Reality Check

Reality Check: 'Dance Moms' battle continues; CMU grad student still a 'Nerd'

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In the aftermath of a catfight shown on Tuesday's episode of Lifetime's "Dance Moms," Kelly Hyland has filed a $5 million lawsuit against star Abby Lee Miller, gossip site TMZ reports.

During a dance rehearsal in New York City in November, Ms. Miller, who owns the eponymous Penn Hills studio featured in the show, got into a slapfight with Mrs. Hyland, whose two daughters are on the competitive dance team.

"Dance Moms" participants are always getting into arguments, but in this case, Mrs. Hyland alleges that Ms. Miller lunged at her and she responded by slapping the coach. Mrs. Hyland claims the show's producers had her driven by car from the fight and put on a plane, which resulted in police issuing a warrant for her arrest, according to TMZ.

'Dance Moms' coach Abby Lee Miller and a mom fighting

"Dance Moms" coach Abby Lee Miller is being sued by Kelly Hyland, whose daughters were part of the Penn Hills school's competitive dance team.

Even on paper, the "Dance Moms" epithets keep flying. In the suit, Mrs. Hyland reportedly refers to Ms. Miller as "gnashing her teeth loudly, attempting to bite," and she notes the coach is "a very large woman ... around 300 pounds or so."

Mrs. Hyland is suing Ms. Miller and the show's producers for assault, defamation and breach of contract, asking for $5 million in punitive damages.

What's worse than being the nerd no one wants on the team? Being the nerd everyone on the worst team wants.

Luck of the draw sent Carnegie Mellon University ETC master's student Katie Correll to the other side on "King of the Nerds" (TBS, Thursdays). She was horrified; her new teammates were delighted. Turns out, this week's challenge was robotic dodgeball, and Ms. Correll designs robots.

"I'm on the Island of Misfit Nerds," she said sadly.

Several episodes into season two, it's apparent that hard-core gamer Zach Storch is the kind of nerd that other nerds shun. But what he lacks in social graces he makes up for in an uncanny ability to stave off being eliminated in the final challenges. Playing a zombie version of the kids' game, "KerPlunk," he sent former ally and "Doctor Who" expert Nicole Evans packing.

But first, there was robotic dodgeball. It wasn't nearly as interesting as it probably sounded on paper, and it all came down to Mr. Storch having to keep the last team's robot safe from flying dodgeballs. He immediately got it stuck on a boundary marker, and it was a sitting duck. Even the other team expressed pity for him until he declared, "I screwed up, but I don't think it's my fault overall."

Little wonder his team put him up for elimination for the third consecutive week.

One of the biggest tasks competition reality show producers face is coming up with fresh ideas for challenges. In the case of this week's "Face Off," (Syfy, Tuesdays), the special makeup effects artists found themselves chasing shadows.

Presented with creepy silhouettes, they had to create monsters worthy of casting those shadows. Where the audience might see crazed maniacs or under-the-bed phantoms, many of the artists saw...insects. Who knew?

For better or worse, bugs were a big influence, although Niko Gonzalez, winner of the challenge, did a beautiful job with a bullish Minotaur. Also of note, Corinne Foster's "creepy" little lady goblin.

But it was not a good outing for Savini grad Tanner White. His creature suffered from ripped Latex body wrapping, poorly executed horns and a host of other makeup problems. The judges sent him home.

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