Dance Moms season 7, episode 23 recap: Not so irreplaceable


CULVER CITY, CA – JUNE 14: Abby Lee Miller attends the Opening Night Party during the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival at Culver Studios on June 14, 2017 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

In Dance Moms season 7, episode 23, the team of teen dancers who abandoned Abby Lee Miller dubbed themselves The Irreplaceables. But did they really earn that team name? From the looks of things, not so much.

Well, folks. When we previewed Dance Moms season 7, episode 23, we promised that Abby Lee Miller’s competition would be too hot to handle. As of the end of “There’s a New Team in Town Part 1,” though, it looks like we got it wrong.

Instead, The Irreplaceables struggled their way through Aisha Francis’ choreography, gave up on the kind of big opportunities they used to whine about not getting from Abby, and drove off their latest instructor.

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So much for proving the existence of the teens’ newfound maturity. Then, of course, there’s the pesky detail of the

mean girls’

dance moms’ distinct lack of maturity…

So, buckle up: It’s going to be a dramatic ride.

By this point, the first fifteen minutes of Dance Moms season 7, episode 23 should be old news. However, let’s take a look at a few things that we didn’t want to spoil in the preview.

First and most disturbingly, why is Abby Lee Miller’s bedroom in the studio? Why did she have to overshare about her lack of undergarments? It might be October, but it’s still a little bit early for Halloween. “Abby Lee Miller’s bedroom” is just too terrifying of a phrase for October 3. (Meanwhile, seeing Jill Vertes do her catty thing is absolutely perfect for Mean Girls Day.)

While we’re on the subject of weird Abby things, why was it so shocking for the dance moms to see the ALDC’s tactless leader barefoot? That was actually better for dance studio floors than the cast’s usually fashionable footwear. Just saying.

Also of note: Dance Moms season 7, episode 23 marked the death of Pyramid — at least for now.

"You know what? I don’t need a pyramid anymore. That pyramid thing? STINKS."

If Abby’s decision to finally do away with an awful tradition was a pleasant surprise, then all of the talk of The Irreplaceables learning about “stepping into being a woman” was exactly the opposite.

Has it really been seven years of this? Is little Nia really all grown up?

Someone make it stop.

Dance Moms season 7, episode 23: The Irreplaceables face some growing pains.

Let’s get the broken record part of this out of the way: The dance moms know even less than Jon Snow. “Pretty lyrical” isn’t just for little girls, and I’ve seen plenty of younger girls successfully compete the exact style of dance that had Chloe Lukasiak struggling until she sobbed her eyes out.

Seven years of competitions, and these women haven’t managed to actually watch a single one. That takes talent!

The new team was under a lot of pressure to prove themselves; and after several days of repeatedly being given the same corrections, The Irreplaceables reached their breaking point. The first sign of impending doom was Kendall K. Vertes’ meltdown during her solo rehearsal, which she ended up quitting because she wanted to focus on the group.

As disappointing as that was, Kalani Hilliker herself dropped her solo for the same weak reason. Frankly, I expected better out of a girl who did her real training at TDA’s 2017 Las Vegas Studio of the Year.

In typical Dance Moms fashion, the moms thought they’d make the situation better by interfering. And in typical Dance Moms fashion, they succeeded at exactly the opposite. Let’s see: Kendall said she was tired of sharing her feelings; Chloe told her mom to leave so she could practice the dance; and Aisha Francis spilled an ocean’s worth of tea:

"I feel like everyone is trying to control the situation, and that’s not what I’m here for. So, giving you guys an inch somehow allowed you guys to think you could take a mile…"

Aisha went on to say that the girls asked for something different than what they’d always done with Abby Lee Miller, only to find out that they couldn’t handle it. And she told The Irreplaceables that she’d never been so disrespected in her life, all before dropping my favorite Dance Moms line of all time:

"I’m frustrated, I’m irritated, and all I want to do is [effing] dance."

This woman gets me. By the time Dance Moms season 7, episode 23 ended, The Irreplaceables found themselves without a choreographer. So, it seems to yours truly like the team has been, um, replaced.

The ALDC LA had its own internal struggles in Dance Moms season 7, episode 23; but they weren’t nearly as serious.

Opening trip to Abby Lee Miller’s office/bedroom aside, there actually seemed to be less drama than usual back at ALDC headquarters. There was some mini bickering session over whether or not Elliana always gets the best music, but that was dropped pretty quickly.

The trashiest fight of the episode, in which Christi Lukasiak wound up shoving Yolanda Walmsley after some sort of weird argument about fame versus talent (I think?), was drama between opposing teams. So, that doesn’t count. Neither do the rumors of Ashlee’s gossip because, frankly, I’m Team Anybody But Regina George here.

Really, the only thing that interrupted the relatively peaceful atmosphere at the ALDC was Abby’s decision to bring in a new dancer. Her remaining four dance moms were insulted by the implication that their daughters couldn’t cut it. Ashlee was the most upset because Brynn’s “rightful” place as team leader was snatched out from under her by the new boy.

Yes. Boy. And not just any boy — Darrion Sellman.

Even in rehearsal, this kid’s technique was beautiful, so your girl did some digging. Darrion is a thirteen-year-old, YAGP-placing Royal Ballet International Scholar. And that’s just a rephrasing of his instagram bio.

Darrion has performed at The Dizzyfeet Foundation Gala (video above), received a Miami City Ballet scholarship, and has even discovered the secret to world peace using only the articulation in his feet.

There might be a lie in that last sentence.

Either way, this kid has some credentials; and I’m left scratching my head and wondering why he felt the need to appear on Dance Moms. Darrion’s already going places (like Canada), but I guess adding “murdered The Irreplaceables with talent” to his resumé can’t exactly hurt.

Back to your regularly-scheduled Dance Moms season 7, episode 23 recap.

Ashlee and the ALDC dance moms confronted Abby about Darrion; no one who’s ever watched Dance Moms needs me to explain how that went.

Unlike The Irreplaceables, Abby’s dancers managed to rehearse both a group number and a collection of solos. Lilly had a difficult time of it: Not only did Abby constantly bark at her about her headstand, but those fouette turns were…Well, they were something.

Brynn, on the other hand, was working hard and getting some decent technical corrections. She also resumed her newfound role of “walking, talking side-eye emoji” while setting the record straight on Abby Lee Miller:

"I like Abby, and she likes me. So, like, even though a lot of people see her as this, like, mean, like, lady that sits in the corner and screams at us, she really, like, cares about us."

Brynn “Side-Eye” Rumfallo even tossed some shade in the direction of her former teammates, saying she didn’t really get why they left the ALDC before reminding the entire audience that they kind of owed their massive social media following to Abby.

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Brynn’s not wrong, guys. No Abby Lee Miller equals no Dance Moms, equals no fame for a group of average competition dancers.

By the time Dance Moms season 7, episode 23 ended, Abby was giving her team a solid pep talk featuring the ability to “be the person that beats the team with the reputation.”

With The Irreplaceables seemingly falling apart, that bodes very well for Abby Lee Miller and not-at-all well for…whoever takes over the new team now that they’ve run Aisha Francis off.

Will The Irreplaceables make some sort of miraculous comeback, or will the Darrion Sellman Dance Company mop the floor with them? And does anyone care about what happened at the bar?

Make sure to tune in to Dance Moms on Tuesday, October 9 at 9/8c on Lifetime to find out!