hurt his partner.
Gianna and McKaylee work on their "Pinocchio" routine with choreographer Matt Cady. Their number incorporates bungee cords as the puppet strings, and is about how today's youth are tied to technology. Gianna struggles with the cords, and Matt tells her that McKaylee is "whooping your ass," and McKaylee is "hungrier for it – I feel like you already had dinner." Then, Cindy interrupts the rehearsal by asking questions and pointing out her daughter Gianna's mistakes. Shari (McKaylee's mom) warns, "I will blow a gasket if Cindy and Gianna ruin this rehearsal." After yelling a bit more, Cindy walks out in a huff. It's an uncomfortable exchange that shouldn't have happened in a rehearsal setting, but I think Cindy's heart is in the right place.
JoJo works on her "Rapunzel" routine with choreographer Anthony Burrell. JoJo will be wearing a long ponytail hairpiece in the number, so she wears it during practice to get used to it. It's adorable watching Anthony relate to the tiny dancer. Anthony advises JoJo not to sacrifice the clarity of her moves for the performance. After rehearsal, Jessalynn touches up JoJo's roots; she's been dyeing her hair since she was "two, maybe one and a half."
While this is going on, a few of the moms gossip about JoJo: Cindy calls her a "brat," and says the only one who thinks her behavior is cute is her mother. I disagree; I think JoJo is hilarious.
On competition day, host Kevin Manno, spiffy in his black suit and red bow tie, tells the audience about the prizes – the contestant who wins the title of Abby's Ultimate Dancer will receive $100,000 cash and a full scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School of New York. Then Kevin introduces the judges: Broadway star Rachelle Rak, creative director and choreographer Richy Jackson (who wears a gold crown), and the queen of the competition world, Abby Lee Miller.
Kevin asks Abby what they're looking for this week, and she answers, "Advanced, difficult turn choreography, and along with that, the same thing I'm always looking for: perfection."
JoJo performs first with her "Rapunzel" solo. She wears a two-piece costume in a purple and blue print, and the aforementioned hairpiece festooned with her signature bow. JoJo's turns are fabulous, all three judges seemed pleased during her performance, and at the end, Richy stands and gives her his special finger wave. Abby says, "JoJo, tonight I think I'll be your fairy godmother." Abby points out a few mistakes, but says JoJo nailed her turns, and that she loved her personality and the routine's concept. Richy says JoJo's turns were "fantastic," and praises how well she worked with her extra-long hair prop. Rachelle gushes, "You are on fire… you demand our attention… you performed like you were an old Broadway pro." Although JoJo isn't the best technical dancer (yet, she's very young), this was my favorite routine of this episode - JoJo rocked Anthony Burrell's choreography, and her energy and facial expressions really put the moves over.
Ally and Trinity dance next with their "Evil Stepmother" contemporary duet. Ally wears a black, hooded cape and thigh-high stocking with garters; Trinity wears a two-piece costume with red bottoms and a gold and white top. It's an athletic number with lots of jumps. Abby says Trinity needs to elongate her muscles and worry about her feet. She tells Ally she only liked her performance from the waist-up, and cites Ally's lack of ballet training for her technical issues. Richy says, "I loved what I saw," and he tells Trinity she's growing as a dancer. Rachelle points out that Ally can't go back in time and study ballet, she gives her corrections on her turns and feet, and tells Ally she has to live up to the challenges.
Kalani and Travis go third with their "The Ice Prince and the Snow Queen" duet. Travis is in white; Kalani wears a metallic blue, backless, one-arm/one-leg, unitard and a long, white chiffon cape that is removed early in the number. Abby tells Kalani that some things that improved and some didn't, and gives her corrections on her feet. But then, Abby points out that Kalani is the only dancer who performed in bare feet (it's harder to turn in bare feet because skin isn't as slippery as leather). Backstage, the moms and contestants are incredulous because Kalani actually fell out of and wobbled a few turns, and they throw pillows at the monitor. Then, Abby criticizes Travis for not straightening his legs and pointing his feet. Richy tells them both, "It wasn't a very good, solid performance." Rachelle disagrees with her fellow judges - she thinks Travis has improved dramatically since last week, and says that despite the private lesson with Abby, Kalani has balance issues.
Gianna and McKaylee compete last with their "Pinocchio" duet. They wear colorful patchwork print short sets, and they dance on a giant computer keyboard. They seem off, or maybe tired. Rachelle compliments McKaylee's turns, but didn't like the big "thunk" she heard when McKaylee jumped off of the prop. Rachelle tells Gianna she has grown, but that she needs to work on her flexibility and power. Richy says they are both great dancers and beautiful girls, but he didn’t see them in this number. Abby praises McKaylee's turns, but thinks Gianna's turns were lazy. Rachelle chastises Gianna, "We're still sitting here looking for more from you." Backstage, Cindy tells Gianna, "You're slacking out there… you better try harder… give me everything you have, or else let's go home!"
The judges deliberate, and it seems that Richy only reluctantly agrees with the results. Once again this week, Rachelle says she won’t be using her "Callback Card".
The contestants line up on stage, and wait for the judges to deliver their verdict. Abby says she wasn't very impressed with the overall performances: "Some were Sleepy, some were Dopey, and now I'm Grumpy."
Abby tells JoJo that she had the best performance of the evening, and that she is safe, and then announces that Trinity, Kalani, Travis and McKaylee are also safe.
Ally and Gianna are the bottom two, and Abby tells them, "one of you is going home." As always, Cindy cannot keep her mouth shut (I'm an Italian broad from Philly too, Cindy, I get it), and she says, "I think if you send Gianna home, it’s a shame. I don’t think she's given 100%. I feel like McKaylee and JoJo got solos, my daughter's a star and she hasn't shown it yet." Abby responds that "the party started seven competitions ago, if she hasn't danced yet, what are you waiting for?" Gianna feels she IS giving a hundred percent, but her mom doesn't, and Abby says Cindy is sending her daughter "up the river." Gianna is mortified and Cindy is in tears, but they get a reprieve when Abby says, "Ally, today is not your day."
Ally is gracious in defeat saying, "I'm just so thankful and grateful for all the opportunities, and I just want to say thank you so much." Backstage, Ally admits, "There are obviously things I would have chosen to do better, but I tried, and the technique needs to improve." When this season of AUDC started, it seemed like Tiffany was going to be this year's mean mom, but in the end, I think she was misunderstood. Tiffany made mistakes because she's not a card-carrying dance mom, but she wasn't fake and she wasn't sneaky – she put it all out there. I like Ally and Tiffany, and I'm going to miss them both.
How do you feel about this week's AUDC episode? Do you think the right person went home? What was your favorite routine? What would you do if Abby put gum on your nose? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.
Next week on Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition, season 2, episode 8, titled "Wild West Showdown," Abby tells the remaining six contestants, "Our skill this week is jumping, and when I say 'jump,' you say 'how high?'"
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 16, 2013