Mackenzie Ziegler is done with being pigeonholed. The “Dance Moms” star, who announced her official leave from the Lifetime show last week, let her voice be heard in episode 16 of Season 6 of the reality series Tuesday night.
During pyramid in “Mack Z vs. Abby Lee,” the 12-year-old performer informs coach Abby Lee Miller she's not impressed with her assigned solo. After giving dancers JoJo Siwa and Brynn Rumfallo hip-hop routines, Mackenzie is disappointed to learn she will be competing another gymnastics solo, despite her love of hip-hop.
“I do gymnastics every single time,” Mackenzie complains when Abby gives her the routine “Hoedown, Showdown.” Abby responds by telling Mackenzie she doesn’t need to compete at all.
After the mothers stick up for the young performer and request Abby allow her to compete against her teammates in the hip-hop division, Abby tells Mackenzie to do whatever she wants. When Melissa Gisoni, Mackenzie’s mom, tries to hash out the issue with Abby, the teacher sneaks out of the back door of the studio and nearly runs over the moms, who try to confront her in the process.
— Dance Moms (@DanceMoms) April 20, 2016
With Abby gone to the beach for the day, the soloists rely on other ALDC (Abby Lee Dance Company) choreographers to teach them their routines. Mackenzie learns she will be dancing to “Bully” directly against Brynn and JoJo’s numbers. After one day of learning her dance, Mackenzie breaks down in the studio when she forgets her routine.
“I just learned my dance win an hour,” she cries to dance mom Holly Frazier. “I’m too stressed right now!”
— Dance Moms (@DanceMoms) April 19, 2016
Despite never competing a hip-hop solo before, Mackenzie manages to wow the judges at the weekly competition and wins first overall in the junior solo category. Brynn and JoJo follow behind her in fourth and first place overall, respectively.
“It feels great to win because Abby didn’t think I could win with a hip-hop solo,” Mackenzie says with a smile. “So, that’s her fault. I think I proved Abby wrong.”
However, unfortunately for Mackenzie, winning first-place wasn’t enough to impress Abby. Back in the dressing room, Abby praises the group’s winning routine, but offers Mackenzie only criticism.
“I wanted more technique in there and more gymnastic tricks than just body movement,” Abby says. When the moms ask Abby to give Mackenzie a little credit for winning in a new category, she refuses to give into the pressure. Melissa tells the cameras she's unfazed by Abby’s disapproval.
“Mackenzie is the sweetest little kid. She’s a hard worker. She won and she's so excited. I don’t know why Abby’s so hard on her, but I could really care less because I only have two weeks left and I'm going to make the best of it,” she says.
What did you think of Mackenzie’s hip-hop solo? Sound off in the “Dance Moms” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EDT on Lifetime.