Dance Moms Recap S4 E9 Nothing's Fair in Abbyville: Lunch with Kelly

Kelly Hyland on Dance Moms
Kelly Hyland on Dance Moms

Previously on Dance Moms, the team dealt with the fallout from the fight between Abby Lee Miller and Kelly Hyland. Abby announced that Kelly had been arrested and that her daughters Paige and Brooke were no longer with the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC), and she welcomed Kira Girard and her daughter Kalani Hilliker to the team. This week on Dance Moms season 4, episode 9 titled "Nothing's Fair in Abbyville," Abby promises a starring role to a dance-off winner, but goes back on her word when Kendall Vertes wins; Abby calls Christi Lukasiak "Satan"; the moms have lunch with Kelly.

Dance Moms S4 E9 "Nothing's Fair in Abbyville" begins in Los Angeles, California. Melissa is there with her daughters – Mackenzie is in the studio recording her first single; Maddie is there for a job – and Abby is there too. Abby and Kenzie jet back to Pittsburgh, PA, and the action shifts to the dance studio, where Abby reveals her pyramid, the ranking system she uses for the ALDC. The pyramid is mostly based on the previous week's competition, but the results are frequently skewed by ego, favoritism, and personality clashes between Abby and the moms. This week's pyramid from the bottom up:

Nia: had the opportunity to do a solo, but something went wrong.
Kendall: was in a duet with Kalani that didn't win.
Kalani: on top last week, Abby tells her "you're only as good as your last performance."
Chloe: was in winning duet, needs to work on facial expressions.
Mackenzie: she did a good job with prop in last week's group routine. Christi (Chloe's mom) asks "Why is Mackenzie above Chloe on the pyramid?" and Abby says it's because Mackenzie "was outstanding with the candy box" in the "Yum Yum" group routine. I think all of the girls are wonderful, but it's ludicrous that Mackenzie carrying a box ranks higher than Chloe being part of a winning duet.
Maddie: is Abby's favorite student, is almost always at the top.

This week, the ALDC will be traveling to Masters of Dance Arts competition in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The group will be doing a contemporary number called "The Bite" based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, so there will be an apple used as a prop. Mackenzie will be doing a jazz-acro solo called "Red"; Kalani will be doing a contemporary solo called "Swan Soulstice"; Chloe will be doing a lyrical solo called "Into Me."

Abby announces, "Maddie isn't here today, I need somebody to take her place," and to that end, she holds an improv dance-off. The moms vote on who wins, and they cannot vote for their own child. It comes down to Chloe and Kendall, and Kendall wins. Abby tells her, "Maddie's not here right now, so you have been chosen to take her position." Jill (Kendall's mom) is excited, because "Abby has never given her the time of day… and now maybe since Kendall got the lead in the dance, Abby will have to pay attention to her."

Practice begins, and the moms head up to their loft. During Chloe's solo rehearsal, Abby wants her to "find her inner Maddie," and tells her to "imagine if you danced like Maddie." It's too bad for Abby that she doesn't encourage Chloe to be Chloe, because Chloe is talented and beautiful and she's a winner. Abby could have had a team full of champion dancers, but instead she focuses on Maddie (and now maybe Kalani) and treats the rest of the girls like they don't matter. It's Abby's loss.

Up in the moms loft, Christi gets a phone call. It's Kelly (on speaker phone, of course), and she invites Christi to lunch. Kira (Kalani's mom) says she wants to go too so she can meet Kelly, but in an interview she admits, "I don't know Kelly, and I don’t care to know Kelly, but I just want to make sure that she is not coming back to this team and Kalani's spot is secure."

None of the Dance Moms have seen the Hylands since Kelly and Abby had a physical fight at a competition in the Bronx, so Christi invites all of them, and the next day they meet Kelly for lunch. Kelly talks about how good it feels to be free of the stress, and Christi talks about how much she misses her. Jill asks Kelly if Brooke and Paige are bored not being at the studio, and Kelly says they "have not once mentioned going back." Jill tells her, "Basically, you stood up for your children in front of Abby." Holly (Nia's mom) praises Kelly for having the courage to NOT come back, and they all raise a glass to her.

Jill asks what charges Abby filed against her, and Kelly answers that she's "really not allowed to discuss it." When Jill says she didn't know anything was going on, we find out that after the incident, Christi and Holly are the only ones who called Kelly. Kelly wraps it up by saying, "there's more going on than just her (Abby) calling the cops on me. Nothing can be said until, I guess, we get a trial, or whatever. I don't know." We have since learned that both Kelly and Abby have filed lawsuits, and on the morning of February 26, 2014, Kelly Tweeted that this episode was her last appearance on Dance Moms. I am truly going to miss Kelly, Paige and Brooke, and I'm sending good wishes for their post-Dance Moms lives and careers.

The next day, Maddie is back from LA and in the ALDC studio. Abby tells her about the dance-off to see who would "be the main person that did the counts." Hmm... The moms thought the dance-off was for Maddie's position as lead dancer in the group routine. However, as this episode title states, "Nothing's Fair in Abbyville," so Maddie gets a featured role carrying the poison apple, Kalani gets a featured role biting the apple, and Kendall gets to… count. Jill watches the rehearsal with her head in her hands.

Kira thinks that Abby is testing Kalani by having her compete against Chloe, and she wonders if next she'll have Kalani compete against Maddie. Christi schools Kira on an "Abbyville" law: "If Abby were to put Maddie against Kalani and Kalani were to beat her, that would negate everything Abby says about 'I know when Maddie steps on stage she's gonna win', because that wouldn't be true. Abby's not going to take that risk because then she can't throw that in our faces." Melissa disagrees, and says "I don't think anyone on our team can beat Maddie in a solo, I'm being honest with you." Kira just says, "Maybe next week, we'll see," and Melissa responds, "Are you kidding me?"

During Mackenzie's solo session, Abby yells at her: "I'm sick and tired of going over and over things. Stupid! You're walking!.. I don't think she can do it." It could just be how the show is edited, but it seems like we've seen quite a bit of Mackenzie's sad face since Abby decided to make her a pop star. After rehearsal, Abby stops by the mom's loft and tells Melissa that Mackenzie shouldn't really be in the group number, but she's keeping her in to prove that she's "better, stronger, smarter, more passionate than Brooke. She can do dance and singing at the same time. She can do it all." Mackenzie is a little girl, and Brooke is a teenager – how is this helpful to Mac? Also, Abby, the Hylands are gone – move on, and stop being vindictive against a teenager.

Next, Abby confronts the moms about their lunch with Kelly, saying she heard about it from her mother (the late Maryen Lorrain Miller). She says "If you'd rather be where Kelly is right now, say the word and I’ll make a phone call." Abby warns them, "You're all grown women, you can have lunch with whoever you want, you can talk about whatever you want, you can stab me in the back a hundred times. There is nothing I can do about it, but I CAN take your kid off this team. Got it?"

On the bus trip to the competition, Abby starts in on Christi with, "The other night in the parking lot you dinged somebody's car with your car door and when they wound down their window, you said, and I quote, "Don’t even think about suing me; I don't make any money." Christi denies saying that, they yell back-and-forth, they call each other "ignorant," and Abby tells Christi to get off of the bus. Christi says, "You did a good job getting rid of Kelly." Abby gives a sinister laugh and says," Nobody on this team is safe. Understand, ladies?" It's either a strange scene or a strange edit, or maybe it's both.

In the dressing room at the Masters of Dance Arts competition in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Abby runs Mackenzie's routine, and tells her to be more like Asia Monet Ray (a young, talented dancer from season 1 of Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition and season 3 of Dance Moms). Abby says she feels like she's talking to a wall, and tells Mackenzie, "Go back over there with your mother, be a slug." Then, Abby returns to the subject of the lunch with Kelly. She says the moms have to be dedicated to the team, or friends with Kelly, but "it cannot be both." Christi says there's a "a division of church and state in this country, and there can be a division of Kelly and ALDC."

The competition begins. Chloe competes first with her "Into Me" solo. She wears a gold and red two-piece costume. Chloe has grown so tall; her inherent grace and long lines are lovelier than ever. Kalani goes next with her "Swan Soultice" solo. She wears a white skirted costume with feathers. She's a gorgeous dancer. Mackenzie does her "Red" solo in a red sequin skirted costume. I like this choreography for Mackenzie; it's more suited to her age and she doesn't do that cutesy lay-on-her-belly-and-kick-her-legs move that was in so many of her earlier routines. Unfortunately, her hairpiece falls off, so she's going to be in trouble. Later, in the dressing room, Abby throws Mackenzie's hairpiece on the floor and says she's embarrassed and that it's unprofessional and makes her look bad.

While the dancers get ready for their next number, Jill confronts Abby regarding Kendall's dance-off win and asks "What’s her special part again?" Abby shoots her down with, "Never once did I hear Kendall open her damn mouth and say, 'Miss Abby, I really want the special part' … if you want it bad enough, you fight for it."

The ALDC does their group dance titled "The Bite." They wear black hooded capes and the choreography is cool; they look like pretty bats. Afterward, Jill points out "there was nothing that Maddie or Kalani did that Kendall couldn't do; it's not fair." She's right.

The awards ceremony begins, and it's a clean sweep. In the Elite Mini Solo Division, Mackenzie wins 1st Place; in the Elite Junior Solo Division, the announcer says "the first and second place were very, very close": Chloe is awarded 2nd Place, Kalani wins 1st Place; in the Junior Small Group Division, the ALDC wins 1st Place. Abby says, "I played this stinking competition like a harp from hell… I cannot be beaten."

Backstage, Kira says that next week, "It's only fair that Maddie and Kalani go head-to-head." Abby snaps, "I don't think that will ever, ever happen…. I didn't bring somebody in to see if they could beat Maddie, Maddie's been beaten before and I know that. I brought somebody onto my team that can win every time I enter them no matter what."

Abby turns her attention to Chloe, and compliments her (!) saying, "Congratulations, Chloe, great job… you danced very well," but then she adds that Chloe should have been taking private lessons all along. Christi says she was, and then she and Abby go back-and-forth about it. Christi says she knows that Chloe was taking private lessons, because she drove her to the studio. Abby snipes, "Maybe she's sneaking out the back door to meet some guy." It's a disgusting thing to say; Chloe is 12 years old. Then, Abby yells, "See what her mother does? I want to give this kid some praise, and Satan destroys it!" Christi is the devil. Then, Abby tells Chloe, "If you're not gonna improve the way Maddie's improving, then you'll be replaced. That's it, there's no room for slackers on this team."

Next week on Dance Moms S4, E10 titled "No Solo for You," Kira continues her quest to have Kalani and Maddie compete against each other; Kira accompanies Abby to her NYC court date with Kelly; Abby fights with Christi and gets right in her face, just like she did with Kelly, but Christi just purses her lips and blows air at her.


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Dance Moms airs Tuesday nights at 9/8c on Lifetime
Photo courtesy of Lifetime

Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014