Un-P-lievable (Episode 2-3A)

We Americans united, much like we did 230 years ago, to show the Brits that we won’t let them tell us what to do. And, as a result, Master P was saved for another week on Dancing with the Stars. This week, unlike last week, he didn’t didn’t even place in the bottom two. Besides extending our own agony, it seems all we voters did was prove to the international community that Americans are as stupid as they think we are.

British dance judge Len Goodman declared on Thursday night’s show that it was time for Master P to dance no more. This provoked P’s fans — and non-fans who felt sympathy for Ashly and him — to vote in large enough numbers to save him from elimination.

After the viewers’ and judges’ votes were combined, George & Edyta and Giselle & Jonathan received the lowest rankings. Giselle was eliminated, but her spirits remained high, and she thanked her partner, Jonathan, for giving her “a gift forever.” George is going to have to step up his campaigning next week if he wants to avoid a repeat trip to the bottom two.

But Len wasn’t the only judge who earned blame for P’s miraculous rebound. All of the judges have scored P and Ashly on a different scale from the other couples. Carrie Ann awarded them a six, yet gave sevens to Jerry and Anna, Giselle and Jonathan, and George and Edyta. Were those couples’ performances really only one point better than P’s and Ashly’s? Even the fours that P and Ashly earned from Bruno and Len seemed generous. Carrie Ann said it herself: this is week three, not week one. There’s no more room in this competition for bad performances, and it’s time the dances were scored accordingly.

The problem with Master P’s continued presence in the competition isn’t his refusal to play by the rules. It’s that he’s simply not good enough to merit his spot, especially at the expense of other celebrities. And nothing is going to make him as good a dancer as the others. Though George can’t move as well as the rest, he and Edyta have worked his strengths, like solo footwork and dramatic facial expressions, into their routines. Ashly hasn’t included anything in their programs to showcase what P can do, leading us viewers to conclude that he can’t do anything well.

While it’s nice to see him having more fun, going so far as to declare George his blood brother from the ‘hood tonight, P’s PR efforts come a little too late. It was his own early reluctance to participate enthusiastically that’s left him well behind his competitors in terms of ability. Also, it’s obvious that DWTS is not as important to him as it is to the other celebrities. For some, it’s the fulfillment of a dream. For others, it’s a chance to compete seriously. It’s hard to tell what this show means to P. For that reason, the gracious thing to do next week would be to bow out of the competition.

Even if that doesn’t happen, there are some changes in store for next week’s Friday results show. The previous night’s dances will no longer be shown in their entirety, and the full hour will be live. Contestants will talk about their performances of the Fox Trot and Paso Doble, and there will be a longer interview with the eliminated couple. Next week’s special guests will be The Pussycat Dolls.

Tonight’s results show did have its share of fun moments. The professional dancers paired up to demonstrate the Paso Doble, a traditional dance of the matador, in which the woman represents the bull fighter’s cape. Couples for the performance were Anna & Jonathan, Ashly & Louis, Cheryl & Tony, and Edyta & Max. DWTS‘s music director decided that the song which best suits the Paso Doble is the theme from Rocky. Really, he did. Had there been time to demo the Fox Trot, he would have made the band play “Danger Zone.”

The Style Elements Crew also gave a breakdancing performance which, while impressive, made me feel like I was watching the halftime show at a Chicago Bulls game. I kept waiting for the InflataBulls race, a performance by The Bucket Boys, or at least a few T-shirts thrown to the audience.