Nia Sioux and Kendall Vertes were paired up for what was primed to be a show-shopping duet on Tuesday’s “Dance Moms,” but the teammates never got their chance to shine onstage.

In Season 6, episode 25 of the Lifetime series, Abby Lee Miller granted four of her students duets. Fresh off last week’s winning trio, she gave Nia (who showed up late to pyramid due to her strep throat diagnosis) and Kendall a dance inspired by Beyoncé and Lady Gaga’s famous “Telephone” music video. Brynn Rumfallo and JoJo Siwa were gifted a similar honor, getting a contemporary duet called “Mirror Image.”

“I’m really excited because Beyoncé is like my favorite person,” an excited Nia said. After failing to win with Kendall on their last duet, “Grifters,” in episode 9, Nia said she was determined to impress the second time around, but worried her illness may stop them from winning. “I’m not feeling very well and I want to make sure that I’m the best that I can be,” she said. Jill Vertes, Kendall’s mom, agreed, calling the number the girls’ shot at redemption. 

While the return of Abby’s mini team and their mothers definitely caused some tension inside the ALDC studio in episode 25, Nia’s illness did contribute to some of the drama. After pulling through rehearsals for the Beyoncé-Lady Gaga piece, which had her and Kendall performing in a tangled telephone wire, she dropped a bombshell on Abby two days before the competition.

In studio, Nia nervously told her partner and coach she felt too sick to compete the duet and asked to push off the number for a few weeks. While Abby was sympathetic, she decided to follow through with Kendall’s suggestion to pick a replacement dancer: Kalani Hilliker. In an interesting twist of fate, Nia was the one who stepped in for Kalani in her episode 9 duet with Kendall when she suffered a back injury.

Kalani’s mom, Kira Girard, voiced her worry about them dancing with the “most impossible prop ever” for the renamed contemporary number “Disconnected.” Jill revealed she was concerned about the prop potentially hurting one of their daughters onstage. “These girls have a lot on the line ... the telephone line,” Abby warned.

At the competition, Nia performed with the elite team in their Prince-inspired group number and Kalani and Kendall competed the duet. Despite their little amount of rehearsal time, Kendall and Kalani’s performance was a big hit, earning them first-place overall in the teen division and applause from Abby. The studio’s other numbers were also a success. The mini team took first-place for their pageant dance, Brynn and JoJo placed first in the pre-teen division and the elite’s Prince number took second.