'Dance Moms' Recap: Broadway Baby Passes, Black Patsy Returns, Christi and Kelly Make Up

Dance Moms Kelly and Christi are friends again

This week on season 3, episode 9 of Dance Moms titled "Bye Bye Baby", studio owner Abby Lee Miller deals with the loss of her beloved dog, Broadway Baby, and her grief leads to a rivalry when star pupil Maddie’s tribute performance for the poodle is welcomed, but dedications by others from the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) are spurned. Also in this episode the team competes in St. Louis, Missouri, and runs into Kaya Wiley; viewers will remember her as the high-drama-mama who nicknamed herself "Black Patsy" (after Patsy Ramsey, Jon Benet’s mother) and brought her daughter Nicaya to audition for ALDC in season 2. Patsy’s bad behavior inspires Christi and Kelly to resolve their 3-week long fight.

The Dance Moms and their daughters arrive at the studio, and find out from Abby that her poodle Broadway Baby has passed away at age 16 from kidney failure (as we reported in this post, Abby announced Broadway Baby's death on December 12, 2012). Christi explains that while she and Abby don’t get along, she doesn’t wish this sadness on her.

Abby is distraught, but reveals the dancer’s rankings using her pyramid system. From the bottom up it’s Paige, Brooke, Mackenzie, Kendall, Nia, and at the top for the second week in a row, Maddie. Chloe is still on suspension, so she’s not on the pyramid

This week ALDC will be heading to St. Louis for the Xpression Dance Competition. The group will perform a lyrical number with a lot of ballet technique called "My Dream Will be Your Dream". Abby describes it as “an epic love story” that is beautiful and entertaining – she thinks it will help her remember Broadway Baby. For this dance, Abby makes a point of telling the team she has costumes ready to go. Nia will be doing a musical theater solo to "Breaking My Heart"; Maddie has a lyrical solo to "Showing You My Heart".

Abby reminds the girls that St. Louis is the home of Black Patsy and that they’ll be going head-to-head in competition with her daughter Nicaya. Abby begs the group for a "no chaos" competition, because this week she’s already "been through the ringer and back."

The girls begin rehearsing the group number – Abby tells them to think of grandeur and a black tie event, and explains that it’s about a sick peasant girl afraid she’s going to die and be separated from the man she loves. Abby doesn’t make it through the rehearsal - she excuses herself and leaves in tears. Kelly is unsympathetic because Broadway Baby was "just a dog" and "life goes on".

When Abby is absent from the next rehearsal, Jill has the idea to change the music, choreography and costumes Abby chose for the group number, and turn it into an uplifting tribute to Broadway Baby. She suggests a song called “Beautiful Day.” Abby’s going to LOVE this idea. Okay, not really. I can't even believe the other Moms agreed to this - Have they met Abby? Do they watch the show? 

We see Abby at home in a living room so white it actually glows (is it just my TV?) and we meet her Mom, who looks like a shorter version of her daughter. Through tears Abby says Broadway Baby kept her sane and made everything okay when she came home from work upset, and she regrets that when Baby was passing away, she wasn’t there. She tells her Mom she doesn’t want to go back to work because the kids are” so unappreciative”. She also doesn’t want to leave her Mom alone.

Three days before the competition, Abby still hasn’t returned to the studio. The Dance Moms want to know if Abby will be back, but no-one, including dance teacher Niyala, has any idea.

The action cuts to the Charmette Academy of Dance and Acrobatics (CADA) in St Louis, where Black Patsy’s daughter Nicaya is practicing a jazz solo to a song called “Get Back Up”. Patsy says the dance is about struggling and not being able to pay bills, and trying to find a way out of it. Patsy wants Nicaya to portray angst and tells her daughter, "Don't dance like some rich kid from Pittsburgh." She also says she wants to meet up with the Dance Moms again because she has a lot she wants to say to them, and she wants to give Abby a piece of her mind too. Patsy thinks they all want to see her fail.

There’s Mama Drama in Pittsburgh too. While the Moms watch Nia rehearse her solo with a hat prop, the talk turns to what led to Kelly and Christi’s falling out – Chloe dropping her hat in a competition, and the subsequent fight between her Mom Christi and Abby that resulted in their suspension. We see that Christi and Kelly are still fighting through the same loop of an argument: Kelly says Christi didn’t return her calls while she was gone from ALDC, Christi says Kelly isn’t a good friend… it’s been three weeks since they’ve talked.

Abby comes back to the studio. She says nothing makes her happier than working with Maddie, so she runs her solo first. Then she works with Nia, and after that it’s time for the group to reveal their tribute dance. Uh oh. As I’m sure most of you expected, Abby doesn’t see this as a fun surprise. She summons the Moms and tells them that screwing with her choreography, music, costumes and headpieces is very offensive.

Instead of going back to the original number, Abby decides they're going to do something else: "Since your mother’s know best, you’re going to improv." This is, as Chloe puts it, is "something unusual".

In the next scene we see the ALDC pulling up in front of the Xpression Dance location, and hear Abby say that the team isn’t ready for this competition. They immediately run into Black Patsy who tries to start an argument, but as "Dr. Holly" points out, "It’s just too early in the day for all this."

In the dressing room we see the costume Holly made for Nia, a pink sequin and fringe top and black high-waisted shorts with a fringe belt and black hat. It’s pretty but Abby thinks the belt makes Nia look too horizontal, so Holly removes it. Nia does a great job with her solo. It's wonderful to see her growing as a dancer and coming into her own.

Next up is Nicaya in a royal blue (or is it purple?) and silver skirted costume. She’s a fine dancer but, Abby thinks Nicaya has regressed.

Maddie is announced by her full first name, Madison, and does a lovely dance in a fluttery white outfit with red heart appliques. After she dances the emcee announces that Maddie’s dance was dedicated to Broadway Baby. The look on Kelly’s face - woo! Even Holly looks a little perturbed (although this could be edited out of sequence).

Abby thanks Melissa for the dedication, and Melissa shows her a video of Baby that Abby has never seen. Backstage the Moms are annoyed. Kelly asks why Melissa had Maddie’s dance be the dedication – she says they wanted it to be from all the kids. Christi says Melissa takes info from all the Moms and uses it to give her kids the advantage, and says that Melissa acts sweet "but would kill all of us in our sleep if it meant her kids would get ahead." Melissa thinks they are just jealous because she’s back in Abby’s good graces.

Abby tells Nia she did a "very nice job", then hugs Maddie and tells her she appreciates her and the dedication. Jill takes issue with the fact that all of the Moms and kids wanted to do a tribute but weren’t allowed, but that Melissa went ahead and did it without them. Abby and Melissa say it’s because Melissa was close to Broadway Baby. Abby just wants them to concentrate on the group routine.

Next we see the group number. They girls wear brightly colored, mismatched two-piece short outfits. Abby doesn’t think they have a shot at winning but they do well, and their costumes look cool on stage. Abby says the girls could have made better choices, but that their technique looked good.

Black Patsy starts critiquing the ALDC girls – first she picks on Nia by saying she was a whole beat ahead of everyone else, but classy Holly refuses to engage. Abby makes a "graceful exit", and then Patsy starts in on Kendall (who replaced Nicaya at ALDC) by saying she can’t dance and she "sucks" (and Kendall, if you are reading this now or in the future, you are a talented dancer). Mama Bear Jill is not having it. They get in a big fight in the lobby in front of everyone; Jill wags her finger and Patsy yells obscenities.

Someone from Xpression (or maybe the location staff) arrives to diffuse the situation, and Abby apologizes to everyone on behalf of ALDC. Patsy drops more "F-bombs" in front of the kids. After it’s over Jill is upset that no-one stuck up for her, but Christi explains she didn’t get involved because she didn’t want Pasty to pull out her weave. The fight makes Kelly and Christi realize that they need to have each other’s backs and fight evil together, and they make up.

The Xpression emcee apologizes to the crowd for the disturbance in the lobby, and we learn that Patsy and her daughter have been disqualified. Then it’s time for the awards ceremony. First there is a judge’s award for costumes, and it goes to… Nia! Holly is vindicated! In the Junior Solo Division Nia takes third place and Maddie comes in first. In the Small Groups Division, ALDC’s improv wins 1st Place!

Backstage the Moms celebrate and Abby hugs the girls. Kelly and Christi hug too, and the girls give Abby a big handmade sympathy card. The episode ends with a short montage of Broadway Baby footage, and Abby asks everyone to say a prayer for her dog.

Who do you think is the biggest Dance Moms villain: Black Patsy or Candy Apple Cathy? Do you think Melissa was right to have Maddie's dance dedicated to Broadway Baby? Leave a comment and let us know what you thought of this episode.

To see all of our Dance Moms coverage click here.

Dance Moms airs on Tuesdays at 9/8c on Lifetime

Photo via Lifetime /Facebook

Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013