Abbey's New Beginning. Season 6, episode 23

Dance Moms is back on our screens! Lets all throw on our tap shoes and dance for joy on our parents kitchen tiles and get told off for ruining the floors. (Please tell me I wasn't the only one?)

We should all take a moment of silence to recognise the loss of Maddie and Mackenzie from the episodes from now on....

...and then quickly get over it.

Let's be real, the first half of the season barely had Maddie dancing in the first place, Melissa spent the whole time avoiding all conversation with everyone and poor Mackenzie didn't have a clue what was going on, bless her.

I have high hopes for this half of season 6. So many people said...'I'm not watching if Maddie isn't in the show anymore', well step aside, because I'm fully up for some more Kendall K, Nia and JoJo action. Now that Maddie and her stardom have left, the sparkly cloud of success and fortune has been lifted. Now we are left with the kids fighting for dance comp trophies, the promise of 'making it' and the focus has shifted back to the more humble beginnings of the show we all fell in love with 5 seasons ago. 

I was bored of the Maddie train. Choo chooo, its left the station. Bye Felica.

Much to my surprise, the episode picked up right where we left off but thankfully, there were no pesky mini's in the way. Another HUGE surprise was that, Abbey was being nice.



Surely not.

A fresh hair-do and a smile goes a long way for Abbey Lee Miller, she was sweetness and light. I was really pleased to see that she was taking this change in her stride and opening up the floor for the rest of the team to step up and grasp an opportunity. Especially pleased for Nia; lets be real, we've all be rooting for the last OG on the team for seasons now and it seems Abbey has finally opened her eyes and seen how much she has grown.

So Kalani gets bottom of the pyramid for absolutely no reason at all and Brynn gets the top because she's spent the summer sucking up to Abbey in Europe. Seems legit. I would have liked to have see Abbey put all the girls on a level playing field and preached that anyone can get to the top, it just depends on how hard you work. Optimistic, I know.

Abbey brings the boys in and this didn't excite me at all. I really don't think they ever offer anything special to the competition numbers. Its just the age old trick at dance competitions; Boys = extra bonus points.

And lets be real, they needed the extra bonus points. I loved the New Orleans theme and the Jazz version of 'The Saints come marching in' but the dance felt juvenile.  What happened to the booty-poppin twerking a couple of episodes back?!

'Put your hands up in the air, put your hands UP, in the air',  YAAASSS JOJO. Amirite ladies?

This weeks group dance had hand claps in it? That's right, 4 hand claps around in a square. Let's throw it back to jazz class when you were 6 years old. Come on Abbey (or Gianna for that matter). Yes, the dance was musical theatre and it did fit the theme of the piece but I just thought the choreography was a little lazy and simple. They really could have put on a spectacle of talent to the upbeat music and utilised the boys for some swing style partner work. Instead, bringing the boys forward for a showcase of some mediocre break-dancing was a bit 'pants'. I'm looking forward to seeing some more sophisticated routines in the next few episodes. 

However, they end up getting 1st place because the audience went crazy for it. And again, lets be real, the audience went crazy for the girls, not the dance. Also, the fact that it was musical theatre at a tiny dance competition also helped in their favour. But I like the narrative, OF course they are capable of winning without Maddie. 

The duets were clearly just a producer ploy to get some action between Jill and Ashlee and I really wish Jill hadn't have fallen for the trap. It just all felt a little old and we've seen it all before. I have a soft spot for Jill and Kendall but I felt really let down by Jill this episode. Why did she bite when Ashlee mentioned her upset over social media comments? Ashlee wasn't being malicious and it seemed like she was just trying to make-a-mends. I agree with Jill, they do need to harden up. When you are granted a celebrity like status from a tv show, you must expect social media criticism, but not from your own team mates! Jill should have apologised and swept it quickly under the rug. Instead, she made herself look like an idiot. Clearly she is intimidated by Brynn and Ashlee, but that really wasn't the way to go about it. I do think it's Kendall's turn to step up and lead the team, I think the shoes are a little too big to fill for Byrnn just yet. Jill should be doing what she did with Maddie and Melissa - 'keep your friends close but your enemies closer', right?!

For the first time in my life, I felt sorry for Abbey when she looked in a state of forlorn at the arguments towards the end of the episode. Abbey had put on a good show of character (which doesnt look to last long by the previews), so I'm really not sure why Jill and Jessalynn had to take it to that level. It was frankly, tacky.

I feel no need to address the duets performance, they were both incredibly mediocre, with no acting skills displayed at all. (Wasn't that the point?) The boys weren't great partners and added nothing to the routines. The music for Brynn's routine seemed really disjointed and all the drama surrounding the dance seemed pathetic. My thoughts were reflected in the scores they received, 3rd and 4th. Again, I want to see something more sophisticated, especially for Kendall. She needs to be getting the emotive dances Maddie previously got and she needs to be pushed.

I always think, if these girls only win 3rd and 4th at these small dance comps, I bet those kids that beat them must think they are the shit!! (and rightly so)

I'll be reviewing every episode this season, so make sure to follow me for more Dance Mom reviews!

Beth x

(I've danced for 18 of my 23 years and competed in dance teams for years. I have seen every episode of the series, so I'd like to think I'm qualified to review.)

Published by Beth Hallett