|L to R: Maddie Ziegler and Kalani Hilliker, stars of Dance Moms on Lifetime|
Previously on Dance Moms, Abby Lee Miller and her Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) lost a competition to rival Erin Babbs and the Murrieta Dance Project (MDP). This week on Dance Moms season 5, episode 25 "Abby vs. Kira," the moms believe the ALDC's losing streak stems from lack of classes since they moved to LA. When Kira Girard (Kalani Hilliker's mom) calls in choreographer Tessandra Chavez without asking Abby, it ignites a fight between Abby and Kira, and that jeopardizes Kalani's spot on the team. In happier news, Mackenzie Ziegler was away most of the week filming a guest spot on Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn.
As Dance Moms S5 E25 "Abby vs. Kira" opens, the team reports for pyramid (the ALDC's leaderboard) at Abby's still-unfinished studio in LA (in real-time it opened in May 2015). Abby announces that this week Mackenzie will be away filming the Nickelodeon show Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn.
Talk turns to the fact that besides Mackenzie's victory over her big sister in Dance Moms S5 E23 "Maddie vs. Mackenzie," the team hasn't had a first place win in a while. They even lost last week to Erin Babbs and the MDP in Dance Moms S5 E24 "West Coast Strikes Back." Jill (Kendall's mom) thinks they're losing because in LA the girls don't take dance classes every like they do when they're home in Pittsburgh, PA. Abby's response implies that they can't pursue careers if they take more classes: "No more auditions, no more meetings, no more performances – class!" Abby tells the camera that the moms calling for more classes is a "joke" because the girls know what to do to improve, and that she's running a studio, not a babysitting service.
Abby reveals her pyramid from the bottom, up:
Kendall Vertes: "crashed and burned" at last competition.
JoJo Siwa: didn't turn as well as usual.
Mackenzie Ziegler: is on set at Nickelodeon.
Nia Frazier: was good in group dance.
Kalani Hilliker: same as Nia, "fine."
Maddie Ziegler: lead the group dance.
This week the ALDC will be participating in the Believe National Talent Competition in Fresno, California, and the routines will be critiqued live on stage. Kendall will do a jazz solo called "Burn"; Nia will do a contemporary solo called "Can I Do This?'; Maddie will do a contemporary solo called "Loose Cannon." The group will do a 50s-inspired musical theater piece called "Dance Bop."
The ALDC meets at 3rd Street Studio to work on "Dance Bop." Abby says it's important for the girls to know all of the fad dances throughout history. Holly says, "the girls are getting great at picking up choreography… but that's not the same as training." Jessalynn (JoJo's mom) suggests that with Kira's connections, she should be in charge of the girls' dance class schedule.
Without consulting Abby, Kira calls Tessandra Chavez – a guest choreographer on season 2 of Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition (AUDC) – and invites her to meet Abby and teach some classes. The moms decide to keep it from Abby [which is disrespectful], but Melissa (Maddie and Mackenzie's mom) knows better – she says, "Abby will flip out… she doesn't like to be surprised."
In a separate room, the moms observe the solo rehearsals on a video screen. Abby is unusually hard on Maddie, who goes through practice with tears in her eyes. Jill opines, "The fact that Abby is laying into Maddie, it just proves that all of our kids need more classes. At this rate, our losing streak might go a lot longer than two weeks."
Before group rehearsal begins, the moms approach Abby to request more classes, and she responds, "Why don't you break your contract and you can go to hell and take class, and your kid can go with you." While Abby's assistant choreographer, Gianna "Gia" Martello, works with the dancers, she focuses on Kendall's feet. Jill says Kendall's issues stem from lack of stretching classes, and Abby yells that Kendall should be stretching at home. When the conversation escalates into an argument, Abby dismisses Kendall from class, but Kendall stays.
At group rehearsal the next day, Tessandra shows up, and Abby says, "I have no idea who you are." Tessandra reminds her she was on AUDC, and explains that the moms want her to teach a class, but she needs Abby's blessing. Abby is like, "I'm sorry, give me your name again." When Tessandra tells Abby that Kira called her, Abby says Kira is "overzealous" and wants to make connections in LA. Abby doesn't say "okay," so Tessandra leaves. After a bit of back-and-forth between Abby and the moms, Gianna dismisses class for the day.
Competition day arrives. Nia is up first with her "Can I Do This?" solo; she wears a grey, black and white costume with a mullet skirt. The critique for Nia is to work on her feet and transitions, and to stay in technique and ballet classes. The judge adds, "You are not dancing as a student, you are dancing as a mature performer. Great job."
Kendall is next with her "Burn" jazz solo; she wears a two-piece, red, skirted costume. The judge calls Kendall a "hypnotic beauty," says she was "in the zone," and adds, "great job hitting those accents."
Maddie is third with her "Loose Cannon" solo; she wears a metallic red crop top and black trunks. Maddie tells the camera, "If I don't win Miss Abby will kill me." A judge reminds Maddie to deepen her plié as her body grows, and ends with, "Fantastic job, keep on keeping on."
Upon hearing the judge's advice, Holly says, "The judges are affirming what the mothers are saying; Abby cannot deny that there is a need for class."
Backstage, the mothers confront Abby again – they want daily classes like they have in Pittsburgh (jazz, hip hop, tumbling, etc.) – but Abby snaps, "I don't like mommies playing dancing school." Kira responds, "Well, I've done that for 14 years and that's why my daughter is the dancer she is." When Abby starts to cry, Jill tells the girls to give Abby a hug. They take turns consoling her, but Abby tells Kalani, "Don't, get away from me," and she also rejects JoJo and Nia.
An argument breaks out between Abby and Kira, during which Kira tells Abby to "go to hell," and informs Kalani that they are leaving. Abby screams at Kira, "I want this kid with me, I don’t want her with you, sleeping with some guy you're not even married to." [Apparently Abby is taking this week's 50s theme VERY seriously].
Abby enters the room in her bra [in this TMZ video, Abby explains, "When you're in your undergarments, they can't shoot you," so it's likely she ditched her shirt to stop the taping]. She gathers her things, and on the way out she throws a gang sign and says, "Peace out." Kalani stays for the group number, but Kira says their continued presence on the team is still "to be determined."
The group takes the stage for their "Dance Bop" number; they wear black and white gingham dresses, matching saddle shoes, and hot pink hair bows and trunks. As part of the ALDC's live critique the judge tells them, "I felt like I was watching a professional show."
The awards ceremony begins. In the 12-14 Solo Division, Kendall gets 5th place; Nia is awarded 4th place; Maddie takes 3rd Place. In the 12-14 Group Division, the ALDC earns 3rd Place. "I don't think Maddie has ever gotten 3rd before, this is shocking," Melissa states, "Abby's really not going to like this." Holly adds, "If Abby wasn't in tears before, she'd definitely be in tears now." Backstage, Maddie worries that Abby will be mad at her and she says, "Miss Abby told me not to disappoint her and I got third place. I'm pretty sure I let down not just Abby, but the whole team."
As Dance Moms season 5, episode 25 closes, the question remains: will Kira and Kalani stay with the ALDC? Kira is angry that Abby refused Kalani's hug and says, "Abby had no reason to push my child away… if you want to treat my child like that we'll go home and we'll get training." A tearful Kalani tells the team, "I'll try my best not to make it my last, but I can't promise you anything."
Next time on Dance Moms S5 E26 it's solo week, and Abby begins deliberations as to who will be representing the ALDC at Nationals. Also, the trouble with Kira and Abby isn't resolved, and Kalani offers, "Once you get in a fight with Abby, she's like mad at you forever."
*************Dance Moms airs on Tuesdays at 9/8c on Lifetime.
Photo courtesy of Lifetime.
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Posted on Wednesday, July 1, 2015