The Ziegler girls' eventual Dance Moms departure has felt inevitable for some time, and yet, until tonight, it was impossible to imagine the show without these two integral ALDC members. The bad news didn't even fully hit home last month, when Maddie Ziegler made the official announcement. That all changed during tonight's episode, with Melissa Gisoni finally admitting what we all knew and didn't care to admit to ourselves: The Zieglers are finished with the ALDC.
This moment has been a long time in the making, but I still wasn't prepared. No more weekly Maddie solos? No more comments about eating chips from Mackenzie? I'm just getting over Chloe Lukasiak's exit and now it's time to say goodbye to another two of the original girls.
This marks the end of an era for the family that has been instrumental in putting Dance Moms on the map. Yes, Lukasiak and the Hyland sisters — and even Cathy Nesbitt-Stein and her daughter Vivi-Anne — also played a vital role, but ultimately, there's only one Maddie Ziegler.
The best word to describe tonight's emotional episode of Dance Moms is bittersweet. Yes, the Ziegler girls have a great future ahead of them, but they are also leaving behind their best friends and biggest mentor. Their departure is also a poignant reminder that, outside of Nia Frazier (and, according to the delusional Jill Vertes, Kendall), all of the original girls of Dance Moms are gone. The show has already felt incomplete without the antics of best buds Chloe Lukasiak, and Brooke and Paige Hyland, and now, there are another two pairs of dance shoes Lifetime must fill.
The Twitterverse is usually a cesspool of drama after each week's Dance Moms episode, but this week, everybody (even those who used to complain endlessly about Miller's favoritism) was very emotional about the Zieglers' departure.
This episode is so sad— jai. (@crossbownjh) April 13, 2016
This episode is so sad about Maddie, Mackenzie and Melissa leaving dance moms. It's going to feel like something's missing now. #DanceMoms— Grace McClintock (@graceawesome45) April 13, 2016
Trying to save my tears for my pillow #DanceMoms— Aaliyah (@AaliyahTrigg) April 13, 2016
With the Zieglers basically out of the picture, the big question is, what's next? The obvious path for Lifetime is a battle to become the next Maddie. But that plot has already been explored at length. Perhaps the mini team will be featured more prominently? Or, perhaps, Miller will quit, as she's been threatening to do for some time. Only time will tell, and only time will enable Dance Moms fanatics to get over the Zieglers' exit.
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