“Welcome back to the TV sensation that's all pleasure and absolutely no guilt, The Masked Singer!” host Nick Cannon announced Wednesday evening. Um, why should anyone ever feel guilty about watching THE BEST TELEVISION SHOW OF ALL TIME?
But I must say, I do feel a bit guilty that I didn’t recognize the star of two of my other favorite reality shows of the past, Celebrity Rehab and Loveline, under the Eagle’s magnificent plumage.
Most people think of addiction medicine specialist and relationship expert Dr. Drew Pinsky as television’s mild-mannered voice of reason, but disguised as the Eagle this Wednesday, he really let his inner rock star take flight. Doing his smarmiest karaoke-crooner renditions of Meat Loaf’s “I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” and Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walking” in full hippie/biker regalia, Drew was clearly feeling his rock ‘n’ roll fantasy. Was this Freedom Rock? Well, turn it up, man! And that he did.
“I'm gonna prove I don't just hang out with rock stars. I am one,” this whirly-bird declared as he spread his bespoke wings, referring to the numerous rockers who’ve entered Celebrity Rehab or guested the syndicated radio version of Loveline over the years. Well, the Eagle didn’t quite land all the notes, but his swagger had the judges guessing he was Kid Rock or Bret Michaels (the red bandana threw them off, I guess). I actually thought he sounded a bit like that bonkers new wave album that David Hasselhoff just dropped.
The judges also thought it the Eagle might be Jimmy Fallon, Jeff Goldblum, Jeff Foxworthy, Craig Ferguson, Jay Mohr, Pauly Shore, or even Howard Stern — which shows you just how much feather-ruffling attitude Dr. Drew had going on. But no one guessed correctly; the closest the judges got was Adam Carolla, Drew’s former Loveline cohost, even though judge Ken Jeong used to fill in for Drew on Loveline. Now, normally Ken is the worst guesser on the Masked Singer panel anyway, but this character was a true mystery, probably the most surprising reveal of the series yet.
So, the Eagle had to leave the Masked Singer nest this week, but three other celebrity cosplayers flew to the next round. Let’s try to figure out the identities of this week’s masked menagerie members.
The Flower, “9 to 5”
“I don't even go to the grocery store without lipstick or pumps on,” bragged this diva — and honestly, after this episode, she shouldn’t go to the grocery store without this outfit on. I’d never take it off if I ever got a chance to wear it; this exotic purple-rose-of-Cairo costume was like something out of a V.C. Andrews-book-jacket-themed Met Ball.
Anyway, the Flower’s performance was just as stunning. She blossomed onstage and sounded like a legend. The judges shouted, “We’re not worthy!” while the usually unflappable Nick Cannon seemed awestruck, shaking in his million-dollar shoes. "I think we're in the presence of greatness," Nick proclaimed. As far as clues, the Flower mentioned the word “empire” and said she’s dabbled in “cooking, clothing, and craft.”
Judges’ guesses: Jessie J and Jennifer Hudson (because of the booming voice), Taraji P. Henson, Martha Stewart, Patti LaBelle, and Björk (come on, going on The Masked Singer would be like a Casual Friday for that swan-lady). A mention of having a “vision of love” had the judges also thinking this might be Nick’s ex, Mariah Carey, and another line, “What’s love got to do with it,” brought up Tina Turner and Angela Bassett.
My guess: The Flower had Mariah’s slow mermaid gait and grand-dame personality, but I think this is Empire regular, baking-empire entrepreneur, and friend of Mariah and Tina, Patti LaBelle. Hey, if Gladys Knight was willing to dress up as the Bee last season, why can’t a soul icon like Patti be a flower?
The Penguin, “The Middle” and “Worth It”
“My whole life, I've been told I'm not pretty enough, not smart enough, not funny enough,” lamented this poor little tuxedo’d creature, who said she’s been told many time her career is “over.” Nope! Sorry, haters — who, according to the Penguin’s “hit list,” include the press, comedy club owners, school bullies, and her exes — you’ve only really made it until you’ve belted Zedd and Fifth Harmony songs in a penguin costume on national TV. This woman clearly wasn’t a professional singer like the Flower, but she gave a vivacious performance and let her happy feet take her all over the stage.
Judges’ guesses: Jenna Fischer, Melissa McCarthy, Megan Mullally, Sherri Shepherd (I swear, Jenny McCarthy is just going to keep saying that one until she’s eventually right), and Kathy Griffin.
My guess: This is totally Kathy, you guys. Every single clue added up. Even the line “I am leading the march, who’s with me?” sounded like something that political firebrand would say. Kathy and the Penguin are the perfect TV combo of fire and ice.
The Fox, “This Love”
The fancy Fox said he does his “best work at night” and has worked with everyone from "Doogie" to "Doubtfire." He described himself as a “superhero” and performed the Maroon 5 hit with such panache and flamboyance that the judges suspected he might be a Broadway superstar.
Judges’ guesses: Wesley Snipes, Leslie Odom Jr., Anthony Mackie, Jamie Foxx (but I thought Jamie was the Leopard??), and Tyrese Gibson.
My guess: I think this could be Hugh Jackman. I mean, the clues fit the profile — and aren’t Wolverines and Foxes descended from the same animal family, really?
Come back next week, when the surviving celebrity singers of Season 2’s first three rounds return for more masked mischief.
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