There are a lot of kids on that stage—but it works.
This week, something major was missing at the ALDC—the “AL,” to be exact. Abby Lee’s absence meant no pyramid, no assignments and a whole lot of confusion. The girls and moms found both pros and cons of living life without Abby. Here are my top AWKWARD and AWESOME moments from this week.
AWKWARD: Although the moms had some reasons to celebrate in Abby’s absence, it became very apparent that her presence is necessary at the studio. With Gianna so stressed that she was driven to tears, the moms felt helpless as they tried relentlessly to get ahold of their fearless leader. This meant constant phone calls and text messages, and when Abby didrespond, her demeanor was less than favorable. Not to mention, all of these calls were on speakerphone and texts were read aloud, which created an unnecessary amount of tension.
AWESOME: While we did see Gianna in one minuscule moment of weakness, something needs to be said about her starring role in this episode. Can we just take a minute to think about the fact that she has been choreographing the girls’ routines since episode 1, and she’s only now getting interview time? She went above and beyond this week, taking charge of a team that truly needed leadership, keeping them motivated and creating amazing pieces. With partner-in-crime James, another top teacher at the ALDC, she choreographed all 4 numbers without so much as a phone call from Abby. It’s clear that she’s dedicated to the girls, and the girls admire and adore her. If Lifetime wants to give Gia her own spinoff show, I’ll be watching!
AWKWARD: When Melissa called to deliver the news of the winning group dance, Abby announced that she’d only be back when the Hylands were gone—on speakerphone, of course. We’ve seen Abby’s close relationship with Brooke in previous seasons, and seeing how these remarks affected her was seriously heartbreaking. Watching Brooke dissolve into tears while Kelly and Melissa reassured her that Abby loved her was really the worst. Kelly mentioned that the relationship her daughters have with Abby wouldn’t be the same after this week—let’s hope that isn't true.
AWESOME: It may have been horrible to see Brooke so sad, but she certainly channeled that emotion into her performance. It seemed unlike Brooke to ask for a solo initially, but her insistence on this opportunity to dance and prove her commitment to the team was amazing. After allegedly learning her dance in a mere 15 minutes, she performed beautifully and earned 4th place—without a costume! What’s more, Brooke’s solo music was her own single, now available on her album on iTunes!
AWKWARD: Brooke and Paige are officially back, but what does this mean for Leslie and Payton? With Leslie furious that Brooke was doing a solo and Payton wasn’t, fighting ensued in the observation mezzanine and continued throughout the weekend. With colorful insults being thrown constantly, Leslie seemed incredibly nervous that her time with the team could be coming to a close. But with a group dance of nine that took first place, there could be a chance that every team member will stay!
AWESOME: We know that Abby isn’t too thrilled about the girls’ promotional work with their fans, but what the Ziegler girls were a part of this week is nothing to criticize. To support The Starlight Foundation, Melissa helped a little girl, Hannah, achieve her dream of meeting Maddie and watching her perform. Serving as inspirations for one another, Maddie and Hannah spent time together throughout the episode, concluding with Maddie dedicating her (flawless) solo to her as well as the gift of her (gigantic) first place trophy. It was so great to see what an amazing impact the girls can have on their fans, especially for such a great cause.
And now, the QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“I walk in the studio and Gia’s at the front desk, and I just assumed Abby’s at a headband sale somewhere.” —Mom Christi
Next week, the Candy Apples will be back for their revenge—but will Abby be there to lead her team? What do you think?
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
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