As Abby Lee Miller and her ALDC prepare for Nationals on Dance Moms season 7, she has come up with some unique ideas for the themes her girls will touch upon in each of their dances. While some of these have helped the team score big wins, others have fallen completely flat.
In this episode, titled “The Fresno Curse,” Abby may go too far with her new inspiration for the group dance. Will this controversial topic help the girls pull out another win or will it just offend all of those who watch it?
The ALDC regroups after winning first prize for their group routine at the recent competition. Based off of the results and prizes given out then, Abby reveals that the pyramid, from top to bottom, is Camryn, Maesi, Brynn, Lilliana, Kendall, Elliana, Kalani and Nia.
For the upcoming competition, Abby and the girls will be traveling to Fresno, California, for Sheer Talent. The team is immediately nervous at the location of the competition because they can never seem to pull out a victory while competing there. Abby needs this time to finally be different.
Abby has chosen three duets for the competition. Brynn and Camryn will be dancing in a sassy jazz number, titled “Snap That.” Kendall and Kalani will be performing “Tango Para Tres.” The final duet is Elliana and Maesi, whose mothers — Yolanda and Jamie — have been bitter enemies since the moment Maesi and Jamie joined the team. Will this duet, titled “The Invaders,” bring an end to their feud or will it just make matters even worse?
A Sensitive Subject
The team may be excited for the duets, but the group routine is a whole other story. Abby has the Junior Elites — Brynn, Kalani, Kendall, Maesi and Nia — performing “Good Help is Hard to Find.” This will be based off of the movie The Help, so the piece will focus on the slavery and segregation of the Deep South.
Holly knows that both Nia and Camryn, who are the only two African American dancers on the team, will be typecast in the role of the maids. She quickly speaks up and expresses her fears that Abby will make a mockery of an issue that is still so hurtful to an entire race of people to this day. Abby tells her to just trust in her process, which does nothing to reassure her whatsoever.
Abby then brings in a surprise guest to join the girls in the group routine. Daviana, who was cut from the team recently, will be the sixth dancer in the number. Abby wants to see if she made the right decision by cutting Daviana or if Camryn should’ve been the one sent home instead.
As Holly and Camille continue to explain why the group routine is in bad taste, Jill does a fantastic job of expressing her true ignorance. She thinks Abby casting Kendall, Kalani, Brynn and Maesi in the role of the rich, white socialites is just as bad as Nia and Camryn being cast as the maids. “No one likes to be typecast as the snobby socialite,” Jill explains.
Jill and the other white moms then doubt if racism and segregation are truly still issues in our society today. Hollyand Camille quickly put them in their place and explain just how much their lives are still affected by the color of their skin. Holly may have been hesitant for the group to take on a dance with this message, but she is happy to have this discussion with her friends of an opposite race because it is one that needs to be had.
Abby then shifts her attention to the duets. The first is Elliana and Maesi’s. Both of these young girls are talented dancers, but Abby thinks their mothers’ dramatic ways are standing in the way of any success they could have on the team. This is something that Abby won’t be able to put up with for much longer. “Something’s gotta give if they wanna stay on the team,” Abby says.
Of course, this duet brings out another fight between Yolanda and Jamie. Yolanda criticizes Jamie for allowing Maesi to dance in this routine because she thinks she should have let Lilliana do it instead since she is the only girl not dancing in the competition. The other moms know that Yolanda is just feeling threatened because if Maesi does better in the duet than Elliana, it could be Elliana and Yolanda’s final week on the team.
Next up is Brynn and Camryn’s duet. Abby needs Brynn to show that she can be a stronger dancer and do more than just a pretty, lyrical number. Camryn, on the other hand, needs a win under her belt. If she cannot do this, Daviana may end up taking her spot on the final team.
Kendall and Kalani have a huge task ahead of them by competing against Brynn and Camryn’s duet. Since Kendall, Kalani and Brynn are all undefeated this season, their moms think that whichever duet comes out on top could solidify which of the Junior Elites will truly become the new face of the ALDC. With the success that all three of them have had so far this season, it is anyone’s game.
Like all of their competitions in Fresno, this one is full of problems. While the team gets ready to compete, Yolanda yet again states that she would rather have had her daughter do the duet with Lilliana than Maesi because she doesn’t want to be associated with a backstabber like Jamie. To back up her claim, Yolanda reveals that Jamie recently laughed about Abby being incarcerated.
Yolanda’s claim shocks the group, but it obviously hits Abby the hardest. Without saying a word, Abby storms out of the dressing room. She then takes a program and crosses out Elliana and Maesi’s duet from it, meaning their number is officially cut. She knows this is about to create a ton of drama for the team. “I guarantee you, the moms are in for a rude awakening,” she says.
Jamie runs to Abby to see if Maesi and Elliana’s duet is truly cut. All Abby does is hold up a pair of scissors to get her to stay away and even tells her to “back off, bitch.” Jamie is floored that Abby would call her a bitch in front of Maesi, but Abby thinks she was doing her a favor. “She needs to know what she’s living with,” Abby responds.
The moms then slam Yolanda for even bringing this subject up. They know she wanted to try and sabotage both Jamie and Maesi, but she actually ruined it for Elliana as well. The Junior Elite moms may be beyond fed-up with Yolanda’s antics, but they have to put that to the side and focus on seeing which one of their girls will come out on top in this competition.
The first number up is Kalani and Kendall’s “Tango Para Tres.” The whole point of this routine is that the girls are supposed to look like they are fighting over a mysterious man, which would actually make it a trio. This certainly isn’t clear to the audience, making the dance seem a bit odd. Also, Kalani’s moves are much stronger and sharper, so Kendall is completely overshadowed.
Brynn and Camryn then take the stage with “Snap That.” This number is the stronger duet by far. Both of the girls are fierce and serve plenty of attitude. Brynn has finally proven that she is much more than a lyrical dancer, and Camryn will hopefully be able to have earned a first place award on the team.
The final routine to go on is the group piece. Despite all of the fears surrounding the message of the dance, the girls deliver a strong number, which is full of emotions. This one is sure to move just about every member of that audience. Will the judges be impressed by the power of this number?
The first awards to be given out are for the duets. The battle is on between Kendall and Kalani’s versus Brynn and Camryn’s. Despite being originally confident in their ability to win, Kendall and Kalani only take second. Brynn and Camryn, on the other hand, emerge victorious, and their mothers could not be more happy.
The good times keep on rolling because the group routine also wins first. Clearly, the Fresno Curse has finally ended for the ALDC.
After their huge win, the team is hopeful that Daviana will be able to stick around. However, Abby isn’t ready to let her back in yet, so she says she will not have her return for the next competition. The moms are beyond nervous that their team for Nationals is still not solidified. They need Abby to ditch the dramatic new moms and finally focus on the girls who can actually bring home a win for the team. But with Abby being more unpredictable than ever, the moms are in for a long journey to Nationals.
What did you think of the episode? Was Abby wrong to choose the group routine that she did? What did you think of the performances? Are you tired of Yolanda or are you loving her drama? Which duet was the strongest? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments section and in the poll below.
Dance Moms season 7 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Lifetime.
(Image courtesy of Lifetime)