|JoJo and her mom Jessalynn on Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition season 2|
Previously on Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition (AUDC), we were moved to tears when judge Rachelle Rak used her "Callback Card" to save Trinity from elimination. So, this week on AUDC season 2, episode 10, titled "Divas in the House," there are still five contestants vying for $100,000 and a full scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School of New York. For this round the theme is "Divas," and the skill the judges are looking for is "performance." Asia Monet Ray, the youngest dancer and breakout star on AUDC season 1 and cast member on Dance Moms season 3, makes a guest appearance in a dance-off. Things don't go well for season 2's youngest contender though: this week, JoJo is eliminated.
Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition S2, E10 opens with Cindy (Gianna's mom) stating, "We're at top five, and everything is getting crazy. It's nerve-wracking, it's emotional – we're all here to win."
Abby Lee Miller arrives at rehearsal wearing a hot pink boa, and announces that this week's theme is "Divas" and the skill the judges will be looking for is "performance.
JoJo says, "This week is my week because it's diva week. I'm just going to blow everyone away." JoJo may have met her match though: Abby reveals that this week's Group Dance Challenge (GDC) is a battle against "the ultimate diva, Miss Asia." Abby is, of course, referring to none other than Asia Monet Ray, the young dancer who consistently stole the show during the first season of AUDC, and gave the members of the Abby Lee Dance Company a run for their money on season 3 of Dance Moms. We're big Asia fans here; she's a pistol.
Abby points out that Asia is younger than all of them, but that doesn't mean she'll be easy to beat. The lovely and talented Gianna, who is 13, admits she's "not super-excited about battling her," and the always-confident Kira (Kalani's mom) says, "knowing Asia and what a performer she is, my first thought? 'Kalani, ya better turn it up.'"
Round 1 of the GDC dance-off begins, and all of the girls take a turn performing with Asia. McKaylee survives; JoJo is cut; Kalani is safe. Next it's Gianna's turn to battle Asia, but first she says, "Asia dances like a little kid who had too many Pixie Sticks at a club." Gianna does well, but when she laughs at Asia and applauds for her combination, an incredulous Abby cuts her for cheering on the enemy. Gianna responds, "She's 7-years-old, of course I'm going to laugh if she's booty popping in my face." Mom Cindy adds, "I'm glad you clapped for her, she was cute." Trinity goes next, and she is also cut.
For round 2 of the GDC, Abby changes things up: Kalani and McKaylee will battle each other, and Asia will help Abby judge.
Kalani wins, and her reward is that she gets to pick her competition dance first, and then she gets to choose who picks next. The girl she picks chooses her dance, and then she picks who goes next. Abby calls it a "Diva chain," and they all pick until the last dancer, who has to take the dance no-one else wanted.
The available routines are a contemporary solo based on Cleopatra; a jazz-funk routine based on Marie Antoinette; a sassy jazz routine about a movie star; a hip hop duet based on stars like Nicki Minaj.
~ Kalani plays it safe and picks the sassy jazz number since she wowed the judges with that style last week, but Abby wonders if she'll regret that decision. Kalani tags JoJo to pick next.
~ JoJo has no idea who Cleopatra and Marie Antoinette are, but she loves hip hop, so she picks the duet. JoJo tags Trinity to go next, Trinity picks the duet, and tags McKaylee to go next.
~ McKaylee chooses the contemporary/Cleopatra routine, so by default, Gianna gets the jazz funk/Marie Antoinette solo.
Kalani works on her "Movie Star" jazz solo with choreographer Victor Rojas. Abby arrives and expresses her disappointment that Kalani chose a jazz dance over a "slow, controlled, elegant contemporary routine." Kira isn't sure her daughter made the best choice either, but says, "She can perform, so I think she's fine."
Trinity and JoJo work on their "Down and Dirty Divas" hip hop duet with choreographer Q Pittman. Trinity notices JoJo has timing issues, and Q says there has to be two hip hop divas in the number, "not one and a half, not one, not none."
Gianna works on her "Let them Eat Cake" jazz funk routine with choreographer Joyce Chittick. In the middle of her rehearsal, moms Kira, Jessalynn and Tina arrive and take a seat in the studio. For Jessalynn, it's retaliation against Cindy for criticizing JoJo. UGH. It's one thing for the moms to mess with each other, but another thing entirely for an adult to disrupt a child's practice session.
McKaylee works on her "Queen of the Nile" contemporary solo with choreographer Victor Rojas. Abby yells corrections at McKaylee – "Turn that foot out!" – and later McKaylee winds up in tears worrying that she won't be diva enough for the judges.
Backstage on competition day, JoJo says she's not worried about being out-danced by her duet partner Trinity because, "She went home basically last week, she would be long gone by now. She would be at home crying in her bed because she left." Meanwhile, Tina doesn't understand why JoJo picked hip hop, but says her daughter Trinity "will not dance down."
Host Kevin Manno takes the stage in a skinny suit with blue shirt and tie and announces the judges: Broadway star Rachelle Rak, Lady Gaga's choreographer Richy Jackson, and of course, Abby Lee Miller.
Gianna is the first to perform with her "Let them Eat Cake" solo. She wears a peachy-pink ruffled costume with a flouncy skirt and she carries a fan. During the number she rips off the skirt to reveal bloomers. At the end of her number, Gianna grabs a handful of cake and takes a big bite that leaves icing on her face. Rachelle and Richy both give Gianna a standing ovation, and Richy gives her finger waves. Abby is unimpressed; she gives Gianna corrections and points out that her shoes are dirty. Richy praises Gianna's "commanding" facial expressions and says he liked her performance so much he didn't even notice her shoes. Rachelle tells Gianna, "You were glamorous, glorious and you were on fire," and says it was one of her best performances.
McKaylee dances next with her "Queen of the Nile" solo. She wears a white chiffon duster with a long gold skirt and a matching gold headpiece. Early in the number she removes the sheer white jacket to reveal a white bikini style top, then mid-routine, she tears away the long skirt to reveal a short gold skirt underneath. The judges applaud, and Richy waves his fingers. Abby compliments McKaykee's "beautiful technique," and gives her a minor correction. Richy says, "I thought it was fantastic… the performance element was great!" Rachelle gives her a correction for using her prop, but also calls her "lovely" and ends with, "Very good!"
Kalani goes third with her "Movie Star" solo. She wears a black two-piece costume with a shiny bodice. Her routine ends with her standing and posing on top of a table. Abby continues to express her disappointment with Kalani's choice of dance style for the competition, and says she wanted her to do a routine that would have left the audience speechless. Richy says "it wasn't bad," but he wanted Kalani to show more of her diva side. Rachelle says the opposite, telling Kalani, "I thought it was a sassy diva out there that I was watching… great improvement, and thank you!"
Trinity and JoJo are the last to compete with their "Down and Dirty Divas" duet. They wear colorful costumes with leggings and midriff tops under vests. Rachelle, who used her "Callback Card" to save Trinity from elimination last week, enthuses, "Honey, you brought the sass to the table," then she throws her gorgeous white wrap to Trinity and says, "Take it, put it on, you deserve it!" Richy tells Trinity, "Not only did you give me diva, but your performance was top competition level." Abby concedes, "I don't have anything to say," and she smiles when the other judges stand and applaud her lack of criticism. JoJo doesn't fare as well as Trinity. Richy thinks "JoJolicious" did well, but not compared to Trinity who "left earth." Rachelle thinks JoJo needs more momentum, and calls her out for timing issues. Abby also mentions JoJo's timing problem, and she gives her corrections on her walkover. She also questions JoJo's choice in not only taking the solo, but putting herself in the position to have to dance with Trinity again. Backstage JoJo says, "Honestly, it kinda sucks when Abby has nothing bad to say about Trinity and she has nothing good to say about me, but you know what? Trinity may have danced better than me, but I know I'm a good dancer." Then we see her in tears.
The judges deliberate. They all agree Kalani chose the wrong dance, and Richy says she may have peaked. As for McKaylee, Rachelle doesn't think she's going home; Abby wants to see her do more with her body and lines. They discuss the fact that Trinity and JoJo's duet seemed more like two solos side-by-side, and Richy says JoJo got blown away. Rachelle believes Gianna commanded the stage, but Abby has a problem with her technique, and questions her physical flexibility.
The dancers line up on stage to hear the judges' decision. Abby chastises Gianna for her flexibility, but says that Richy and Rachelle loved her, so she's safe. Abby says, "Cleopatra continues to reign as queen of the dance floor," and McKaylee is safe. Abby tells Trinity that after almost going home last week, "You have proved that you are a contender for Abby's Ultimate Dancer." This means Trinity is safe, and the bottom two are Kalani and JoJo.
Abby speaks to Kalani and JoJo: "Both of you started out day one as divas. Kalani you came to this competition the dancer that everyone aspires to be," and reiterates that Kalani made the wrong solo choice. Abby then tells JoJo that she too made a mistake with her choice, and calls her performance a mess. Finally, Abby delivers the verdict: "Kalani, you've got one more week kiddo. JoJo, today is not your day." JoJo says, "Thank you for this experience. I'm nine years old and I'm in the top five for Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition, and that is huge for me. "
Backstage JoJo says, "I'm very proud of myself for making it this far in the competition, but I'm gonna be honest, I can’t believe it’s over. " Jessalynn tells her daughter, "No matter what anyone says, you did good." I agree; JoJo's got talent, and she's got moxie - this is just the beginning for her, and a memorable one at that.
Next week on Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition season 2, episode 11, titled "Down the Rabbit Hole," the final four contestants compete under an Alice in Wonderland theme, and it looks like one mother may be sabotaging her daughter's competition.
Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition is casting for season 3
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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, November 6, 2013