"Dance Moms: Candy Apple Showdown" Recap

Looks like those private lessons on facial expressions really stuck with Kendall.

Nothing thrills me more than a two-hour episode of "Dance Moms"—unless that means two hours of Cathy. This week’s "Candy Apple Showdown" had no shortage of the scheming leading lady, not to mention uncomfortably long catfights and confrontations. However, double the "Dance Moms" does mean double the dancing, and I couldn’t wait to see the routines we’d been teased with in last week’s pyramid. Here are my top three AWESOME and AWKWARD moments.

AWESOME: Cathy’s dream team. I hate to admit it, and I credit none of this to Cathy herself, but her group of “Apple Cores”—three incredible boys (including Zack from Abby’s Ultimate) and new girl Victoria—is a force to be reckoned with. I can already tell from rehearsal footage that their level of technique paired with Anthony Burrell’s choreography is going to be stunning.

AWKWARD: The Christi/Kristie showdown. These two share a bad attitude as well as a name. As soon as Kristie Ray was introduced to the moms, I knew this face-off was in the works…but I was hoping it wouldn’t be this awful. Colorful (to say the least) insults flew, making me eager for the scene to end. Unluckily for me, the two were at it again multiple times throughout the episode. The topic? Whether or not 7-year-old Asia Ray ever cried. Abby overhears them fighting and deems it wise to revive the argument in the dressing room in front of all of the girls. She mentions (in front of Chloe) that she hopes mom Christi gets slapped in the face. Nice.

AWESOME: The moms take Brooklyn! At a local bar, Kelly and Christi recap their subway experience, explaining their fear of being trapped forever beneath the city streets, forced to “eat bugs” to survive. A very skeptical Dr. Holly replies: “I do want to remind you that a subway is not in a rainforest or a jungle. It is in an urban environment.” Great to see the moms having fun together amidst all the drama (even if Jill is unsure if it’s NYC or L.A. that’s known as “the city that never sleeps”).

AWKWARD/AWESOME: Jalen and Vivi. I may not be a fan of Cathy, but Vivi-Anne seriously cracks me up. Last week, Cathy interrogated a reluctant Vivi about a possible budding romance with breaker Jalen. This week, we see the youngsters exchanging deep personal information, including (but not limited to) their favorite colors and video games. Things get a bit more serious as they share their sentiments regarding the drama between their parents in the studio—an awkwardness Vivi quickly counteracts by finding a quarter on the floor.

AWESOME: SOLOS! Asia's turn as a fierce and feisty robot (in a Buzz Lightyear-esque costume), Maddie’s flawless lyrical piece, Chloe’s elegant and sharp contemporary number, and Kendall’s sassy jazz dance were all on point this week. Asia and Maddie took first in their divisions, Chloe third (tied with Zack) and Kendall fourth.  All received hugs and congratulations from Abby—a reward that's probably harder to earn than a first-place trophy!

AWKWARD: Anthony and Cathy ripping poor Paige to shreds. Everyone knows that talking about another dancer at a competition is a huge mistake—not only are you poorly representing yourself and your studio, but you’re probably sitting only a row or two away from that dancer’s family, friends and teammates. The looks on Paige and Kelly’s faces were heartbreaking—but I must say I was incredibly impressed with Paige for having the courage to face the perpetrators. We love you, Paige!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Cathy didn’t beat me. One little girl who she stole, three little boys who she stole, and a guest choreographer beat me. That, I can handle.” -Abby

We’re left with a horrifying cliffhanger: Abby warns the moms that she’s looking for property in L.A., perhaps to relocate and open a new studio. After that, I had no choice but to sit through the first 15 minutes of "Preacher’s Daughters" in order to see the promised “exclusive sneak peek at the 'Dance Moms' summer premiere”—and it didn’t disappoint.

Be sure to tune in next week for more drama (and hopefully full dances!) in a mid-season reunion special, and mark your calendars for the return of new episodes on June 4th!

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