Reality Check: Rak leads 'Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition' contestants

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During Broadway week on "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition" (Lifetime, Tuesdays), Pittsburgh native and program judge Rachelle Rak got to strut her stuff and teach the kids the value of "versatility" on the Great White Way.

Issuing numbers a la real auditions and fabulously demonstrating the way to snap one's head around for the ultimate flying hair quotient, Ms. Rak choreographed the number, then sat back to see who could master it.

The remaining dancers in the competition -- vying for $100,000 and a scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School -- are stunning for their young ages. McKaylee True of Lincoln, Neb., was deemed best in the first dance-off, prompting her somewhat obsessive mother, Shari, to call her "the bride" after being the bridesmaid in previous weeks.

In the main competition, thanks to her winning the first challenge, McKaylee got a solo. Short hair mussed like Anne Hathaway's in "Les Miserables," she did a lyrical number, "I Dreamed a Dance," and impressed the judges.

Tyler Atwood, whose twin brother, Travis, also is still in the running, was the low scorer, and as Ms. Miller gave him the bad news, she invited him to move to Pittsburgh ("I think I need a few boys now") and join the team at her school in Penn Hills.

But Travis, 12, shocked the judges when he announced that if Tyler left, he would leave as well. Ms. Miller, appalled, told him, "You know when your brother needs you? When he needs a kidney or a lung. Not when he has the opportunity to win $100,000. ... You're ridiculous!"

Their mother tried to explain it's a twin thing, but Ms. Miller would have none of it. She asked Travis to make a choice, and in the end, he stayed in the competition.

Former Savini School student Tate Steinsiek won the Mortal Sins challenge on "Face Off" (Syfy, Tuesdays) with an unusual take on "Sloth." And while Mr. Steinsiek, 35, was engaged in working up an elaborate makeup, he still found time to help a fellow contestant who could not figure out how to make a power washer shut down.


Maria Sciullo: or 412-263-1478 or @MariaSciulloPG. First Published October 12, 2013 5:18 PM


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