“Dance Moms” viewers are not too happy with Abby Lee Miller. In Tuesday’s installment of the Lifetime reality series the ALDC coach told students Nia Frazier and Kalani Hilliker they would be going head-to-head at the weekly competition. Abby said that the dancer who placed the highest would be awarded a solo at nationals.
Abby granted Kalani, 14, a contemporary number “Shades of Grey.” Nia, then 13, was given an upbeat, jazz solo titled “Bye Felicia.” Despite the girls’ excitement over Nia’s trendy routine, a majority of the moms and Abby made it clear they thought Kalani was a shoe-in for first-place.
But Nia had her mom, Holly Frazier, in her corner. Holly made it clear to viewers she didn’t think Abby should discount her daughter’s ability to win. “I think Nia, quite honestly, is quite often the underdog that people just dismiss, but you can’t count her out. Don’t give up on my kid,” she said. “She may be the horse that’s coming in from behind you don’t even realize.”
At the competition Nia and Kalani took the stage, and in a change of pace, the duo were critiqued by teenage judges. While some of the moms started to remark that Nia’s routine would most likely win over the young judges for its entertaining qualities, Abby continued to sing Kalani’s praises, even passing up the chance to hug Nia backstage in favor of the “Shades of Grey” dancer.
During the awards ceremony, Kalani took home third-place in the teen solo division. Nia walked away with a first-place win. When Abby discovered she had beaten Kalani, she sported a look of distaste, saying, “Oh my God!”
Backstage Nia asked Abby if her win meant she was going to be gifted a solo at nationals for the first time in the show’s four-year history. Much to her dismay, Abby said that was not the case, claiming Kalani “had a huge breakthrough today.” While Holly stuck up for her daughter, claiming she too had a breakthrough by placing first, Abby did not agree.
“Oh, I don’t. She’s won what, three times in her life?” Abby said. “For what it’s worth I thought Nia was great, but she does not blow me away. I need a sure thing and my sure thing is Kalani.”
Abby has not commented on the backstage controversy following the episode’s premiere. But that hasn’t stopped Lifetime viewers from slamming the ALDC coach on social media. Holly took to Twitter Tuesday night to voice her upset over Abby’s decision, saying, “Somehow the rules change when Nia wins!” She also retweeted some fans’ comments about the controversy.
— Gracie (@graceann94) August 5, 2015
— Adrienne Westbrook (@AddieWestbrook5) August 5, 2015
Here are some other fan reactions to Tuesday night’s episode:
— Dez Lewis_2UG (@DezLewis) August 5, 2015
@DanceMomHolly have never been disappointed in Abby Lee miller as I was tonite!!! Doesn't play fair, cheated Nia big time! Despicable!
— Kathy Lassalle (@Kalassa01) August 5, 2015
— Haley (@BelieberCalling) August 5, 2015
The way Abby treats Nia disgusts me #DanceMoms give credit where credit is due
— 8|6 (@blvckqueen98) August 5, 2015
Do you think Abby should give Nia a solo at nationals? Sound off in the comments section below! The “Dance Moms” Season 5 finale airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. EDT on Lifetime.