'Dance Moms': Abby goes from nude routine to 'era of innocence'?

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By Jen Harper (@HarperJen)

After a controversial showgirls dance during the March 6 episode of "Dance Moms," Abby Lee Miller blamed the team's loss not on the potentially inappropriate nature of the routine or the fact that the girls were supposed to appear nude behind their over-sized pink feather fans -- but on the girls themselves. 

And ironically in Tuesday's (March 13) episode, during which Abby and the girls travel to Miami for a competition, she says, "I want to take the girls back to an era of innocence." 

The dancers are supposed to embody Annette Funicello in the 1965 flick "Beach Blanket Bingo" for the number with "big high ponytails and little itsy-bitsy '60s bikinis," Abby says. Because nothing says innocence like a lot of skin?

With that and the big blowout between Abby and Nia's mom, Holly (complete with loads of school-related puns for Holly the principal, courtesy of Abby, like "I'm the principal!" "You're expelled!" and "Detention is good enough!"), does anyone else feel like Abby's gone totally overboard this season? During Season 1, she obviously was hard on the girls and would sometimes select questionable ensembles and dance moves, but at this point, Abby's screeching and her interactions with the girls and their moms -- especially last week -- seem to be a bit much, even in reality TV terms.

Many say that the presence of the camera automatically impacts how people act on reality shows, so you can't ever capture true reality. But I feel like last season came much closer to that. Obviously, Abby is a strict teacher who expects a lot from her students and pushes the boundaries with her dancers, preparing them for what could potentially be a professional career as a performer -- a demanding and highly competitive profession. But Abby and the show in general seem to have become a caricature of who and what it really is -- to the point that it's not entirely enjoyable to watch.

As far as guilty pleasures go, "Dance Moms" is near the top of the list for me, but if things continue like this, I don't know if my psyche can take it.


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