Brooke's dying. Nick's in love with her. And Brooke's daughter, Maddie, is wearing a wedding dress. That makes perfect sense, right?
Pyramid time! Maddie’s on top, the Hylands are on the bottom and Chloe is still on probation. No surprises there. Onto the most AWKWARD and AWESOME moments from this week’s show:
AWKWARD Abby goes speed dating. The moms decide Abby needs love, and surprisingly, Abby seems OK with this whole surprise attack. Abby says she wants a young George Clooney who speaks five languages and has great turnout, so at least her expectations are realistic. On her dates, Abby says several very inappropriate things to the gentlemen, and we never find out if she has a love match. Very disappointing.
AWESOME The group dance includes a boy! I love a little romance on this show (when Abby isn’t involved). The boy is Nick. The girls are excited to see him, Brooke blushes, he says he wants Brooke to be the female lead, and I can’t handle the cuteness. It reminds me of the uncomfortable date Abby forced Brooke to go on last season. But then we kind of drop that plot line, but now I'm hoping those two get married one day.
AWKWARD Speaking of plot lines, the group dance has the most confusing one on the planet: So Nick’s character is secretly in love with Brooke’s character who’s dying. She asks him to take care of her daughter, played by Maddie. Plus, everyone else wishes Nick’s character were their man. Why must this be so complex? In the end, the dance is very pretty, but I see none of the complicated plot Abby described.
Angry girlfriend? Not so much. Cutest thing ever? Absolutely.
AWESOME Mackenzie’s solo! “Love is War” has a detailed story, too (about a couple who fights), but it bothers me less this time because little Mac is just so darn cute. She doesn’t look like an angry girlfriend, but she does include all my favorite Mackenzie staples: a shimmy, a kissy face and stellar gymnastics. I think she’s nailed the platinum, but then she’s awarded second place. Robbed.
AWKWARD Assigning these kids duets is practically asking for drama. Kendall and Nia’s number, “Dig It,” should be cute and fun. Instead, Mom Jill ticks everyone off by scheduling privates for Kendall behind Nia’s back. And Nia has bronchitis or something, so Maddie secretly learns the routine, which is never a good idea. In the end, Kendall and Nia make it to the stage and the performance looks great, but they only get fifth place. Bummer.
AWESOME Maddie’s solo. Normally I don’t like to include Maddie on the awesome list, because she’s always awesome, and her awesomeness doesn’t surprise me anymore. But I feel sad for her that she got second (which might as well be last place as far as Abby’s concerned). So Maddie, you were awesome. And, let’s face it: Regardless of your standing as “the first loser,” you’ll probably be on top of the pyramid next week anyway.
Speaking of next week…Brace yourselves, because the episodes are about to get twice as long. That’s right, two-hour episodes are coming up. Which means double the awkwardness and, hopefully, double the awesomeness.
Until then, let me know what you thought of this week’s episode in the comments below.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.