Kayley has continues her crazy workout schedule, which her dad sees as “chasing Genji.” She thinks he’s coming into the house but he reveals that he’s got a new apartment so that he has own place. (He’s been living in the guest house apparently.) Her parents have been alternating days at the gym and Kayley wants to trick them into hanging out, so she asks him to be her manager again. Now that she’s passionate again. In comes her mom and Kayley asks her to be a manager too, to handle PR. “It’s perfect! I don’t know why we didn’t think of this before?” You’ll find out soon Kayley.
Lauren and Carter are making out, Carter starts feeling her up, but she gets upset because their relationship seems to be just about sex. Is he just with her because she’s…”willing.” He did so much for Kayley and nothing for her. And she’s given up so much for him! She wants him to say “I love you” but he doesn’t want to say it just because she demands it. She storms off, but for once, good for him for standing his ground. (It’s like the only non-sleezy thing he’s done so far.)
Austin rides in on his bike with a girl and the girls guess who the new “bimbo de jeur is” which means it is of course Emily (gotta love that grin on Lauren’s face that says “this couldn’t have been a better moment if I’d planned it”). Emily even looks a bit ashamed by it. (And also, REALLY MIOBI WRITERS? Another love story revolving around Emily!?!?)
In the gym Emily explains that he gave her a ride because they had a flat. Lauren makes an excellent point about how “paying attention to boys because they’re paying attention to other girls is still paying attention to boys” and even Payson backs her up. They should be concentrating on their new floor routines. They’re working on dance portions (tryouts for the world team is soon). Payson thinks this therefore doesn’t include her, but Sasha informs her that he’s working with all future Olympians.
Payson goes to the corner to start. This is where she always starts so she can begin with a strong, powerful tumbling run that puts her right in the action. However, now that she is going for artistry, Sasha wants her to begin in the middle. (I was iffy about this fact so I went to look at some big names to see and my findings were that all of the following gymnasts begin in the corner, or a few steps away, to begin their routine: Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, Jordyn Wieber, Rebecca Bross, Yang Yilin, Bridget Sloan. I did not find any, though I’m sure there are some, who began in the middle.) Sasha wants her to “tell a story” and what story does he want her to tell? The story of a flower! This is her new beginning and this is where it starts (PS, anyone else notice that she looks thinner this season? It is either about more gym time or just better costuming.)
Lauren wants to hire Lacey Grimes, the hottest gymnastics choreographer out there. She wants to speak to Lacey directly. She runs off, Steve and Chloe make out. In comes Kayley’s mother to be all “ew.” The point of this utterly pointless scene is for Chloe to see that other parents manage their girls’ careers and Chloe thinks she should do the same. Steve suggests she hire a choreographer.
The girls discuss the floor stuff as they stretch. Emily the whiner has only put together one competition worthy routine ever (I’m not sure we agree about the one she had being competition worthy, it was simply all she was willing to do) and Payson is upset about being “a frickin flower.” Notice that Payson is has her foot ALL THE WAY up in a straight line as she stretches (crazy!) and then moments later, Kayley lifts her leg to stretch and only get it about 3/4 of the way there, to the top of the bar. (Who is the better gymnast?!?) Austin comes to give a little flirty moment, which annoys Emily but Emily thinks he was just teasing.
Chloe has apparently been looking for the wrong type of choreographer (Vegas friends…) so she asks Summer and Kim for help and they suggest Lacey.
Steve texts Lacey’s number to Lauren and says she call her RIGHT NOW. But instead, Lauren is lured away by Carter’s invitation for a romantic date.
Kayley sees them kissing and is so distracted she nearly mows Austin down with her car. I’m not sure that wasn’t intentional. Kayley explains that gym rules are no dating. Then how are Lauren and Carter kissing in the parking lot? (Not to mention all the times Kayley and Carter were making out in the parking lot.)
Kayley is working out again when her mom reveals a new floor routine music that she found, that’s different. Much more rock, like Emily’s lame routine from last season. Kayley wants her to run it by dad who you know will have a different opinion.
Emily finds out that Chloe has gotten Lacey Grimes exclusively, which costs $2,000. Emily doesn’t think they can afford that. Emily is upset that she wasn’t consulted but Chloe wanted to surprise her. Emily intends to send her away. We’ll see about that.
Summer found some Ballet tickets in Sasha’s desks while organizing his desk. They assume it means Sasha will ask her out and Summer gets all fifth grade excited. But the ballet is tonight and he hasn’t asked. Maybe Summer should drop some hints?
Payson continues working on the flower power routine but she’s not into and she starts laughing. She’s an athlete, not a ballerina. She knows what they look like and she’s not that type of girl. Summer works in how she loves the ballet but Sasha is too focused on his Payson problem to really pay attention.
Kayley’s routine, meanwhile, is pretty awkward and non-gymnastics type. Alex is unhappy with it (this isn’t American Idol, it doesn’t matter if it’s produced by a five time Grammy nominee). They argue until they agree on having a dinner to let Kayley decide.
Austin invites Kayley and Emily to a party but Kayley says no. He makes fun that Kayley is the puppet master. Lauren comes in to rub it in about her date with Carter. She also just left a message for Lacey Grimes, which is of course why Emily decides to work with her. (Now you know why boys are a problem, Lauren…) Emily’s mom called Lacey last night while Lauren called this morning. Whoops. (Remember for like five minutes at the end of “Sunday Bloody Sasha Sunday when Lauren and Emily were friends? That didn’t last long.)
Rehearsal with Lacey doesn’t go so well but Emily watches with a mix jealousy and irritation. Emily’s struggling because of her lack of dance background. It isn’t Emily’s style/technique but Lacey says the problem is that Emily is blocked and she may have to stay in the gym all night to get it right. Lauren whines to Steve about how easy the routine is. Steve reveals telling Chloe about the choreographer and Lauren is upset that he’s “helping her competition.” She makes him promise not to help her again.
Summer is ready to give up but Kim thinks he’ll come in to ask her out. He comes to ask her if she’s free at night but only so she can babysit the gym while Emily works on her choreography. Meanwhile, Sasha asks Kim if he can take…Payson to give her some inspiration. Kim agrees and then apologizes to Summer who is very disappointed.
Payson is not happy. She’s been to the ballet before. Contemporary or not. Payson doesn’t think this will be any different. She thinks only petite and graceful people can dance. She won’t promise to enjoy it. In comes Sasha in a suit and Payson’s a little stunned (making me wonder if perhaps that inappropriate relationship we all speculated on last season will in fact happen between Payson and Sasha. Maybe just a one-sided crush).
Kayley’s parents continue arguing over music so Kayley suggests compromise. Even that doesn’t seem to resolve things. Kayley takes a bite of carrot and then craftily spits it into her napkin.
Payson still whines about the ballet when he’s spotted outside by Jadyn (Lauren from So You Think You Can Dance I think!?!) dressed in a baseball cap and sweatshirt. She’s the one who got him the tickets. Payson assumes she’s the stagehand.
Emily keeps working but to no avail. In comes Austin to do a bit more flirting (ostensibly to work out but he does one run on the parallel bars–after which Emily falls over because she’s watching–and then goes over to talk to her). Austin reveals that his parents lived in a van for three months so that he could pursue his gymnastics. He suggests getting out of the gym to work on her gym problems. Pizza at the Shack? She is hesitant but his “charm” convinces her. It’s not a date, just a slice. (Plus a slight dig at Kayey which is always nice.)
Payson is totally entranced by the ballerina performing (in the worst fitting costume ever) and while I’m not a huge fan of the particular choreography which didn’t feel very contemporary to me, Payson is entranced. And shocked to discover that Jadyn is the dancer. (Yay Lauren!) Payson can’t believe she thought she was a stagehand. (This was probably so fun for Ayla Kell, all this ballet stuff.)
Emily wonders about Austin’s party. He never had one, he’s just up-keeping an image. His parents were hippies and they don’t like that he’s spending all his money. Emily doesn’t think she could spend that much money on herself. Austin says that’s why she can’t learn her dance moves. You gotta go in, no holding anything back. Sweat, tears, pain, broken bones, and CASH. All in. If you don’t take yourself seriously who will? In comes Lauren, pleased to find them on a date. She says she won’t tell Kayley but Emily says she can tell Kayley whatever she wants. Lauren then whines to Carter about Emily “stealing” her choreography. Carter tells her to just prove she’s better than Emily.
Payson gushes about Jadyn’s dancing. Out comes the dancer to explain the “lightness” element. People don’t expect girls like Lauren to be a ballerina but she says grace and elegance come from inside. You believe it, people will see it. It’s powerful but it has to come from you.
Summer is still upset about the ballet ticket thing. Sasha is clueless. Sasha is thrilled that Payson has had a breakthrough. Summer takes a page from Lauren’s book to whine. Kim decides to be blunt about it, “if you do like her could you just ask her out?”
In practice Kayley asks Emily about her date with Austin. Lauren you are a five year old. And Kayley aren’t you not talking to her? Emily insists they weren’t on a date. She paid. Lauren says Emily leads all boys on, can she be just friends with any guy? Lauren brags that Carter tells her all the time how much she loves him. So Kayley gives them a speech about how they can screw up their own careers they want. (Kayley, you are the worst leader ever. They really need Payson back in number one. She’s the only one who seems able to maintain her focus, even when she liked Nikki.)
Time for the girls to present their floor routines. Payson doesn’t want to go because she’s not ready. She will be, but she isn’t yet. Willingness is everything. Kayley’s routines, a blend of the two musics is so uncomfortable because they attempt to go all hip hop style which doesn’t work when a girl is wearing a uniform. Everyone watching looks uncomfortable and confused. (Even Lacey Grimes looks shocked and Alex looks more than a little concerned.) Her parents agree they ruined things. Lauren is second and she steals Emily’s routine. (Lacey Grimes: “At least somebody knows the choreography.”) Emily storms off in despair. Austin tells Carter what Lauren did and then goes out to pep talk her. You can’t let her win! It will look different when you do it. You spent money and time on it. Show them you’re worth it. All in. (Yeah, not so subtle relationship blooming. Emily has to be involved with whoever supports her right?) Emily goes out and does it and I can’t pretend to think she does it better, though the show would like us to believe that by showing us the cooler parts. (Plus Emily is longer so her lines are better.) Lauren is clearly worried as she watches. Lacey Grimes is shocked. She gets a standing ovation.
Kayley’s parents decide they can’t keep putting Kayley mid-arguments. Alex says she should go with her mother’s argument while her mom suggests the opposite, leading to yet another argument.
Carter is pissed that Lauren did that. (It took her thirty minutes to practice.) Carter says he’s seen her best and worst sides and her bad side is too scary. He can’t love her when she does things like that. Lauren, getting the smack down two weeks in a row.
Sasha comes to ask Summer out (he thinks Lauren has learned her lesson about that stunt she pulled). She’s so surprised she doesn’t answer immediately. She says yes.
Payson stares at the floor for a bit and then takes off her jacket to do some practice. Hurray, getting to see Ayla Kell do a bit of ballet. It’s about time! (Thought not with the most flattering light in the beginning.) Great note to end on.