American reality TV phenomenon Dance Moms landed in the UK last night, with season 4 premiering on Lifetime TV - providing the perfect antidote to end-of bank holiday blues. There was just as much drama as there was dancing, and more cat fights than chasses. If you missed it, here are the highlights...
1. The pyramid of doom
Each week, head of the dance school Abby places pictures of the girls in a pyramid, with the best dancer at the top, and the rest falling below according to how well they’ve done. She reveals each place one by one, as the girls look on terrified – and their moms either smile smugly or give each other daggers.
2. Jill's face
Abby tells a delighted Jill that her daughter Kendall is second in the pyramid –only to immediately announce that she has made a mistake and actually, she should be on the bottom row. Cue one of the fastest turnarounds in facial expressions ever. The reason for the demotion? Kendall missed the ‘mandatory’ Bootycamp. The cheek.
3. Fight night
For the group routine for the competition, Abby decides to choreograph a dance called ‘Girl’s Night Out’, with a special middle section inspired by a street brawl two of the moms – Leslie and Christi – had in last season’s finale. She’s got their respective daughters, Peyton and Chloe, to reinact the fight via the medium of interpretive dance. As you do.
4. Sing off
When Kelly announces her daughter Brooke has been asked to sing onstage with a country singer, the other moms can barely conceal their jealousy. Leslie says that her Peyton could easily do the same, to which Kelly retorts: “I heard her sing at the recital a couple of years ago and it was like a sick cow.” Erm, we're not sure if an innocent child is the sick one here.
5. Poor Peyton
The oldest dancer in the group gets it in the ear from Abby when she dares to start crying. “Stop acting like a baby. You’re 16 years old, and everybody’s watching you cry. Save your tears for the pillow,” she roars.
6. Abby's deconstructive criticism
Abby is relieved when two of her three routines take the top spot at the dance contest. However, when the group routine comes in third (pretty respectably, no?), she is not happy. “I haven’t groomed these girls since they were babies to get third place. I thought it was a hot mess. The girls looked hot, but the routine was a mess."
Watch Dance Moms exclusively on Lifetime, Mondays at 9pm, Sky 156/Virgin 242