In an age when every “reality show” is automatically assumed to be anything but real, another popular series is being accused of presenting an untruthful on-screen portrayal this week.
The hit Lifetime series “Dance Moms,” which follows a group of mothers and their young daughters as they perform in dance competitions under the reign of the infamously tyrannical instructor Abby Lee Miller, is being deemed fake after footage of the show’s events was uploaded to YouTube in June. The amateur video shows an incident different from what appeared on the show’s most recent episode Tuesday night.
The season three episode “Recital Rebellion,” which features the Abby Lee Dance Company all-girls group performing in their studio’s annual recital, results in a blowout between one mom, Kelly Hyland, and Miller. The fight erupted when Hyland's 12-year-old daughter, Paige, refused to learn a new routine, resulting in the teacher’s rumored favorite student, Maddie Ziegler, 10, getting the chance to perform a previously learned number.
“Never in 40 years of being in the Abby Lee Dance Company has anyone been given a solo the day of the f---king recital,” Hyland can be heard screaming on the program. While Lifetime showed a clip of the duo fighting over the children’s performances, the YouTube video of the actual event shows more of what actually transpired, including minutes of footage that “Dance Moms” producers conveniently left on the cutting-room floor.
The entire altercation, which can be viewed on the YouTube clip “ALDC Recital Practice Blowup,” begins three minutes into the 12-minute clip. The group, seen on-stage surrounded by a camera crew, takes a noticeably longer pause before Ziegler agrees to do her routine. In the episode, however, the dancer appears to take the opportunity almost immediately after being requested to do so. Fellow “Dance Moms” can be heard trying to placate Miller by requesting to allow dance mom Jill Vertes to perform a ballroom number before Miller insists that Ziegler perform, leaving Hyland’s child out of the picture.
“Did you notice [that] whenever you asked the people, nobody volunteered? Not one child volunteered!” says Hyland in the YouTube clip after Miller refuses to let Vertes perform. “Get a clue. It’s a TV show. We’re filming. Wake up!” screams Abby after Hyland accuses Miller of breaking the studio’s policy, to which the dance mom responds by calling the show fake. “This is a set-up! You see how scripted the show is? You see how scripted it is?” screams Hyland. “I can’t wait for America to see how abusive Abby Lee Miller really is."
Following the airing of the controversial program Tuesday night, Hyland took to Twitter to defend her statements on the episode, which she claims made her “look bad.” The dance mom, who also made allegations on Twitter that she is forced to continue to star on the program, called the entire show a "lie."