Before host Nick Cannon could even figure out what was going on, this blockbuster movie star was already pulling off their mask.
Once again, it was a night of firsts on “The Masked Singer.” It was the first puppy “mask” ever and it was also the most unorthodox unmasking in the history of the show.
Fans are still reeling at how the night ended after six new masks took the stage, introducing us to the likes of Crocodile, Seahorse, Gremlin, Watchamacallit and Serpent. And no one knew what was happening when they got a look at Baby Alien, an adorable puppet atop a spaceship blasting off.
This costuming just gets more and more intricate every season. And after having heard now 11 of the season’s 16 new singers, we’re definitely ready to declare this the most vocally talented lineup we’ve ever had.
We’re not sure if it was Covid making more superstars available or what, but this season is stacked with vocal powerhouses, and it is stacked with huge Hollywood names, including tonight’s blockbuster unmasking -- which is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before!
Let’s jump into this week’s batch of contestants, complete with clue packages and performances. 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.
Crocodile came out swinging with all the same grit and gravel of Jon Bon Jovi, but there’s no way he’d sing his own song. Plus, on some softer parts it didn’t quite sound like home. But props for commanding the stage, this vocal and really doing a pretty spot-on impression (if that’s what he was trying to do). If not, well then he picked the right song to throw the judges off.
Guesses: There is absolutely no first instinct on this performer, other than to be impressed. He did say “Wicked” in a pretty pointed way, which could mean a connection to the musical, while also referencing Las Vegas. Earlier clues included Lover’s Lagoon -- along with references to water and a waterslide -- as well as him growing up in Hollywood.
Plus, there was an Italian flag above a fish in a pineapple… so that’s a thing that also happened. He told Nick he’s had to have tough skin his whole life to survive and protect his sensitive side. It was a tough one for sure, but that’s no excuse for Ken’s guess.
Somehow he decided that the pineapple and Italian flag meant pizza, so what pairs with pizza but ham aka Jon Hamm. Is his Vault score going to be zero at the end of this season? Even the Crocodile was calling this guess crazy.
Nicole was thinking public heartache and breakup could make this Nick Lachey, while Robin took the “”wicked” line to Boston and for another season brings Jenny’s husband Donnie Wahlberg in as a possibility. He is going to do this to her one of these times, right?
Weirdly enough, while there was no real consensus online, once again there were people thinking this was a repeat celeb, but we’re pretty sure Bret Michaels didn’t come back to do this again.
Probably the most popular guesses (meaning we saw it more than once) goes to Nick Carter, with random nods to the likes of Greg Louganis, Pauly D, Steven Tyler and even Corey Feldman along the way. In other words, the Twitter-verse is just as long as the rest of us. Unless it is Nick, in which case they’re geniuses.
And of course, at least one person figured since he sang Bon Jovi, it must be Jon Bon Jovi, right? It could be … but it isn’t.
Baby Alien marks another first for the show as a tiny puppet atop a blasting-off spaceship. Seriously, this costume is adorable and gives absolutely zero clues as to who is under there. Nevertheless, B.A. gave a pretty solid vocal, though we’re totally on the fence as to whether or not we think he’s a professional singer. There was a smooth confidence to the performance, but it also had no bells and whistles to it, making us think maybe it’s just an actor or comedian or athlete who can sing pretty well.
Guesses: Obviously that accent was a put-on, but it immediately had us thinking Sacha Baron Cohen just might do something this ridiculous as his costume. It also makes us even more think this might be a comedian. We did get a Ferris Bueller reference, as well as “Friends,” right off the top.
Other clues included him saying he was in the theater every week (employee or in every movie ever), as well as the Tony Awards stage (Neil Patrick Harris?). He talked about getting lost along the way and exploring other passions, with a horseshoe, parade with giant balloons and the Liberty bell.
Jenny took the karate ballon to Ralph Macchio, who replaced Matthew Broderick on Broadway. Nicole, however, pondered the “Friends” and “Lost in Space” clues to Matt LeBlanc before shifting to David Schwimmer, as he has his own theater company.
To his credit, Ken actually put together a real guess on this one, tying the vampire stake to Sarah Michelle Gellar’s husband -- who guest-starred on “Friends” as someon who likes puppets -- Freddie Prinze, Jr.
Other than the obvious ventriloquist jokes like Jeff Dunham and Terry Fator, Twitter also threw guesses at Broderick (or his “Bueller” co-star Alan Ruck) and LeBlanc, while also wondering if it could be NPH, after all. This one, though, really has them thrown for a loop because it is just so out there with guesses running the gamut from Billy Porter to Nathan Fillion, Joel McHale and Brendon Urie!
Oh, and we feel pretty confident it’s definitely not “The Child” (aka “Baby Yoda”) from “The Mandalorian.”
Seahorse has an incredible voice, tackling and slaying Rihanna. She had no problem with this track, and her stage presence was absolutely top-notch as well. She’s definitely fit and carries herself like a young dancer type, as Jenny suggested, and it also looks like she’s totally at home up there on the stage. That was a great first performance.
Guesses: When Nick talked to her, she again mentioned “shine,” which also came up in her clue package. There, we also got a whole Western theme, with dolphins as horses at the OK Coral.
The biggest moment there was what looked like a fancy tea party over an open fire with four of her friends, a stuffed rainbow-colored frog, two dogs and a dove. Jenny followed the rainbow clue and fire to Halsey.
Nicole, though, thinks this might be this season’s Oscar-nominated performer, guessing Hailee Steinfeld. Robin thought the country motif might instead be referring to Bebe Rexha, but Nicole was quick to point out that Bebe has more curves than Seahorse.
Seahorse had guesses coming from all over the place, too; a testament to how much harder this season is so far. We saw Zoe Kravitz, Camila Cabello, Kesha and even Ariana Grande -- as well as some support for Steinfeld. Probably the most passionate divide with fans sure they know who it is (like Ken) were those throwing their support behind Cabello and Kelly.
One thing they agreed on, though, is that she is easily one of the season’s best singers and could make a run for the finals, if not win the shoe altogether!
Watchamacallit laid it down, though the irony of this towering man performing Skee-Lo’s “I Wish” was not lost on us. For someone we’re fairly positive is not a professional rapper, he had a very cool rhythm and delivery on this. His stage presence we very low-key, but he had some vocal swagger and managed to deliver the lovelorn tone of the track perfectly. Maybe he is a pro, but downplaying his skills a bit.
Guesses: Nicole, however, thinks it might be a professional rapper which -- at this size -- narrows it down quickly. The behemoth monster said he chose the costume and name because he can be whatever he wants to be under there, which is his true self.
Nicole thinks swinging keys from the clue package referred to Alicia Keys and then her husband, Swizz Beatz. NBA superfan Ken, though, thought the giant clock referenced in the package could be a reference to Damian Lillard, who has a rap track called “Shot Clock.”
We have to talk about this clock, though. It’s “numbers” in order from 12 were 2, 7, 8, triangle, 4.0, Bear (Sarah Palin), 1, 6, 12, shrimp, record player, pants. That’s gotta be like the NBA Finals of clues, right? But what does it all mean, man?
There was also a “Dancing with the Stars,” “Surfing Candy Bars, “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow.” It was an incredibly wordy clue package, which made Robin think this could be Tyler the Creator.
While Twitter was once again all over the place with their early guesses, we did see Wiz Khalifa show up more than once in their speculations. There were lots of pro sports guesses, alongside randos like Karamo Brown, Big Sean and Will Smith (uh-huh), as well as some love for Robin’s Tyler the Creator guess.
Serpent not only delivered with an incredible range and strength, but he performed a rearrangement of this Proclaimers classic, which is almost never done except by seasoned, confident, professional singers. And if this guy isn’t, he must be amazing at whatever he does do because he is a world-class vocalist.
Guesses: Serpent came out looking scary but then showed a tender side, a dichotomy echoed in his clue package where he talked about no longer wanting to hurt people, instead wanting to heal them.
Books seen throughout this book-heavy clue package included ‘How to Be a Good Serpent’ and ‘Serpent Manual,’ as if he was trying to navigate this new life of his. We also saw ‘How to Dig Yourself out of Debt,’ along with a meandering map of ‘The Caribbean’ and a divide between medicine and musicology (in a library, of course).
Jenny was thinking maybe this was John Legend, while Ken thinks the “Dig” book title refers perhaps to “Hamilton” star Daveed Diggs. Nicole thinks maybe this is Leslie Odom, Jr. because there was a Serpent, Sr. in the clue package and he’s played a doctor.
Odom was a popular pick online as well, though there were just as many positive it wasn’t him. Other picks included Jamie Foxx, Seal, Brian McKnight, and even a shout-out for the Singing Surgeon, Dr. Elvis Francois.
Their main consensus, though, was that after being terrified at the costume and the mask in particular, they were absolutely stunned when he began to sing and cemented himself instantly as a front-runner.
I can't sleep tonight because I'm too busy texting everyone I know that the Serpent 🐍 on #TheMaskedSinger is @leslieodomjr from Hamilton and I want to find out now but I want him to make it to the end...do you see my problem?
Gremlin had us scratching our heads, but kind of digging his raspy delivery. Sure, he was off the beat quite a lot, talked his way through a lot of the lines and basically just walked around the stage, but he still managed to sound very cool and confident. He definitely sang and performed like an older person, but someone who still enjoys a good spotlight and knows how to handle it.
Guesses: Gremlin siad he performed “Stand By Me” for his late friend Willy DeVille, who passed away in 2009 and performed this song as far back as 1982 with his band Mink DeVille. Robin was wondering if it was perhaps Jerry Lee Lewis under there, due to his checked past.
Clues included that he could be combative, but was a true romantic underneath it all. There were also a ton of animal references, as well as a love of cooking, boxing a shark and a random fly buzzing around his head.
Jenny thought maybe that growl could be Sylvester Stallone, but instead thinks maybe it’s Mickey Rourke under there with that raspy voice. Ken thinks it was, instead, a real wrestler. Could it be Steve Austin?
And then, just like that, it didn’t matter because Gremlin decided he’d had about enough of this show. “I wanna take this off right now,” he said and then proceeded to do just that.
“It’s not that part of the show yet, “ said Nick Cannon, but no one was going to stop it from happening. And within seconds, Mickey Rourke stood revealed and tossing his mask off the stage.
It was a rather abrupt ending, but we’re not too upset about it. If we had a say, we’d have probably picked Gremlin to go, as well, though it would have been nice to see the First Impression votes from the judges and at least see how the votes would have played out.
Just when you think this crazy show can’t get any crazier, it goes ahead and does it.
“The Masked Singer” continues every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.