Posts Tagged ‘Gianna Martello’

Dance Moms: Sorry, No Funny Title This Week. Abby-phobia Has Hit The ALDC. No Theme. No Music. No Clue.

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

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She better pull a group dance outta her butt soon or I’ll be late for hosting Meet The Press.

 

 

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No, seriously. How many studios does she own? And does she know she’s wearing two bras?

 

 

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Oh I know this new Senator’s wife is not gon’ come in here trying to steal my look. I called Red.

 

 

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I know, right? All side swept. Don’t tell the girls, but I just overslept and didn’t have time to curl the other side.

 

 

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Seriously? Again? Imma ’bout to get all Sia on this new chick and wrap her head in that curtain.

 

 

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There was a giant bug and it went in my ear and then my brain. Now we need a Girl Party and some Raid, asap!

 

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I swear that perfume Jill keeps regifting is burning my eyes. I’m going blind back here, lady. F’realz.

 

 

 

With apologies to John Lennon.

Imagine there’s no drama.

It’s easy if you try.  Unless it’s Dance Moms.

Then all bets are off.

Or something.  I’m still working on that last line.  But you get the point.

There was a new Competition Sheriff in town this week and it had everyone on the edge of their saloon chairs.  The Imagine Dance Challenge in Woodbridge, VA would bring the ALDC face to face with one of their toughest rivals in the circuit and it was clear as soon as the credits stopped rolling that Abby Lee Miller was already off her game a little.

Starting with the Pyramid of Shame, of course.  Which, if you squinted a little bit, actually kinda sorta looked almost triangular this time around.

Clearly, it’s tough to create a legitimately pyramidal (…is that even a word?…) composition with only five glossy head shots, because Abby’s been struggling the last few episodes.

This week began with Abby’s favorite game:  Name That New Girl.

Jade Cloud was in the hizzle, replacing nervous little Sarah Hunt who had been booted off the Team last week when her Holy Roller ‘I Think The Garbage Needs To Be Taken Out’ Mom Christ-y finally pushed Abby’s last button.

You remember all that hilarity, right?  Christ-y definitely needed some time to chillax, which would also give that tiny niblet Sarah a chance to replenish some of the fluids she lost by crying non-stop through two entire episodes.  Poor little peanut.

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Besides having a name that sounds like she was one of the Jem and The Hologram girls, Jade also has a mother who looks like her face should be on the butt end of a car.

Whoa.  That didn’t come out the way it was intended in my head.  That sounded kind of rude when I proofread it a second time.

What I meant to say was that Mom Loree looks like her face should be on one of those shiny political ‘Vote for my Husband for City Council’ bumper stickers, because she totally looks like one of those Washington Ladies you see on CNN who host those Washington Lady Lunches where Michelle Obama and Oprah tell everyone that America’s children don’t eat enough broccoli.

Because she does.  Look at that Washington hair.  I bet it doesn’t even move in the wind.  I’m totally voting for her husband in 2016 and I don’t even know what he stands for yet.

Since Maddie is currently MTV‘s It Girl and could be pulled away at any moment to star in the next Sia video or fly to the Moon on that plane Justin Bieber wants to buy, Abby was still looking for someone to play the role of Dance Princess #1, should Maddie no longer be able to fulfill her duties.

Enter Jade.  Just like little Sarah did.  And Kalani Hillicker did before her.  And Kamryn Beck did, until she had to go on hiatus to speak at the Neurophysics Symposium in Geneva, Switzerland.  Because that’s totally why the Kia Kamster wasn’t there this week.

(Autographed copies of Kamryn’s book “How To Over Achieve And Still Rock A Glitter Headband” will be available in the lobby, BTW.  Credit cards only, please.)

Bottom of the Pyramid:  Chloe and Nia.  So wrong.

The middle tier:  Completely hogged by the Ziegler Gurlz.  MackZ and MaddieZ.  MackZ needed to stand up straighter because Abby had a lot invested in her budding youtube career.  And MaddieZ went on the Ellen Show, so yeah to that.

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And there was Kendall at the top!  She killed it last week with her Phantom of the Opera face dance and my MomCrush Jill couldn’t have been any happier.  I was hoping Jill might have been so euphoric that she’d bust out a little spontanious celebratory Gangnam Style, but that didn’t happen.

This week’s competition was a new one, so Abby was nervous.  Especially since the girls would be coming up against studio bleu…one of their toughest rivals.

studio bleu is a pretty big dealio in Virginia.  They spell their website name all in lower case letters with the ‘E’ and the ‘U’ reversed just like a day spa, so you know they mean business.  Unfortunately, all that fanciness totally freaks out my Macbook’s auto correct, so if there are a couple of Studio Blues in here instead of studio bleus…blame Apple.

Jade and Chloe both scored solos.  Christi did some quick math and figured out that…once again…Chloe was going up against the New Girl like it was some kind of sadistic weekly freshmen hazing ritual.

Mom wasn’t happy.  And neither was Daughter.  I don’t remember the last time I saw either of them actually smile, which makes me sad.

Up until about 30 seconds into the Pyramid, Abby’s original plan was to go up against studio bleu (…that just looks wrong.  My high school grammar teacher would be horrified right now…) with some amazing, yet unseen group routine.

But now, after rethinking the group’s chances against studio bleu, Abby decided to shelve the number until Nationals.  Which meant that there was no group routine to rehearse.

None.  Nada.  Zero.  Zip.

As the Moms headed up to the MomPerch, the girls stood around looking at themselves in the mirrors waiting for some direction.  It was clear that Abby had no idea what to do next.

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It was also pretty clear that Holly is a side sleeper, because all her sassy new hair was mashed up on one side during her first interview sniglet.  Or, wishful thinking, maybe my long-term goal of getting Dr. Beyoncé to unleash her Inner Hip Hop Majorette with the Bring It! girls was finally working out in my favor.

Boom.  Bam.  Pow.  DB4L!  (See what I did there?)

Dang, Gurl.  Getting your money’s worth at the salon this week.

As the Moms sat upstairs trying to figure out how many bras Loree could comfortably wear at one time (…see photo evidence Exhibit A above…) Abby finally figured out what to do with the hot mess she had made of the group routine.

Phobias: What freaks you out?

Maddie: Being Alone.  Chloe: Public Speaking.  MackZ: Bugs And Auto-tune.  Kendall: Crowds.  Nia: Needles.  (..Girrrl…I hear dat...)  Jade: Heights.

Then they did a quick improv based on their individual phobias, except for MackZ who saw an invisible bug and ran out of the room and then ran back into the room and then saw another invisible bug and then ran all the way upstairs when everyone started laughing at her for doing so much unnecessary physical activity.

If MackZ is going to stay MackZ and not revert back to Mackenzie Boo Boo Child she’s gonna need to grow a pair.  And stat.  Even Mom Melissa said so.

Clearly, Melissa was already agitated before MackZ showed up (…see photo evidence Exhibit B above…) due to the fact that Loree was shamelessly stealing her look.  Bitch.

When Abby tried to calm MackZ down by saying “You don’t think people laugh at me?” my ego momentarily took over and I was all like ‘OMG she totally reads my blog!’ until I realized that she was probably referring to all of Kelly Hyland‘s tweets.

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I miss Brooke and Paige.

With two days to go before Virginia, Jade got to working on her Miss Saigon dance while Chloe fine tuned her dark ‘They Don’t Want My Kind Around Here’ solo.  Not that Abby noticed, of course, because she was too busy phutzing with Jade’s spandex.

It also didn’t go unnoticed that when Abby had insisted on putting my girl Nia in an afro wig a few years ago Holly blew the Nutty Heard Round The World, but when Jade was handed a Geisha fan all Loree said was ‘She looks the part.’

Wait.  What?

Afro wig or not, it’s still The International Year of The Nia.  So there.

Because of all the drama surrounding the Attack of the Invisible Bugs, MackZ got herself benched from the group dance (…literally.  There’s literally a BENCH you have to go sit on when you’re benched at the ALDC…) which now bumped the remaining girls up into the Teen Category.  A higher age group with bigger, stronger girls.

Which is never good.  Loree said so.  You never bump a group UP.  Always DOWN.  She also said “Vote for my Husband for City Council” about a million times.

We get it, honey.  We saw your car in the parking lot.

Totally unrelated, Holly had sunglasses on her head.  Just needed to point that out because accessories always make the outfit.

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Finally, it was Showtime!  And crazy crowd hysteria when the ALDC pulled up to the curb.

Oddly, the studio bleu girls were waiting for them outside like they were all going to link arms and not allow them access to the building.  Not really sure what that was all about.

Inside, Abby could barely look the Moms in the eyes as they tried to figure out a way to drop the ALDC team back down to Pre-Teen or TweenyBop or Junior or whatever they call the lower category.

By (…literally…) benching MackZ, Abby had messed up the average age (…who knew there was so much arithmetic involved in competitive dance?…) and now the team was stuck going up against girls twice their age.  And size.

As she flipped through the show’s program book (…that either had some local advertising or pornography on the back cover because it was all blurred out…) Abby made some lame excuse about needing to do online banking instead of figuring out what to do with MackZ.  None of which made any sense, because…One: You need a computer for online banking, not a dance program…and Two: It just didn’t make any sense.

Loree’s last minute attempt to convince Abby to allow the bug-infested MackZ back in the routine (…which would totally screw with the Time/Space/Age/Math Continuum enough to bump the ALDC back down a notch…) failed miserably and the team was stuck in the higher category.  Holly thought it might work, since Abby respects Lorre as a dance studio owner.  Apparently, Loree owns almost as many studios as she does undergarments.

Side note: Loree also stole Melissa’s look again at the competition.  That’s twice in one week.  This s*** is going down in some back alley before Nationals, you know dat.  Don’t act surprised when it happens, because I’m telling you ahead of time.

Side note #2:  I swear Christi was wearing one of Loree’s bras in one of her interview sniglets.  Did you see that tiny barely spaghetti strappy looking teal thing?

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Whoa, Mama.  There’s kids in the room.

Jade’s solo was amazing.  That girl can contort.  But Mom was concerned because acro is not her thang.  And judges either love it or hate it.

Chloe did great.  She always does great at performance time when it’s time to get it done.  She just needed to relax a little more.

Backstage as the girls ran through the group routine one last time, Chloe somehow got into Maddie’s orbit, or personal space, or whatever dancers call it and Abby flipped her lid.

It was clearly an accident and didn’t require paramedics or any stitches, so I don’t really see what the big deal was all about.  But you know how Abby gets when someone goes near her prized porcelain Maddie collection in the china closet.

And how about that studio bleu Director?  You tell me she wasn’t a perfectly replicated DNA splice of Walmart Dance Mom Leslie Ackerman and that loud Christ-y Church Lady from last week?  Seriously.  Go back and look.

OMG.  Twinsies, right?

The group routines were both da bomb, even though studio bleu looked like they could babysit the ALDC girls if all the Moms wanted a night off.  No joke.

From the perspective of someone who knows nothing about dance but talks like he knows everything, I thought the studio bleu girls were outta sync once in awhile and that the ALDC team showed more emotion.

But I also thought that Loree, Jill and Melissa were going to have a Dance-Off in the audience and that never happened.  So, whatever.

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Which would have been Awe.  Some.

End of the day, Chloe took 6th Place but still didn’t smile.  Jade turned herself upside down and inside out for 3rd and (…intentionally or not…) gave one of the best fake smile/side eyes EVER to the 4th Place girl when she stepped up to grab her award.

Kaeli, who came out of nowhere from studio bleu and must have done her solo during that Raising Asia commercial (…did I miss something on a snack break?…) won First Place, which made that Leslie/Christ-y woman get all emotional like I do when my Spring allergies first start acting up.

And then the ALDC got the First Loser Award:  Second Place.

Beat out by their own babysitters.  Not cool.

Needless to say, backstage didn’t go so well after the trophies were all handed out.  Loree implied that Jade had lost because of Abby’s guidance.  And choreography.  And musical selection.  And complete lack of online banking skills.

Melissa kept looking at the back of Loree’s red dress like today might be the day it all goes down.  Again, you heard it here first.

Jill and Holly were pretty low key this week, all things considered.

And MackZ had bugs all over her.

Really gross ones.

Ha.  Kidding.  Psych.  Get back in here, you crazy kid.  It was a joke.

Or was it?

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Dance Moms: If You’re Gonna Talk The Talk, You Better Walk The Dawg. It’s 3 Soloists, But Only One Star…For Now.

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

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If I turn this way, you can totally tell I only had time to curl three pieces of hair before breakfast.

 

 

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I am phoning it in this week. Maybe what we need is fewer Girl Parties and more sugar.

 

 

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Nia in a dog collar? I swear, if that electric fence around the Moms wasn’t turned on right now…

 

 

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The Ellen Show has a game where you fall in a box and are never heard from again. Hmmm…

 

 

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I got carded at the Teen Choice Awards after-party! And Zac Efron was totally checking this out!

 

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Yeah. I know, right? Claire’s was having a sale. Look who’s wearing a trendy new headband!

 

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Really? So this how we’re gonna play the game today?

 

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I was wondering if you had one of those logo t-shirts in XS. And if you could make today suck any harder.

 

 

Here we go.

Another episode of Dance Moms.

And for the second week in a row, the New Team was MIA.  On hiatus, Abby called it. 

Just so we’re clear.  Abby spent the bulk of two seasons crossing the country looking for her new and improved Dream Team, threatening the Old Dream Team with their imminent arrival on a daily basis, auditioning them, training them, dressing them in ALDC tube tops and then ended up only using them twice before sending everyone on Spring Break?

Really?  Why didn’t somebody send me a text? I would have totally dropped everything and gone down to one of the Open Call Auditions if I had known it was only a two week commitment.  I never leave the house without my ATM card and some leg warmers, so that wouldn’t have been an issue.  Boy Scouts are always prepared, you know.

So yes, they were down a few dancers.  But no worries, because what they lacked in bodies this time around, they more than made up for in drama and headbands.

A lot of headbands, actually.  They were heavy on the headgear this week.

I blame that new girl Kamryn Beck for single handedly bringing back the noggin noodle.  She’s the one who was late to her first day at the ALDC because she was out in the parking lot notating the molecular density of a complex mixture of asphalt and mineral aggregates, trying to determine if the hydrocarbons were insoluble in carbon disulfide.

Seriously.  All I asked this chick to do was fill the damn potholes, not add another page to her resume.  Over-achieve, much?

We even got a quick flashback of the Kia Kamster listing off everything that she accomplishes in a day before I even get my a** out of bed.  Nice headband, by the way.

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As the Old Team scooted in for the Geometric Shape of Shame (…it wasn’t even a Pyramid, fercryinoutloud…) they were already down another dancer because Melissa and the oldest Ziegler were off in Hollywood taping The Ellen Show, where Maddie would be recreating the Sia music video.  This television appearance would give Maddie some serious national network exposure as well as give Abby the opportunity to say Maddie’s name like a mantra every 15 seconds for the remainder of the show.

Truth.  If you edit out the word ‘Maddie’ from this week’s episode there were only about 247 other words spoken for the entire hour and most of them were just Holly saying “OhNoTheyDin’t just put a dog collar on my baby” over and over again.

Count ‘em.  I ain’t lying.

So the Pyramid of Shame was really just a square this time.  Maddie was on the bottom row because she was in Hollywood, which messed with my head because I thought the Pyramid was based on LAST week’s results, not the current week.

Poor punching bag Chloe was also in the basement because she fell during the “Broken Dolls” group routine.  I forget the exact ballet terminology for the move she wiped out on, but it sounded like when someone makes fun of how British people talk.

The final spot on the bottom was for Nia.  Ballet’s not really her thing either, but it doesn’t matter since we’re still in the International Year Of The Nia.  Snap in a Z formation.

The top row was home to newbie Sarah H., MackZ and Kendall.  Nothing earth shattering to report.  Sarah was still shaking.  Kendall didn’t appear to be breathing at all.  And MackZ get penalized for being short.  Thankfully her fish lip headshot was on the mirror or I would have completely forgotten she was on the show this week.

Abby announced that the gang would be heading to Shenandoah Valley for the Powerhouse Dance Competition.  Kendall, Nia and Chloe all scored solos and the group number was entitled “Gypsies, Tramps And Thieves.”

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But not the hoochie kind of tramps.  Abby was quick to point out that these tramps were like Charlie Chaplin tramps.  So they weren’t dirty.

I dunno if it’s still fallout from that fiasco when the girls were all naked dancing with fans or what, but somebody in the Legal Department always seems to make sure Abby clarifies that nothing is ever dirty anymore.

Charlie Chaplin ate a shoe, but he wasn’t nasty.  Are we clear?

As the girls started rehearsing the not-dirty group number, the Moms hit the MomPerch to discuss this whole Maddie Thang.  New Christ-y could already tell that Abby was grooming Maddie for super stardom and playing favorites.  Old Christi didn’t want to gossip, because you didn’t hear it from her, but she had heard that Sia’s studio called the ALDC looking for girls and somehow the whole thing ended up being an opportunity that was only offered to Maddie.

(Full Disclosure:  Old Christi also went on a Twitter bender after the episode and said that the show was edited and that she didn’t exactly say that exactly and that what she said wasn’t exactly…you know.  That also sounds exactly like I creep her on Twitter, which I don’t.  Because she won’t exactly follow me on Twitter.  So there’s that, too.)

My MomCrush Jill was understandably concerned that Kendall was once again only playing the role of Maddie and not really getting a chance to shine on her own.  I was understandably concerned that we were already three episodes into Season 4.5 and Jill hadn’t worn anything crazy yet.

I’m gonna need my girl to put on some ostrich feathers and throw a shoe pretty soon or we might have to break up.  I don’t wanna say I started something, but America lives for the Jill Vertes Fashion Watch.  I hope Daddy Vertes didn’t cut up her Chico’s card.

With three days to go before competition, Melissa and Mini-Sia were back in the hizzle bragging about their time with Ellen DeGeneres.  Maddie had slayed her performance, Sia had oddly faced the wall with her clothes on backwards for the entire song and Melissa had neglected to bring back even one postcard for her friends.

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Since Maddie was on another level now (…ALDC MindGames: The Sequel, coming soon to a theater near you…) Abby decided that Maddie should assist in the choreography.

That went over well as the solo rehearsals kicked into high gear.

Kendall’s prop was going to be a mirror and a big ol’ Phantom of the Opera scar on her right cheek.  Clearly, not just another pretty face.

Chloe had apparently somehow missed 4 years of dance classes and according to Abby was no longer a contender for the top titles, which made me want to immediately go and post a sad face on her Instagram account.  We love Chloe and her pouty face.

And then Nia came out in a dog collar and the party really got started.

Abby wanted Nia’s “Underdog” routine to be truly authentic, complete with barking and other canine randomness.  Holly wanted to go downstairs, take off her shoes and earrings and just lose her nutty but she knew how much Nia hates standing around in a dog collar and Petco leash while her Mom has a stroke.  So she didn’t.

And me?  Well, apparently I wasn’t paying attention in the beginning when Abby handed out the solos because up until this point I thought Nia was going to be the “Have no Fear! Underdog is Here!” cartoon.

Not gonna lie.  A little disappointed.

Holly was quick to point out that Jazz Dog Dances don’t win many trophies, which is exactly the discussion I was having over cocktails the other night.  What are the chances?

During another group rehearsal, I believe that MackZ and Sarah were somewhere in the building, but I didn’t actually see them.  Upstairs, Jill did some quick math in her head and realized that Maddie had somehow learned Kendall’s dance behind everyone’s back and wanted Melissa to fess up about how this keeps happening.

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Now I don’t know enough about home schooling to make any judgements, and I know people who are both for and against the topic, but when Jill pointed out that Maddie only goes to the kitchen table for one hour a day and Kendall goes to public school for 8 hours a day, I was all like Wait…What?

I’m leaving the debate for all the Gymboree chat rooms.  I’m not getting in the middle of this one.  All I know is that when I was in public school and I suggested that we only stay in homeroom for one hour and then go to the cafetorium and dance for the rest of the day, I got sent home with a note for my parents.  So I dunno wassup with kids nowadays.

But somehow Maddie got a private with Gia and learned the dance just in case Kendall disappeared in the woods behind the studio.

Chloe struggled a bit while practicing her solo because she hadn’t gotten to the studio until 3pm that day (…gah, school…) whereas Maddie had been at the studio since 8:30am.  Clearly the Ziegler Gurlz do their one hour of home schooling before sunrise while Melissa milks the cows out back in the barn.

And speaking of Gia.  She came in with the not-dirty-at-all Gypsy costumes and once again…one costume short.  No Tramp Tights for little Sarah.

Will somebody please dig through that landfill of a front desk and find Abby’s calculator so she can finally get a proper headcount?  Thank you.

Needless to say, Christ-y got all Not Very Christ-y-like and started to come unscrewed.

Side note:  Anyone else notice Christ-y’s hair?  I don’t know if she was in the middle of curling her hair when the Leggo My Eggos popped up or what, but she never finished.  It looked like when QVC demonstrates that contraption that gives you soft, luxurious beachy curls but they only do a few of them so you can see the Before and After difference.

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But it didn’t really matter, because the next thing you know Abby told Christ-y to pray to the God of FedEx (…good luck with that by the way, I try it every Christmas Eve…) and then all of the sudden she called Abby ‘Trash’ and got both herself and her tiny girl kicked out of the competition.  Again.

I swear it’s gonna be a race to see who has that stroke first.  Holly or Sarah.

Deep, deep…way deep…down Abby still has a heart I guess, because she felt bad and offered Sarah the chance to join them on the bus as long as her Mom didn’t come along.  Unfortunately, Christ-y wouldn’t let Sarah out of her sight and ended up taking her back home.  Where she has been “since birth.”

Which didn’t creep me out at all.

I guess four Dance Moms, five tweeny bops, a fleet of cameramen, two sound guys, my boy Director Jimmy and a bus driver who looks like Santa without a beard aren’t trustworthy enough to babysit Sarah for a sleepover at the Ramada.

Finally, it was Showtime!

Kendall’s costume was basically Maddie’s costume.  Jill was momentarily mesmerized by all the pretty sparkly stuff and it gave me hope that once the weather cools off a little bit, the Jill Vertes Fashion Watch will be back in full swing.

Nia’s costume was pretty elaborate and did kind of look like what you would expect a dog to look like if you put lipstick on it and let it do a Death Drop for treats.

Love me some Nia.  Even if it wasn’t the International…blah blah blah.  She’s awesome.

Chloe had on a leotard.  That’s all.  And an ALDC logo on her chest.  If Abby had thought to put “Kick Me” on her back with glitter glue she probably would have.  The only thing on stage lamer than her costume was the actual Powerhouse logo.  I don’t know why Abby has to be so mean to our little Chloebird.

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All the solos went amazeballs.  I could totally relate to how hard it is to dance while holding a vanity mirror.  Just saying.

And can we all just take a moment to truly appreciate Jill’s face while Kendall was dancing?  What the What was going on there?  Mama likes, I guess.

Miss Nia got all Mad Dawg and got it done.  She marked every judge’s hydrant, if you know whaddimean.  Take that, Abby.  Who let the dawgs out now?

Chloe got even taller and more graceful than last week.

Results:  Nia 4th.  Chloe 2nd.  Kendall 1st.

The group routine wasn’t dirty at all and came in First Place.  There was also a special award given to the emcee for rocking that argyle sweater and TJMaxx hat.  (Don’t forget that Back to School sales are already in progress, people.  Shop early.)

Back in the Science Lab/Makeup Room (…Seriously.  How many people do you think Googled the word “Homeostasis” after seeing that construction paper ransom note all over the back wall?…) Abby was still being Abby.

They team did good.  Very good, in fact.

But never good enough.  Maybe they needed to be threatened all the time.  Maybe they needed a new dancer or two to keep them on their sickled toes.

Maybe Nia could make a few more of those reactionary backstage faces, because they were The.  Best.  Ever.

Augh.  New dancers again?

Ruh Roh.

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Dance Moms: Lights! Camera! Dance! Jump On The Bed And Then Shuffle Off To Buffalo For One Last Tribute.

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

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I never actually looked at the back of her head before. How does she even make it do that?

 

 

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Oh yeah, Boyeez. There’s a new Christy in town.

 

 

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If she wants some Jackson 5 Realness, how ’bout I dangle one of these babies over the railing?

 

 

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Aw Hell Naw. I know they didn’t just slap that damn ‘Bring It!’ on top of me when my hair is looking so on point. Srsly?

 

 

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I’m just saying it looks like a blue bathrobe. Don’t ask my opinion if you don’t wanna hear it.

 

 

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Just tell her that she does NOT want me coming down there snapping my fingers in a Z formation.

 

 

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Lawd, just gimme the strength to not turn around and snatch that cell phone right outta her sweaty paws.

 

 

 

Warning:  Dance Moms was a downer again.

Not as much of a downer as last week’s sob fest, but you still needed to dab the kleenex a few times as everyone continued to deal with the declining health of Abby‘s Mom Maryen Lorrain Miller.  It was getting real and raw now.

Luckily, though, there was also enough craziness and random Mama Drama to distract those of us who prefer their reality to be…ummm…a little less real, thank you.

There was a lot going on this week, so after a quick front desk tear jerker with Melissa, Abby got right down to business.  Her job was to keep going and that’s what she was going to do.  The Pyramid of Shame doesn’t care if you’re sad or not.

As everyone fell into position, Abby was quick to point out that it was time to start getting tough.  Thirteen wins in a row was nice, but fourteen would be nicer.

No pressure, of course.

Oh.  And next week the new ALDC competition team would be arriving.  So, yeah…on second thought…maybe a little pressure.

And how ’bout that new team?  I don’t know what train they’re traveling on, but it must be making stops at every corner because it has taken them for-ev-er to get to Pittsburgh.  Abby has been dangling this make believe team over the Original Recipe kids’ heads since last season.

But next week they would finally be in the building and my psychic powers are already telling me that at least one of them stuffed a KrazyMom in their suitcase.  So get psyched.

On top of all that exciting news, there was also Mackenzie‘s gangstah rap music video to deal with this week.  And maybe even an actual dance competition if they could squeeze it in between everything else going on at the studio.

Bottom row of the Pyramid was home to Nia, Kendall and Kalani.

Nia had been cut from the group number last week, so she was stuck on the bottom as punishment.  Mom Holly clearly did not agree with that decision and was so mad that she went to the salon and got herself an updo just to spite Abby.

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Srsly, chile.  Girlfriend is werkin’ that new hair this season.  If you were taking shots every time Dr. Beyoncé changed looks this week you probably didn’t make it past the third commercial break.  Once you sober up, you might want to check the videotape.

Amazeballs.

Kendall was in the bottom because she came in Second in the last competition, which is not the same as coming in First.  And Kalani just seemed to be scotch taped next to Kendall in order to make room for Maddie on the top.

The mezzanine level was all about MackZ and Chloe.  MackDiddy got mad props for learning a dance and laying down recording studio tracks all in the same week (…never too young to learn good multi-tasking skills I always say…) while Chloe followed Kalani’s lead and got the heck outta the way so Maddie could be back on top.

This week the gang was headed to The Masters of Dance Arts in Buffalo, NY where all the routines would be performed as tributes to Abby’s Mom and her amazing career.

Chloe scored a 1950′s themed “Friday Night” sock hop soda pop solo, which represented how much Abby’s Mom loved watching Laverne & Shirley, while Maddie scored a “Come To The Cabaret” solo because I guess Maryen knew Liza Minelli or something.

The group dance was basically Maddie’s old “Amazing Grace” routine reworked with backup dancers.  All the girls would be in the number, except for MackTheKnife who was needed on set for her MTV debut.

Even though Chloe had made the cut for the MackZ video last week, she got yanked at the last minute to stay at the studio and work on her solo with James, some ALDC choreographer who suddenly materialized out of nowhere with duct tape covering the logos on his shirt.

I’ll never understand why people do that.  If you know you’re going to be filmed today, why do you always show up wearing a shirt with logos on it and then run all around looking for plumber’s tape?  How about you just wear a black tee shirt?

Macy’s sells a 3-pack for $19.99 fercryinoutloud.  And there’s always a coupon.

While Chloe and James did their best to make sure Nike didn’t get any free advertising, everyone else headed to Melissa’s house for some straight up video chaos.

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An ‘on location shoot’ as they say in the biz.

Yup.  MackZ’s video was being filmed in her own bedroom, which was filled with so many colors and patterns and bouncy things that the scene should have probably had one of those disclaimers crawling across the bottom of the screen like you see when strobe lights are being used at a concert.

You just know that somebody in Idaho had a seizure before they even finished downloading the damn song off iTunes.

The whole extravaganza was being directed by Andrew, who can no proudly say that on national television he traded in his ManCard for his SAG card just by showing 200 tweeny boppers at a sleepover how to scream “What We Need Is A Girl Party!” with so much authenticity that it made me uncomfortable.  Dude.  Let’s not do that again, ok?

While Andrew pushed MackWhack off the bed so he and Abby could jump on it themselves, the Moms were all downstairs where the real party was happening.

Couple of things.

One.  I’m not gonna say I told you so.  But I told you so.

Didn’t I just say last week that my MomCrush Jill was waiting to unleash some of her signature Vertes Couture on us when we least expected it?  You know I did.

Whoop der it is.  Crazy fur.

Not as crazy as the blue bathrobe that she wore in the MomPerch later on in the episode.  But still classic Jill.

So, yeah.  I was right about that.  But I was wrong when I said that I couldn’t possible love her any more this week than I did last week.  Because now I do.

I think it’s probably because I know she stole that bathrobe from Canyon Ranch and I secretly want her to take me with her the next time she goes on a Girls’ Weekend Spa Retreat.  Whatever.

Two.  Didn’t the Moms look like they were on The View, all sitting around on those leather couches discussing today’s Hot Topics?  Holly even made a WhoopeeFace a few times.

Three.  I bet Melissa’s house smells like Homegoods potpourri and waffles.  It just looks like the kind of place that would have Eggos in the freezer.

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Anyway.  Casa Ziegler was crawling with Old Moms and New Moms and so much commotion that I got a little car sick when everyone was in the same room.  Some never before seen ALDC Moms were in the hizzle for the fo’ shizzle video shoot, including big girl Christy (…with a ‘Y’…) whose daughter Sarah was up on the second floor with her head stuck in the staircase railing.

I think all of the Von Trapp kids were actually up on that overhang with Abby.  I was waiting for it to collapse like those fire escapes you always see on the news.

Melissa hates Christy with a Y for some reason.  I don’t know if she hates her more than she hated Kristie with a K last season, but definitely more than she hates Christi with an I on a bad day.

All I really know is that there’s probably a Pittsburgh cop specifically assigned to the Dance Moms detail by now, because Melissa threatened to call 911 if Christy with a Y didn’t yank her kid’s head out of the banister and get the hell outta her house after she did or said something that probably involved Maddie.

The next day, the video was in the can and the girls were back to rehearsing.  The Moms were in the MomPerch.  Melissa was squirting the biggest tube of lip balm onto her face that I’ve ever seen.  And my MomCrush was a vision in blue.

Bucket List:  Go to the Mall with Jill and see her in her natural habitat.  We could hang out in JCPenney while Holly’s gettin’ her hair did.

Downstairs, Abby was picking on Nia again.  So much so that she actually sent Nia upstairs to get her Mom, who was not in the mood at all.

Side note:  After months of in depth scientific research and studies, I’ve found a direct correlation between the curl in Holly’s hair and her level of sassiness.  It’s true.

And Mama set it on the big rollers today, if you know what I mean.

Snap.  And then another snap.  Any questions?

We also got to watch Maddie rehearse and see Abby cry.  Her Mom was slipping away, so she would not be going to the competition.  Which was sad, but also meant that Gianna could be large and in charge again this week.  She’s a tough cookie.

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Gia even wore lipstick in her headshot interview, so you know she meant business.

Finally, it was Showtime!  And hiking in the snow time.

Seriously.  How far away did they park?  Did you see them trekking down the sidewalk?

Backstage in the makeup room, it was the usual backstage in the makeup room drama.  Melissa had gotten a text earlier in the week that Studio Larkin would be at the competition, which was apparently a pretty big deal since everyone was already starting to unravel before any of the girls were even dressed.

Speaking of things escalating quickly.  Somehow everyone started bickering over New Team vs. Old Team and then Christi with an I got (bleeped) out for swearing about Maddie and Kalani being new BFF besties.

Turns out that Maddie (…allegedly…) had talked some smack right up in Chloe’s face and then everyone in the room pig piled onto the argument.

The password is:  Favoritism.

Dr. Beyoncé even compared Abby’s seemingly random weekly exclusion of various girls to the way the Jackson 5 used to always forget to put Tito on the tour bus.

Holly has a PhD in Motown, you know.  True story.

Eventually, they even got to some actual dancing.

The Larkin Ladies were in the row behind our Dance Moms.  One of them didn’t look up from her Samsung Galaxy for the entire competition, so I’m not really sure why she even made the trip.  Not rude at all, right?

There was also a judge that was either a boy or a girl.  Just felt that needed to be said.

Maddie’s solo was a Maddie solo.  It was Broadway, baby.

As opposed to Broadway Baby.  RIP.

Chloe nailed her solo, getting all Shooby Dooby Wop Wop all over the stage.  It was fun to watch, even though that Larkin Lady missed the whole thing.

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Right before the group routines, we got a glimpse of some unnamed dance troupe doing some kind of Wizard of Oz flashmob and it totally cracked me up.  I’ll be youtubing that bad boy later, don’t you worry.

The Studio Larkin team’s dance was great.  But it should be, since I’m pretty sure that all the girls were in their early 30s.  What the–?

They also all had the same color hair and looked like some Stepford Wives meets Radio City Rockettes mad scientist experiment.  At first I thought that maybe the actual Larkin girls were stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire and the Moms had to go on in their place, but I dunno…

And then the ALDC team did their thing.  Chloe looked like she had somehow gotten taller while she was backstage changing out of her solo costume and Maddie came up off the stage floor like Lance Bass did in that *NSYNC marionette video.

Google it, kids.  There really was life before Bieber.  Trust me.

If MackZ’s psychedelic bedroom hadn’t already made you bite your own tongue off, those flashing light towers at the back of the stage probably did the job.

Gah, I hate those things.

And then it was over.  And so was the ALDC’s winning streak.

Studio Larkin took the top spot.  Gia and the girls took Second Place.

But this week wasn’t about the trophies.  It was about paying tribute to an amazing lady.

Even Abby said it.

Nobody could believe she said it.  But she said it.  And it was true.

Next week probably won’t be pretty.  At all.

But today was different.

And even more important than a trophy.

Today was for Mom.

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