dance moms season 2 episode 1 “everyone’s replaceable”

LAST SEASON Abby produces stars. Well, at least one star. The moms are proud. Abby is mean. There is a lot of yelling. Everyone is replaceable. Cathy is nuts. Melissa is a sociopath. Abby predicts that every girl will win a crown this year. Hopefully, she has rigged the judging.

FIRST DANCE MEETING Melissa interviews that she is going to start the competition season without any negative thoughts, which, interestingly enough, is just how Newt Gingrich started his campaign season. I bet he’s Melissa’s role model.

At the meeting, Abby gets all angry with Holly for being employed and not making every meeting. Abby even calls her out in front of all the moms and children, which, if I had never seen the show before, I would say, “What does that accomplish, Abby?” and “Why does she always need to be there, Abby?” But now I know it’s just par for the course. Abby’s like Stalin. With a deeper voice.

After Holly has been sufficiently vilified in front of her child, Abby starts telling the girls that they are going to be TARGETED because of their recent successes, which include a national title and various parts in a D-list music video. Now everyone just wants to see them fail! Abby should have been a child psychologist. Or a motivational speaker.

Then Abby starts talking about how Cathy is a total basket case bad team player, so Cathy and Vivi-Anne are no longer around, except they really aren’t around anymore because Cathy was clearly just some Laguna Beach-style plant, whose only role was to stir up trouble, and not to actually have her daughter dance for Abby’s studio. She’s like the Kristen Cavallari of Dance Moms. Whatever, I’m sure Cathy will be back with her bus phobias and acute lack of self-awareness soon enough. At least I hope so.

After bashing Cathy, Abby announces that she will be holding an open audition to find a new dancer for her company. Kelly is concerned that her kids will be replaced. Abby reminds everyone that “Everyone’s replaceable.” What a reassurance.

And the infamous Pyramid of Maddie’s Awesomeness and Everyone Else’s Shame returns! Mackenzie is on the bottom for eating chips and being seven years old, while Brooke and Paige are on the bottom because Abby doesn’t like their mom. Nia is on the next level, even though Abby reminds Nia that Nia’s mother doesn’t care about her. Chloe is next to Nia because she isn’t Maddie. Maddie is on the top because Maddie is always on the top she won a national title.

Abby then reveals to them that this week, they will be heading to Greensboro, North Carolina for a competition. And as a reward for their top spots on the Pyramid, Maddie, Chloe, and Nia get solos for the week. There will also be a group jazz number called “Sassy Dolls,” on which the girls have their usual five days to work.

In the Momservatory, the moms discuss the Pyramid, although their kids are pretty much always in the same places, also known as the places below Maddie. The moms also discuss the open auditions and pray that the new mom won’t be like Cathy. I hope it IS Cathy.

MEANWHILE…AT ENEMY HEADQUARTERS Hallelujah! Because Jesus loves me more than the dance moms, we cut to Cathy’s studio, Candy Apple’s Dance Center, the interior of which is apparently adorned with fake, partially-eaten apples. Because people in Ohio are into that, I guess. At Candy Apple’s mother-daughter meeting, Cathy makes it clear that she still has her fake weird obsession with Abby’s studio and has decided to create a Pyramid of her own. Cathy’s pyramid is not much of a pyramid at all. It only has two levels, with like five people on the bottom and one on top. It’s like the food pyramid with only the grains and fats sections, which actually sounds pretty awesome. But regardless of its questionable layout, Cathy’s Structure of Vengeance is presented on a flatscreen. So take that, Abby Lee Miller!

BACK IN PITTSBURGH Melissa shows fake concern that Holly will not be at the competition that weekend, even though Melissa ditched her children at Nationals last year to hang out with her mysterious boyfriend in Florida.

Holly arrives to the studio, and after learning that Abby is being cruel to Nia because of Holly’s work schedule, Holly wants to discuss the issue with Abby. But because a rational discussion with Abby is next to impossible, Abby ends up yelling about how her father took her to a mother-daughter talk about menstruation, so there’s no excuse for Holly not to be at every competition. Or something. No one seems pleased to be reminded of Abby’s menstruation.

THE DAY WHEN EVERYONE’S REPLACED…EXCEPT NOT REALLY When Abby opens the studio for auditions, there is quite a long line outside. Some of the people are dancers at Abby Lee, including a girl named Peyton, who has been dancing at Abby’s for four years. Peyton is one of the final four dancers left, but ultimately doesn’t make the cut. Up in the Momservatory, Kelly tries to be comforting to Peyton’s mom by saying that it was only Peyton’s height that eliminated her, not her lack of talent. In response, Peyton’s mom whines, “Well, then put her on it some other way!” What way would that be? As a prop? As a costume? I bet Kelly would really be pissed about her kids’ costumes if one of them had to wear a too-tall dancer for one of their routines.

The girl who makes it is named Kendall, and her mom’s name is Jill. Kendall is eight years old, and she is not one of Abby’s current students. Abby puts her on probation for the first several weeks. Abby is so welcoming.

After the audition is over, Peyton’s mom is waiting for Abby and lays into her for not picking Peyton. The mom keeps shouting about how Abby needs to find a spot for Peyton. Abby says that same thing that Kelly did about Peyton’s height, and also says that Peyton looks too old. Luckily, unlike pretty much every other scenario on the show, Peyton is not in the room at the time, although she has probably seen it by now. Bummer, kid.

REHEARSAL Abby thinks that Chloe’s recognition has gone to her head, but then Abby says that she doesn’t think that Chloe knows that all eyes are on her, which is completely contradictory. Also, Chloe’s lack of confidence in herself was her main problem last season, so a bit of an ego boost would likely be welcomed. Abby, you need to start making sense.

Up in the Momservatory, where Christi is wearing a shirt that looks like part of a slutty skeleton costume, the moms are discussing Jill’s dance mom reputation. Melissa, once again, proves that she just likes to stir the pot and then step away, as she tells Christi and Kelly that Jill has caused a lot of problems at her daughter’s former dance studios. But then she tells that camera that Christi and Kelly are the judgmental ones, and that she is willing to give Jill a chance. Ugh. No wonder you and Abby get along so well.

Jill walks in just as they are talking about her, although it doesn’t seem like she noticed. Christi interviews that Jill sounds like a phone sex operator. Jill and Abby start a business together. Jill could be super nice to her callers, and Abby could berate hers. Something for everyone.

Jill says privately that she does not get a good, welcoming vibe from Christi. Christi says that either Melissa and Jill will be BFFs, or they will be “like beta fish and kill each other.” I’m hoping for the latter.

Abby gets mad at Brooke for the writing on Brooke’s hand, and Abby calls it “tacky.” Last time I checked, writing on your hand was pretty fucking cool in junior high, like almost as cool as sweatpants and UGG boots. And those bracelets that say, ‘I ♥ BOOBIES’ on them.

COMPETITION DAY Costumes aren’t rhinestoned! Props aren’t finished! Working mothers are absent! Snow is falling!

Much to Kelly and Christi’s chagrin, Jill and Kendall give Abby a present while the team is on the bus to North Carolina. Jill says that she wants to show the other moms that she is serious. About gift giving, I guess. Abby opens the box to reveal a bottle of Chanel No. 5. Weak.

Christi says that she would give Abby a Weight Watchers trial membership. Which is pretty hilarious. I love that Christi is such a bitch. She’s totally my favorite.

SOLOS Abby loves everything about Maddie’s performance, although she would probably hate it if Chloe, Paige, or Brooke did it. Nia does quite well with her solo, and Abby is pleased with it. Abby tries to psyche Chloe out before Chloe goes on, and then afterwards has issues with Chloe’s performance. Chloe reveals that Abby haunts her life. Even when she’s at the mall.

Everyone has been anxiously awaiting Kendall’s performance, especially the other dance moms. Because they want to judge her. Kelly is like, “Puh-lease” when she sees Kendall perform. Abby says that Kendall’s face was too revealing of her nervousness. Maybe her face is just like that.

At the solo awards ceremony, Nia gets fourth place. Chloe gets first, which is good because she said that she “didn’t want to disappoint her fans.” I’m sure someone made her say that. Maddie also got first, so I guess that they aren’t in the same category, at least not in that competition. Because Kendall didn’t place with her solo, she is still on probation. Crying in front of the team afterwards probably didn’t help either since the only emotion Abby is comfortable with is her own anger.

GROUP NUMBER Judging by their costumes this week, Abby really seems to have a thing for shrugs. It seems like these kids are always wearing tube tops/bras and shrugs. After the number is finished, Abby says that they looked great, but did not dance all that well.

Regardless of Abby’s feelings toward the performance, the group ends up winning, although that’s still not enough for Abby. Luckily, she has the self-awareness to admit that nothing ever will be.

After Abby storms into the dressing room in her usual fit of rage and reams Brooke for being sloppy, Abby and Kelly get into an argument about Discover cards and whores. Melissa and Jill go outside the dressing room, supposedly to avoid the conflict, and Melissa shows once again that she is a total bitch, telling Jill not to ever trust Christ and Kelly and simultaneously playing the victim. So predictable. I wish she would go on a season-long vacation.

In a supposed effort to ward off verbal attacks, Melissa and Jill make a friendship pact, and then go shopping together for a new present for Abby.

I’m still optimistic about the beta fish scenario.

THIS SEASON Abby Lee goes against Candy Apple’s studio in Ohio. Lots of people are yelling. Numbers are being pulled. Something is set on fire. There are tears and bleeps. Abby says she’s taking the gloves off. I hope it’s like in The Witches movie, where she has yucky creature hands underneath.

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