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Aside from the incident with Brooke Hyland being left off the pyramid and Sophia Lucia's top placement despite not being at rehearsal, the drama (and the heart) of this episode of Dance Moms came from "studio-hopper" Jill Vertes and her gorgeous, sweet daughter, Kendall.

 Jill's been a little too quiet this season, right? So something was bound to happen. After Abby Lee Miller announced that Kendall would be doing a duet with Maddie Ziegler, Jill and Kendall were thrilled. Maddie's mom, Melissa Gisoni? Not so much.

 

But why? That's what producers would like us to ponder, so here's a poll on just that:

Maddie usually gets solos, and so Melissa wasn't "thrilled" about "the duet." Did she say "the duet with Kendall because of Kendall, because Kendall is not as good as Maddie"? We may never know, but that's the impression Abby gave Jill.

I don't have a kid, and I don't know what I would do in this situation. I have a feeling my kid isn't going to be a talented, dedicated dancer at age 10 (when I was 10, I liked to drink a lot of Yoo-Hoo and read Sweet Valley Twins, which probably isn't an activity that inspired a lot of pride for my parents), but they might be a kid like Kendall, who wants to be amazing and is trying, but just isn't amazing. That's most kids, isn't it?

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I was kind of horrified when Jill decided to ask for clarification on just how bummed out Maddie and Melissa are about dancing with Kendall…in front of Kendall. While she's running the number in the same room, just before she goes on stage. And it broke my heart when Kendall started asking her mom why she was doing this now. Timing is everything, Jill. Your kid is a dancer; she knows that.

Sugar and Spice, the duet that Kendall and Maddie performed, won first place. Abby attributed the win to Maddie's skill (but not in front of Kendall).

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Angry as I was about Jill's insensitivity, I was aware last night that this episode of Dance Moms was a huge improvement, and possibly my favorite episode so far this season. (I'm having trouble recalling exactly what went down in the premiere since the subsequent episodes were so awful). Things seemed to get back to basics here, which is a good thing. There were no fake dance moms! There were no horribly staged circumstances! There was also no Sophia, and depending on who you are, that was a plus or a minus. I love watching Sophia dance, but she doesn't need this show. I do. (Ha!) And when you throw her into the mix, the crazy, real dance moms I've come to love and want to strangle start acting too crazy even for me.

Did you think this was the best episode of Dance Moms so far this season? What do you think Melissa really said about the duet? Were you yelling at Jill through your television? Tell us @OKMagazine (or, as always, tell me @reallylsass…I've loved reading your comments!).

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