'Dance Moms': The slap/hair-pulling incident

Wednesday, 12 February 2014 08:24 AM Written by 

dance moms abbyI long ago quit watching Pittsburgh-based "Dance Moms" because every week it was the same thing over and over: Dance teacher Abby Lee Miller would do something that often seemed designed to upset the mothers of her dancers, the moms would get upset, a shouting match would follow, a mom or Abby would threaten to quit and the episode would be over.

It was like watching a Wile E. Coyote cartoon with Abby cast as the Roadrunner.

But then there were reports that Dance Mom Kelly Hyland of Murrysville got into a fight with Abby in New York and there was physical contact (hair pulling!) and charges filed. (Abby said, disingenuously, that she filed charges to protect Hyland's children.)

And that got me curious. So I had to tune in Tuesday at 9, even knowing that this episode would probably be more of a tease than the main event.

Read more after the jump. ...

Though it's been a year or so since I tuned into "Dance Moms," absolutely nothing has changed. Same plot: Abby is obnoxious and makes the moms intentionally mad; the moms take the bait and get all worked up.

This time, Abby threatens to build a new dance team and dump the old team. While a cast refresh might do the show some good, it's hard to believe Lifetime would allow a complete cast shakeup. That the moms don't seem to realize this means they're either dumb or acting.

But the big moment came, of course, near the end of the episode when Abby and Kelly had their confrontation, which began when Abby spoke harshly to Kelly's daughter, Brooke.

"I just want your mother to quit speaking for you," Abby told Brooke. "You're 15 years old, grow the hell up."

"You know what, you shut the hell up," Kelly said, holding a blond hair extension in one hand.

They argued over what Abby did or did not threaten then Abby started sticking her finger in Kelly's face. Then Kelly started jabbing her finger at Abby, who tried to bite it. But Kelly acutally made contact, smacking Abby upside the head -- as a viewer who thinks Abby is a bully, this was extremely satisfying, even if that's a morally wrong instinct -- and pulled her hair.

"You're crazy," Abby said, before ordering someone to call the police. (Abbys immediately put her hands behind her back and didn't fight back. Was that her own instinct to take the legal high ground or had she been coached by producers in the event something like this were to ever happen?)

"No, I'm not crazy," Kelly said. "You're eating my face! ... 500-pound hog, pretending to eat me."

It's not clear if Kelly and her daughters will be back on the show. Maybe they'll go over to the Candy Apple Dance team in Ohio and stay a part of the show that way (if that lame, constructed plot is even still part of "Dance Moms").

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