Tatum’s Going to Need Some Uppers (Episode 2-2A)

Something in the universe must have gone horribly wrong. That’s the only way to explain how Master P received enough votes to make it to week three of Dancing with the Stars.

Before we even got to the live portion of the ultimately disappointing results show, viewers were treated to a replay of all nine dances from the previous night. Tom Bergeron introduced each performance in pre-taped segments, and periodically a counter appeared onscreen, indicating how many minutes remained until the live program began. Approximately 27 minutes after the hour, the opening credits ran again, and the live show started.

The logic behind the format makes sense, as DwtS will be up against Survivor on Thursday nights, starting February 2. Survivor fans — and Smallville fans, and O.C. fans, and fans of whatever crap NBC airs in that hour — will be able to catch up on the performances on Friday nights before the results are announced, though they will not be able to vote.

But, for those of us who’ve already watched the Thursday performance show, it’s frustrating to wait through all the performances again, when we’ve been expecting a full hour of new material. And starting the live show 27 minutes in, instead of 30, is clever, but in bad taste. (You can’t watch a 7:00-7:30 show on another channel without missing the first minutes of new DwtS material or the last few minutes of the other channel’s show)

At the start of this week’s live show, Samantha Harris interviewed the couples who’d earned the three lowest scores from the judges: Lisa and Louis, Tatum and Nick, and Master P and Ashly. Tatum was, thankfully, much more subdued than she’d seemed on previous nights. Her PR people must have given her enough pills to sedate her, but not so many that she’d slur her words. All the competitors pledged to work harder next week if they survived this week’s elimination, and all of them but Master P were telling the truth.

After the team interviews, we learned that next week’s dances will be the Tango and the Jive. Apparently, Tango refused to be paired with Cash. According to Louis’s blog, the men will dance the Tango, and the women the Jive.

The Jive originated from the Lindy Hop. So, to get us ready for next week’s performances, two Lindy Hop champions perfomed that dance. They wore what looked like wrestling shoes, which must be better suited than traditional dance shoes for all the jumping around that the Lindy Hop requires. The dancers deserved a lot of credit for making it look totally fun, even though I got exhausted just watching them. My heart raced as I lounged in my pajamas and sipped hot cocoa.

The show then returned to discussion of the competition at hand. In previously-taped interview segments, the show’s celebrity dancers and their professional partners talked about the other teams. Edyta said that, from a pro’s perspective, Stacy is the best celebrity dancer. And Anna gave Drew a lot of praise. It sounded like the professionals won’t be surprised if Stacy and Drew ultimately face off in the finale. Lisa is a fan of George and Jerry. Jerry returned the compliment by saying that he, too, is a fan of Jerry — and he’s taking the competition as seriously as he took playing football.

Jesse McCartney was this week’s guest musician. His song, “Get Your Shine On,” has a ridiculous name but a catchy beat reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.” Tony and his professional partner, Elena Grinenko, danced to McCartney’s performance. I haven’t been giving Tony enough credit; he’s really talented. And his partner’s amazing. Until you see the professionals dancing with one another, you don’t realize just how skilled they are.

In the show’s last segment, we finally learned the results of the previous night’s voting. To no one’s surprise, Master P and Ashly were in the bottom two, after the audience votes were added to those of the judges. Tatum and Nick were the other low pair.

Although Tatum and Nick — unlike P and Ashly — had done well in their previous performance, they learned how one bad night can lead to a team’s abrupt departure. Host Tom Bergeron declared that Tatum and Nick had lost, and pretty much apologized to them for having to say so. Bergeron said he was stunned, because even he doesn’t learn who’s going home until the names are spoken into his earpiece at the end of the show. He was barely able to hold back from saying what we were all thinking: “How the hell did they lose to Master P?”

P’s sucky disposition can’t weigh down this competition any longer. Fans aren’t doing Ashly any favors saddling her to this lout, so it’s time to cut her loose. She’ll surely be brought back to demo a dance in a future episode. It’s time to get rid of the dead weight.