‘Masked Singer’ unicorn is ‘90210’ star Tori Spelling
This is not your brain on drugs. This is your brain on The Masked Singer. Any questions?
Well, actually, yes. I have many questions. Like, why is a bunny in a pleather straitjacket, a not-so-cowardly lion, an S&M alien wearing Britney Spears’s red latex “Oops!” unitard and a Daft Punk helmet, and a bipedal unicorn in a quinceañera dress performing as some sort of supergroup on my television screen? And when is this supergroup touring and coming to my town? And where can I buy tickets to their concert?
For those of you asking another question — what the @$#% is The Masked Singer? — allow me to explain. It’s the bizarre new sensation sweeping the befuddled nation, a singing competition on which cosplaying mystery celebs sing karaoke for judges Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke (plus exiled America’s Got Talent host Nick Cannon). It plays out like an hourlong version of Eurotrash band Alacazar’s infamous “Crying at the Discotheque” music video, and it has become such an unlikely ratings smash that even Jeong is surprised. On Wednesday’s episode, Jeong proclaimed, “This show is messing with my mind,” thus speaking for all of America.
The show, of course, has already been renewed for a second season. Bring it on, I say.
This week’s unmasking was the Unicorn, aka Beverly Hills, 90210 star Tori Spelling, and her tone-deaf but undeniably enthusiastic rendition of Icona Pop’s drunk-sorority-girl go-to karaoke anthem “I Love It” was more surreal than that time the Flaming Lips played the Peach Pit After Dark. It was also about as musically credible as a David Silver DJ set. But Tori seemed to have a fantastic time. Her Masked Singer stint seemed to give the former teen starlet a much-needed confidence boost, and when she brought out her late father Aaron Spelling’s vintage typewriter, on which he created many of his beloved TV shows, it was a genuinely and unexpectedly touching TV moment. I couldn’t help but cheer her on. Donna Martin graduates, indeed.
Let’s take a look at this week’s three other mystery singers!
The Rabbit, “Poison”
Clues: After coming out New Jack Swinging with a very Hi-NRG, moves-busting performance of the Bell Biv DeVoe club banger (which showcased some very Dancing with the Stars-level ability and agility), this bunny-boy produced a magician’s kit as this week’s show-and-tell physical clue. “It’s another way I like to impress an audience,” he chirped through his vocoder.
Judges’ guesses: Donnie Wahlberg, Joey McIntyre, Zac Brown.
My guess: You guys, it’s totally Joey Fatone. Besides previous clues that’ve made it obvious that this is an ex-NSync member (catchphrases like “Tt’s gonna be me,” a straitjacket straight out of the “I Drive Myself Crazy” video, a confession that he was once in a boy band), there have been references to amusement parks, culinary skills and hot dogs — all of that points to Fatone, who used to work at Universal Studios, has hosted a cooking show and owns the fast food restaurant Fat One’s. That physical clue was another major tip-off: Fatone is known to be an amateur magician.
The Alien, “Happy”
Clues: The modelesque Martian, who says The Masked Singer gives her a feeling of anonymity that reminds her of being a little girl before the whole world knew her famous family’s name, wiggled her way through Pharrell’s happy hit before flashing a Muncie, Ind., police badge and announcing, “This badge is not a prop. I swore to protect and serve.”
Judges’ guesses: Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Sofia Richie, Kimberly Stewart, LaToya Jackson, Paula Abdul, Britney Spears.
My guess: I’ve been guessing Kendall Jenner all along … but you guys, it’s totally LaToya Jackson. In 2007, LaToya appeared on the VH1 reality show Armed & Famous, which chronicled C-list celebrities’ basic training and service as reserve police officers with the Muncie Police Department. Here’s a photo of her wearing that badge. One listen to her amateurish “Heart Don’t Lie” single from 1984 and it’s obvious that when it comes to singing, LaToya is a great policewoman. (Hey, I don’t lie either!)
And as for all those slithering snake clues … well, go ahead and Google “LaToya Jackson snake” and tell me I’m wrong about this one.
The Lion, “California Dreamin’”
Clues: This is the impressive performance that was featured in all of Fox’s Masked Singer promos, and the full televised version did not disappoint. The Lion’s stellar vocals made my neck hair stand straight up. Her hair-raising physical clue this week? A scrunchie, which she described as a “family heirloom.”
Judges’ guesses: Beyoncé, Kesha, Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, Mel B.
My guess: You guys, it’s totally Rumer Willis. Besides previous clues about coming from a “pride of women,” being “Hollywood royalty,” and hailing from Hailey, Idaho, Rumer’s famous Hollywood mom — ‘80s style icon Demi Moore — has been known to rock a scrunchie.
Tune in next Wednesday for more masked madness.