What do a Butterfly, Egg, Thingamajig, Skeleton, Ladybug, Rottweiler, Tree and Ice Cream have in common? They all took the stage for the season premiere of the wackadoodle Fox hit!
"The Masked Singer" kicked off its second season with a two-hour premiere that culminated in two celebrities getting unmasked ... and we only saw half the competition this week.
With 16 contestants total this season, there was just no way to get through all of them if we wanted to see clue packages, performances and have time for all the classically terrible guesses from the panel. Plus, producers added a fun head-to-head round, so they continued their format of splitting up the competition.
Now, it looks like they have a bracket system, so the celebs are randomly paired up each week as they make their way toward the big finale. That meant this week we saw Butterfly vs Egg, Thingamajig vs Skeleton, Ladybug vs Rottweiler and Tree vs Ice Cream. And let us tell you, there were some genuinely amazing voices under those intricate costumes.
But perhaps the most shocking thing of all is that two of the panelists actually guessed correctly on one of the eliminated stars. The other they never would have gotten right for ... reasons.
"This season the clues are much, much. It was either that or shut down Google and I don't think we got that power," Nick said, and he wasn't wrong.
Tonight, the two weakest performers got the boot, but 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. And this week they were joined by the even worse guesser J.B. Smoove. We do this because we love ... to torture you.
Butterfly came out strong with a polished performance that certainly sounded like a professional singer. On top of that, she had some swag in sync with her backup dancers, so even though she didn't move much, she commanded the stage.
Guesses: The judges started speculating about Cara Delevigne, perhaps with a hidden talent. She appears tall and with thin legs, which fits the modeling world, as did the photog moments in her package.
She also again referenced prayer, as well as having gone through a metamorphosis of some sort in the past year. There was also considerations for Fantasia and Diana Ross and Patti LaBelle, but the Big Bang reference had them thinking Mel B. But then she spoke with a Southern accent and everyone's confused.
Egg put on a flamboyant performance, but his moves were a little awkward, like he was a little out of his element performing like this on a stage. His voice, though, was capable if not particularly remarkable or powerful as you might expect from a singer.
Guesses: A skateboard clue had Jenny thinking skater in general, like ice skater Johnny Weir or Adam Rippon, which are reasonable guesses. Ken, though, proved that he's probably clueless again by guessing Jonathan Van Ness from "Queer Eye."
There were clues about going for the gold, which adds weight to Jenny's theories, but also pyramids, dreamcatchers and fashion, which had Nicole thinking Christian Siriano. Egg, meanwhile, revealed that he's always "eggs-tra" and enjoys a "good sparkle."
Thingamajig shocked everyone with a silky and soulful voice we did not expect from a tall, lean figure the judges were pretty sure belonged to a basketball player out the gate. Now, he didn't have much in the way of performance, so singing may not be his first jam, but it's something he's got some talent in.
Guesses: Robin vetoed his own guess of Michael Strahan because Thinkamajg's shoulders are too narrow. His clue package emphasized shoes and briefcases, suggesting an athlete with a shoe deal. Maybe he wears the number "4," as we saw on a cupcake.
But we're not sure he's much taller than Nick, based on platform shoes and where he's putting the mic to sing and talk.
Skeleton gave a ridiculously over-the-top performance that was absolutely hilarious. It was also rap, so should have helped give away who he was, but it did not. He is definitely a natural performer, who had a Shatner-esque vibe to his delivery. He's clearly not a singer, but this was a fun enough compromise.
Guesses: The judges were definitely thinking comedian, and we found ourselves wondering if it could be Teller of Penn & Teller. He talked about being "second fiddle," which had the judges thinking Jon Cryer and Nathan Lane.
Ken Jeong, though, was very passionately certain that this was Martin Short.
A fun addition this season, the bottom two perform on the stage together, meaning they can perform in each other's faces, and Egg definitely embraced that. Skeleton brought a lot of grit and gravel to his vocal, but still can't sing as well as Egg. That said, neither are particularly strong vocalists, so it really comes down to who had the better personality.
Winner: The judges were given the choice between these bottom two performers, and it was their decision to keep Skeleton in the running a little longer. His personality just won the day over Egg on this one.
Ladybug was buried under her nerves; she looked terrified up there. Her voice wasn't terrible and had some grit to it, but she was definitely shaky and out of tune in the beginning. This show could give her a confidence boost. By the end, she actually sounded pretty damned impressive.
Guesses: Lots of hints about family feuds, family drama and being born in the spotlight pushed Robin toward the likes of Lily Collins, but Jenny thought Willow Smith. Interestingly, Ladybug herself vetoed Ken's Lindsay Lohan guess -- which is a first -- so that could be another clue. Maybe Paris Hilton or Nicole Richie?
She also had clues that hinted at game shows, with imagery for Halloween, bridges (Golden Gate) and ... ham? She had an incredibly Southern accent, which had Jenny thinking Jamie Lynn Spears. Her answer was so timid and shy.
Rottweiler just threw down with a powerful and surprisingly moving performance. The panel thought this was an athlete, so they were absolutely thrown by his soulful voice, stage command and beautifully rich and textured vocals. If he's not a singer, what an amazing second talent he has.
Guesses: The voice really threw the panel for a loop and they could not recover. Robin though maybe Russell Wilson, because of his relationship with Ciara. Outside of the football clues, which could be misdirect, they also considered Brian Littrell of Backstreet Boys, while Jenny thought Nick Lachey.
Tree moves like an older woman, but really got into the soul of her song by the end. It was a tepid performance to start, but as she grew in confidence, so did her voice. Her stage presence was certainly amateurish, so this isn't her thing, but she still had a nice enough voice and you could tell how much it means to her.
Guesses: These clues were all about her being known primarily for sweet treats only one time a year. The fact that she's a Christmas tree, tells us she's trotted out around the holidays to share her recipes, so she's known primarily as a baker.
Ken thought she was maybe famous for a Christmas movie, like Beverly D'Angelo, but Nicole thought maybe Rachael Ray while Jenny went off the rails with Wendi McClendon-Covey, but Tree seemed to reject the idea she was older at all!
Ice Cream lacked a lot in stage presence, but had a competent enough karaoke-level voice. He's clearly not a singer by trade, but he can hold a tune and it was fun seeing him let loose this other side of him.
Guesses: After making it clear that he found his fortune following a "ridiculous" dream, surprising even his parents. Jenny is thinking some YouTube star or someone like Rob Dyrdek. Ken went a different direction, thinking this was a pro gamer -- and we went straight to Ninja -- before admitting the only one he knows is PewDiePie ... he joked they're all too "old" to know these stars.
The kids in the audience were thinking Marshmello, which isn't a bad guess, either, but someone like Rob certainly would seem to fit the bill, too, if it's not someone like Ninja. Are the kids right, or the "old" judges?
Ice Cream was clearly having fun, but sounded even less like a singer on "Whip It." It was a good time, but not a particularly strong vocal performance. Ladybug, meanwhile, proved she's got even more pipes, and gravel, than we originally thought.
Winner: Ladybug really seems like someone who could benefit from this journey, and she absolutely upped her game for this performance, so we're so glad the judges voted to keep her.
We were backing the idea of Egg being an Olympic ice skater like Adam Rippon. Robin and Jenny both said Johnny Weir, whch is close to our thought as well, while Ken stuck with his Jonathan Van Ness guess and Nicole stood by Christian Siriano.
After dragging it out interminably, the first big reveal of the season exposed the face of Johnny Weir, giving Robin and Jenny one-for-one on the new season. Will it go to their heads?
Ken went with the only YouTube star he knows, PewDiePie. Honestly, though, it wasn't a terrible guess as he is tremendously successful. Nicole backed the kids in the crowd with Marshmello -- though Robin pointed out we don't even know what Marshmelo looks like. Jenny rode the "ridiculous" clue to Rob Dyrdek' "Ridiculousness," while Robin switched it up to Deadmau5.
Jenny said, "I can't wait to see how wrong we all are." But when the mask came off, it turned out we were right, and we're as stunned as everyone else.
That means we're tied with Jenny and Robin with one right guess each, while Ken and Nicole are still at zero.
The guessing game continues as "Group C" takes to the stage next week on "The Masked Singer" at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.