We met our third batch of masked celebrities this week, and we are absolutely lost on most of them. The clues are cryptic, their behavior is all over the place, and they are absolutely staying in character so well, we're not even sure if Leopard's accent is real.
In fact, we're not even sure if our own accent is real at this point. One thing we are sure of, though, is that there is some real talent on this season ... and it is not coming from the judging panel.
After a pretty solid outing last week with some decent guesses and clue interpretations, the panel went off the rails this week. And when it came time to guess the identity of the unmasked celebrity, they basically ignored most of the clues and offered up some of their worst guesses yet.
Some things never change, it would seem.
Tonight, the weakest performer 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. We do this because we love ... to torture you.
Black Widow took on Whitney Houston, which is bold by any standards, but she definitely has the chops to pull it off. She seemed to hesitate slightly before hitting her highest note, which tells us she may be older (voice lowering) or out of practice performing. But she can definitely sing and has the polish of a professional, for sure.
Guesses: Jenny McCarthy had a solid guess to kick things off, thinking "Glee" star Amber Riley. Her clue package was filled with filming references, as well as an image of a peach. She also talked about living her life in the public eye and being packaged, with hints about being edgier and darker.
Ken Jeong was convinced it was his old "Community" co-star Yvette Nicole Brown, who definitely was saddled with a very sweet public persona. Robin's guess was Sherri Shepherd, while the internet was all over the place, though we like this Lizzo guess. She did say "good as hell," but it's probably way too obvious..
I'm at a bar... thinking silently to myself... "I wonder if that's Raven Symone as the Black Widow in Masked Singer" pic.twitter.com/JANKnbV7T5
Leopard threw everyone for a loop with a higher distorted voice for talking, but then the singing voice of a man. He sounded a little scratchy early on, but settled nicely into this Queen classic, even showing off a very nice falsetto at the end, so he can sing, though he doesn't come across as a professional.
Guesses: Leopard was very playful with Nick and the panel, takiing in all the adulation with glee. Robin picked up on the clue about everyone focusing more on the fashion and the two-handed microphone hold and thought Billy Porter.
Ken was thinking Robbie Williams, while Jeny really wants it to be Jamie Foxx. An earlier clue said the costume was to hide the "natural silhouette," and she said that no one could catch her in her career, as well as that she spent time with presidents, so that could lead us thinking about a Caitlyn Jenner, who still has a wider vocal range.
So maybe it is still a woman, and it's the feminine silhouette they want to hide so the lower vocal register keeps the judges guessing. This one's a good mystery and clearly has the internet at a total loss, though RuPaul is an interesting choice as well, and we kind of like Laverne Cox for it after her star turn on the "Rocky Horror" remake.
Leopard on The Masked Singer must be Sir Ian McKellen. That's why he's a leopard: to promote Cats, in theaters December 20.
Flamingo may have forgotten the lyrics of the chorus, or she just wanted to show off her vocal range a bit with some runs. She's definitely got some vocals, but didn't really take command of this performance vocally, which leaves us unsure if this is a professional lead singer.
Guesses: Ken took all the YouTube hints to think maybe it was fallen YouTube star Olivia Jade, but the panel shut him down quick. There were plenty of clues about feeling trapped in her career and wanting a new beginning, taking control of her destiny, but also clues about fashion and makeup and racking up likes.
She also talked luxurious vacations, and being an escape on the stage, which had Robin thinking Kandi Burruss from XScape (and "RHOA"), but we think like Ninja she could come out and surprise as one of the younger generation of YouTubers, and Olivia Jade would be an interesting way to try and reinvent herself.
Even though she flat-out said she's not a professional singer after her performance, the internet is still feeling pretty confident that it's "The Real" co-host Adrienne Bailon, formerly of the Cheetah Girls and 3LW.
It amazes me how the judges on the masked singer don't know that Adrienne Balion is the Flamingo?!?! Like her voice is so iconic everyone but them know it's her! I'm flabbergasted pic.twitter.com/0TBtWJTLHC
Panda has an okay voice, but missed a few notes along the way, especially in the higher register. She doesn't work the stage like a professional singer, which has us thinking she's definitely an athlete, as she didn't have a performer's instincts.
Guesses: Before she even began to perform, Robin threw out Laila Ali, and it's hard to deny that possibility. Her father is an absolute legend and she dropped a ton of hints about matches and fighting and being from the "world's greatest" family. Honestly, it's hard to think anything else now.
Nicole was thinking Venus Williams, while Jeny was thinking Ronda Rousey. After Ken picked Queen Latifah, Nicole shot back, "But Queen Latifah can sing!" Awww, poor Panda! That was harsh ... true, though. As for the internet, they were picking up on the Ali family vibe, too, though they had some other guesses, too.
The #Panda on @MaskedSingerFOX is definitely Leila Ali. She was a pro boxer, she is a celebrity chef and she looked up to Papa bear who taught her shyness is a virtue because he was always outspoken. -Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee 🐝
This was an odd pairing as neither gave particularly strong performances. But what Leopard lacked in vocal prowess, they definitely more than made up for in character and just general playfulness. But we're more confident than ever than neither are professional singers.
Winner: The judges were given the choice between these bottom two performers, and even they seemed surprised when Leopard came out victorious. All the while, the audience was chanting Panda, so that had to add a little more sting.
This one felt pretty obvious from the moment Robin said Laila Ali, and yet he didn't even stick with it, flipping the script from athlete to Loni Love. And then Jenny followed suit and went with Wanda Sykes. It was indeed "an amazing wrong guess," as Ken put it.They both were.
But then he picked Queen Latifah, and the panel appeared on their way to maybe getting it all wrong -- or we were. Nicole rounded out their guesses by standing firm with Venus Williams, which made us think she was the closest to right. And in the end, it was Robin's "joke" that was the right answer.
We have to give credit to Robin's guess, but we actually take the season lead (with two right guesses out of three) over the entire panel as they were all wrong this week! Still, Jenny and Robin are one-for three so far, while Ken and Nicole are still at zero correct guesses.
"The Masked Singer" airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.