I can't believe I messed this up... I might have just cost The Next Step everything.


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"Even Better Than the Real Thing" is the 37th episode in Season 4 of The Next Step and the 131st episode. It aired on April 21, 2017.


"The team competes in the first round at Regionals. Due to a misreading of the rules, the solo round is not what they expected. The result is devastating."[1]


Michelle noah riley amanda piper amy henry cassie skylar season 4 ebttrt

A-Troupe marvels at Regionals.

A-Troupe excitedly walks through the lobby of the Regionals venue. Riley asks Michelle how she is doing and, to her contentment, Michelle replies that she is excited. Riley gathers the troupe around and tells that although they are prepared with Michelle's excellent solo, they must be ready for anything. Riley approaches a delegate to sign Michelle in for the solo round and discovers that she misread the rules; the soloist who is to compete must be drawn at random and will have to freestyle to pre-selected music with absolutely no choreography. Michelle is in disbelief and Riley fears that she might have cost the team everything.

Sloane's name is drawn for the solo. Although Michelle and her friends assure her that she will do great, Sloane is wracked with nerves.

SNR Network's coverage of the competition commences, with Chuck Anderson and Tanisha Scott at the helm. With the solo round about to begin, Tanisha reminds the audience that freestyle is the extreme opposite of choreography, as dancers must spontaneously connect to the music and construct a dance. Meanwhile, Sloane rehearses in another room. Upon LaTroy entering the room, Sloane stops dancing, which LaTroy inquires about. Sloane admits that she is nervous, although LaTroy is confused by this, deeming Sloane one of the best freestylers on the team. Sloane claims that dancing in front of your team and in front hundreds of people is different. At this, LaTroy reminds Sloane of her music video in which she dances with Jude, which has thousands of views. Confessing that the video is one of the things she is most proud of, Sloane instantly feels more confident. Backstage, Cassie notes Amy's jumpiness, which she attributes to wanting to tell LaTroy that she loves him. The first competitor takes the stage. Amanda consoles Michelle about being unable to do the solo, but Michelle admits that she fears she did not work hard enough on the trio. The first competitor finishes her solo and a dancer from Gemini Dance Studio takes the stage and performs exceptionally. While Sloane is relieved to see a hip-hop solo, the fact that it is so well done sets her on edge. Gemini Dance Studio wins the round with ease. Sloane asks Riley for advice, but having little faith in Sloane, Riley merely tells her that she will do great. Sloane easily senses Riley's lack of confidence in her.

Ebttrt cassie blurts to latroy that amy loves him

Cassie reveals to LaTroy that Amy loves him.

Cassie accidentally tells LaTroy that Amy loves her and is scared to tell him. As another dancer performs, Amy pulls Cassie aside and realizes that Cassie told Sloane that she loves him. When Amy approaches LaTroy, LaTroy kisses her and Amy admits that she loves him. LaTroy says it back, but admits that he feels nothing. On-stage, Steps moves forward in the competition. Sloane's competitior, a dancer from Dance Extreme, takes the stage. Sloane becomes anxious watching her contemporary and acro proficient competitor. Upon the end of the poised solo, Sloane takes the stage. It is clear that Sloane is extremely nervous, and she begins her solo quite poorly. Although, Sloane suddenly becomes able to connect to the music and performs much better. As Sloane dances and LaTroy watches, both parties realize that Sloane is performing the dance from her music video, meaning that she is unlawfully performing choreography in a freestyle round. The audience eats up the performance, with nobody else seeming to catch on to Sloane's cheating. It isn't until The Next Step Dance Studio wins the round that the twin brothers from Gemini run to the judges' table and show them Sloane's video that things go awry; Sloane is summoned back on-stage and the judges announce she is disqualified from the competition. Sloane runs off-stage with Riley in tow.

Ebttrt riley tells the team about sloane

Riley fills the team in on what has happened.

In another room, Riley and Sloane stand before the judges and the twins who showed them the video. Riley becomes aware that Sloane performed choreography. While Riley tries to fight the judgment, the evidence is too apparent. One of the judges asserts that The Next Step has irrevocably lost the round and that Sloane is out of the competition. Sloane tearfully apologizes to Riley, but Riley claims that that doesn't help them at the moment. Sloane is left alone, crying and feeling guilty about hindering the team. Backstage, the members of A-Troupe wonder what happened, which Riley fills them in on. Michelle is wary of having to do the trio, seeing as she rehearsed the solo much more. LaTroy finds Sloane and consoles her. It is at this time that LaTroy admits to Sloane that he loves her, which Sloane resounds. LaTroy confesses that the feeling that was missing when he said this to Amy is there when he says it to Sloane. Sloane is happy that her feelings are finally reciprocated, but wonders what this means in lieu of him dating Amy.




  • Dance Extreme competes at Regionals even though they seemingly lost the final qualifier in "Rivalry." However, the real mistake is that in past episodes, Dance Extreme and Dance Inc. were misnamed for the other, meaning that Dance Extreme being at Regionals is technically correct.
  • Sloane is said to have copied every move from her music video, when in truth she performs very few of the moves.
  • Heather can be seen wearing a jacket that says "Hanna" when she performs her solo; this is her actress's name, not the character's name.

Production errors

  • Tanisha Scott praises Heather's turns, but Heather is performing aerials while Tanisha is speaking.
  • Sloane ends her dance with a pose after performing a split. Although, after cutting away from Sloane and back to her, she can clearly be seen still in the splits.
  • In the ending credits, the word "rhythm" in "Rhythm Plus Dance Company" is misspelled as "rythum."

Cultural references

  • The title refers to a song of the same name by U2.






Featured music


Main article: Even Better Than the Real Thing/Transcript


Main article: Even Better Than the Real Thing/Quotes


Main article: Even Better Than the Real Thing/Aftershow


Kathy Riley season 3 episode 13 "Look at that painting!"

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  1. TV Listings Grid, TV Guide and TV Schedule, Where to Watch TV Shows - Screener. Zap2It (February 25, 2017). Retrieved on February 25, 2017.
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