However, with more dancers comes more drama, and in the new episode, titled "New Kid on the Block," Abby's latest addition to the team could push one star dancer off of the team for good.
Dark, New Blood
As the ALDC celebrates their fourth straight victory in a row, Abby has a surprise up her sleeve. Just before the rehearsal begins, she brings in new member Maesi to the team. Abby originally met this Iowa native as a hip-hop dancer, but she was quickly impressed with her talents in other genres as well. Maesi's mom, Jamie, says that Abby has nothing to worry about with Maesi on the team, and she promises that they are here to stay.
When the entire team assembles for rehearsal, Abby introduces Maesi and Jamie to the team. Abby explains that on her quest to build the ALDC of the eight strongest dancers, she is now looking to focus on the middle of the team. She hopes somebody with the age and height of Maesi will bridge the gap between the Junior Elites and the Minis. However, Maesi should not get too comfortable on the team, because Abby says she is only on a one-week trial for now.
When announcing the pyramid, Abby reveals that the order, from bottom to top, is Elliana "for being the crybaby backstage" at the recent competition, Lilliana for not competing, Kendall and Nia for both being average, Brynn, Camryn and then Kalani on top for taking home first place for her solo.
For the upcoming competition, the team will be dancing in Fierce National Talent Competition. Abby has planned two trios to compete. The first is called "Birds Whisper," and it consists of Lilliana, Elliana and Maesi. Abby wants Maesi to take lead. Yolanda and Stacey are immediately infuriated that their girls are being pushed to the side by the new girl, but Abby couldn't care less.
The other trio is Brynn, Kalani and Kendall in "Blackbirds." Brynn will be taking the lead, because Abby believes she has the potential to be the next star of the team. All of the girls will then dance in the group routine, titled "Notorious ALDC." This will be a hip-hop piece, which causes some concern for the moms. Hip-hop dances either win big or flop completely, so everyone is scared as to what the outcome of this routine will be.
As the girls rehearse their routines, the moms get to know Jamie. She quickly shares far too many details with them, including the gory details of her occupation. Jamie works with dead people. Literally. She does their makeup and embalms them. She says she has touched thousands of dead bodies, which freaks out the moms.
Jamie then explains that both her brother and uncle were murdered, and she even had to work on their dead bodies. She threatened to cremate their murderer, so the moms know not to mess with her. Despite all of these uncomfortable stories, the moms actually like Jamie so far. "If you're not afraid of dead people, you can't be afraid of us," Holly says.
Even though Abby was originally impressed by her hip-hop strengths, Maesi isn't pulling her weight in rehearsals for "Notorious ALDC." Yolanda and Stacey quickly pounce on her mistakes and use them as ammunition against Jamie as to why Maesi shouldn't be on the team. Ashlee thinks the Mini moms should slow their rolls, because if Maesi isn't on the team to bridge the gap between the wide variety of ages, the Minis may be cut.
While rehearsing the trios, Abby reveals her unique, twisted inspirations behind each of them. With Brynn, Kalani and Kendall's "Blackbirds," Abby wants them to envision a blackbird that has drilled into their skulls and sucked their souls out. In this dark piece, Abby hopes Brynn will finally become the true leader of the team. "Brynn could be the center of the universe here at the ALDC, if she continues to work her butt off," Abby explains.
Jill and Kira doubt that Brynn actually has what it takes to be the leader of the team. They believe Brynn doesn't want this role, and Abby is just forcing it upon her. Ashlee, on the other hand, thinks they are just jealous that Abby doesn't want either Kalani or Kendall to take on this responsibility.
Abby keeps the dark themes rolling with Elliana, Lilliana and Maesi's "Birds Whisper."In this piece, she wants them to play the role of dead girls who are whispering, but the whispering actually turns out to be girls sharing their secrets. The moms are baffled as to what Abby means by this explanation, but they know they just have to go with it.
During rehearsals for "Birds Whisper," Maesi continues to mess up. Abby notices that she has sickled feet, which could be a major problem in the competition. Yolanda and Stacey waste no time in criticizing Maesi and Jamie for this. The Junior Elite moms just sit back and laugh, because they find it hilarious that the Mini moms are now targeting Jamie rather than them.
As the Junior Elite moms and the Mini moms continue to fight, Yolanda becomes the new target. The Junior Elite moms believe she is the worst kind of dance mom due to her dramatic behavior. Ashlee, specifically, then hits way below the belt by stating that Elliana believes if she doesn't win, Yolanda will beat her.
Ashlee also thinks that Yolanda's antics may cause Jamie to regret leaving her day job for a spot on the ALDC. "She is probably going to miss hanging out with dead people, 'cause I think I would rather hang out with a dead person than Yolanda," Ashlee says.
The drama between the moms is certainly not the team's biggest problem. The moms are fearful that with the wide variety of ages among the girls and all the chaos Abby has created for this competition, it could be nearly impossible to win with this group routine. "We're gonna be known for notoriously losing at hip-hop," Jill explains.
More drama ensues at the competition. Before even entering the doors, the moms notice that Yolanda and Stacey are wearing bright, obnoxious bows to make fun of Jamie for always wearing a bow in her hair. The rest of the moms are shocked at how cruel these "ruthless b***hes" are being, and Jamie breaks down over their treatment of her.
Despite doing the exact same thing Yolanda and Stacey are doing to Jamie when the Minis first joined the team, the Junior Elite moms lay into Yolanda and Stacey for their horrible treatment of Jamie. The argument then turns to Yolanda's daughter, Elliana, being the reason why their recent group routine wasn't nearly as good as it could have been. Yolanda couldn't care less what they say, because the piece still won first prize, meaning that Elliana must be doing something right.
The first routine up is Brynn, Kalani and Kendall's "Blackbirds." This contemporary number is eerie and enticing, and all of the girls' moves are executed well. Brynn certainly steps it up as the leader of this dance, and she helps this trio looks like a solid unit. This may just help award them first prize.
The pressure is then on Maesi to prove herself in her trio with both Elliana and Lilliana. This was supposed to be Maesi's big moment, but she just does okay. It should have been an easy task to outshine the two Minis, but both Elliana and Lilliana definitely command the stage in this lackluster number. It also doesn't help that the girls' spacing is completely off, which makes the number just look bad.
Will the ALDC finally prove that they can kill it with a hip-hop routine? Not quite. The girls are all over the place in this number, and it looks like a mess. Maesi may lose her spot on the team just as quickly as she received it, because she forgets part of the dance and had to improv while dancing center stage. Every Dance Moms fan knows that this will not sit well with Abby.
The first awards given out are for the trios. Elliana, Lilliana and Maesi's dance only wins third, which may not be a good sign for Maesi's future on the team. Luckily for the ALDC, Brynn, Kalani and Kendall win first prize for their trio, and Brynn is hoping this will be the first of many more numbers where she is the lead.
Things only get worse for Maesi. When the group awards are announced, the ALDC's hip-hop number takes third. Abby knows that Maesi forgetting the choreography caused the ALDC to lose their once solid winning streak.
Backstage, Abby tells the team that she refuses to let a "nobody," meaning Maesi, come in and ruin all the hard work they have done this season. It is no surprise that she cuts Maesi from the team due to her lackluster performance in the competition.
The Junior Elite moms quickly come to Maesi's defense and say it is not fair that Abby is so quick to cut her, since she didn't cut Elliana when she forgot her previous solo. Yolanda is floored and cannot believe she is being thrown under the bus yet again.
Yolanda then reaches her breaking point. She has had enough of the moms treating both her and her daughter this way, so she tells Abby to cut Elliana and keep Maesi on the team. Abby obliges and follows Yolanda's plan, causing Elliana to have a major breakdown when she realizes she is going home. She is heartbroken that her mom is ending her time on the team. Maesi and Jamie, on the other hand, should be thanking her, because Yolanda is the only reason why they will be returning for another week on the ALDC.
What did you think of the episode? Were you impressed with Maesi's performance? Is Abby right to try and make Brynn the new star of the team? What did you think of Yolanda's outburst? Who deserves to stay on the team: Elliana or Maesi? Let us know all of your thoughts in the comments section and in the poll below.
Dance Moms season 7 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Lifetime. Want more news? Like our Dance Moms Facebook page.