Maddie Ziegler has “Dance Moms” to thank for launching her career in the entertainment industry, but that didn't stop the young performer from recently sharing the truth about the hit Lifetime reality series. When speaking about her recent rise to fame following her starring roles in pop singer Sia's “Chandelier” and “Elastic Heart” music videos, Maddie dished about filming “Dance Moms.”
According to Maddie, the reality series -- which also features her mom, Melissa Gisoni, and 10-year-old sister, Mackenzie -- isn’t always so real. “It’s hard to do a reality show when there’s so much crying and drama. The producers set it up to make us all yell at each other,” she admitted, according to USA Today.
Maddie added that the program, which follows Abby Lee Miller’s famed ALDC elite junior team at dance competitions nationwide, can sometimes be fake, especially when older members of the cast are involved. “You know how I said that moms do fight? The moms have to fake a fight sometimes,” she said. “Afterward they just start talking and laugh about it.”
While some of the show's more intense scenes can be somewhat staged, Maddie said that the dancing portion of the program is genuine. “It is really real,” she said. “We do have a really crazy competition life.”
Despite some drama being faked for the sake of ratings, Maddie revealed that her relationships with her teammates and "Dance Moms" co-stars is 100 percent real. “All of the girls on the show, they’re my best friends,” she said. “I have so much fun getting to work with my friends and my teachers and dance,” she added.
This isn’t the first time “Dance Moms” has been outed for being fake. We previously revealed that the show is somewhat staged, after attending tapings for Season 4 and Season 5, and former lead Kelly Hyland shared similar stories during a June 2013 taping.
In an amateur behind-the-scenes video, Kelly can be seen engaging in an argument with Abby. The fight erupted after Kelly's then 12-year-old daughter Paige refused to learn a new routine for the company’s recital, resulting in Abby allowing her favorite student, Maddie, then 10, to perform in her place.
After Kelly makes her frustration known in the clip -- revealing that no one volunteered to fill in for Paige, including Maddie -- Abby tells Kelly, “Get a clue. It’s a TV show. We’re filming. Wake up!”
After Abby prompts Maddie to volunteer in order to pacify Kelly, Kelly lashes out. “You see how scripted the show is? Do you see how scripted it is?” Kelly asks the audience.
“I can’t wait for America to see how abusive Abby Lee Miller really is,” Kelly says after Abby dismisses her and her family from the set. To which Abby reples: “America knows who your kids are because of me. Thank you. You’re welcome!”
While the argument was featured in the Season 3 episode “Recital Rebellion,” some of their fight was left on the cutting room floor.
New episodes of “Dance Moms” air Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EDT on Lifetime.