Brooke Makes a Cameo
“It’s finally time,” says Brooke about making her long-awaited guest appearance on Back to the Barre. Throughout the episode, her references reiterate the robust second life that Dance Moms has been given on TikTok. She explains what the platform has dubbed “The Brooke Effect,” and that she learned from many of her followers that her inability to remember much from her time filming the show is actually a trauma response. As Kelly points out, Brooke was the worst age to film the show, not only because she was basically going through puberty on camera. She was old enough to teach the younger girls how to kiss on the back of the bus while traveling to competitions, but too young to join Kelly and Christi as they passed wine back and forth through the cracks in the seats.
Producers of all kinds continue to sell the Hyland girls short, as this episode shows Brooke recording her “Summertime Love Song” in L.A., where the girls have stayed to compete at Intensity Dance ahead of Nationals. Music producers autotuned her naturally lovely voice beyond recognition, and the show forced her to work with small-time producers who buried her singing career. According to Kelly, Brooke never made a penny from the record or the merch. Abby appointed herself director of Brooke’s music video which featured all the girls, even directing Maddie to dance in heavy traffic.
Throughout today’s episode, they discuss behind-the-scenes stories and clips that were never aired, like what the big lips on Kendall’s costume were a tribute to and what Brooke’s young male co-star said about Brooke off-camera. We also learn why Kelly sat in a dumpster all afternoon and why Christi had to explain STDs to the girls at seven in the morning.
- “We're always on the bottom row, huh, Brookie? We lived there. That’s where all my money went. I paid rent on the third row of the pyramid.” (23:09-23:20 | Kelly)
- “People who grew up watching the show and are coming back have a better understanding of it now that they're adults…I mean, there is absolutely an element of crazy there ” (100:53-1:01:20 | Christi)
- “McKenzie was sucking her thumb and carrying around a blanket and I had a boyfriend who was driving around.” (1:07 :59-1:08:06 | Brooke)
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