The latest unmasking left the panel reeling as absolutely no one realized this iconic TV star could sing like that!
For some reason, we’re skipping Group C altogether and jumping back over to Group A for their semi-finals this week on “The Masked Singer.”
That also means there were only four performances this week, saving room for a late entry, the hilarious “Robin,” which was little more than our guest judge wearing a Robin Thicke mask and singing “Blurred Lines” quite terribly.
It was instantly obvious who it was, but it’s always fun to have Joel McHale hanging out to trade insults with his “Community” co-star and podcast co-host Ken Jeong.
But mostly, we were excited about the return of some of the competitions most impressive voices so far, including early frontrunner The Sun, Popcorn, Snow Owls and Giraffe. Of the four, Giraffe was probably the weakest after the season premiere.
In fact, Twitter was agreeing with us after that episode that Giraffe should have probably gone before Dragon, who was ultimately unmasked as legendary rapper Busta Rhymes. Could Giraffe step it up enough to survive among this group’s elite trio?
We also got an important update on the first impression guesses, after Gremlin (aka Mickey Rourke) self-unmasked last week and robbed us of the chance to see the panel’s guesses. Jenny McCarthy actually got this one right, making her tied with everyone but Ken.
We still would have liked to see their guesses, though, Nick Cannon!
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.
Popcorn gave an absolutely stunning vocal on Harry Styles’ “Falling,” filling it with so much pain and beauty. It was an emotional performance, proving once again that this is a master of the craft, able to emote through an adorable popcorn face. That’s the kind of powerhouse that should go far.
Guesses: This week, she talked about how she suffered through some health issues when she was younger, leading to mental health issues, ending it with the note that, “I Survive.” This, obviously, evokes Gloria Gaynor’s biggest hit.
Other clues included the number 16 in candles (“16 Candles”), several cats and ‘80s imagery like a Rubik’s Cube and hair crimper. Is this an ‘80s goddess? Her aerial clue was the planet Venus, which had us thinking Bananarama, obviously, with ‘80s on the brain.
Joel McHale blew it with his first guess of Dionne Warwick (last season’s Mouse), before jumping on the Gloria Gaynor bandwagon. It was a much better guess than Ken Jeong’s terrible Katy Perry guess, who sounds nothing like this.
Jenny thought Venus might be a slant connection to “Ugly Betty” star Vanessa Williams -- tying in to the soap opera imagery in the clue package -- which isn’t a terrible guess.
The internet is still hearing Cyndi Lauper when she talks, but growing more confident than ever that this is Taylor Dayne when she sings, though there were some other guesses like Rosie Perez (has to be the talking accent again) and even the late Aretha Franklin (um, no -- for so many reasons).
Popcorn when she talks sounds like Cyndi Lauper but singing I hear Taylor Dayne #TheMaskedSinger
Giraffe made a good call this week shifting from rapping to singing on this one, and he really settled into his vocal pocket quite nicely. It wasn’t a soaring performance, but he had a very slick groove going throughout, making him soothing to listen to. This was the vocal of someone very confident in their voice who knows their limitations. Also, a marked improvement over his last time out.
Guesses: Wayne Brady’s Fox made a cameo this week in his clue package, which also talked about a recent calamity that struck his life. He said he kept it on the down low, but it sounded like an incredibly serious medical crisis, as he said he could barely walk or talk.
There were peaches scattered throughout as well, along with talk of an invisible predator and his supporters really helping him get through. Giraffe’s aerial clue was a domino with two 4’s on it, which he said was “a very important tile to me, but does it help you guys score my identity.”
Robin pointed out the clue package mentioned “blink of an eye” and the clue is “one domino with 8 dots and two 4’s. 182.” So he’s thinking Blink 182, which brought him back to Jenny’s Travis Barker guess from last time, because he suffered a plane crash.
Joel took the Fox imagery to mean the network, so he was thinking “90210” star Jason Priestley, who also suffered a serious accident, or “Party of Five” star Scott Wolf because there were five giraffes.
Nicole thinks the Fox references refer to Megan Fox, and the “transform” mention refers to the film franchise, and Shia LaBeouf actually has a giraffe tattoo, so that’s her guess. Ken loved that guess so much that he blatantly decided to steal it and then ramble on so long that everyone started falling asleep.
For some reason, Kevin Hart’s name started cropping up a lot this week with the Internet’s guesses, which has us thinking they were just going off of that Seth Green being short so he chose the giraffe to be tall bit. Travis Barker remained strong, also, but there is not a strong consensus still on this one.
They’re so unsure, they’re starting to listen to the panel and consider their guesses, including going back to last week’s Vanillia Ice pick.
Snow Owls once again delivered a very sweet performance, accompanying one another beautifully. This time, we got to see that she actually sings in a lower than expected register while his natural timbre is a little higher. It helps them create those lovely harmonies, while standing out individually as well. This wasn’t quite as good as last time, but still quite strong.
Guesses: Their newest clue package talked all about how they support one another, like when he encouraged her to take on a role “fit for a queen,” while she helped him through a bad breakup.
There was a cabaret sign letter “D” when talking about his story, while an anchor with “MANagement” showed up later, as well as a DAL basketball. They even jumped onto a rope netting and over a bounce castle, while Ken thought Rob Schneider with the “you can do it” line.
Now, Rob’s daughter is Elle King, who is an incredible singer, but is he? The aerial clue added a witch’s hat to the mix, which weirdly took him to the “Bewitched” movie and Will Ferrell (the anchor “MAN” only solidified his confidence, and he paired her with Rachel McAdams because he recently watched “Eurovision.”
So that happened. On to more serious guesses, Joel jumped back onto the Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood guess, which is pretty solid based on the vocals, at least. Jenny made a tangent to Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman (also in “Bewitched”), which isn’t terrible, either.
Twitter has been feeling the Houghs, Derek and Julianne, since the premiere, though they also heard that country twang and were thinking maybe it was Clint Black and his wife Lisa Hartman. Right now, those are the two most popular choices, with Donnie and Marie Osmond fading fast.
The Sun dropped another killer performance in her second outing, with full command of her voice and wringing as much emotion out of Kesha’s “Praying” as Popcorn did at the top of the show. It’s a testament to her experience and gifts as a vocalist. She made this look effortless.
Guesses: One of the most visible clues in the package is the written words “ugly rumours,” with that British spelling that can’t help but make music fans think of Fleetwood Mac’s album “Rumours.” And with that on the mind, that voice could belong to Christine McVie.
There was also a red hourglass with a black widow in it, which could reference all the turmoil behind that album’s creation. Other clues included a bubbling cauldron with ingredients bottled like candy canes and a blonde spring of hair tied up in a blue bow. She talked a lot about her kinship with nature.
The drone’s clue was a magic 8-ball, with her saying “conjure” and “not so hot.” Jenny is thinking maybe Mandy Moore is hiding under there, with the candy canes referencing her single, “Candy.”
But Robin now feels more confident that Nicole was right in guessing Katharine McPhee, because she could have sang Madonna, Fleetwood Mac and any number of the artists teased in the clue packages.
Nicole, though, went very literally in seeing The Sun walking “under” a “wood” archway, so Carrie Underwood? In other words, they’re still all over the place on this one, and so is the internet.
LeAnn Rimes was the top guess last week, but while she’s still in the mix, we started seeing a lot more names crop up this week, including Scarlett Johansson, JoJo, Miley Cyrus, Mary J. Blige, Christina Ricci, Demi Lovato and even Mariah Carey?
While Giraffe absolutely stepped it up this week, we weren’t feeling confident that it was enough to outlast some of the world-class singing the other three have brought to this stage. At this point, Popcorn and The Sun are making Snow Owls look less-than, and the season’s first duo is actually pretty incredible.
It’s a testament to the talent this season, but also a shame for acts like Giraffe, who can quickly find themselves outclassed. But this is also a competition about personality, and Giraffe has probably shown more than anyone, especially when Ken starts talking and he’s had enough.
This week’s rambling that took us all the way through a commercial break was one of the funniest moments in all four seasons of this show. But is that enough to outlast those other voices, we don’t think so.
And we weren’t alone, as Giraffe came in last in the voting. So then it was all about who was under that mask. Was it Travis Barker, which seemed to be the favorite, or someone even more surprising?
Perhaps even more fun, what were the “First Impression” guesses by the judges upon first seeing him this season:
Robin Thicke: first impression (Jaleel White), final guess (Travis Barker)
Jenny McCarthy: first impression (Travis Barker), final guess (Seth Green)
Ken Jeong: first impression (will.i.am), final guess (Shia LaBeouf)
Nicole Scherzinger: first impression (Dale Earnhardt Jr.), final guess (Dale Earnhardt Jr.)
Joel McHale: final guess (Jason Priestley)
After all of that, absolutely no one got this right, as Brian Austin Green proved he’s got some decent rap skills and an even more solid singing voice. “You guys were all so close, but so far,” Brian told the panel.
Even worse for Robin, he was the robin in Brian’s clue package. “We were best friends as teenagers,” Robin said. They even were in a duo as kids called Think Twice.
Our favorite response, though, was when he told Ken, “I’ve loved messing with Ken. We’ve never met before, but you talk way too much.”
He did have a scare when Megan Fox came up from Nicole, thinking she might get to him that way, but she stayed in the film universe.
We actually really enjoyed the panel and star bantering about their guesses and clues. It’s a great way for us all to process the unmasking. And then we got a Think Twice reunion! Cue screaming fangirls everywhere!
“The Masked Singer” continues to hold back Group C, bringing us the Group B playoffs next Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. Group C better be really special!