Latest 'Masked Singer' castoffs are controversial comedian, former child star
After some dumb thing called the World Series tragically preempted The Masked Singer for two friggin’ weeks in a friggin’ row — prompting Twitter outrage and ruining everyone’s Halloween-week fun (for Masked Singer fans, apparently there is crying in baseball) — this Wednesday, Fox finally got back to focusing on America’s real favorite pastime: watching C- and D-list mystery celebrities dress up in Halloween-inspo costumes and belt out Lizzo and OneRepublic hits. And it was a double-header, to use some baseball terminology, because Fox made up for lost time by airing two episodes back-to-back.
Of course, double the fun meant double the eliminations, so this week we had to bid farewell to two furry friends: the Penguin, aka comedian Sherri Shepherd, and the Black Widow, aka former child star Raven-Symone.
Jenny McCarthy had guessed that pretty much every female contestant since Season1 was Shepherd, so she was destined to be correct eventually. As for the Black Widow, I got that one right. I knew that eight-legged diva was so Raven from the very beginning.
Anyway, while I have missed The Masked Singer like a Rottweiler misses his bone, a flower misses the sun, or a black widow misses her web, on the plus side, the past two weeks have given me some time off to reflect, furiously pore over various Google search queries and Wikipedia pages, and change my uneducated guesses since the last time many of these kooky cosplay characters rocked the mic. I now return to the show refreshed, renewed, and ready to keep my semi-winning streak going. Let’s get to it.
The Rottweiler, “Love Runs Out”
“I’ve been judged from the moment I entered the game,” said this show dog — or dawg — who really attacked the stage with another vocally stellar and obviously professional performance. He was also seen drawing with pen and paper and hanging with a puppy litter-mate named Lil’ Pete, and he mentioned that one of his early influences was Boyz II Men.
Judges’ guesses: Brian Littrell, Kevin Jonas, Pat Monahan.
My guess: A few weeks ago, I thought the Rottweiler was either Nelly or an ex-boy-bander like JC Chasez. But the 5,000 or so American Idol stans who follow me on Twitter have effectively shamed for not immediately recognizing the voice of Idol Season 5 finalist Chris Daughtry (and for not picking up on that “it’s not over” line in his first clues package). Now it all makes sense. Daughtry loves Boyz II Men and comic books, has a dad named Pete, and is used to being judged by the likes of Simon Cowell. And he sounds so awesome on this show, I think he’s going to make it farther than fourth place this time.
The Ladybug, “Juice”
This lady has been bugged all her life by family drama and she has a decent voice — indicating that she’s sung professionally before, even if that’s not her main day job. In her first clues package, we saw rando visuals like a baseball bat, a pumpkin (something to do with the Smashing Pumpkins, maybe?), and a scorpion; this week we saw a “Best Host” trophy and a celebratory Three of Cups tarot card. The Ladybug also said, “The queens of the world taught me how to be a lady.”
Judges’ guesses: Paris Jackson, Lindsay Lohan, Ashlee Simpson.
My guess: A few weeks ago I thought this was Jamie Lynn Spears, and when the Ladybug mentioned something about “pieces of me” this week, Ashlee also seemed like a reasonable guess. (Ashlee’s sister, Jessica, did briefly date Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan, and Ashlee is the daughter-in-law of “queen” Diana Ross.) But now I realize this is totally Kelly Osbourne. Kelly has done tons of hosting work; she loves drag queens and has guested on RuPaul’s Drag Race; she’s a Scorpio; her mother Sharon managed Smashing Pumpkins for a minute; and there are three women in the Osbourne family (let’s not forget silent sister Aimee.) Most importantly, though, the Ladybug totally sounds like Kelly. It’s hardly a shot in the dark (see what I did there?) to think this is Ozzy’s daughter.
The Tree, “Think”
This glittering, towering creature with the how-lovely-are-they branches said she’s famous for Christmas and is forgotten the other 11 months of the year, and most of her clues have had something to do with food. In fact, this week she revealed that she has been a brand ambassador for some sort of culinary company. And she can really sing. Perhaps no other female contestant of Season 2 besides Patti “The Flower” LaBelle could pull off this Aretha classic.
Judges’ guesses: Zooey Deschanel, Amy Sedaris, Padma Lakshmi, Rachael Ray.
My guess: Rachael seemed like a good possibility a couple weeks ago, although at that time I thought the Tree was Hallmark Channel movie regular Candance Cameron Bure. But now I realize this sparkling tinsel-town entertainer is Weight Watchers spokeswoman, accomplished vocalist, and SNL alumnus Ana Gasteyer, the “Delicious Dish” comedienne who just released a holiday album called Sugar & Booze. It was a totally schweddy-ballsy move on Ana’s part to appear on this show!
The Flower, “Cheap Thrills”
Once again this diva blossomed onstage, with a spectacular performance that judge Nicole Scherzinger described as “stratospheric.”
Judges’ guesses: Bjork (seriously, Ken Jeong?), Patti LaBelle, Shirley Bassey, Anita Baker, Jennifer Hudson.
My guess: There is “ain’t no way” the Flower isn’t Patti LaBelle. The operatic-but-raspy voice sounds exactly like her; the Flower previously referenced “Empire” and said she’s dabbled in “cooking, clothing, and craft”; and a new clue this week, the number 524, is linked to her birthdate, May 24. She also said her favorite band is Kings of Leon, with whom she’s shared a bill at the New Orleans JazzFest.
The Fox, “Hey Look Ma, I Made It”
As a kid he thought he’d “be in uniform” when he grew up, he has worked with everyone from "Doogie" to "Doubtfire,” and he grew up somewhere rough. He can really hit the high notes (Brendon Urie’s vocals are no joke!) and bust some pretty foxy dance moves, too.
Judges’ guesses: AJ MacLean, Jamie Foxx, Ne-Yo.
My guesses: It’s hard to imagine the highest-paid actor in showbiz, Dwayne, “The Rock” Johnson, would sign up for this slumming-celebrity show, but his “shazam” and “fast and furious” clues this week did add up. It could be Jamie Foxx, even though I’d previously thought Jamie was the Leopard. And the Fox really sounds like Wayne Brady (if you’ve heard Brady guest with Postmodern Jukebox, then you already know). I think I’ve been outfoxed by this one, but I’m tentatively switching my guess to Wayne.
The Thingamajig, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”
The showmance between the Thingamajig and Nicole picked up where it left off two weeks ago, as the beast serenaded the beauty with a Motown classic. Nicole was definitely feeling it, and so was the rest of the audience. This crooner has a sexy voice, as soft and cuddly as his furry exterior. His visual clue this week, which was the true giveaway, was a sign-language dictionary.
Judges’ guesses: Montell Jordan, Snoop Dogg, Tony Parker, Dennis Rodman, Ronnie DeVoe.
My guess: Previous basketball-centric clues (and a mention of “rehab”) once had me thinking this was Dennis Rodman, the sort of baller who’d totally sign up for this madness. But now I think “rehab” was a reference to Victor Oladipo’s injured knee. Plus, Oladipo has a solid singing voice (check out his music video), and his sister is deaf. Everything adds up. And I think Victor + Nicole is a nice addition, too.
Related: Raven Symone
The Butterfly, “Don’t Know Why”
This beautiful creature “has been waiting patiently in a cocoon for the promise of metamorphosis” for the past year, and has ties to London, girl groups, and the church. She once was on top, then struggled when she “tried to spread her wings,” but now she’s ready to fly again. This week, she mentioned that she started singing at age 7, making a “joyful noise,” and she “once had the chance to choose life or death.”
Judges’ guesses: Michelle Williams, Leona Lewis, and, um, the actual Norah Jones.
My guess: You guys, this is totally Michelle Williams from Destiny’s Child — Nicole finally guessed something right this week, even if Robin Thicke, usually the most astute judge on the panel, was skeptical and dismissive. Williams has acted in West End theater productions, has a butterfly tattoo, and even recently revealed that she once contemplated suicide. Most of all, the Butterfly sounds exactly like Williams, and let’s face it, the electric shock she suffered last time she performed on this show is on-brand with all those #PoorMichelle memes.
The Leopard, “Teenage Dream”
This regal feline spent “many years at top,” though his career was later plagued by tabloid scandals about his love life. This week he revealed he is a “singer of “slow jamz” who’s performed at the White House and claimed, “I’m a new edition of the old me.” His song choice may have been a clue about teenhood stardom, and he mentioned he used to “tour with a pack of cubs.” The photography clue threw me off, but he did say he’s spent most of his life in front of the lens.
Judges’ guesses: Bobby Brown, Billy Porter.
My guess: For weeks I thought the Leopard was the above-mentioned Jamie Foxx, and then I was convinced it was Seal, whose career has long before overshadowed by his marriage and acrimonious split from Heidi Klum (and who once sang at the White House). But now it’s obvious that this Bobby Brown, a fallen icon who’ll sign up for just about any reality show out there (he was great on Celebrity Fit Club and Gone Country). Ken is usually the worst guesser, and everyone laughed at him when he suggested it might be Bobby this week — but even Ken has to be right some of the time.
The Flamingo, “Never Enough”
This YouTube (or “ZooTube”) star and “triple-threat” went from “hood rat to Hollywood triple-threat” after she was “discovered by powerful wizard.” In recent years she’s come to hate the sound of her own voice and has struggled with stagefright, but this week she redeemed herself with a triumphant performance – a simple one, just her and a microphone – that earned a standing ovation. Jenny even said it was her favorite Masked Singer performance ever. The Flamingo also revealed that she is the winner of an NAACP Award.
Judges’ guesses: Fantasia, Adrienne Bailon, P!nk.
My guess: For a while now I’ve thought this was Ricky Martin protégé Bailon, even though she has taken to Twitter to deny that she’s the singer underneath all that pink plumage. The NAACP clue almost had me switch my guess to Fantasia… until I realized that the show Bailon co-hosts, The Real, has won the NAACP Image Award twice for Outstanding Talk Series. So the real talk is the Flamingo is definitely Bailon.
Tune in for another unmasking next week, as the World Series of singing shows returns to its regular schedule!