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"Solo Battle: Round 1" is the twenty-eighth episode of the fifth season of Dance Moms. It first aired July 21 2015.

Note: A special episode Throwback Tuesday: Maddie & Melissa aired immediately after this episode airs.


Jeanette officially takes over the Candy Apples and she's brings an epic routine featuring the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles to the competition. Meanwhile, Abby tests the girls with a challenging prop. Later, Kendall and JoJo are the first to go head-to-head in a bracket-style showdown to see who will get a solo at Nationals. Kira and Kalani make a big decision that will determine their future with the ALDC.

Competition Attended

New York Dance Experience in Escondido, CA on May 9, 2015

Weekly Dances

Abby Lee Dance Company
Dance Name
Dance Style
Don't Fence Me In Contemporary 1st Overall
1st in Junior
Elite Gold
JoJo She Can't Stop Jazz did not place
Elite Gold[2]
Kendall Immortal Contemporary 3rd in Junior
1st in Contemporary[3]
Elite Gold
JC's Broadway Dance Academy
Dance Name
Dance Style
Ava Cota
Haley Huelsman
Tessa Wilkinson
Chloe Smith
Ashtin Roth
Run, Run, Run Lyrical 2nd Overall
1st in Senior
Elite Gold
Chloe' Smith Unknown
(not shown)
Lyrical 2nd in Teen
Elite Gold[4]

Other Information

  • Pyramid
    • Kendall
    • Maddie, Mackenzie
    • Nia, JoJo
  • There were serious problems obtaining reliable spoilers this week.[5][6] Spoilers were eventually posted that were confirmed in most respects, and consistent with the show for the remainder of their details.[7]
  • On Thursday, Jill tweeted to Cathy, "@Poodletoes1 you're just an ass! #youvebeenreplaced."[8] Tessa, Ashtin, Haley and Ava walked between buildings wearing jackets from Jeanette Cota's Broadway Dance Academy. (Chloe' Smith was seen wearing a dance costume.) Cathy tweeted that four dancers should do well (i.e., excluding a fifth in Ava), and said she was sorry for the hands they were in (i.e., Jeanette's).[9] (Earlier in the week, various people related to the heretofore-CADC had messaged the team in Los Angeles to not forget who was their real leader.)
  • May 5th: Maddie performed on Dancing with the Stars. She danced in a trio with Brynn Rumfallo and Jaycee Wilkins (both of Club Dance), to Josh Groban singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."[10][11][12] She also had a short contemporary solo, "Hold Back the River."
  • The day before Maddie's appearance on DWTS (May 4th), choreographer Travis Wall posted a photo with Maddie, on the set used for her Pretty Little Liars guest star appearance, with Wall stating they had done a rehearsal for that show.[13]
  • BDA (formerly CADC) was 'collaborating with the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles and the cast of "It Gets Better" for competition this week against ALDC.'[14]
    • The BDA group dance related to Caitlyn Jenner's recent transition, and was inspired by Jay Pryor, who talked to the CADC/BDA dancers about his own transgender life experience. (Weblog article link.)
    • A 5+ minute YouTube video by GMCLA has been posted about this episode, including speaking interactions with the BDA dancers during the week, along with some well-filmed footage of both BDA and ALDC group dances.
    • At the competition, singers were onstage with the group dance.
  • First in teen was Danielle Esposito of Evolution Dance Center, with "Roxie."[15][16][17] Esposito also seems to have competed at a different NYDE Dance Moms event earlier, seen in Hollywood, Round Two,[18] and finishing 1st in teen and 1st overall at that previous NYDE event.[19]
  • After the Xpression competition for the previous episode, the CADC returned to Los Angeles (rather than returning to their different home locations.) Jeanette and Ava were among those who returned to L.A. from Arizona.[20]
  • First in junior was "Tap This," by a soloist named Emma from Touch of Class;[21] a soloist by that description would seem to be Emma Hellenkamp (video). Touch of Class had competed at other Dance Moms California competitions earlier in the season - one at NYDE,[22] the other at Starbound.[23] Emma placed second as well as first at this NYDE competition in junior. (At the different NYDE for Hollywood, Round Two, Emma seemed to have placed 2nd in junior, after Kendall and ahead of Mackenzie.)[24] Emma Hellenkamp appeared on So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation in 2016.[25]
  • Tara, a student of Cathy's since age three (and who danced for CADC in the midseason finale), had expected to go to Los Angeles "soon" about a month before this time.[26] But around April 12th, she was asked, "U exited for dance moms"? To which she responded, "Umm yeah a little nervous who knows what will happen."[27]
  • A small part of the fighting on Twitter was reported earlier in the week by the IBT, where Cathy's account was presented about why she had grabbed Jill's phone in the midseason finale.[28]
  • Rumors emerged soon after the previous competition that Kira had left the show, which Kira immediately and angrily denounced on Twitter.[29] Kira had remained in Arizona through Wednesday, but took a flight to Los Angeles early on Thursday.[30][31] Kalani was in L.A. with Addison, Molly, and likely Alexa on Tuesday relating to DWTS (see below), and was with ALDC teammates by Wednesday. Kalani and Kira did go to the competition (Kalani wearing an ALDC jacket like others), and they accompanied the rest of the ALDC team; but Kalani did not perform in the group.
  • Rachelle Rak was again a judge at this NYDE event.[32]
  • JoJo's solo was based on Miley Cyrus.
  • Kendall K working in music recording studio, on song titled "Heartsmile."
  • Mackenzie was still working on music video for "I Gotta Dance."
  • Much of the ALDC team attended the premiere for Pitch Perfect 2. (100+ Photos of Dance Moms cast posing at premiere.)
  • Much of the cast attended a Kim Kardashian book signing on Thursday.

Picture Gallery

To view the gallery for "Solo Battle: Round 1," click here.

Video Gallery

To view the video gallery for "Solo Battle: Round 1," visit subpage Solo Battle: Round 1/Videos.


  1. #37 on list #17 Tuesday Cable Original
    See notes on spoilers in other information
  5. Note that text photo on left disagrees with text on right. The same instagram account obtained video clips of ALDC group dance, but was hesitant to vouch for own reliability. Text on right is newer, and includes statement, "There weren't many fans so the info is not 100% confirmed! It may/may not change"
    "dmspoilersupdates_ My source said they got 4th ?"
    "updates4udm 3 people told me they got 1st @dmspoilersupdates_"
    " dancemomofficialspoilers @dmspoilersupdates_ they were 1st. If you're talking about the same girl that commented on my picture she was lying. She never went to the competition"

    These were typical of the confusion caused by few verifiasble, talkative sources this weekend
    confirmations: Esposito placing on her Instagram (referenced in other notes); Emma taking first and second from Touch of Class was announced on broadcast; Kendall third; same placings of groups as broadcast
    Consistent spoiler, with those details that look confirmed: Chloe' Smith in 2nd behind Esposito
    Same IP linked to YouTube video of footage prior to broadcast:
  12. rehearsal photo posted by Mandy Moore
  13. traviswall: "Rehearsal today with this one for Pretty Little Liars! @madisonziegler1313"
  15. 13.7k follower account prior to episode broadcast, congratulations include one by @sarina_jassy22 (she is not claiming to be at event; but congrats does further authenticate account)
  17. spelling "Roxie."
  18. video clip of broadcast
  29. etc