Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dance Moms Finale Breakdown

Alright, here's the deal.  I've watched Dance Moms and taken notes and I have a lot to say.  If you don't watch it and aren't interested, you can probably go ahead and skip this post.  If you do watch it but haven't watched last night's episode, this will have some spoilers.  Having said that, let's jump right in.

First of all, let me say I did NOT realize that tonight's episode was the season finale.  Had I known, I would not have deleted it immediately after watching it.  Knowing that was my last dose of Dance Moms is a little bittersweet.  The sweet part of that being that it was an hour and half long episode, and it was full of drama.

For those that need a refresher, the big drama last week was that a representative from the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC was coming to a dance competition and Abby made sure to pound that into the girls heads that it was very important that they impress him, in hopes of being asked to come audition for the summer program at Joffrey.  Surprise, surprise, after their performance, the representative did come backstage and tell the girls they were invited to audition.  Shrieking ensued.  Cut to this week, where Abby is freaking out about going to NYC with the girls for the audition.  Meanwhile over at the Candy Apples studio, Kathy is talking about the "open audition" in Manhattan that she's taking all her girls to.  So all that drama of that last episode was totally pointless, right?  Because they didn't need to be invited, they could have just shown up.  NOT COOL, LIFETIME.  I want to believe the drama in the lives of these girls is REAL.  I don't appreciate the unnecessary theatrics.

The episode is just kind of typically cringe worthy for the first 15-20 minutes.  Abby's voice is annoying, she's trying to sound really self-important, and Kathy is super obnoxious and tries to make personal attacks on the Dance Moms while trying to make them look trashy.  Once auditions start, that's when the fun really begins.  They show Abby's girls going into perform in front of the judges one at a time.  The judges consist of two guys who looked like prissy Blake Sheltons and one 50 year old lady who was the most uptight ex-ballerina you've ever seen.
Brooke goes in to audition, and in her interview she says "judges may love tricks or they may hate tricks.  You never know."  Then they show her dancing for the judges.  And by dancing, I mean scooting around on her chin with her legs over her head like some sort of inverted spider.  The camera cut to the lady judge who looked MORTIFIED.  As soon as Brooke finishes dancing, the lady says "Well I don't like tricks."  Pretty sure she thought Brooke was a whore.

Next to audition is 7 year old Mackenzie.  In her defense, she's pretty much only utilized as the super cute little girl who's great at tumbling, so she had no prayer at getting a spot in a classical ballet academy.  The routine she performed for the judges involved her jumping around and then turning her back to the judges and shaking her butt like a contestant on Toddlers & Tiaras.  Look, I know less about dance than Lieutenant Dan, but there are two things I know: 1) Britney Spears' performance of Gimme More at the 2007 VMAs was probably the poorest display of dancing ability ever showcased by a mammal
and 2) When you're in NY auditioning for a respected ballet school, you shouldn't copy the moves from Ricky Martin's back up dancers in the "Shake Your Bon Bon video". It just isn't appropriate.  Once again, I'm pretty sure the lady judge thought Mackenzie was a whore.

 Here's one thing I loved about the uptight lady judge--one of the Candy Apples dancers was doing her solo audition, and the lady couldn't even bring herself to comment on the dancing.  All she could say was "Do you really think you need that much makeup in a ballet audition?!"  TOUCHE, UPTIGHT LADY.  This girl did look like she had fallen in a paint tray, so I'm kinda with the mean lady on this one.

This thought occurred to me as I was watching the girls go in for their solo auditions: TELL ME VIVI WILL TRY OUT FOR THIS LADY.  Honestly, I can't even imagine what the judges would begin to say about Vivi.  They were pretty brutal with all the girls, so I can't begin to imagine what they'd think about Vivi.  Keep in mind, Vivi's mind and heart aren't really in this thing.
"I'm just here because my mom said she would buy me tacos".  Let's let that sink in a bit, shall we?  Thankfully Kathy was actually objective enough to not put Vivi through that.  She waited in the hallway while her friends tried out.  For her sake, I'm hoping she had a lap full of tacos to snack on.

Next to audition is Maddie.  The judges make a comment about how she's more suited for Broadway, which I tend to agree with.  The girl can dance, but she also WAY overacts with her face when she dances.  I know she's just getting really into it and trying to connect with the judges, but when she smiles that hard when she's dancing, her overbite gets worse and she looks a little bit like Mr. Woodchuck.
No judgement--I had braces too and she's already got more athleticism and grace than I do, but I just think someone should teach her that the people in the back row DON'T need to see your top teeth when you're dancing.

During auditions, they keep cutting to the moms and Abby and Kathy waiting in the hallway, trying to sneakily catch a glimpse of how their girls are doing.  I found myself extremely distracted and entertained by Kathy's double C earrings.  Do they even sell Chanel in Ohio?  I used to live there, so I'm going to say no.  Also, if you want to convince people you're wearing Chanel earrings, they shouldn't be giant half-hoops with big rhinestones bedazzled on them.  Cheapens it a bit, no?

While the moms are in the hallway, at one point Kathy is standing over Christi's shoulder, yapping on about how classless Christi is.  All the while, Kathy has a giant slice of pizza folded in half and shoving it in her face.  She's literally talking with her mouth full and has grease on her face while she's accusing Christi of being trashy.  It's a pretty incredible moment.  If the words weren't coming out of her mouth at the exact same moment as partially digested pizza particles, I would have assumed it was the work of some incredible editors over at Lifetime.  To top it off, Kathy insults Christi by saying "I SEE THOSE BOBBY PINS IN YOUR HAIR!"  I have run through that "insult" with a million different scenarios in mind and I cannot figure out how that was supposed to be put Christi in her place.  I put a bobby pin in my hair everyday, Kathy.  Does that make me trailer trash??

During the group ballet audition, Kathy starts to make fun of one of Abby's dancers and basically says she sucks right to the girl's mom.  Here's the thing.  Obviously Kathy is slimy and she just says stuff to get a rise out of people, but how do you make fun of a 14 year old?  TO HER MOTHER?!  That takes serious balls.  The mom just kind of rolled her eyes, which is much less of a reaction that I would've had.  I just...I know you should never sink to anyone else's level, but I really don't get how these moms refrain themselves from just losing it one time on Kathy and going for the low blow.  Make fun of Vivi!  She's awkward and she can't dance!!  It's just too easy.

Once the ballet auditions are over, the girls have a competition to attend.  Naturally the Candy Apples are signed up as well, so it's another showdown between the studios.  It was actually a pretty boring showdown since Abby mailed it in on this performance.  Despite pressuring the girls about needing to win to retain their national championship, she choreographs a terrible and boring dance, which basically involves them rolling some props around on the stage.  The group ends up getting TENTH place, which is apparently the lowest they've ever come in and everyone is shocked and embarrassed.  Even more horrific is that they lost to the Candy Apples by 1 point.  Kathy comes into the dressing room afterwards to brag about the victory, but...lady, you still got 9th place.  That's not very good.... Strangely enough, when Kathy comes in to gloat that they beat Abby's girls, Abby breaks down starts weeping, and calls Kathy Satan.  I don't disagree with that, but I have an important question.  Why are there not locks on these dressing room doors?  There are little girls CHANGING CLOTHES in there.  Shouldn't there be better security??  Anyways, I did find the Candy Apples dance to be more entertaining, but that's of course because it involved Justice, dancing his heart out in a white satin bedazzled pant suit.  Also, the routine featured Vivi, who stood in the corner the whole time while the other dancers actually employed some of their talent.  Then, at the end of the dance, one of the dancers carries Vivi off stage.  COMMENCE SLOW CLAP.

While Maddie and Chloe get ready for their solos in the dressing room, Chloe's mom, Christi, gets a call from Joffrey saying Chloe's been awarded the scholarship to the school.  Chloe is understandable excited, but downplays it for the sake of her friends, while the camera cuts to a borderline psychotic Maddie.  Shortly after, Maddie starts throwing a fit for an unknown reason, to which her mom punishes her by announcing how many days Maddie's phone is being taken away for.  The number escalates as the fit continues, but nothing seems to get through Maddie's angry, crazy eyes.  She's going to be....a rough teenager girl to handle.  I'll say that.

Here's something I'm curious about.  When it was time for the girls to perform their solos, Kathy put on her best Cheshire Cat grin and told the camera she had a great plan for how to steal Chloe's thunder.  She had one of her girls, Kendall, perform a solo called Queen of Hearts (or Red Queen, something like that), obviously knowing that Chloe was going to be performing the same song/theme.  It was just very strange to me.  And then both girls had similar costumes (since they were playing the same character).  Obviously somehow Kathy knew about it and was able to find out before hand to screw poor little Chloe over, but how did she know?  Again, I know nothing about dancing, but I can't imagine dance instructors are allowed to call up people at the competition and be like "oh hey, what's this other dance studio doing this week?"  Surely the Lifetime people didn't tip her off to make more drama.  OR DID THEY?!  Well played, Lifetime.  In the end, Chloe had the last laugh because her solo was incredible and she kicked Kendall's butt and won 1st place.

When Maddie takes the stage for her solo (post dressing room hissy fit), she gets through the first minute of the routine before forgetting the dance.  Rather than pause awkwardly (like Nia) or twirl around (like Chloe) when she forgot, she just completed a turn and immediately ran off the stage crying.  Had it not been for the expression on her face and the quick exit, I would've just thought it was a quick performance.  She hadn't even gotten all the way backstage before she started screaming that she wanted to do it again.  In a sad (and uncomfortable) moment, her panic attack seizes her and she goes in for a hug on the production assistant.  She realizes he is a stranger and pulls out of the hug and starts beating her chest saying how she has to go back on.  It was a freakout unlike I've ever seen a child see and it made me very uncomfortable.  I genuinely felt bad for her, but at the same time, it had happened to every other girl in her dance group at some point, so it's really  not that big of a deal.  A huge part of me wanted to high-five the competition producers for not letting her go back on.  Sometimes you don't always get what you want, Maddie.  Ya burnt!  After Maddie goes running off stage, the camera goes to the moms in the audience and we see Abby crying.  The moms (understandably) jump all over that, and once they're back in the dressing room, they confront her about her obvious favoritism.  Despite the same situation happening to each of the other girls in the group, Abby showed zero emotion for the others when it happened, only scolding them and telling them to learn their lesson.  For Maddie, Abby sat in the dressing room, stewing and crying, even refusing to come out and watch awards.  It was very strange.  I genuinely don't know why Abby was crying so hard about Maddie and why she was so overwhelmed by the girl forgetting her dance.  She's 9.  It's bound to happen.  The episode ended cryptically, with Abby storming off, leaving the competition, telling the moms that the girls don't need her.  She makes it seem like she's over the whole thing and done with it, but really, I think she was just having a bad period and she wanted to go home and see her dog, Broadway Baby.

And that wraps up the season, you guys.  I'm legit sad that it's over.  I'm not sure if I'll watch Dance Moms: Miami or not.  I recorded it, but I haven't decided yet.
Let's get real, I'll probably be watching it this weekend....