A new exciting day is dawning on “Dance Moms,” and it’s a special one, because the newest Sia/Maddie collaboration video has just been released. The video features a grimy Maddie and hot mess actor Shia Labeouf running around in a cage together. The video is dubbed “provocative art”, which is a high brow way of describing a pretty weird few minutes of viewing discomfort. Maddie plays a wolf who lives in a cage for a year with a grown man, and just in case you’re wondering…the video is open to any wildly creative interpretation one can come up with, while viewing that classic child, adult and a cage combination. As the women chat about Maddie’s new project, a social media post comes through from Cathy. She is posing with a group of Abby’s castoffs…GASP! Abby shares that one of the girls, Tessa, is a beautiful dancer, and that her mom is sassy and fun and actually a sort of friend. Another girl named Haley got caught signing Abby’s book for fans, so she was cut from an earlier audition. Abby labels her motive for an alliance with Cathy as revenge. It’s pyramid time, and Nia and Kendall are on the bottom with Maddie at home on the top. It’s announced that this week’s competition is all duets, in honor of Maddie‘s debut as a dancing wolf in a bad wig. Maddie and Kalani, Nia and Mackenzie, and Kendall and JoJo are paired up as duos, and the group dance is based on the board game, Clue. The group number will require acting, because the team is headed back to LA in a couple of weeks.
We travel to Ohio, where the new Candy Apples crew meets their guest choreographer, a ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ winner, Cheheon. Cathy is sick of getting beaten by the ALDC, and Haley’s mom chimes in that she’s out to get Abby, and is committed to win or die trying. The team is united in their hardcore goal to shun Abby, and as the moms all nod in total agreement, I forget for a moment that this is supposed to be reality television. Back at the ALDC, the group dance begins rehearsal, and the moms are curious about their competition, so they goad Jess into calling one of the Apple moms that she knows from Abby’s competition show. She calls and gets told off, as Jill proclaims that the Apples want to beat them so badly that they can’t see straight.
Maddie is giving a newspaper interview, and Melissa proudly tells us that she is becoming a media darling, and staying humble throughout the process. Maddie does indeed seem to handle the attention well. The Candy Apples group number is coming together, and due to the fact that she has Abby’s castoffs, Cathy thinks she has this one nailed. She pep talks the group, urging them to dance with mentally deranged revenge as their motive. Right on cue, TMZ calls to record a comment from Cathy regarding Maddie’s involvement in the Sia video. Cathy replies that it almost made her puke in discomfort. Cathy believes that Maddie has been riding the wave of success too long, and needs a hard shove off. Holly wants Nia to score a piece of the music video action, so she enlists the help of Aubrey O’Day, the woman who helped her out in LA.
Holly yanks Nia from class for a crucial career building phone call, and Melissa whines that Nia bailed out of the group rehearsal for a lame reason. Jess immediately rats out Melissa, with a smirk on her face, and Melissa is busted for being a big backstage hypocrite because she is always putting fame above everyday dance class. Melissa reads that Cathy interviewed with TMZ, and we learn that Sia herself put out an apology to anyone who found the video offensive. Melissa is shocked that such a thing could occur, and has chosen to ignore all things negative.Jill advises that fame comes with criticism, and that Melissa and Abby need to quit sheltering Maddie from the normal downside of being a famous wolf girl.Melissa responds with a passionate “whatever!”
The duets continue to come along, and just as the group rehearsal begins, Entertainment Tonight barges in to interview Maddie, and all activity halts. Holly jumps on the chance to nail Melissa, who admits that she is busted. The competition weekend has arrived, and Cathy and her Apple Moms arrive and snoop around the ALDC dressing room, bantering grossly about spitting on their food. They pop out from behind a curtain when Abby’s gang shows up, and the bitch-fest begins. Abby points out that the Apple dancers are desperate to jump ship to the ALDC, which is more than obvious. Tessa’s mom goes off the deep end, and proclaims a TV dance competition as a personal war, making it clear why she and Abby once shared a friendship. The Candy Apples are labeled an army sent to conquer the ALDC, and the jabber is beyond crazy. The duets are all pep talked, and as they gather in their bikini type getups, everyone is excited. JoJo and Kendall go first, and it’s fine, other than their super skimpy costumes bug me.
Nia and Mackenzie do a nice job, and it’s nice to see Nia do well for a change. Maddie and Kalani’s duet is predictably beautiful. The group dance performs, and it’s a cool number, although I didn’t quite get the whole ‘Clue’ theme. Cathy rams the point down our throats that her group is hungry to take Abby’s girls down one last time. The dance is ok, but as usual the theme and styling fall short. Choosing themes and styling are Abby’s strengths, so it appears to be a no contest to me, although Abby likes the choreography…or maybe she is just kissing up to Cheheon. The duets sweep the three top spots, with Maddie and Kalani winning first. Cathy’s group number wins third, and Abby’s wins first, predictably. Cathy is spitting nails, calls foul, and spills a few mascara tears. She dumps on Kendall and the ‘Clue’ group number, while dabbing away the tears of a big loser. The moms emotionally promise a win one fine day, and Cathy announces that they are going to switch direction from flawless, to super duper flawless. One more week, and then it’s back to LA…something tells me it will be with very different results!