The Masked Singer in late March of 2020 is like viewing a museum piece, for this pre-taped gem artifact exists in a world not yet clouded over by lockdowns and “shelter in place” and scalding your hands with hot water after every touch of a doorknob.
Here we see a studio audience of more than 100 people gathered to giddily chant “Take it off! Take it off!” like bloodthirsty Romans eager for the lion’s merciless coup de grace. Here we see host Nick Cannon doling out puns that would seem hokey even in 1951 on The Texaco Star Theatre. And here Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg, Ken Jeong, Joel McHale (he’s ba-aaaack) and Nicole Scherzinger sit less than six feet apart from each other, cluelessly guessing which celebrities might be lurking beneath fur-and-glitter-lined prosthetics.
What is this strange land where these carefree shenanigans play out? It’s getting harder to remember.
So we’re down to five contestants left in Group C, and one of them is getting pushed out the exit door tonight. Will it be Astronaut?
His clues are that because of this fresh start at success, “this circle of life keeps spinning.” He adds that he was a bright star when he was young, but then he overreached “and got burned.” There are rainbow balloons and the mention of “500 days,” too. Hmmm.
Astronaut gives a karaoke-level performance of Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” that at least gets Nicole to announce that he’s her favorite performer in this group.
This get-up gives me the creeps. Night Angel’s clues involve references to Empire, Brandy’s “Sittin’ Up In My Room” and Jessie J’s “Bang Bang.” We also see purple lipstick drawing a broken heart in a mirror.
After a solid stab at Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons,” Night Angel seems to be giving Jenny Regina King vibes. Nicole goes for the obvious and offers up Taraji P. Henson, while Joel, on the other hand, thinks the freaky songbird might be Jessica Simpson.
T-Rex could be a tennis player, or at least a fan of the sport, given her “singles or doubles” clue. She’s also a pretty decent dancer, which she’s able to showcase while rapping Salt-N-Pepa’s classic “Push It” on stage.
Joel wonders if the extinct singer is Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin, while the rest of the panel throws out the names of various YouTube stars that fly over my noggin. Moving right along.
This bird captured my heart last week with all her vampire and ghost clues, but the real horror comes when, during her performance of Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself For Loving You,” she scream-professes her love for Ken Jeong. Usually such a thing would fall under the “said no one ever” category. Alas…
Ken still doesn’t have a grasp on who Swan could be, so he tosses out one of his stock guesses: Kristen Bell.
Group C’s final contestant is Rhino, who gives us guitar, plane, sandwich and “the South” clues before tackling Niall Horan’s recent single “Nice To Meet Ya.” He gives one further hint as to his identity by stating that “performing for a king” is in his blood.
Robin sticks with last week’s guess of Tim Tebow, while Ken goes with Chris Pratt. Granted, the latter has suffered some box office flops outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but not enough to land on this stage just yet. Nicole’s guess is disgraced Olympian Ryan Lochte.
Eliminated: It’s the end of the line for Swan, who truly had the weakest vocals this evening. Turns out those vampire clues the other week should have been a big tip-off — especially if they made you think of the character Bella from Twilight — as Bella Thorne is beneath the mask.
Yet again, Ken failed to identify one of his own former co-stars, as he and Bella appeared in 2015 teen comedy The Duff together. What a fool.