Black Swan and Piglet have been wowing the voters since the beginning with their soaring vocals, while rapper Chameleon (at least he’s only rapped on the show so far) has commanded the stage each time.
Last week’s Wild Card, Crab, came in with authority, breaking everyone’s heart and creating a roadblock to Grandpa Monster’s (Logan Paul) quest to continue in the competition. But there are no weak points in this lineup, so Bulldog had his work cut out for him!
The week also saw a scary moment as one contestant clearly overheated in their costume, struggling to catch their breath after their performance and demanding that they take that mask off right away.
We’ve known from past contestants how difficult it is to compete in those big costumes under those hot lights and really bring it, as these contestants have been doing each week, but this was our first look at just how hard it is in real life and it was a pretty frightening moment!
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 Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger first. We do this because we love ... to torture you.
Black Swan had a lot of power in her tone, but she didn’t even try to sing every line of this song, skipping every half line or so through much of the middle. As such, she didn’t quite rise to the heights of Whitney -- but who can? She does have a nice gritty quality to her voice and we’re still positive she’s a professional singer; just maybe not this kind of singer.
Guesses: This week, she revealed that she actually sent her initial auditions anonymously for fear how she looked would cause her to be judged. This could be because she thought she was too pretty, wanting to be taken seriously as an artist, or even the wrong ethnicity.
It also all but assures that she was submitting music auditions, as it’s hard to audition for an acting gig anonymously. There is certainly a stigma with certain races in certain genres of music (Black artists can struggle in country, white artists in R&B and hip-hop, etc.). And she said when they did finally see her, she wasn’t what they expected.
As for imagery, we saw a pile of fall leaves as she was jumping out of a plane, as well as a yowling (fake) black cat, three 10s (like scores in a competition), as well as a stegosaurus cloud. And her parachute bag had the state of Montana on it and we saw the word S-P-O-T in balls.
Black Swan also revealed that the anonymity of this show has given her fresh confidence. Her meaningful item “stolen” from her home was a unicorn she said was to commemorate one of her best friends, who passed away, and taught her how to be herself.
Jenny wondered if it might be Emily Osment, with Montana representing her role on “Hannah Montana.” Robin, though, leaned back to the justice scales in the past to consider Victoria Justice. Ken’s terrible Brenda Song guess was because, yup, her last name is song ... so clearly he has no idea.
At this point, we’ve reached the stage of the competition with a lot of these singers where Twitter is just looking for confirmation for their favorite guesses, like the fact JoJo was actually offered the role of “Hannah Montana” in 2005, but turned it down to focus on music.
It creates an interesting phenomenon as you start looking for the clues to fit your pre-existing guesses, only growing more and more confident as you find ways to make that happen. Plus, they’ve been pretty locked in on this guess since Day One.
Black Swan is the queen @iamjojo. A) nobody is hitting high notes like that except JOJO and a few others. B) black cat = She’s had many lives as an artist. Scales for justice = finally getting to release her own music. Montana = she was tapped for Hannah Montana. #themaskedsingerpic.twitter.com/sfBjouwD4Q
Piglet took on one of the most emotional songs in recent memory and he absolutely nailed the delivery. This is a polished and confident singer with a beautiful tone and the power to connect so fully through just his voice that he was able to break our hearts through an absolutely ridiculous Piglet costume. That’s front-runner status right there! He had Jenny in tears and ready to declare him the winner right now.
Guesses: This week, Piglet told the story of how he found love and it freed him from what certainly looked like a prison door (metaphorical, perhaps). She was represented by a black spider with a pink bow. We also saw palm trees and a lei, suggesting a tropical connection.
He rubbed a genie’s lamp while in prison and at one point fed the spider corn on the cob, while talking about how she not only afforded him a new start, but also made him into a family man. There was also a “1 DR” button, which could be One Direction, Wonder or something else entirely.
His meaningful item from home was a set of dog tags, which represent the most important thing in his life. There are two dog tags on the chain, as well as the letter “P.” Piglet is also very playful with the judges, suggesting he’s familiar in talk show or impromptu sessions like this. None of that really helped the panel, though.
Nicole hesitantly threw out Kevin Richardson because of the dog tags, while Ken took that 1 DR to Zayn Malik. But Nicole quickly pointed out how private he is and how he “doesn’t like to go out, or do stuff.”
Jenny, though, thought the tags could represent his two daughters, the palm trees his West Palm Beach roots and his secret identity is AJ McLean. But the internet is still feeling super confident that they’re right to think boy band, but they’re getting the rest of it dead wrong!
Ironically, Nick Lachey remains the number one guess for Piglet, but very few are even bothering to say how the clues fit in with their guess. They’re just positive they know him by his voice. When you listen and think of Nick, you can definitely hear it, but there are clues, too.
As an example, the tropical clues could hint at Nick’s wife Vanessa being born in the Philippines, while. He’s also previously revealed that he got a dog tag with Camden’s birthdate on it and then Brooklyn. Could the “P” represent Phoenix, then? See, it’s easy to do!
Crab delivered an unexpected growl at the start of almost every one of his lines that we saw no traces of last week. And yet, he’s still got a natural soulful tone that speaks of someone who’s been singing for a long time. It wasn’t the most dynamic in stage presence, nor did it have the heart of his first performance, but it showed him to be a seasoned entertainer with diversity as an artist.
Guesses: Sadly, Crab was clearly struggling when he stopped, trying to find his air and overheating in the costume. We’ve heard for a few years now how hard it is to perform under these suits, but this was our first example of just how much work these celebs are putting in.
Unlike Mickey Rourke, though, Crab went backstage to get a needed break rather than unmask on stage, so once he was good to go, the show must carry on. This week’s message was about family and that same hard work he was clearly delivering on stage.
He spoke of working in the kitchen with his mother, and how cooking is still at the center of his world. We saw a dish of baked mac ‘n cheese, a picture of Big Ben, a disturbingly shiny butcher knife on a plate and got the message he was a bit of a troublemaker when he was younger.
Crab’s special item was a bowler hat. He said his favorite performer, Sammy Davis Jr., wore it when he did “Mr. Bojangles,” and in his honor, he wore it as much as he could -- so we can narrow it down to bowler hat fans!
Jenny feels the clues are continuing to point to Bobby Brown, as he brought kitchen spices to an interview. But Robin thought Bobby would have danced more (did you see the part where he almost passed out after?) to this song.
Ken jumped on this bandwagon, taking the macaroni to possibly be a reference to “Roni,” which is actually a great connection. And yet, he talked himself out of Twitter’s favorite answer to consider Boyz II Men, but couldn’t narrow it down.
While this week didn’t really do much to solidify anything other than the cooking clue -- Jenny was onto something there -- it’s done nothing to convince Twitter that Crab is anyone other than Bobby Brown. Hell, they were so distracted by him overheating, they forgot to even justify their guesses … but after last week’s heartbreaking clues, we’re right there with them thinking it’s him.
Bobby Brown is definitely the Crab Mask. He owns Bobby Brown Foods. The Bowler hat locked it down. I hope he's alright. I imagine it's easy to get overheated in the costumes #TheMaskedSingerpic.twitter.com/EjciCAU7oT
Chameleon definitely solidified himself as a professional rapper with flow and delivery like this. Not only was it smooth and rhythmic, he had perfect breath control through some very rapid line deliveries and rapidly changing tempo. Everything was there to the swagger and attitude behind the message to just the overall chill vibe he gives on stage. This guy knows what he’s doing up there.
Guesses: This week, Chameleon spoke about his son and how they’ve bonded through his love and appreciation for the martial arts, which actually started with a love of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
Thus, almost all of the imagery was Eastern-influenced, though we did see a toy rocket and a series of alarm clocks set at 3, 4, and 6. None of that mattered, though, as Robin was positive he knew that voice and all the ladies just wanted to go back and party with him.
His meaningful home item was hot wings, with the reveal that he’s always cooking in the kitchen. Nicole, though, thought buffalo wings meant Buffalo, NY meant Waka Flaka Flame. Robin, though, might be onto something as he’s got the guess Twitter is standing by.
“Black and yellow” cabs and a little tyke with Amber Rose point to Wiz Khalifa. Jenny wondered, though, if the numbers represent area code 346 in Houston, could it mean that this is Machine Gun Kelly? No. No, it does not. Cluedle-doo added a hint that this isn’t the only studio he frequents.
Robin’s confidence coupled with Twitter’s confidence since the start coupled again with his natural rhythm and flow, and we are totally feeling that Wiz Khalifa guess, too. He fits the unique physique, the body language, the style … everything!
And oh yeah, Wiz Khalifa is totally into fighting, passionately training and involved in MMA training, just like the clue package. And he’s got one son, that little baby Chameleon. It all fits!
Chameleon on #TheMaskedSinger, voice wise, it sounds like Wiz Khalifa! I'm glad Robin said it!
Bulldog has some fun dance moves, but his singing is just not good at all. It’s got no real nuance to it, like someone who might be able to score well on “Rock Band” as a vocalist, but brings nothing dynamic or special. But we did absolutely love his old-school dance moves, even if they hindered his breathing.
Guesses: He mentioned panthers and pitbulls in his clue package, as well as being a human torch. We saw a dog bowl with “Super” on it (Super Bowl reference?) and he said he was the “sexiest dog alive.” He had GT80 on the front of a graffiti car and B99 on a traffic cone.
The whole package had an ‘80s hip-hop vibe, complete with red windbreakers and a bizarre appearance by “Masked Singer” alum Skeleton (Paul Shaffer). Is it David Letterman? It’s not David Letterman.
He also dedicated his energetic performance to Niecy Nash and his meaningful object clue was the line, “And… Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night.” Shaffer was a part of the earliest days of “SNL,” but Bulldog said his house is in NY and a love of comedy and a love of being live.
Ken made a connection from this line to the “B99” in the package to Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star -- and “SNL” alum -- Andy Samberg. But he thinks it might be more of a Chris Tucker thing, or a voice being put on.
Jenny’s first instinct was Eddie Murphy, which Nicole thought as well, but was actually thinking maybe it’s more likely to be Chris Rock. Everyone agreed that he has a higher voice like Bulldog and Brooklyn roots.
We had so little to go on, we found ourselves leaning into the most ridiculous Chameleon guess from earlier this season and ask the question, What if this is Nick Cannon messing with all of us, recovered from Covid and deciding to compete on the show (or was he ever sick?)?
It would be a great twist for Game-Changers, and explain why they weren’t sure when he’d be back on the show because how could they know how long he might last. The internet, though, wasn’t feeling that, but they didn’t have a lock on him just yet.
The voice felt familiar to them, but there were guesses tossed out from Terry Crews (another “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star) to “SNL” mainstay Kenan Thompson and even “Masked Dancer” host Craig Robinson.
In other words, they are stumped, though we were pleased to see a few Nick Cannon guesses tossed in there, agreeing that maybe this is the “game-changing” way he’s being brought back t host. It’s no stranger than Kermit the Frog being unmasked first.
In the past two weeks, Wild Cards have come in as real contenders to shake up the competition, but in many ways it felt like Bulldog came in this week to give the rest of Group A a pass into the Super Eight.
As much fun as his old-school swagger is up there, he didn’t hold a candle to any of the remaining heavyweights. Crab wasn’t as dynamic this week -- which could have had to do with his near-medical crisis -- but he remains a boss based on his last performance alone.
Meanwhile, Black Swan and Piglet have dominated every single round they’ve been out there, while Chameleon has one of the smoothest and most impressive rap flows this show has seen yet. How could any of them go home before a clear amateur as a vocalist in Bulldog?
We grew even more suspicious that our favorite guess was correct after Niecy said that the vote meant nothing this week and she would be deciding who was going home. So was this just an elaborate way to bring Nick back into the fold on a season of game-changers?
Plus, there is no way she’d send someone home other than him with the other four having competed since the beginning. It had to be Bulldog, right? And it was, as Bulldog was poised to deliver what we were really hoping would prove the most ridiculous unmasking yet.
At the same time, we have to wonder if this means that Bulldog actually got more votes than one of the other four -- and if that’s the case, who did he actually beat and what is wrong with the voters?
After announcing who it was, Niecy didn’t even save time for those First Impression Guesses, so it was totally going to be our missing host, right? What else could it be? We’ve already had a Muppet this season, so maybe some of these weeks are just a wash on purpose.
Well, at least we get another chance to see some of our favorites perform again. Also, if this is Nick, does that mean he’ll take over as host this week and Niecy Nash will drop in as a Wild Card in the Group A finals next week?
That’s exactly what they did, as Nick Cannon was all smiles when he pulled off his golden mask. At the same time, we really, really wish they’d bothered to take the time to see what terrible guesses the panel had for him. We can only imagine the ribbing that would ensue.
“The Masked Singer” continues Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.