Damn, y’all! We wanna know who it is, too, but not like this!
Oh, it’s going to be like that, “Masked Singer”? You’re going to do us like that and expect us to have nothing to say about it?
Night 2 of the two-night premiere of “The Masked Singer” brought in two new wild card contenders to compete with the remaining trio of Group A artists we saw Wednesday night. Hamster was an adorable and totally out-of-control addition to the show, and Baby — well, Baby is the stuff of nightmares.
But even that isn’t what has us so upset about this episode. Well, we’ll get to that soon enough.
A dramatic new twist could have things moving along a little faster as Nick Cannon introduced the “Take-It-Off” button this week. It’s a fun new twist that could save us all a lot of time when it’s painfully obvious who’s behind a mask (*ahem*Wendy Williams*ahem*).
If a judge is positive they know who it is, they can slam the button. If they’re right, the singer unmasks immediately and is eliminated … and the judge gets two points toward the Golden Ear trophy that’s been based solely on first impression guesses to this point.
If they’re wrong, though, they will be “significantly punished,” with no explanation what that means — Nicole is already terrified! The button is also limited to only one judge per group, so they don’t just hurry up and unmask everyone.
Based on the track record of guessing by this panel, though, we suspect that button is only going to lead to humiliation and “significant punishment” — which actually could be even more entertaining. Bring it on, Nick!
Let’s jump right in with this week’s masks. And don’t worry, before we get to the shocking unmasking, we’re going to make you power through the terrible (and occasionally good) guesses made by our illustrious panel of Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger first. We do this because we love … to torture you.
As we were left with a cliffhanger after NIght 1 of “The Masked Singer’s” two-night premiere, there was some unfinished business. In particular, Mother Nature was the second singer set to be unmasked. But we had to wait until tonight to find out who she was. As a reminder, here were the judges’ choices.
- Robin Thicke: first impression (Tracee Ellis Ross), final guess (Tracee Ellis Ross)
- Jenny McCarthy: first impression (Tiffany Haddish), final guess (Tiffany Haddish)
- Ken Jeong: first impression (Tiffany Haddish), final guess (Tiffany Haddish)
- Nicole Scherzinger: first impression (Chelsea Handler), final guess (Tracee Ellis Ross)
Honestly, both of the guesses were good, but we’ve learned not to doubt the internet when it comes to this show. If they’re confident, they’re usually spot-on. The power of collective reasoning. In this case, they nailed it as it was indeed Vivica A. Fox under that costume.
With that out of the way, it was time to get back to the competition, which was poised to see Skunk, Puffer Fish and Bull have to come out once again to compete, facing off this time against two new “wild card” contenders. Really, they’re just latecomers.
GROUP A, ROUND 2 (Back to School Night)
Hamster had a weird echo on his voice we’ve not heard before, as if the acoustics of his costume are reverberating inside that giant head. He had no moves and totally did a Roy Orbison impression, so we’re pretty sure this is not a professional singer by any means. In fact, he fell off the rhythm completely later on and didn’t even seem to notice … maybe he can’t hear, either.
Guesses: He joked that he had a body like a hamster, but with the new clue packages showing us the contestants in their “Don’t Talk to Me” ensembles, we got a glimpse at his physique, which seemed pretty slender and normal to us.
After jumping from one project to the next with his famous friends, Hamster said he’s starting to feel like he’s stuck on a wheel going round and round, and has felt cooped up this past year so whatever he used to do, it sounds like he stopped being able to do it.
There’s also some connection to a goldfish and Alcatraz Island, with Nicole wondering if that just meant San Francisco, while we also saw either random shapes in his Hamster cage, or the letters V, S, and M. Is this a “Jersey Shore” meathead?
He was extremely playful with Nick, fondling him and even “drizzling” on him just a little by lifting a leg. Hamster’s locker clues included a baseball bat, a strawberry. “It’s sunny and I like to play baseball,” Hamster offered.
Jenny shot out the guess Danny DeVito, but Hamster wasn’t having it, quickly shooting back, “I’m way f—— taller.” True enough. Ken and Nick both agreed that he’s probably Ken, only Ken is also right there. So he went with Bill Murray with his Nick the Lounge Singer “SNL” character.
Jenny rattled off a lot of comedians like Albert Brooks, Tim Allen and Andy Richter, but Nicole’s Jack Black idea actually fit the non-stop chaotic (think Robin Williams) energy of Hamster on stage. He did not stop messing with Nick the whole time he was up there.
And he’s got the Twittersphere just as stumped, with names flying from all over the place including Rob Schneider, Chris Young, Jensen Ackles, Nicolas Cage, David Hasselhoff — they’re doing as great as our panel usually is … so congrats? In their defense, we have no idea, either, with Jack Black probably our favorite guess.
Skunk kept her physical presence limited, but really let loose vocally as if she was just loosening up the first time around. This was a powerful and genuinely moving performance. There’s a beautiful richness to her voice, with a little bit of rasp and seasoning on it that can only come from years and years of doing this. What an incredible performance.
Guesses: Skunk revealed tonight that she had to learn to twist and turn with whatever life delivers. She found that out the hard way when she was enjoying a full ride scholarship to college and then life had other plans for her, which had the panel thinking baby maybe?
Set in a library, we saw her with books entitled “Expect the Unexpected,” “The Big Book of Acting” and “Iron Out Your Swing,” and mention that she had to pivot to the greatest degree ever and that put golf on everyone’s minds. She sang an ode to any woman who had to put her dreams on hold for others, and what a dedication it was!
Skunk’s locker had squad tryouts, french final, a projector. “Because of Ms. Education, I am always ready for the action,” Skunk said and Ken gasped at how obviously that points to “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill … and she goes by Ms. Lauryn Hill a lot, too.
He broke down her acting career, her “crash-course in motherhood which impacted her art” and it’s a pretty solid guess. We can’t help but think it’s a little too on the nose, though, isn’t it? Would they give it away that easily?
Robin threw out names like Yolanda Adams (too tall at 6’1”), Jill Scott (voice too clean) and Fantasia (that could be) as possible options, as well, while Nicole went with the black-and-white style of Janelle Monáe.
But still none of them have landed on the internet’s favorite guess, and they’re doubling down on Faith Evans after this second performance.
Puffer Fish did it again, delivering a whole new sound for the second night in a row. She was deep and throaty this time with her rap delivery, and it was a killer verse, while offering killer vocals in the singing portions. She sounds so current and fresh, and yet she flat-out told us she’s changing her voice. It’s a tour de force in only two performances so far, and so exciting to anticipate.
Guesses: This time around, Puffer Fish talked about growing up in a strictly religious household that actually forbade movies or music. When she finally broke through, she definitely turned heads, saying she was known for the kind of fashion choices that would get the people in church back home talking … and not in a good way, probably.
She said that as a child, she had to keep her dreams to herself, so somehow she found this dream to be a singer (we know she’s a professional singer). We also saw an image of a cardinal, which had Robin thinking St. Louis Cardinals, so maybe she came from St. Louis or the Midwest? Or her father was a Cardinal in the Catholilc Church?
Once again, Nick is certain he knows who this is, but also says he’s impressed with how she’s throwing the panel with her choices and performances. Her locker clue showed she was a spelling bee champion. She said she’s got bars, moves and letters, so Ken wondered if maybe it was M.I.A.
Jenny thought maybe the bird in the clue package could refer to Nelly Furtado, but Robin went Vanessa Hudgens instead for no real reason … the body? Zoe Saldana was Ken’s guess, with him rattling off all of her non-”Drumline” movies, much to Nick’s frustration.
While most fans on Twitter are sure they’re hearing Toni Braxton behind all that vocal trickery, it’s not a unanimous consensus, with other names being tossed around like Jada Pinkett Smith, Katy Perry and even Ariana Grande. But mostly those are outliers, with the Braxton contingency the largest and growing.
Bull just gave us the horns with a heartbreaking (and heartbroken) rendition of “What Hurts the Most.” The vocal arias at the top and bottom were mesmerizing and an incredible showcase of his range. In the middle, we were loving about half of the song. The first half, though, left us feeling a little deflated after he soared so strongly Wednesday night. He’s still got a great voice, but this wasn’t quite as consistent.
Guesses: After describing himself as an “athlete” at the top of the show, Bull said he marched to the beat of his own drum, and then detailed how he’d put on elaborate musical productions and shows (Broadway-style, perhaps) in his garage to an audience of thousands and no one at the same time.
There he felt free, as represented by the opening of an umbrella and an image of Disney Concert Hall, where he probably ached to perform — and likely has since. His locker had actual cheerleaders in it, leaving Robin quipping, “Looks like my old locker.”
Bull said he’s always been a big fan of school spirit, and nothing makes him happier than the cheer of the crowd. Ken thought maybe Darren Criss and then once again went with Justin Timberlake — who’s still likely never going to do this show.
Interestingly, Robin thinks Bull is so good as a singer that this must be a secret talent he’s been hiding (in his garage?), as otherwise he feels he would have heard it before and would remember that. Could this be an incredible secret he’s been holding back?
But then he started throwing out real singers like Brendan Flowers, Rufus Wainwright, while Jenny wondered if this was Kevin Jonas from the Disney Concert Hall, but mostly just wants to it be Zac Efron because she wants that at some point every season.
Meanwhile, Twitter is just getting more and more sure that this is Todrick Hall, while also absolutely loving how he slayed this vocal — and that range!
Baby might just officially be the moment a show that started after it jumped the shark turned around and jumped it again. The costume is absolutely terrifying. The vocals aren’t much better, with his kind of growling his way through this performance. Clearly this is not a singer, but at least he’s embraced the character of his giant baby costume … that will invade all of our nightmares.
Guesses: He’s certainly been close to Hollywood royalty, sharing that he once replaced Arnold Schwarzenegger in a movie. Was he a stunt double? He also said he was part of a “baby rat pack” famous for throwing punches that had blockbuster films, radio airplay and even an award-winning album.
So was he a vocal artist for a kids’ animated series like “Rugrats” or something? Maybe he did Arnold’s voice on the show? While rampaging through the city, we saw an officer’s badge with the number 54672, which is a Swedish zip code. But that wasn’t the horrible accent he was faking.
Baby’s locker showed that he failed Drive’s Ed. We also saw he was on debate team. Sometimes he gets the “need to feed” when he doesn’t get a nap, so if that doesn’t give you “Need for Speed” vibes, well you’ve not been paying attention to this show. Could also be “Fast & Furious,” but definitely fast cars.
Ken is thinking maybe Will Smith or Hugh Jackman, But Jenny had a smart guess with Vin Diesel, who does sing and was in “The Pacifier,” and the package opened up with Baby picking up a giant pacifier. We’re not at all buying Chuck Norris, Robin, but Baby was over the guesses already.
“Whoever I am, I’m really hot,” he lamented, so Nick quickly wrapped things up and sent him on his way. That costume has to be sweltering!
Fans online were cracking up over this costume, but they were no more confident who was inside it than they were with Hamster. And they were all feeling so good after the first night. Not that we’re doing any better here. It was so much a character, it’s hard to discern who’s under there.
Guesses online ranged from Bill Duke to Jason Statham, Channing Tatum, Sacha Baron Cohen, Gary Busey or even Bruce Willis or Larry the Cable Guy. They’ve got as much idea as the rest of us who’s in that giant diaper.
Skunk actually upped her game, while Bull faltered a little but we’re not ready to lose either of them still, nor the multi-faceted Puffer Fish. So that leaves us with the newcomers this week. Hamster was creepy and weird, and Baby was creepy and terrifying.
Neither were great singers, either. Hamster did a better job of staying on pitch with his mimicry, but Baby was better at staying with the beat. Honestly, either of them to go would have been fine with us, but if we had to pick one to cut first, it would probably be Baby, because our dreams can’t handle it and Hamster was too much fun harassing Nick.
Did the panel, audience and superfans agree? They absolutely did not. Instead, they sent off the best performer of the night and the most consistent performer of the season. Puffer Fish has never, ever, ever disappointed (in two shows). She’s incredible, versatile and so exciting to watch.
While we’re excited that we get to see who she is, we’re also frustrated that we’ll never get to see her again on this stage. She’s been our favorite so far. The voters do know you’re not supposed to vote for who you want to see unmasked most, right? There’s a talent competition element here.
“This might be the biggest upset in ‘Masked Singer’ history,” Nick declared, He may well be right.
- Robin Thicke: first impression (Jessica Alba), final guess (Jessica Alba)
- Jenny McCarthy: first impression (Jennifer Lopez), final guess (Nelly Furtado)
- Ken Jeong: first impression (Issa Rae), final guess (Zoe Saldana)
- Nicole Scherzinger: first impression (Paula Abdul), final guess (Monica)
Not only is this the biggest upset of the season, but it may also be the biggest surprise of the season for the panel. Is that really the internet’s favorite guess, Toni Braxton under there? Maybe Tamar? She did such a great job of hiding her real voice, it’s impossible to be truly confident.
That’s exactly who it was, the legendary R&B star brought everything to the stage with incredible diversity and range and she did it under two masks the whole time, being extra cautious with Covid as she also deals with lupus. But for real, how did Toni Braxton get cut before Baby and Hamster?
“The Masked Singer” continues Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.