The most unexpected unmasking of the season moves the entire panel -- but was it Crocodile, Sea Horse, Serpent or Watchamacallit? And who else went home?
Cheryl Hines picked a special night to be a part of “The Masked Singer” as the feel-good, wackiest show on television showed its heart this week.
With four finalists in this group, half of them were facing the chopping block. And with such powerhouse talent like Crocodile, Sea Horse and Serpent facing off, there was going to be heartbreak for sure.
What’s that you say? What about Whatchamacallit? Well, as entertaining as he is, he’s not in the same class as the other three vocally, right? Oh, who are we kidding. This is the show that kept White Tiger around way, way longer than he had any right to be there, so it was still anybody’s game.
With no Smackdown, the masks had only one shot to impress the judges, and they pulled out all the stops. Sea Horse showed another side to her voice with a spot-in impression of a pop icon, while Crocodile and Serpent both showed just how silky and smooth their vocals were and Whatchamacallit dropped a professional-level rap flow. Could he be?
Cheryl's presence clearly inspired the panel to up their game as we had more logical and intelligent guesses here tonight than we’ve seen all season. Well, good guesses except for some of those first impressions.
Let’s just say one of Nicole Scherzinger’s first impression guesses tonight is one for the ages! And she can never make fun of Ken Jeong’s guesses ever again!
Now, 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.
Seahorse even managed to inject her voice with Britney Spears’ signature crack, almost doing a spot-on impression early on. And yet later, she again brought out her bigger range, proving just how versatile and incredible a vocalist she is. But if we’re being real, we didn’t really need the “male gaze” camera pan up a seahorse’s body, even if she has a stellar figure. It was just strange.
Guesses: With this new vocal twist, we were immediately thinking this could be the newly-svelte Jessica Simpson, but she has three children while the package showed two baby dolls. It also had as her friend a box of tissues on a pulpit singing her praises.
Add imagery like Nashville fried chicken, a Christmas wreath and a blazing campfire in the front yard of a suburban home, so Southern vibes. This week’s game-changing clues were delivered by former masks, and this one brought us Astronaut aka Hunter Hayes, who let us know she’s never been in a girl group (so it’s not Camila Cabello).
Jenny thought the voice sounded a bit like Kesha, who was born with a tail and had it removed and -- dun-dun-dun! -- Seahorse also has no tail! A bit of a Ken-stretch there, Jenny. Cheryl, though, thought maybe the wreath pointed to Kellie Pickler’s Hallmark films … plus, she did have a duet with Hunter Hayes.
Ken thinks it’s Sia-horse, who adopted two teenage sons and had a song “Flames,” hence the fire. It’s honesty not his worst guess, though it’s still not very great. Plus, while Sia has that scratch, she also has a signature sound we’re not sure she could shake to find the purity of these vocals.
The Twitter-sphere, though, remains convinced that Sea Horse is Tori Kelly. They hear it in her voice and wasted no time pulling out a shot of her hanging with Hunter Hayes. The truth of the matter is the “American Idol” alum never really became that household name her voice probably deserves, though she’s certainly made a mark for herself in the industry.
We can’t really knock the guess, which is good because the internet really isn’t all that interested in entertaining any other ones, including all the names the panel has thrown about. That said, we’re happy to see a little love for Jessica Simpson as a guess -- but we’re probably wrong anyway.
Crocodile showed a ton of range and diversity on this track. At the same time, he sounded more out of breath than we expected from someone we’re so confident is not only a professional singer, but possibly trained as well. That’s not to take away from the heart and emotion he just put on that stage. It was a showstopping pivot that really drew us in.
Guesses: His connected alum was Bee (aka Gladys Knight), which is a lofty association. She revealed he was in a huge cult classic movie. Ken was thinking 30 Seconds to Mars’ “Kings & Queens” with a house of cards in the clue package, so maybe Jared Leto.
Other clues from the package included the phrase “step by step” and “one-track ticket,” as well as the fact he is hard-working in everything and once traveled with his DJ ride-or-die across six continents in 100 hours.
Nicole twisted the Gladys Knight question to just be the “Knight” portion, as in NKOTB’s Jordan Knight” -- tying in to “Step by Step.” Robin Thicke had a great string of connections across all the clue packages to land on the cult movie “From Justin to Kelly” and Justin Guarini (pretty good logic, actually).
While Twitter had some respect for guesses like Jordan Knight, they’re still mostly convinced that it’s actually Nick Carter. The clues actually line up pretty well, and have for awhile, including a story he told earlier this season about giving his first $100 check from singing to his dad.
This week’s very specific clue also pointed to Carter, as the Backstreet Boys did hit six continents in 100 hours back in 2000. Oh, and he did do an album with Jordan Knight, so it’s looking like Twitter scores again!
Whatchamacallit was effortless on this rap classic, and boy did he sound a lot like 50 Cent with the opening to this one. He had swag for days, rocking away and leaning back. He’s certainly not a singer, but as a rapper he can bring just as much of that quality performance and entertainment level -- or at least he did this week.
Guesses: Whatcha’s clue package was all about the prom, where he learned that swag had him bringing a senior to prom as a sophomore. We also saw a crown (prom king?), Smarties (valedictorian?) a Queen’s guard toy (foreign exchange?) and a coffee pot (coffee?).
Ice Cream (aka Ninja) came out with the game-changing clue that he’s already won a championship (athlete?). Ken wondered if maybe it was Lonzo Ball (Big Baller Brand), the NBA star who launched his own shoe company, and has done some rapping on the side. Could the brewing coffee reference his season with the UCLA Bruins?
Nicole also is thinking NBA, with marshmallow clues, but Nick thinks Carmelo Anthony might be a little taller than this. Cheryl was actually thinking it could be her own friend J.B. Smoove, who’s got rap skills.
The internet remains perplexed on this one, throwing out wild guesses ranging from Wiz Khalifa and French Montana. They’re so lost, they found themselves latching onto the panel’s guesses, and Ken’s in particular. Honestly, it’s not a bad guess, as odd as it is to say that.
Those are actually good guesses for Whatchamacallit, especially Ken's. I'm impressed! #TheMaskedSinger
Serpent has an incredible voice, but we’re not sure this was his best vocal. The sustained falsetto in his head voice actually started to sound strained the longer it went along to the point we were happy he fell back into his pocket, because he has a beautiful natural tone we could listen to for days. He’s definitely a great vocalist, so maybe it was nerves in that upper range?
Guesses: Tonight we found out that fame found him, rather than the other way around, which makes it harder to imagine this is a professional singer or star -- wouldn’t he have sought that out? Granted, some are discovered.
Regardless, we also saw a mop bucket (a singing janitor, maybe?), an ambulance and “Good” brand mayo and peanut butter from his college days. Then, Eagle (Dr. Drew) brought out the game-changing clue that Serpent has sung with someone on the panel.
The only person who’s been on stage and sang with Ken is Jamie Foxx, while Cheryl says she was on an episode with Donald Faison. Robin ignored the clues, but thinks maybe it was Donald Faison, but Nicole thinks she sang with the person.
She followed the medical clues to the notion that perhaps this is Dr. Elvis, the singing doctor who did unexpectedly become famous at the beginning of the pandemic, going viral for his performance of “Imagine.” Now that is a great guess!
Twitter has been all over Broadway stars with that voice, but Nicole’s guess really caused a pivot with them, just as it did for us. It’s such a compelling guess, you kind of want it to be true. But they haven’t given up on their “Hamilton” stars, either, as well as continued love for Brian McKnight.
Okay I was convinced the Serpent was Lesli Odom Jr but now I’m thinking that Dr Elvis could be a good guess..... #TheMaskedSinger
With a double elimination, there was no Smackdown this week. Instead, two moved on to the Super Six and two headed home. While we felt confident Whatchamacallit would be one of those, we were a little more torn between Crocodile and Serpent.
Crocodile seemed to have some breathing issues as he performed, while we didn’t think Serpent’s sustained falsetto worked completely. And other than that, both were incredibly compelling and watchable.
Then, after declaring Seahorse safe (duh!), Nick went straight to the first elimination. And it was the most obvious choice, leaving us to sweat it out between Crocodile and Serpent a little longer. Of course it was Whatchamacallit. Though incredibly entertaining, he was up against very tall competition, even as he towered over them.
Robin Thicke: first impression (Tyler the Creator), final guess (Michael Strahan)
Jenny McCarthy: first impression (Winston Duke), final guess (Devin Booker)
Ken Jeong: first impression (Damian Lillard), final guess (Lonzo Ball)
Nicole Scherzinger: first impression (“Uncle Itt”), final guess (Carmelo Anthony)
Cheryl Hines: final guess (J.B. Smoove)
We kind of love that “Ken Jeong Wrong” is becoming a catch phrase on this show, as he had absolutely zero points in this competition between the judges coming into this competition. This, however, may have been one of his strongest guesses yet as it fit all of the clues.
Was he right?
Huge props top Ken Jeong for nailing his first right guess of the season, as it was indeed Lonzo Ball who emerged from under all that hair. If the singers were all athletes, Ken would dominate on this show!
After the smoke settled and all that hair cleared the stage, only Crocodile and Serpent were left standing … and only one could advance to the Super Six. But with a night of fairly even performances, this might have been the toughest one to call yet this season.
It’s definitely a sign of things to come as this season is positively stacked with incredible vocalists. Our final pick to go home out of the two was Serpent, but it was by the razor thinnest of margins.
The “super fans” and panel backed our play on this one, as Crocodile sashayed into the Super Six, leaving Serpent to reveal who had that incredible voice and range. Did the panel guess it right?
Robin Thicke: first impression (Wanya Morris), final guess (Donald Faison)
Jenny McCarthy: first impression (John Legend), final guess (Taye Diggs)
Ken Jeong: first impression (Usher), final guess (Daveed Diggs)
Nicole Scherzinger: first impression (Okieriete “Oak” Onaodowan), final guess (Dr. Elvis)
Cheryl Hines: final guess (Donald Faison)
As soon as Nicole threw out Dr. Elvis, we absolutely fell in love with this clue. We also think it would be a tremendously exciting and awesome thing for him to do this show. He deserves all the accolades for what he does on the front lines, and how he’s lifted spirits through the pandemic.
We got our feel-good conclusion, with the insta-famous “Singing Doctor” Dr. Elvis Francois emerging from under the mask. And he proved just as incredible in defeat as he does sitting behind the piano in scrubs, praising the joy the show brings to patients and everyone.
Ken then turned it right back to Dr. Elvis, getting emotional as he spoke from the heart -- and in many ways for all of us -- about just how much Dr. Elvis has meant to America, lifting our hearts through his work on the front lines, and that angelic voice that took him viral earlier this year.
It was a beautiful and poignant moment from one (former) doctor to another who knows how challenging and needed that works is, now more than ever, and just how important the value of entertainment, distraction and joy is, as well.
“The Masked Singer” shifts to Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox next week for a special Thanksgiving episode.