Television Without Pity

‘Dance Moms’: The Season’s Most Horrifying Moments

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We can't get enough of these "Dance Moms" (Scott Gries/Lifetime Television)

We can't get enough of these "Dance Moms" (Scott Gries/Lifetime Television)

Much to our dismay, the delicious guilty pleasure "Dance Moms" is wrapping up its first season (with a big old clip show, instead of the hoped-for reunion), which means that we're going to have to wait months to get more of Abby Lee and Co. In its first season, the series took the craziness of "Toddlers & Tiaras" to a whole new level as we got to watch a dance teacher and a bunch of moms and their young daughters say and do some of the most insane things on a regular basis. Here are the most memorably appalling moments for each of the show's personalities this year:

Maddie
Maddie was the golden child of the season, earning her mother's undying loyalty and affection (despite the fact that Maddie has a younger sister) and also topping Abby's ranking pyramid almost every week. But the little girl eventually melted down in tears, not over dancing, but because she couldn't handle playing a simple pool game of capture the watermelon. She's such a perfectionist that even a loss at a stupid game (with no real prizes) can send her over the edge.

MacKenzie
Speaking of Maddie's sister, MacKenzie (who was the youngest of the main bunch) didn't care about traveling (though she did express a love for hotel pools) and doesn't have the aptitude or competitive spirit that her sister has: "I love dancing, but I don't want to go on Broadway. I just want to stay at home and eat chips." Why is she being forced to dance competitively? It's so wrong.

Melissa
She left her two daughters across the country in the care of Abby Lee and her assistant teachers. Not cool, lady. Then again, she did it so she could go on vacation with her boyfriend, who is the one that pays for her kids' private dance lessons, so it sort of makes sense. But Melissa works for Abby Lee, so she had to have known the schedule and should've been able to plan some time off instead of abandoning her kids and forgetting to tell their father what she was doing.

Watch Melissa and the other "Dance Moms" in this bonus clip:

Brooke
Brooke can do contortions like no one's business, and even when she's injured, she keeps working (though we think it is because she's looking to move far away from her nutty mother at her first opportunity). But watching her be forced to go on a date with her male dance partner was awful. "I think Brandon likes me, but I've moved on. I'm not really the same person I was when I was 9 years old," says the sage 13-year-old.

Kelly
This mom to Paige and Brooke seemed to spend most of her time screaming at Abby this summer, that is when she wasn't fighting over costumes with Cathy or hanging at the bar while her daughters were tortured in the dance studio. But her shining moment was hiring a different choreographer to work with her kids behind Abby's back. Naturally, this led to more fighting and wasted a lot of time and money. Why not just pay Abby (or her assistant) for private lessons if you want more personalized attention for your girls? Ridiculous.

[We Ask 'Dance Moms' Star Abby Lee Miller Three Questions]

Christi
The most typical stage mom of the bunch, she was so desperate to have her daughter live out the dance dreams that she had when she was young that she was willing to shell out over $16,000 a year for dance lessons and let Chloe skip homework. She spent most of the season whining about Maddie getting the attention that Chloe deserved and was so annoying that Abby had to make her sign a contract on proper behavior before she was allowed to return to the studio. Also, don't drag poor diner workers into your fights with your daughter's dance teachers.

Chloe
Half of winning is self-confidence, and this girl has next to none. Going into every competition, even the one to see who would be the lead in a music video, she seemed to think it was a forgone conclusion that Maddie would win. We're happy Chloe ended up winning, because watching her doubt herself was just depressing.

[Check Out More Photos of the 'Dance Moms' Cast]

Paige
Actually, this is more Kelly horror spillover, but Paige really didn't do that much this season, aside from quietly stand by as her mother showed her most reprehensible side. Too bad that it actually caused Paige physical pain in the process as Kelly burned her own kid with a curling iron (and it looked pretty bad) and then sent her onstage to perform like the trained seal that she is.

Cathy
Cathy is a deluded human being who made for some great TV by leaving her own dance studio in order to make her talentless daughter Vivi-Anne a star, instead of realizing that her daughter couldn't dance and taking some of Abby's constructive criticism. She eschewed the bus because of "motion sickness," told the other mothers that she was superior, stole the spotlight during a mom dance, and put Vivi-Anne onstage with a routine and costume of her own creation. But her very worst moment was when she returned to her own studio to plot her revenge, which included using the same music as one of Abby's dancers. If you are going to psych out the competition, at least make sure your dancer is an actual threat.

Vivi-Anne
The girl had the worst facial expressions and constantly looked pissed off, which is understandable when you look at her mother. Her being forced to dance and model was sad, as she was doing it only because she was promised tacos at the end. We hope those were some really good tacos.

[Reality TV Showdown: 'Dance Moms' Vs. 'Toddlers & Tiaras']

Holly
For a smart woman, she makes really dumb choices -- like waiting until her child is going onstage in an outfit that she finds too racy or ethnically offensive. Find a time and place to do this so you don't get in a raving fight with a woman who is clearly unreasonable. She's got a Ph.D., but we just wish she had common sense.

Nia
She's not the most talented dancer, but Nia owned the stage when she had to dance in an afro to the catchy tune "They Call Me LaQueefa." She even corrected the announcer on the proper way to say the name of her alter ego. And this was before she learned how to do a death drop. But despite her willingness to do anything, it's hard to watch her because it seems like she'll never be as good as the other dancers in her troupe.

Abby Lee Miller
At the end of the day, Abby's a coach with some insane methods, but she delivers results at major competitions. We watched all season as she wielded a foam baseball bat to get children to properly point their toes, screamed like a loon to get her insane amount of choreography done, and showed little sympathy for anyone in pain or dealing with outside situations. So her most horrifying moment has to be one of the first on the show, where she turned that chalkboard around and exposed her appalling pyramid ranking system for young girls, setting up rivalries that will likely last until Lifetime gets tired of airing this show.

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