'Dance Moms' Recap Season 3 Episode 17: Abby Lee Miller Hosts 'The View'

Abby Lee Dance Company from Dance Moms in NYC for The View
The Abby Lee Dance Company from Dance Moms in NYC for The View

Last week on Dance Moms Miss Abby told the girls of the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) that she was invited to co-host The View (ABC), and that they would be performing their award winning routine, “The Last Text”. This week on season 3, episode 17 of Dance Moms titled “The View from the Top”, they all head to NYC for the show, but which of the ALDC’s tiny dancers will be on camera, Mackenzie, who has been sidelined with an injured foot, or Asia Ray, who has had the part in rehearsals? Meanwhile, Abby nemesis Cathy Nesbitt-Stein is also in The Big Apple, where she and choreographer Anthony Burrell hold auditions for a contemporary dancer.

This Dance Moms episode opens with Abby and the team arriving in NYC, and begins as they always do, with Abby revealing her pyramid, the ranking system she uses for the ALDC. The results are for the most part based on the performances at the previous week's competition, although ego and revenge against the Moms sometimes figure into the equation.

This week's pyramid from the bottom up: Mackenzie (“You don’t dance so there’s nothing to critique”); Asia and Nia (“That wasn’t a duet, it was you double-timing everything and you trying to keep up”); Brooke (did a side aerial but didn’t make eye contact with the judges); Paige (“You didn’t pull my focus, not in a good way not in a bad way”); Kendall (“You’ve had a good run lately, this week you flew under the radar”); Maddie (“Last week there was 11 points between you and the next contestant, this week there was one”). At the top of the pyramid, for the first time this competition season, it’s Chloe! Abby tells her, “You stayed on the music, you remembered the choreography, you applied corrections, you were beautiful.” Chloe thanks Abby with so much poise and grace that it hurts my heart.

This week Abby is co-hosting the entire hour of The View, and the ALDC will be performing “The Last Text” (an award winning routine from season 2) on the show. They will also be attending the Masters of Dance competition. Abby says that they will be the underdogs there, and that they’ll be dancing against Cathy Nesbitt-Stein and her Candy Apples team. Abby says all of the girls will be in the group routine, and she assigns solos for Asia, Chloe, Maddie and then… she has one more solo to give out and it goes to… Kendall. Then Abby tells Kendall’s mom Jill to go to Henri Bendel and buy her a gift.

Ever since The View appearance was announced, there has been drama over which of Abby’s youngest dancers would appear in “The Last Text” routine: Mackenzie, who was in the original number but has been sidelined by a foot injury for the last few weeks, or Asia, the ALDCs newest addition (originally from Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition aka AUDC), who has been rehearsing the number with the rest of the team.

Abby tells Asia she’s doing The View, but then goes back and forth and refuses to confirm it. Mackenzie’s mom Melissa thinks her daughter should do it, but the thing is, in recent weeks she told Abby Kenzie was too injured to dance. Now Melissa says, “Mackenzie is fine and I’d like her to be on it, she’s part of this team, she’s been here since she‘s three years old.” Asia’s mom Kristie wants her daughter in the dance too, but mainly she just wants an answer one way or the other.

Abby says she doesn’t know what’s going on with Mackenzie’s foot – first Melissa insisted the doctor said Kenzie couldn’t dance, but now that The View gig has come up, suddenly her foot is fine. Abby says, “Somebody has to hold Melissa accountable for her words, and it’s going to be me.” But then Abby takes 8-year-old Mackenzie aside and puts this little bug in her ear: “I don’t understand why your Mom is letting Asia take over.” Holy mind games, Batman!

Mackenzie tells her Mom what Abby said – and says “she wants you to go and do something about it.” Melissa talks to Abby and offers, “I feel like you’re replacing Kenzie and you don’t want her anymore. I want her to dance and she wants to dance.” Abby still won’t commit.

Kristie buys a giant “Thank You” card for Asia to give to Abby to show her gratitude for letting Asia join the team and dance on The View. Abby says it’s, “a very thoughtful gift and I really appreciate the time and energy she put into that gift.”


Cathy Nesbitt Stein form the Candy Apples Dance Center (CADC) in Ohio is also in NYC with her daughter Vivi-Anne, her all-boys team, and choreographer Anthony Burrell (who has worked with BeyoncĂ©, Mary J. Blige and Rihanna, among others, and is known to Abby fans as one of the choreographers on AUDC. He was also a hit on the show So You Think You Can Dance). Anthony is doing Cathy’s group number – it’s a contemporary piece that requires a girl dancer, so they hold open auditions.

Cathy, little Vivi-Anne and Anthony sit at the audition table. Cathy tells the dancing hopefuls that Vivi “has to be dazzled”, but Vivi is hungry and her eyes burn. They do see some talented and interesting dancers, including Charles, a boy who pours his emotions into dance. He’s not the best dancer there, but Anthony encourages him because it takes a lot of moxie for boys, especially when they’re Charles’ age, to pursue dance due to the teasing and peer pressure.

Ultimately they choose dancer #80516, a pretty 12-year-old girl named Victoria. Cathy is excited that Victoria is from Studio Larkin because she thinks Abby is familiar with them and will recognize the young girl.

With that business taken care of, Cathy and Vivi-Anne go out for cheesecake at Junior’s. First Cathy asks Vivi what she likes best about New York (it’s the shopping and the pizza), then she asks her if she thinks Candy Apple boy dancer Jalen is cute, and if he’s her boyfriend. Vivi answers “no” on both counts, but Cathy seems to encourage her with “I think that you guys make a cute couple.” It’s a strange scene.


On the morning of their appearance on The View, the dancelings go over their number with the camera and sound crews. Abby swaps Asia and Mackenzie in and out of the routine during rehearsal. Abby really wants Kenzie to do the dance, but says Melissa has to learn she doesn’t get her cake and eat it too, and she knows Asia really wants to do it.

Backstage Melissa and Kristi get in a fight about the The View. Kristi just wants to know what’s going on so Asia doesn’t get jerked around. Christie with a “C” thinks Melissa already knows who will be doing the dance. Kristie with a “K” calls the whole thing with Kenzie’s foot “a charade.” Holly thinks Melissa “dug herself a hole” by presenting Kenzie’s issue as an “indefinite injury.”

Abby shows up and Kristi asks her point blank, “Who’s going to be in the dance?” Abby’s says she’s still not sure, then she heads off to hair and makeup. Kristi and Melissa both prepare their daughters to not be disappointed if they don’t wind up doing the routine.

Abby Lee Dance Company - The Last Text Routine
ALDC's "The Last Text" routine
The View broadcast begins, and Abby looks pretty. Holly is surprised that most of the hosts like Abby. As the girls head to the stage, minutes before their performance, it’s still unclear who will dance. Finally Abby decides Mackenzie will do the number, and that she'll bring Asia onstage at the end. Abby says she went that way because Asia did the number wrong three times in rehearsal. Kristie says she knew this was going to happen, that Abby would take loyalty over talent. Paige and Brooke’s mom Kelly thinks Abby knew all along she was going to use Mackenzie on The View. Kenzie says, “As soon as I did my cartwheel over the seat I was like, ‘I’m back!’” I'm happy for Mackenzie, but sad for Asia. That's showbiz though, and Asia is a trouper.

Abby tells Melissa that the next time one of her girls is injured, that she’s going to the doctor with them. Then she tells the team that now that The View is behind them they need to concentrate on the upcoming competition.

The NYC episode ends with, “To be continued…”

Next week on Dance Moms we see more of Candy Apple Cathy – it looks like she tangles with Anthony Burrell, and it’s a safe bet that she’ll be fighting with Abby and everyone else too.

To see all of our Dance Moms coverage click here.

Dance Moms airs on Tuesdays at 9/8c on Lifetime
*On 4/30 tune in at 8/7c for a special two-hour episode.

Photos ©Gianna Martello