“Dance Moms” Season 5 newcomer JoJo Siwa is not participating in the cast’s 2015 international tour, but that hasn’t stopped her teammates from speaking out about her during an occasional fan meet and greet. At a recent Q-and-A session in Ireland, four of the Lifetime reality-television series’ stars -- Maddie Ziegler, Mackenzie Ziegler, Kendall Vertes and Kalani Hilliker -- dished about their newest teammate. However, their remarks about the 11-year-old performer are not getting the best reactions from some viewers.
In the beginning of the clip “ALDC Ireland: The Girls Make Fun of JoJo,” the four Abby Lee Dance Company dancers can be heard mimicking JoJo’s voice before dishing about her personality. Their coach, Abby Lee Miller, was also present at the event.
“But seriously. I go, ‘Oh my God, I love your shoes!’ And she goes, ‘I could get you those for free if you want. I have connections.’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t care!’” Mackenzie, 10, says in the clip when asked her thoughts on the dancer.
Kalani, 14, who lived with JoJo while filming Season 2 of “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition” in 2013, shares in the clip her personal experiences with her newfound “Dance Moms” teammate. “Imagine living with a big ball of fire that is always on, all day, every day,” she says. “She’s very loud all the time, and once she hits that bed, she is out!”
“Even if you pour water on her, she will not shut up,” Kendall, 11, adds.
After listening to her teammates speak badly about JoJo, Maddie, 12, intervenes. “That was all the negative. For the good things, we love her so much. She’s so sweet. She’s hilarious. She’s so supportive. She makes us laugh all the time ... We love her. She has hidden talents that none of you want to know,” she says.
Kalani eventually follows in Maddie’s footsteps, sharing some positive aspects of JoJo’s presence on the team. “We love her. She supports us, and she loves us ... She’s a sister to us,” Kalani says. “She’s just a pretty loud one.”
Despite some of the girls’ attempts to make the conversation about JoJo positive, Abby shares she is not a fan of JoJo’s mom Jessalynn Siwa. “I don’t trust the mother,” she says, shaking her head.
In response to the video, some fans of the Lifetime reality-TV series have slammed the girls for talking badly about their co-star. While most of them have been blaming the children’s mothers for raising their daughters to be “mean girls,” others have also attacked Abby for not intervening.
“Rude. These girls are role models and have taken a stand against bullying. If they want a successful drama-free career, they are going to have to learn to carry a crowd without talking about other people. I’m not surprised with the example that has been set. This is definitely a ‘you can’t sit with you’ mean girls group of girls,” one YouTube commenter posted Wednesday.
“These girls were in a frenzy to rip JoJo apart. They are all four mean girls and should be embarrassed by their behavior,” another commenter said.
“You don’t do that to a ‘friend.’ I know that they are young and still need to learn, but they should at least know that words can hurt,” yet another viewer said.
While some “Dance Moms” fans have shared their upset reactions to the video, others have defended the foursome. “There is nothing mean being said here. It’s no different than anyone else describing a friend with their quirks and all,” one commenter said.
This isn’t the first time the girls have poked fun at the ALDC newcomer. Ahead of the Season 5 premiere of “Dance Moms,” JoJo joined the cast for a catch-up “Girl Talk 2” special, only to be taunted by her co-stars.
“She might speak her mind,” Mackenzie warned host Coco Jones in the 2015 special after she welcomed JoJo to the stage.
“She might talk a little too much, so if you need to interrupt her, just say, ‘OK, next question,’” Kendall added.
When JoJo finally made it onstage, she let the girls know she was aware of their comments. “I heard you guys! I was standing right there, and I could hear your guys!” JoJo said, all while sporting a smile.
JoJo joined the cast of “Dance Moms” in January. She previously attempted to win a spot on Abby’s elite junior team in Season 4 during the open auditions featured on the series. She first starred on Lifetime in Season 2 of Abby Lee Miller’s spinoff competition series “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition.” On the program, she quickly became a fan favorite for her spunky personality and ultimately made it to the top five.
What are your thoughts on the controversial video? Tell us in the comments section below. Catch up with JoJo and the rest of the “Dance Moms” cast on Lifetime Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EDT.