As a true Hollywood legend is unmasked, the season promises more twists like Wild Card contestants, a mystery rooster offering at-home-only clues and guest host Niecy Nash — but still the same crappy guesses.
“The Masked Singer” is promising a season of game-changing surprises, and they definitely delivered with a first elimination that could well change the game forever!
Another big change was the arrival of Niecy Nash as interim host while Nick Cannon deal with a positive COVID-19 test. But don’t worry, he left behind a “Jar of Shame,” to be used if the panel used some of their same old guesses again.
Don’t worry, Nicole has already dropped the first $50 (it’s steep!) to fall back on an old panel favorite. But even the internet isn’t sure she’s wrong. And honestly, it could be one of those things where if you keep guessing it, you’re bound to be right, eventually, right?
The premiere also featured another surprise, with a costume housing more than one vocalist, a la last season’s Snow Owls. But at this point, we’re not sure just how many might be inside this Russian nesting doll.
Other promised upcoming game-changers are a new character called Cluedl-Doo, a rooster that offers up clues to viewers at home only, and has a secret identity of his own, as well as four more Wild Card contenders who could show up to crash the competition at any time.
But probably our favorite game-changer was just how lazy they were in dividing the ten starting contestants into groups A and B. No randomization, no shuffling. It’s just straight up alphabetical. The only “twist” was that we got the back half of the alphabet first as Group A.
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.
Russian Doll had us guessing from the first note, and then the second doll emerged. This is a duet (could there be more in there?) and a great vocal take on Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.” It had heart and sincerity, but also a great, gentle timber reminiscent of Jackson himself. This definitely sounds like a seasoned vocalist, or two, who knew how to harmonize perfectly.
Guesses: This might just turn out to be the hardest one of the season, because we’re not all totally confident there’s only two people involved in this costume. There are at least two, but one of the clues was that Russian Dolls can have 15 replicas!
We also learned they used to be the world’s hottest “toy,” but never quite fit into the box (which had ‘Office’ and recycle symbols). There was also a pitcher of milk, breadsticks, puppet strings (*NSYNC?) and a couple of signs: “Garden State Highway” and “Coming to a Country Near You.”
Guesses ranged wildly from country group Lady A to Boyz II Men to some combination of “Glee” cast-members or Gwen Stefani and her band. Honestly, this one has the panel absolutely clueless, so their first impression guesses should be pretty entertaining.
While the panel was really struggling to figure out just how many and who this might be, the Twitterspehere seemed to pretty quickly think they had this one figured out. Perhaps next time they perform, we’ll see a third one emerge … the third Hanson brother!
There were some other off the wall guesses like Snooki and not terrible ones like 98 Degrees, but they really started doing their homework on Hanson (did you know they have 15 kids between them?
Snail was doing a very Kermit-esque nasally voice, giving the whole performance a very Muppet vibe. Another all-consuming costume, it was hard to really offer much in stage presence, so really he had to sell this vocally. It was in tune, but such a novelty approach, it wasn’t mind-blowingly impressive.
Guesses: We suspect the voice choice is because this star thinks he might be too recognizable if he sings in his regular voice. But with all the talk show clues, we immediately started thinking about Jimmy Fallon, who can definitely sing and do so in all different kinds of voices.
Not only was the clue package from the set of a talk show, it talked about rubbing elbows with the likes of De Niro, Gaga and Michelle Obama, while also calling him a “national treasure.” Can Conan O’Brien sing that good?
That’s not Jay Leno’s nasally voice, but both Robin and Ken considered that it could nevertheless be him, putting on a voice. Nicole, though, was throwing out all kinds of other “Ted 2” stars like Jimmy Kimmel, Mark Wahlberg and even Adam Sandler.
He also revealed that he’s acted, directed, produced, recorded albums and been on the Oscars stage, though possibly as a presenter or performer. Visual images included Dr. Drew’s Eagle, as well as a Ted-looking teddy bear on the talk show couch, a buried treasure and the word “meatballs.”
We suspect he’s seated in that costume, perhaps in a motorized wheelchair, making it impossible to know anything about his height, body, anything. Robin came out strong with a great guess incorporating the Ted, and a UFO image (for “The Orville”) to guess Seth MacFarlane.
Adam Sandler got some love from the online world, though there were a few who thought it might actually be Kermit the Frog. Can they do that? Would that even make sense? It would make the costume make more sense if it had to fit a puppeteer in there, but more than likely it would just be one of Kermit’s puppeteers over the years. Certainly, a few were thinking along those lines based on the voice he put on.
But we also saw a guess for Barney, so if we’re going to take this train completely off the rails, well, why the hell not! The bottom line, though, appears to be that people really don’t know on this one.
Seashell was a bundle of nerves throughout this performance, to the point you could hear the quaver in her voice. But she needn’t worry, as she has a very nice tone to her voice. It’s not the biggest range, and her limited movement tells us she’s not spent a lot of time performing on stage (or it’s been a while). But she definitely can sing.
Guesses: Seashell told us she hasn’t sang in a while, making us wonder if this might not be an actress who dabbled in music years ago and then stepped away from it (like Hilary Duff or Jennifer Love Hewitt or, yes, Lindsay Lohan).
She said she used to travel with her family before finding a “tsunami of success.” She’s worn many hats, thus our thought of her having a variety of career paths before finding her “true calling.”
We saw a chameleon (could be the many hats thing again), as well as a cowboy hat, a broomstick (Melissa Joan Hart?) and a pretty gross looking sausage with relish on it … we think that’s what that was.
In a quick chat with Niecy, Seashell confirmed that she used to sing on stage way back in the day before pursuing other things, so this is her getting back to that love. Ken’s Kristen Chenoweth guess got a lot of support, but we’d like to point to Exhibit One and Only.
Niecy Nash if 5’4”. Kristen Chenoweth is 4’11.” We know neither is particularly tall, but there is no way Seashell is 5” shorter than Niecy when they’re standing side by side.
The cowboy had had the judges at Texas and suddenly we heard our Duff and JLH guesses, along with Jessica Simpson. But the Twittersphere started to sign out another possibility, suggesting that it might be a “Sister, Sister” sister.
While both Tia and Tamera Mowry were getting some love, it was Tamera who seemed to be getting the most attention online. The other biggest guess out there was Mandy Moore, but it was just a drop in the ocean compared to Tamera. Also, Mandy is 5’9”, and we think that’s way taller than Seashell.
Raccoon had a vocal delivery that reminded us of AC/DC’s Brian Johnson if he wasn’t able to sing or follow a tune or even have any idea how to stay on beat. Seriously, there was no rhythm, no musicality and no stage presence that made any sense whatsoever. Instead, he lumbered around shrieking “Wild Thing” and we’re not sure what just happened.
Guesses: He couldn’t even hide the raspiness of his voice in his clue package, so that might just be how he talks. Or he’s really, really trying to throw the panel. His clues painted a dark picture of a dark past.
In fact, Raccoon said he was “actually a monster,” who promised to only do good if he got a second chance, and that’s a promise he’s stood by. He likened himself to Quasimodo from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” only he was guilty.
Nicole hated her guess of Gary Busey, but Raccoon is madcap enough that we could totally see it. She also considered Nick Nolte, but there’s no way Sammy Hagar would sing that poorly.
Ken, however, thinks the redemption story could be pointing to Mike Tyson, but nothing else makes sense in that guess. Robin thought fighter, as well, but clearly this isn’t Iron Mike, so he thought maybe Joe Pesci or maybe, instead, Danny DeVito.
We’re not sure some of these guys have such a dark past as Raccoon. While Twitter wasn’t mad at Gary Busey as a guess, they were also tossing around names like Mickey Roarke (he already did this) and Danny Trejo (sometimes at the same time), as well as our Brian Johnson comparison.
If we had to offer an online consensus, the biggest one appears to be the growing support behind Danny Trejo, and the other biggest consensus is that most viewers did. Not. Like. This. At all!
Robopine came out with a badass visual presentation and menacing name correction (from Porcupine to Robopine), but then delivered such a polished, silky smooth R&B vocal, he sounded like a cross between Jamie Foxx and Wayne Brady. It was so confident, he delivered it with as much authenticity as Luther Vandross did the original, which is a huge statement on his talent and natural gifts as a vocalist.
Guesses: Perhaps the costume is reminiscent of the fact he said his upbringing forced him to come up tough, but a random call changed everything in his life. He said he used 411 to make a connection.
We also saw him unlock a keyed padlock, as well as a can of soda and some DNA sequences on futuristic buildings. He spoke about moving from one mission to the next, with this show apparently being what was next for him to conquer … perhaps.
He revealed that he’s 60 years old, with his kids and grandkids thinking he shoudl have hung it up along time ago, and that is a huge clue! But the judges found themselves wondering if he’s changing the game up by just lying to them.
Niecy got in on it, suggesting she maybe auditioned to be a backup dancer for this guy, and then plated it “Huh?” when asked if they’d ever dated. Nicole, thinking the age was a lie, paid her $50 to guess Jamie Foxx.
But Robin was wondering if maybe it was Lionel Richie, though he’s 71 (which would make the 60 still a lie). Robin noted George Washington in the package, and decided to rhyme with his costume name by guessing Ginuwine.
There were a few guesses for Robopine on line, with no real consensus, including “Masked Dancer” contestant Brian McKnight, Tyrese and even Terry Crews. A few, though, were ready to pony up their own $50 to name Jamie Foxx.
If we’re going just by vocal ability, Raccoon seems a certainty to go home first, but it’s not always that simple. Perhaps Seashell’s nerves pushed her down in the rankings, or maybe Snail’s weird Kermit delivery was more off-putting than Raccoon’s … whatever that was.
Still, we think that this early in the season, we’re still about rewarding the best singers bar none, and as it’s about picking your favorite singer of the night, our guess is that Raccoon will show up with that honor the least among voters.
So were we right in our guess, or did someone more deserving of sticking around have to take it off instead? It turns out we were absolutely not right, so apparently something about Raccoon’s adorable commitment to his character (digging in trash), was enough to get him some love.
Falling short, then, was Snail, who apparently didn’t endear enough people to his actual singing abilities by putting on such an obvious and bizarre voice. But that leaves the next big question. Who is it?
- Robin Thicke: first impression (Seth MacFarlane), final guess (Seth MacFarlane)
- Jenny McCarthy: first impression (Adam Carolla), final guess (Ted Cruz)
- Ken Jeong: first impression (Jay Leno), final guess (Jay Leno)
- Nicole Scherzinger: first impression (Adam Carolla), final guess (Billy Crystal)
We kind of dig Nicole’s Billy Crystal guess, but we are absolutely not on board with the idea of this being Ted Cruz. First, he would never do this show and second, he would never do this show. And third, well, he would never do this show.
So … yeah, we’re not even sure how to process this, and no one would have ever guessed that the reason this sounded like someone putting on a nasally Kermit the Frog voice was because it was Kermit the Frog.
So we’re opening this show up to fictional characters? Did he really get the lowest amount of votes, or is this part of the game-changing season, to have a novelty character like this in the first round. We’re really not sure what to think of this reveal as it seems not to be in the spirt of the show, though we always love seeing the Muppets anywhere.
As we anticipated, we weren’t the only ones thinking this reveal kind of takes the fun out of guessing. If it could be Spongebob Squarepants inside another costume, how can we possibly play along with this game at home?
That said, there were plenty of others who absolutely loved every bit of it. We don’t get on board “The Masked Singer” train for sanity or logic. We jump on to lose ourselves in the craziest thing to ever happen to TV, so is Kermit the Frog being a contestant really any crazier than anything else we’ve seen so far?
There was also a consensus that the voters got this one way wrong, agreeing with us that Raccoon should have been the first. Another reason we suspect Kermit was stunt casting and perhaps this vote wasn’t even real?!
“The Masked Singer” continues Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.