Rather than shift back to Group A, which was at one time the plan, we instead stuck with Group B -- though that did allow us another chance to enjoy the quality talent of Sloth and Cotton Candy. Both are just consummate entertainers.
The night was rounded out by performances from Zebra and Miss Moth, who bring a very different, very non-professional but not necessarily less entertaining energy to the stage. And then Zebra brings some more energy.
Seriously, this guy never ever ever ever stops moving. Whoever he is, he’s probably off somewhere shaking everything he’s got right now. We got exhausted just looking at him.
Frequent “Masked” favorite guest judge -- and “I Can See Your Voice” mainstay -- Cheryl Hines was the special guest this week, but she definitely struggled more here than she ever has on the parent series.
That said, for the second week in a row, one of our panelists absolutely nailed who this week’s unmasked performer was. And we thought this show would be harder than “Singer.” It must be all those extra clues!
Let’s jump right in with this week’s masks. 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 Paula Abdul, Ken Jeong, Ashley Tisdale and Brian Austin Green first. We do this because we love ... to torture you.
Zebra can’t even figure out a hip swivel covered in tassels. He pulled off a floor spin and offered competent partnering, but this was by no means a good dance. It was stilted and awkward, and where he tried for pathos and emotion, we got over-the-top silent movie dramatics.
Guesses: Zebra would not stop moving, with Paula thinking he was dancing around the way a boxer might. We’ve already had medal clues. This week we saw him literally break a record, act as Z.E.O. and talk about being a hero to the next generation.
We also saw him take a bass to the face, sprinkle cinnamon on churros, a classic explosion and something about a cow getting abducted by a UFO. He was also just as animated with fake laughter and dancing through all the talking.
Paula stuck with her boxing guess, taking a Floyd Mayweather opponent as the Spanish word for cinnamon. Ashley decided to offer a really stupid guess after Tony Robbins failed due to his height, but Cheryl pointed out Mario Lopez dances way better than this. Brian thinks it might be Tito Ortiz.
Ricky Martin is still getting a lot of unexpected love from Twitter as a possibility for Zebra, but we also saw guesses like Ralph Macchio, Oscar De La Hoya and even Conor McGregor.
Cotton Candy blew us away last week, but this week she was all about those classic pop princess moves. She was giving serious Ariana Grande -- or that style of performer -- vibes from start to finish. It wasn’t as dynamic or exciting, but she is a very talented dancer overall and still commanded the stage even through such a ridiculous getup.
Guesses: After thinking about a lot of professional dancers last week, this week has us thinking maybe more of a crossover dancer/singer. She just had that kind of stage presence up there.
Most of her story this week was about how much she’d given up for practice through her childhood, including her prom. We also saw her give a peace sign, a display of chocolate bars, an eagle with an American flag pin, and a giant lipstick.
In the clue package we heard the phrase “iced out” and the word “scream,” while her Word Up clue was, “team player.” In a clue just for viewers at home, she revealed that last week wasn’t her first time falling on TV, either.
The judges were thinking dance, ice skating or gymnastics. Thus, Ashley is feeling confident that the hawk, flag and lipstick is thinking Tara Lipinski.
Cheryl was thinking that as well. Brian, though, thinks former ice skater Kristi Yamaguchi -- who was also on “Dancing with the Stars” -- is underneath that colorful costume.
Twitter was kind of digging the Tara Lipinski guess, too, as they've been on the Olympian track for a week now, with other guesses including the likes of Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney.
Cotton Candy is Tara Lipinski... Ice Skating , the flag & eagle (Olympics), LIP stick... #TheMaskedDancer
Miss Moth struggled a bit with her choreography this week, though she still has an overall graceful elegance about her and the way she moves. She’s definitely not a trained dancer, or even someone who’s done it much in life, but she’s committing fully to the effort and definitely giving it her all.
Guesses: This week’s clues reiterated that she’d had some sort of traumatic tabloid past, with a shot of Queen Elizabeth II to back the claim. Newspaper headlines included “Survivor,” “Be Brave,” and “Be Smart.” Acronym clues included AES and BYU.
We also saw a chef, we saw her giving a motivational MothTalk speech and she revealed that she used to be shy, and that she clearly did not choose the challenges that happened in her life -- presumably those earlier traumas.
Her Word Up clue was, “bestseller.” Ken thinks it could be model Karlie Kloss -- she is rather tall -- who’s related to people in the White House. Continuing the WH theme of last week’s guesses, Cheryl was thinking maybe Omarosa or Megyn Kelly.
Brain picked up on the dates hanging on a line, as well as her challenging past, to think Dateline and QE2 pointing to Elizabeth Smart. Paula, however, wasn’t thinking this one, instead thinking “Survivor” alum Elisabeth Hasselbeck, or “salty” Kathy Griffin.
Twitter was definitely feeling the Elizabeth Smart guess after tonight's clues, combined with last week's, but not everyone was sold. But there were also some bonkers guesses here like Kirstie Alley and Stormy Daniels. Um...
The moth is definitely Elizabeth Smart, called it from the beginning #TheMaskedDancer
Sloth is once again proving that he’s both funny and a talented dancer. His musicality and timing was flawless, and ribbon dancing is not something you can just pick up and make look this good. Great partner work and so much personality through a silly costume, Sloth is the real deal!
Guesses: This week’s big clue was a boombox, while we also learned that he had a reputation as a bad boy at one time. He also revealed that when he was young, he moved to a new place with a new language, which could be America. Is he an immigrant? And then there were all the “sports ball” clues
His Word Up clue was, “leading man,” which had Ken thinking maybe Jonathan Groff, who did have a part in “Glee” (remember all those clues from last week?). Cheryl, however, thinks this is not a trained dancer, and instead was thinking Keegan-Michael Key.
Ashley went comedian as well, thinking Will Ferrell, who did a ribbon dance in “Old School.” And Paula said she choreographed him, and he can move.
Twitter isn't quite ready to give up on the idea this could be Jason Derulo, but Will Ferrell definitely got some of them wondering, while last week's "Glee" clues paired with the immigrant clue pushed Gleeks toward resident dancer, Harry Shum Jr. At the same time, the comedy/dance combo has others thinking of Neil Patrick Harris.
Ok based on the clues tonight.. Sloth may very well be Harry Shum, Jr! Glee clues last week so I thought it was Matt Morrison, but today he said he moved to the US from a different place sooo I’m thinking Harry Shum, Jr! #TheMaskedDancer#MaskedDancer
Once again, Cotton Candy and Sloth were the clear front-runners of this group, leaving Zebra and Miss Moth to battle it out for who impressed the panel and audience the least.
If it were solely up to us, we’d send Zebra packing. As much fun as his non-stop frantic energy is, he just doesn’t bring any real musicality to any of his performances. Miss Moth, at least, has some grace and lyrical quality to her movements.
But the panelists were clearly far more entertained by Zebra’s silliness, as they decided it was time for Miss Moth to take it off! And that meant one final question for each of the panelists.
Here we learned her friends would describe her as kind, genuine and caring. She’s definitely taller than Ken, but does not have brown hair. She does, however, play a musical instrument. She’s also been on stage in front of thousands of people.
As soon as Brian threw out Elizabeth Smart, it became impossible to even see any other possibilities. So many of the clues in the packages matched up, and her full name was represented this week with the queen and one of those headlines.
And that’s exactly who it was, as Brian was both thrilled to have guessed Elizabeth Smart, and honored to have her take the time from all the important work she does on behalf of child safety to grace the stage with her presence.
When asked why she decided to enter the competition, Elizabeth actually got emotional, revealing that she’d recently lost her grandma.
“She was so much fun. She never let a moment pass her by. When this opportunity came along, I thought I live a pretty serious life and I’m gonna take this opportunity and just have fun.”
“The Masked Dancer” flips back over to Group A for its Playoffs next Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.