Over the past three weeks, we’ve had some semblance of structure in this second season of The Masked Singer. The 16 new contestants were divided into groups and vocally battled in the Face-off, before the two with the lowest votes then competed in a Smackdown round. For viewers, it brought calm. It gave us serenity. It made me believe that Season 1 wasn’t just an insane free-for-all with no rules or stakes, but merely a training ground where lessons were learned by producers to create a sleeker, better-designed version of this televised freak show for our pleasure.
Yeah, well, that all went out the window on Wednesday (October 16) night, as Fox’s latest foray into reality singing ridiculousness reverted back to just having contestants trot out one-by-one to give it their best shot, Season 1-style, before the studio audience votes one of them off.
The “Fab Four Of Good Guesses” — that would be panelists Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger — are present as always to guide us through host Nick Cannon’s puns and throw out hair-brained suggestions on who each of these costumed clowns might be. Let’s get on with it!
This brightly colored bird informs us in her clues package that she went “from hoodrat to Hollywood triple-threat” after a wizard plucked her off her stoop and turned her into a star. It sounds like a fairy tale, but the real magic comes when, after delivering an impressive performance of Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose,” Flamingo causes Jenny to say, “I was smiling so big, I think you broke my botox.” That’s the kind of ringing endorsement you want and need from a TV judge in 2019!
Flamingo offers up another clue: “When I was a kid, I wanted to be a doctor. I even attended a medical training school.”
Jenny pulls out of nowhere that it could be former 3LW and Cheetah Girls member Adrienne Bailon, now a co-host on The Real, under all those feathers. It’s an interesting guess, given one of the other contestants — but more on that in a bit.
Flamboyant Leopard is back with his refined accent to clue us in on his TV past and let us know he “wasn’t born a winner” and “wasn’t even wanted” as a child. Still, he says, he has lived his life “in color ever since.” This only fuels the panelists’ assumptions that Jamie Foxx is lurking underneath all those spots. Do you like how we’ve gone from The Cheetah Girls to Oscar and Grammy winner Jamie Foxx? Anything is possible, folks.
Leopard tears through Shawn Mendes’ breakout hit “Stitches,” and Ken commends him on his “method actor performance.”
Ever since she was an itsy-bitsy spider, says Black Widow, she had a squeaky clean image. “All you really know for sure about me is my voice and my ba-donk-a-donk.”
Black Widow turns out a solid rendition of Carrie Underwood staple “Before He Cheats.” Given the clue that this person had a wholesome public persona at a young age, plus Jenny’s mention of Adrienne Bailon earlier, my mind is on onetime Cheetah Girl and That’s So Raven star Raven Symone.
Black Widow gives the final clue that she never went to prom, “but I pretended to.” And I’m here to tell you, fair viewers, that there was indeed a prom-themed episode of That’s So Raven (titled “Save The Last Dance”) that aired in 2005.
Skeleton has been a tough bone to crack, but he doles clues about playing second fiddle and sometimes feeling like he’s a deadbeat dad who has “joint custody,” due to his career as a sidekick. A big clue comes with the contestant’s statement about how being in the background let him “be more instrumental in orchestrating those around” him.
Skelton rocks the stage with a surprising take on Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl.” Ken tells the bone man, “You are my sentimental favorite.” But while Ken and Robin think Martin Short is underneath the creepy costume, Jenny has an idea that it might be David Letterman’s longtime musical director, Paul Shaffer.
Everyone’s favorite seven-foot Troll doll fills us in that while growing up, his parents taught him not to “run with the bulls.” (Possible basketball reference!) He also notes that he’s always worn his heart on his sleeve, and he’s “just as warm and fuzzy on the inside” as he is on the outside.
True to that statement, Thingamajig croons a touching version of Kasey Musgraves’ “Rainbow” that brings Nicole to tears. “I’m looking at Thingamajig but he sounds like an angel,” the panelist sobs. Clearly entranced, an emotion Nicole adds that she wants to marry the tall fuzzball.
Someone suggests that it could be Dennis Rodman in disguise. Jenny then promises that if it is indeed The Worm under the mask, she’ll shave her head on camera.
The evening winds down with Butterfly, who admits that after “some time in isolation,” she was terrified to set foot on a stage again. At the height of her career, she continues, she had everyone saying her name. But when she tried to spread her wings, people apparently wouldn’t stop talking about her.
Side note: During rehearsals for her performance of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer,” Butterfly got an electrical shock due to some stage/wardrobe malfunction. Yikes!
Nicole thinks Butterfly could be Twiggy, while Robin’s mind is on Leona Lewis, given the London imagery in the clues package. I’m not ruling out Kelly Rowland or Michelle Williams, because that “Say My Name” reference is sticking in my noggin.
Eliminated: This week it’s poor Skeleton who gets the least amount of studio audience and panelist votes. Sure enough, Jenny was right: 69-year-old Late Show With David Letterman legend Paul Shaffer is under the skull.
With that, Skeleton goes down for the metaphorical dirt nap.