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Previously on Dance Moms: Shrill and Kendall defect to the Candy Apples; Jabby screams at the girls to go home and cry into their pillows and Cathy is nuts.
The girls line up in the studio for their weekly berating, but Jabby only has nice things to say for once. She congratulates them on an “outstanding” job at Fire and Ice last weekend and then goes straight to the pyramid.
Paige is last because of her arms. (Yeah, I dunno, either.) Then Brooke, because she never smiles. Jabby wants to give her a solo, but she’s so damn miserable all the time. Aw, she’s 13, give ‘er a break. She has the weight of the world on her shoulders. Next is Mackenzie because she needs to bring her dancing up to the same level Maddie was at when she was 7. Mackenzie says she’s on the bottom because she didn’t have a solo or anything and she assures us that she’s not feeling bad about it. I love Mackenzie’s sangfroid.
With no Kendall, we only have a six-person pyramid, so we move to the second row where we find Chloe. Jabby says she always wants more from Chloe, that she needs to work harder and that it’s not always going to be so easy for her. I will reserve comment on that. Next is Nia. Jabby asks her how she thinks she did in her solo and Nia says pretty well. Holly interviews that she was excited to see Nia on stage and maybe from now on she will have parts that don’t reduce her to her ethnicity. Jabby says that Nia is a good performer but she also needs to keep working to get better.
Finally – everyone come in off the ledge – Maddie is back on top of the pyramid. Jabby calls her a “born leader” who “eats, sleeps and breathes dance.”
This weekend, the girls are going BACK to Fire and Ice, but this is Fire and Ice “elite,” where only the best of the best are invited to compete. Chloe and Maddie will be doing solos and for the group dance, they will all be showgirls. Oh, but not just showgirls. NUDE showgirls.
The moms, naturally, are not excited. Christi interviews that “No one wants to hear the word ‘nude’ associated with their 10-year-old.” Kelly says Jabby’s out of her mind because no dance in the world should feature naked little girls. Okay, they won’t REALLY be nude. They’ll be wearing flesh-colored bras with rhinestones and will have giant feathered fans to cover them up. That’s sooo much better.
Jabby interviews that the moms ALWAYS have issues with the costumes, but the girls are her girls and she wants them to always be “classy, well-respected and elegant” on stage. So she is training them for employment at the Scores and Hustler Clubs of the world rather than the Jiggles or Bottoms Ups.
Up in the booth, Holly says she understands that Jabby wants to push boundaries, but naked 9- and 10-year-olds is taking it too far. Christi adds, “And people wonder why we drink.” Since when do you need a reason?
Now we have a flashback to last week in the bridal store, where apparently Holly and Kelly both tried on wedding gowns. Melissa says Holly looked beautiful and she should have a ceremony to renew her vows. Holly says she was nervous about trying on the gown but felt like she should take a risk. The moms laugh at her for being so reckless.
Melissa announces that she has to “pee like a racehorse” and conveniently leaves so the moms can discuss her secret engagement. Christi says it’s “interesting” that Melissa told Holly to renew her “vowels” when everyone can see she’s wearing an engagement ring. Holly interviews that Melissa hasn’t told them why she’s wearing the ring, while Christi says Melissa must think they are all really stupid. This whole thing is really stupid. Are we really supposed to believe that somehow Chloe knows the story behind the engagement (see last week) but that Melissa didn’t tell Christi? And that Melissa told the viewing audience on camera, but didn’t tell the people she sees every day? Okay, show, if you say so.
Anyway, the moms speculate about whether they will be invited to the wedding and Holly says if not, they can crash it.
Oh lord. We travel to Cathy’s house in Ohio. We meet Cathy’s husband Mike, who wants to do a commercial for his BEEF JERKY store. Cathy says this is a great idea because she wants Mike to be the “Sausage King of Canton.”
Cathy goes on to say that it would be super fun to put Vivi in the commercial, perhaps in a cowboy outfit. Poor Vivi is innocently eating cereal and counting the days until she turns 18. Cathy continues that such a commercial would put Mike “head and shoulders above the jerky that’s sold at the gas station.” I wish I could say that I’ve never bought beef jerky from a gas station, or for that matter, never eaten spaghettios straight out of the can, but I can’t. Don’t judge me, we were all college freshmen once.
ANYHOO, Cathy believes that people will come for the beef jerky and stay to enroll their kids at Candy Apples. That sounds like an awesome business plan. The dried meat-performing arts market is woefully underserved. Mike, who seems as thrilled to be a part of the Crazy Apples universe as Vivi, monotones that he hopes maybe Candy Apples will help pay for the commercial. Apparently, the Sausage King needs a Sugar Mama.
Back at Jabby’s Pre-teen Porn Palace, she is teaching the girls the proper way to cover their “naked” bodies with giant pink-feathered fans. She says they must learn proper technique because someday “one of them is going to be a showgirl.” Is that really something to aspire to, or I have I seen too many Joe Esterhas movies?
Jabby demonstrates with the feathers, posing like the world’s most terrifying showgirl and saying “you want me, you can’t afford me.” She tells them, “Remember it’s crotch, boobs.” TO 10-YEAR-OLDS!!!
Upstairs, Christi says Jabby is living out her dream to be a showgirl vicariously through their kids. Yes, and you are letting her. Not only that, you are paying her. One of the moms asks if they can imagine Jabby as a topless showgirl and Holly screams “my eyes!” The moms talk about how uncomfortable their daughters feel about going on stage pretending to be naked, but I guess that’s not enough of an incentive to ask Jabby to change it.
Back in Ohio, we see that Tommy’s Jerky is attached to Candy Apples! Now that is a full-service dance studio. Mike brings Cathy lunch at the front desk and says he got bids to make the commercial and they are from $100-200K. Cathy demonstrates that Can-do Apple Spirit and says she will make the commercial! All Mike has to do is “kick back in his chair with a couple of sausages around his neck.” Cathy assures him that she’s got it under control and to “go sell some sausages!” Oh my goodness. Mike must have been Pol Pot in a former life.
In PA, the girls get their “costumes” to try on.
It consists of a tiny flesh-colored bra top and white satin booty shorts. Mackenzie holds up the top and says “I could fit this on my American Girl doll.” Ha ha. Of COURSE Mackenzie has an American Girl doll. Since Shrill is gone, Melissa reverts to her old role of Jabby suck-up and says she never questions Jabby’s costume choices because Jabby always knows what she’s doing.
The other moms complain some more about how inappropriate the costumes are, but still don’t do anything about them. Nia interviews that she loves the costume, because it makes her feel beautiful. Jabby says if she could wear it, she’d be wearing it at the mall. (I’ll stop for a moment to let you do whatever you need to do to erase that image from your head.) She says the moms are being ridic, everyone will know the girls aren’t ACTUALLY nude and people need to stop questioning her.
Cathy makes a mysterious phone call looking for someone to “star” in the beef jerky commercial and it turns out she is calling Christi. Cathy figures that Chloe has all that video experience from the Lux shoot, so Chloe would be perfect. Christi says she has to talk to Chloe about it, but Cathy’s like “we don’t have time for that.” Because the earth will spin off its axis if that beef jerky commercial doesn’t get made STAT.
Christi agrees to let Chloe do it and interviews that she is giving Cathy the benefit of the doubt even though she physically assaulted her the last time they were together.
At Jabby’s, Holly and Kelly discuss having an engagement party for Melissa. That’s a great idea. I’m sure she totally wants to celebrate her engagement with the people she hasn’t even told about it. Kelly asks about the perfect gift for someone who doesn’t want to get any attention. How about leaving her alone? Just a suggestion. Kelly says they should totally get a stripper. That’s totally a good idea. Holly agrees to corral the kids when the stripper shows up to protect from the stripper. So the girls can BE strippers, they just can’t WATCH them.
At the commercial shoot, the Candy Apples are dressed as cowgirls.
The director, who looks like he wishes he’d listened to his mom and gone to business school, is patient while Cathy harangues him about the shoot.
Christi and Chloe show up and Christi is having second thoughts. Cathy goes to get Chloe’s costume and Christi says “it’s not a bumblebee, is it?” Ha ha.
Oh god. The costume. It’s a take-off on Lady Gaga’s meat dress and it’s a… jerky dress.
Christi: “Oh. It has beef jerky all over it, Chloe.”
Cathy: “After you’re done, you can eat all the beef jerky on the costume.”
Christi interviews that the whole thing is horrifying and the only reason they’re not leaving is because she’s teaching Chloe about professionalism.
Meanwhile, Cathy directs the commercial, telling Mike to pay attention so he knows when to “come in to eat the jerky.” Free Mike!
Chloe interviews that a year ago she was in a professional video and now she’s in a disgusting dried up beef jerky suit. Stay in school, Chloe.
Cathy yells at Chloe to hurry up and come out of the dressing room because they’re on a tight schedule and she doesn’t want to have to deduct anything from Chloe’s pay. Christi interviews that Chloe is horrified and doesn’t want to be some little dancing “snausage.” Cathy calls on Chloe to come out and show her “fabulous jerky necklace.”
Competition day. Jabby shows up without a dog this week. Where is the dog? Why did it come last week? Will we ever see it again?
Jabby interviews that she loves being at an “elite” show, because it means there will be no sub-par Candy Apples there. Melissa says she’s also glad Cathy isn’t coming and Jabby jokes that she’s banned her from every competition.
Chloe is there with a laptop that just happens to have the jerky commercial and there are no words to describe it. Unfortunately I can’t find it online. If anyone can find it, PLEASE post it – I will love you forever. Kelly asks Christi if she thinks Cathy did it to humiliate Chloe (yes) and Jabby says “ABSOLUTELY!” Christi says she’s disgusted with Cathy, because the video just shows poor Chloe posing in a meat suit and not dancing at all.
Jabby says it was a sneaky move on Cathy’s part for soliciting one of her best dancers and humiliating her, but that Christi was stupid to fall for it. To Chloe, Jabby says the video is going to haunt her forever. Christi says it was a job and a learning experience. Jabby says she hopes that Christi learned and that if Chloe’s manager (?) had been there, she wouldn’t have been a “piece of meat,” she’d be the star. Christi: “She WAS the star.” Jabby says Christi should have to come to her about it first. She interviews that Christi needs one more excuse to for Chloe to get worked up and not give her best performance.
All this is going on right before Chloe has to go on to do her solo, The Raven. She’s like some kind of evil raven I guess, but she really gets into it and she is, as usual, great. (Sorry I can’t offer more dance analysis. In my next life I plan to come back as a dancer. In this one, I sprain my ankle walking to the bathroom.)
Christi says she loves to watch Chloe in dark numbers because it contrasts with her sweet personality. Jabby says she did very well “all things considered,” but she could have done better.
Time for Maddie’s solo. Again, I’m not feeling it. I mean, of course it’s technically good, but I am always distracted by her faces.
Chloe interviews that Maddie inspires her to be a better dancer and I think she is sincere. (Unlike when Maddie says similar things in interviews – of course, that could just be my pro-Chloe bias talking.) Jabby says that Maddie makes it look easy, so I guess we’re back to the “Maddie is the greatest dancer ever” narrative.
Stripper time! The girls go on for the group number and Christi says they look naked. Jabby says they’re completely covered and calls Christi a weirdo. Christi says she’s not a weirdo, she a mother and she’s protective (but apparently not protective enough to prevent her daughter from going on stage fake naked in the first place). Kelly says the costumes are not appropriate and she wonders if they will be disqualified. The judges are like “WTF??”
Jabby interviews that the costumes look “stunning” and the moms are going to have to keep their mouths shut from now on. Meanwhile, Melissa says that Mackenzie “owns” this dance because she is strutting across the stage. Which is great, I guess. Except she’s 7! Am I the only one who thinks this is weird? No. Holly interviews that it’s disturbing to hear the audience “hoot and holler” at her kid and she’s mortified.
Time for awards and Chloe the raven gets second place overall for junior solo. Maddie wins overall high score for everything for her solo and I say booooo. But of course, this is all fake anyway, so it doesn’t matter right? I’ve read in a couple of places that Fire and Ice won’t let them film real competitions, so I don’t know what the point of this is.
Anyway, Christi and Kelly run back to the dressing room to decorate for Melissa’s “bachelorette” party. Christi says she’s not a sneaky dance mom, but Melissa is, with her secret engagement and all. Whatever you say, Christi. Why are you so obsessed with Melissa’s secret engagement, anyway? (Actually, I probably would be too. I’m gossipy like that.)
The ladies open the champers and Christi squeals. I think she and Kelly are already drunk. They continue talking about Melissa and how it’s her third marriage and maybe the third time’s the charm. Gee, I can’t imagine why Melissa hasn’t opened up to them.
Back to group awards and our girls are completely dissed (in the Malibu). Jabby, surprisingly calm, interviews that sometimes it’s not about the win and that at least they are learning something new and different. So yeah, like I said, they probably were disqualified or something, otherwise she’d be screaming her head off at them for ruining her life and her future and her dog’s future, etc. But, as noted in the minicap comments, how DO you get disqualified from a fake competition? This show really gives me a headache sometimes.
Back to the partay… they bring Melissa in and she’s like, “I don’t know why you’re throwing me a party. I’m not getting married.” She’s also shocked that they got her a stripper because strippers are trashy. Party pooper! At least enjoy the free booze.
Jabby, on the other hand, is loving the stripper, although she notes that he’s not a good dancer. She gets all up on him and I’m sure he was on the phone to his dealer five seconds after he left that hotel room.
Next week: They are going to Miami (setting up for the spin-off?); Paige visits a doctor; Kendall has a big opportunity with the Candy Apples; Jabby yells at Holly and Holly storms off.
So, what did y’all think of this episode? The stripper costumes were ridiculous, but the moms should have insisted Jabby change them. Does Cathy’s husband Mike have a shred of self-esteem? Is anything on this show real? Does anyone else have a craving for beef jerky?
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!