The tiger king's reign ends: Eliminated 'Masked Singer' White Tiger is NFL legend


The Masked Singer Season 3’s remaining finalists from Groups A, B, and C competed together for the first time Wednesday, but while the White Tiger may be used to playing Super Bowls, he didn’t make it past the “Super Nine.” There was no big cat rescue that could rescue him from elimination.

Yes, famous footballer Rob Gronkowski went home this week, this tiger king’s reign of tone-deaf terror finally coming to an end. It was a lonnnnng-overdue result, considering that he’d controversially made it to this round over actual Grammy-winning vocal legends like Chaka “Miss Monster” Khan and Dionne “The Mouse” Warwick. But hey, at least no one can say Gronk wasn’t entertaining.

Case in point: The White Tiger’s final performance featured him shamelessly screeching and pelvic-thrusting through Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy.” Meanwhile, a libidinous lioness (whose furry onesie looked like a Spirt of Halloween Superstore knockoff of Rumer Willis’s more ornate costume from Season 1) worked a Hustlers pole like J.Lo at the Super Bowl LIV halftime show. Apparently Gronk was too sexy for his shirt, but not too sexy for that bejeweled Egyptian superhero armor and enormous Mantecore headpiece that this show made him wear.

The judges were stunned. They probably thought they’d seen it all, after Sarah “The Bear” Palin’s internet-breaking unmasking three weeks ago… but, as host Nick Cannon noted, anything can happen on April Fools’ Day.

But the judges praised Gronk’s irrepressible sense of fun — if not his vocal range — with Robin Thicke saying, “It's no wonder you've accomplished so much in your life and career and why you're so beloved, because your spirit and your personality is so infectious. Every week, you were a fan favorite.”

Did the eight surviving celebrity cosplayers April-fool anyone? Let’s keep the guessing game going:

The Turtle, “Higher Love”

This wasn’t the Turtle’s finest performance. During his clues package, he revealed that he’s been running 10Ks with 40-pound weighted backpacks before every episode — so maybe that’s why he sounded so winded. But at least we know he was singing live. Maybe it would have been better if the aforementioned Miss Monster, who sang on Steve Winwood’s original recording, had joined in here.

Judges’ guesses: Drew Lachey, Nick Lachey, Brian Littrell, Chris Evans.

My guess: Now I believe more than ever that this is Jesse McCartney. Along with all the previous clues, the Turtle said those 40 pounds are equivalent to one-quarter his body weight, which fits his profile. And his “Superclue,” when he held up a “Shellboy” comic book and said, “This is not another teen-y clue,” further confirmed for me that this is the former teenybopper heartthrob and frequent cartoon voiceover actor.

The Kangaroo, “Not Ready to Make Nice”

I expected a little more emotion from this Dixie Chicks fight song, which the Kangaroo dedicated to all those haters who’ve put her “through hell this past year.” It might have been her nerves (she confessed that she felt “out of her league” being in the Super Nine)... or it could have just been down to the fact that, you know, she was wearing an expressionless marsupial head.

Judges’ guesses: Jordin Sparks, Amber Rose, LeAnn Rimes, India.Arie.

My guess: For a while I thought this might be fallen rapper Iggy Azalea, but this week the Kangaroo revealed that she’s never lived in Australia. So I am doubling down on my Jordyn Woods guess, based on past clues, a reference to having her own doll, and yet another mention of being “vilified by kanga-rumors of her past.” Jordyn should be extremely honored that most of the judges seem convinced that she’s a professional singer. Perhaps she’s not so out of her league after all.

The Kitty, “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”

It’s not easy to belt anything from the Céline Dion/Meat Loaf/Jim Steinman songbook, but the contestant that Robin called “Kitty Dion” did an impressive job. If one mystery feline had to remain in this game, I am glad it was the Kitty, and not the White Tiger.

Judges’ guesses: Nicole Richie, Vanessa Hudgens, Emma Roberts, Avril Lavigne.

My guess: OK, finally I can act like Ken Jeong and say: I KNOW EXACTLY WHO THIS IS! After switching my guess from Jennifer Love Hewitt to Christina Ricci to Kristen Bell to Emma Watson to the similarly heterochromatic-eyed Kate Bosworth… I’ve now realized this is former America’s Got Talent opera prodigy Jackie Evancho. It all makes sense: the child-stardom past, the Christmas references (Jackie has released two Christmas albums and one Christmas EP, and has performed at dozens of tree-lighting ceremonies)… and what sealed the deal was when she mentioned that she got her first acting role thanks to Robert Redford. Jackie appeared in the Redford-directed thriller The Company You Keep in 2013! It’s all coming back to me now, indeed.

The Banana, “Sweet Home Alabama”

Sweet home Ala-banana. The a-peel-ing party dude played to his “blue collar” base with another energetic performance. I don’t envision the Banana staying ripe all the way to the end of this season (he was in the bottom three this week), but it’s always nothin’ but a good time when he’s onstage.

Judges’ guesses: Bret Michaels, Brad Paisley, Billy Ray Cyrus.

My guess: Once again, I know exactly who this is. This is totally Poison’s Bret Michaels. When he finally peels off his outer layer, it will be the least surprising reveal in Masked Singer history. Even when he tried to alter his voice this week, he sounded exactly like Bret Michaels. I don’t why it took Jenny McCarthy so long to catch on and guess it was him, or why the other three judges speculated that it might be anyone else. Besides all of the super-obvious past clues, a reference to the Banana’s past “traumatic injury” — which caused him to forget his lyrics — was this week’s clincher.

The Frog, “Jump”

The only thing that could’ve improved this performance would’ve been if the Frog had worn his zoot suit backwards, Kris Kross-style. The hippity-hopper had the crowd jumpin’, jivin’, and wailin’ with this high-NRG, swagalicious number. It was surprising to find out he’s actually not a trained dancer.

Judges’ guesses: Sisqo, Omarion, Lil Romeo.

My guess: All the past clues have pointed directly to Bow Wow. This week’s “Superclue,” a knight in shining armor, seemed like a vague reference to his basketball movie Like Mike, so I will stick with that guess.

The Night Angel, “Rise Up”

The Angel soared with a Grammy-worthy performance of Andra Day’s evangelical empowerment anthem. Ken, in a rare moment of seriousness, even called this the “strongest vocal of the night.”

Judges’ guesses: Tamar Braxton, Brandy, Tisha Campbell.

My guess: I have no idea what that tricycle clue was all about. It doesn’t matter. I still think this Real Housewife, superstar songwriter, and self-described “mogul” Kandi Buruss.

The Rhino, “What a Man Gotta Do”

This wasn’t the Rhino’s twangiest performance, and I am not sure if the Jonas Brothers are really his jam — he ended up in the bottom three this week, alongiside the White Tiger and Banana. This man’s gotta do better than this next time.

Judges’ guesses: Ryan Lochte, Vince Gill, Duff McKagan, Derek Jeter.

My guesses: Last week, I thought this might be Barry Zito. But then the Rhino said this week that he’s not an athlete; he’s actually a professional singer with Billboard hits. So, that steered me back to my previous guesses, Trace Adkins or Sam Hunt. But now, due to this week’s mentions of “quarters” and “gambling,” I think this might be another country star: “Here’s a Quarter” and “Gambler’s Blues” singer Travis Tritt. But I really wish it was Duff McKagan!

The Astronaut, “Never Gonna Give You Up”

The Masked Singer got Rickrolled! I won’t say the Astronaut’s voice was at an astronomical Astley level (Rick is totally underrated). But kudos for the crowd-rousing song choice.

Judges’ guesses: David Archuleta, JC Chasez, Ryan Tedder.

My guess: I was already confident that this is Hunter Hayes. But this week’s “Superclue” was the ultimate missing puzzle piece: The Astronaut held up a cracked vinyl LP that had a center label printed with a map of the world. In 2012, when the Flaming Lips broke a Guinness World Record for most concerts played in multiple cities during a 24-hour period, Hayes opened for act for them at their Hattiesburg concert.

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Originally published