Spot the clues: 'The Masked Singer' Ladybug is daughter of rock royalty


Only on a show like The Masked Singer could Triumph the Insult Comic Dog’s guest-judging appearance be the least surreal thing that occurs during the episode. Sure, Triumph got in a few of his classic zingers, like when he described the razzle-dazzling Tree as “the last thing Elton John sees before the Ambien kicks in,” or — my personal favorite! — when he read regular judge Robin Thicke for filth by saying, “Dogs and foxes are natural-born enemies, much like Robin and any woman born before the year 2000.” And Triumph even shared a semisweet bonding moment with the Rottweiler, whom he claimed was his illegitimate pup. But the trash-trashing puppet still somehow seemed like a normal, calming, voice-of-reason presence on this totally bonkers program.

So, Wednesday brought us another awesome Masked Singer episode — and I don’t mean for me to poop on! But it wasn’t so triumphant for the Ladybug, who was ultimately sent home. Her rendition of Five Seconds of Summer’s “Youngblood” was “spot-on,” according to pun enthusiast Triumph, but as Season 2 nears its semifinals, she could no longer keep up with the remaining clearly professional singers who competed this week. Still, Kelly “The Ladybug” Osbourne does hail from rock royalty, and she did her dad Ozzy proud during her brief Masked Singer run.

And Kelly quite possibly was the contestant who had the most fun this season — so she for sure won at life. Dropping her faux Southern accent of the past few weeks, the unmasked reality star/TV host confessed Wednesday in her giggly, famously foul-mouthed British brogue that she’d nearly “s*** herself laughing” every week on The Masked Singer — a comment to which Triumph seemed to relate.

Side note: Allow me to triumphantly gloat for a moment and point out that I guessed the Ladybug’s identity correctly. Now, let’s look at the other four cosplaying celebrities that sang this week, and keep the guessing game going.

The Fox, “Every Little Step”

Given the song choice, it would be too on-the-snouty-nose to guess this was Bobby Brown (who is probably the Leopard anyway). But the Fox definitely has pop chops and Bobby-circa-1987 dance moves, he has won “multiple awards,” and a quick shot of a setlist this week indicated that he’s a pro who sings in concert. Past clues have mentioned the words “Shazam” and “prime time,” indicating that he’s also an actor. The Fox’s visual clue this week was a boombox, which he said was a childhood gift that “helped me find a voice — and a few others.”

Judges’ guesses: AJ MacLean, Lou Dobbs (that was Triumph), Sterling K. Brown, Jamie Foxx, Shawn Stockman.

My guess: Again, it would seem too obvious to think that the Fox is Foxx. But also, the man is an A-list Oscar winner who’s already generating 2019 Academy Awards buzz for his dramatic role in Just Mercy. Why the hell would he go on this crazy show? But now I do think the Fox is Beat Shazam host Jamie, since a “Foxhole Hotel” clue this week seemed like both a reference to his “Foxxhole” radio show and his ’90s sitcom. So, I sincerely encourage Jamie to wear his Foxx costume to the Oscars ceremony next year.

The Flower, “Amazed”

This masterpiece of nature continued to amaze with another Grammy-level vocal showcase. She revealed that she got her start on a talent show, which might have implied a background on a show like American Idol – but I think that clue pertains more to the Rottweiler. (Keep reading.) Her visual clue was a deck of cards and a line that “life is about how you play it,” which seemed like a reference to a famous quote by Jawaharlal Nehru.

Judges’ guesses: Jennifer Holliday, Jennifer Hudson, Gaynor, Patti LaBelle, Anita Baker… and Ken Jeong keeps insisting that the Flower is Bjork, even though, as Triumph astutely commented, “This is what Bjork looks like on her driver’s license; this is her everyday wear!”

My guess: I still think this is Patti LaBelle. All the past clues have led to her, and she even won a high school talent show that kickstarted her career. I could see why the judges were thrown off a bit this week, because she mentioned the words “rapture,” “it’s oh so quiet,” “dreamgirls,” and “I will survive,” but the voice is the biggest clue of all — because it is unmistakably Patti’s. She is a proponent of meditation, which is where that deck-of-cards quote might factor in.

The Tree, “No Excuses”

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. She previously revealed that she has been a brand ambassador for some sort of culinary company, and this week, her visual clue was a bowl of soup — she said, “If it wasn’t for soup, I am not sure I would be where I’m at today.”

Judges’ guesses: Amy Sedaris, Sarah Jessica Parker, Molly Shannon, Cheri Oteri, Lauren Graham, Rachael Ray.

My guess: Jenny McCarthy may have been on to something by guessing Molly or Cheri, but I am certain that this is another SNL alumnus who “works well with others,” Weight Watchers spokeswoman and Christmas album vocalist Ana Gasteyer — who got her first big break in the “Soup Nazi” episode of Seinfeld. How delicious and dishy it feels to be right!

The Rottweiler, “Castle on the Hill”

He’s been “judged from the moment I entered the game” and “didn’t take a conventional route to stardom.” He dropped his second North Carolina clue this week; we saw a shot of a crime scene; and he drew a portrait of Triumph as his visual clue. Earlier, he mentioned that one of his early influences was Boyz II Men.

Judges’ guesses: David Faustino, Gavin DeGraw, Darren Criss, James Franco.

My guess: You guys, this is totally American Idol top four finalist, onetime CSI: NY guest star, comic book artist, Boyz II Men fanboy, and North Carolina native Chris Daughtry. I don’t care how much he (quite unconvincingly) denies it on Twitter. It is Chris. And he sounds so awesome on this show, I think he’s going to make it farther than fourth place this time.

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