She clearly had no idea quite how crazy the show could get, as Cluedl-Doo finally started interrupting the proceedings directly, but proved she was willing to get down and wacky with it when she actually dropped some flow on Chameleon.
This season’s resident rapper kicked it old school with some Nate Dogg and Warren G, so Rita took it even older by throwing down a few lines from “Hip Hop Hooray.” Let’s just say, not only does she have those lyrics down, she can kick it!
As his presence became more and more … omnipresent this week, Cluedl-Doo got his very own theme song reminiscent of “WandaVision’s” “Agatha All Along,” It reminded us that we’ve also got a season-long side game of guessing who he is. All of our instincts are saying frequent guest panelist Joel McHale.
And we’re not alone, with a lot of Twitter guesses feeling the same. There were a few other guesses that made little to no sense like Ken Jennings and even Donnie Wahlberg, though that last would be a hilarious reveal, considering he’s married to Jenny.
As for the performances, Nicole was moved to tears twice tonight, and while there were several powerful and moving performances from one of the strongest Super Eight lineups we’ve ever seen, we were also surprised to see a front-runner stumble so badly.
But did it cost them their chance? With a double-elimination on the line and only six moving on to perform again in two weeks -- next week is that goofy “Sing-A-Long” show they do each season -- there is no room for error. These singers are too good!
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.
Piglet is still a great singer, but his performance here actually served as another clue as he’s definitely a professional, but he’s also clearly not a rocker. He didn’t have the grit or power in his voice you’d expect. In fact that lack of push also makes it sound like maybe he’s not a lead singer, either. He sounded fantastic in the opener, but a little underwhelming overall. It’s a nice tone, but this song definitely didn’t suit his strengths.
Guesses: This week’s clue package talked about how he completely lost his way a few years back, to the point he moved back home with his parents and even broke his finger. But that led him on a journey to believing in signs and a new hope taking him to LA.
Imagery included sunglasses, a UFO, a sports “victory” foam hand, a pine tree air freshener and a whole lot of pirate imagery, to match his story. This week we learned his “food delivery clue,” which was cotton candy. Piglet said it reminded him of one of his first jobs.
Jenny wondered if the UFO clue could fit into her certainty it’s a boy bander and land on Lance Bass, who worked with NASA at one point toward his own passion for space. Ken went on some weird tangent to try and impress Rita by guessing Chris Pine and Adam Levine (both wrong).
Rita didn’t do too much better, flitting from Nick Jonas to reading the foam hand to University of Tennessee and one of the Manning brothers, but they definitely don’t sing like this. As for Twitter, they weren’t quite as solid as we’ve seen in the past, this vocal must have thrown them.
There was still plenty of love for their overall front-runner, Nick Lachey, but we also saw rando guesses like Fred Durst and even Johnny Depp … because apparently any time you see a pirate ship, that means Johnny Depp. You really think he’s this bored in his life?
I think the Piglet is Johnny Depp. There were pirate scenes in the clue because he starred in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films. #TheMaskedSinger
Robopine delivered a beautiful, heartfelt classic soul performance and his voice was all velvety and buttery and all the goodness you can put on a voice that just wraps around you like a hug. This is a world-class singer who has plenty of experience in using his instrument, because every choice he made in delivery here was just perfect. This was easily his strongest performance yet.
Guesses: It turns out this show has been a huge boon for Robopine, who admitted he’s struggling with depression. He credits the show for helping give him that passion and drive for music that he once had, suggesting he maybe used to do this professionally a lot more than he does now.
He also talked about his upbringing, where he struggled with confidence and even got told to shut up when he sang in the shower. But he credits a block party and neighbor who encouraged him to sing for breaking that stage fright and building his confidence.
In the package, we saw toy blocks on a shelf, suggesting either that he has children or it was just imagery from his own childhood. We saw a strange statue on the street, too. It looked like a naked man with a leaf covering his modesty, wearing a ball cap with a piece of paper skewered on either a dagger or a short sword.
His food order was a lobster, which led to Robopine revealing that his family did a lot of sea diving off the coast of Costa Rica. Nick thinks he “of course” knows who this is, and said he’s a fan, fan.
Robin wondered if singing in the shower harkens to Terry Crews (from his Old Spice commercials), while Ken dug deep to late ‘80s R&B group Guy and Aaron Hall. Once again, Nicole was willing to put her money in the jar to “quadruple down” on her Jamie Foxx guess.
Twitter has been throwing around Terry Crews’ name as well, but they’ve mostly been pretty settled and convinced that this is Tyrese, and nothing they saw this week changed their minds. And they were definitely digging this week’s vibe!
Chameleon kicked it old school and pulled off every part of “Regulator,” showing off his familiar rap prowess, but some quality singing as well. He’s a versatile performer and definitely has an affection for the old-school rhythms of hip-hop. He sounded like a natural up there.
Guesses: The fact his classic was an homage tells us he’s a younger hip-hop artist, as we’re still convinced he’s a legit rapper. He talked about the “flyest legend” who was his idol coming up, and how they first met when Chameleon won a radio contest.
Later, they got a chance to work together, suggesting that Chameleon reached a pretty high level of fame in that same field … so, the rap game. Now, he says they’ve become “true friends,” so that respect clearly became mutual.
As for visual clues, we saw a “#2” suitcase chase and dragging what looked like a squirrel fur (or flattened squirrel). His dish clue was a “ready to eat” bagged meal of Fried Bird & Cricket Cake … so that’s gross.
He said he’s always with his gang and that this one (the food) was for the troops, which makes somehow less sense. Are the troops eating birds and crickets? What’s happening with our troops?
Jenny, though, decided troops means military means machine guns so she could shout out Machine Gun Kelly. She also tied the “Fried Bird” to the film “Bird Box” to double down. Certainly, MGK has singing chops as well as rapping, so we’ve heard worse guesses.
Ken, however, isn’t ready to drop the idea that this is an NBA star -- he’s got the height -- throwing out Kyrie Irving. Irving’s number with the Cavs was 2, and the image of two deer could indicate that he was almost traded to the Bucks … it was a lot, but probably not right.
Nicole tossed out G-Eazy, but mostly again was thinking about Waka Flocka Flame. But then Cluedl-Doo came out and dropped huge clues, saying he enjoyed Chameleon on the big screen and was rooting for him at the Golden Globes.
That immediately put Robin on the track the internet has been on for awhile, throwing out the names Charlie Puth and, finally, Wiz Khalifa, but the rest of the panel was throwing all kinds of names around like Mahershala Ali and Charles David Washington.
Seriously, though, this has to be Wiz Khalifa? Everything from the flow to his moves to his lanky physique just screams Wiz. Twitter has said so since day one, and we’ve definitely learned not to cross the internet when they’re this sure about someone -- though we did enjoy a few stray Snoop Dogg guesses (from people who’ve clearly never heard Snoop).
The judges HAVE to know the Chameleon is @wizkhalifa but play along to keep the fun going. I suck at this and I figured it out after his 1st performance. Voice so iconic. All the tailor (Taylor gang), 🖤&💛 references, this last clip was all GREEN 😗💨 #TheMaskedSinger
Yeti took on Justin Bieber’s “Lonely” and he absolutely nailed the genuine anguish of the piece. He clearly knows this message intimately from his own experiences. On top of that, his voice rode that falsetto ridge beautifully and had such heartfelt beauty, this is definitely a professional singer.
Guesses: Speaking to his song choice, Yeti revealed that he once had it all, but his own ego caused it to blow up, costing him either everything or close enough. It took him a long time to realize he was to blame for what happened, and in fact it didn’t happen until a second opportunity came along.
He carried cards with A, B, C and D on them, pulled a stuffed puppy out of a black top hat like a magician and did some line or boy band dancing with the secret agents, each sporting Happy New Year’s headbands.
Most impressively, though, he performed his song on roller blades, masterfully moving around the stage and never losing his breath. We’re not sure if it’s a clue or not, but it’s pretty damned impressive. After his performance, Nick was positive he knows who this is.
His “food delivery clue” was a plate of cake donuts, which had Robin immediately guessing Homer Simpson. We’ve had Kermit the Frog, so why not, right? But Jenny wondered if it represented an “O,” sending Nicole to Sisqo.
Nicole got real personal, saying Todrick Hall canceled on her for a recording session the night of this taping. Could it be because he was busy feeling “Lonely” as the Yeti?
Ken actually followed the story logically to wonder if this was Justin Timberlake, who only recently owned up to his ego with Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. But he never lost anything for his ego, so it doesn’t completely fit, Ken.
Robin’s take on the “O” was Omarion, which was a popular online guess when he first dropped in, or Mario. The Twittersphere agrees, thinking the “O” Is definitely a play on their name, and that he was right the first time; this is Omarion.
But we have to give a special shout-out to the delightful person who saw those skates and made some clues wrap around Apolo Anton Ohno, who apparently has an incredible secret talent!
The yeti is Apolo Aton Ohno #TheMaskedSinger Definitely saw Olympic Rings, he was on Dancing with Stars and controversial bump in Olympic Games and he skated out for performance tonight #MicDrop
Russian Dolls remain one of the most entertaining acts to ever hit this stage, and with this uptempo Bruno Mars hit, they showed yet another side of their versatility without sacrificing their incredible harmonies and range. If anything, they just proved they’ve even more diverse and talented than the high level we were already holding them at.
Guesses: Once again, there were four visible dolls during the performance, but only two of them were really involved. We love that they’re keeping the judes off their game with this tactic. It’s also one of the most clever costuming ideas.
This week’s clues talked about how they had success, but then it felt like everyone had given up on them. Later, they got they chance to play a venue “around teh corner,” while showing an image of a Russian Tea House, which had Nicole saying that’s Carnegie Hall.
This means this is a group that hit it big early on and then fell off before climbing back up and finding success again. We saw a “Made in Milwaukee” image, as well as Indiana Ave (now leasing). At one point they were atop the Statue of LIberty, while their teacups had “Eat,” “Pray” and “?” on them.
One line that stood out was when they said they got a “blessing from the king herself,” which certainly goes against expectations. Is it a woman whose last name is King, or does it mean something else?
Rita created one of the funniest moments by saying that one of the Russian Doll’s microphones reminded her of a hot dog, leading that Doll to offer it up to the only one whose mouth moves as a snack. It was absolutely adorable … and hilarious.
Their meal clue was a big bowl of red jelly beans, which they said they’ve loved for a long time. Could that be “Red Hot” Chili Peppers, as Nicole suggested? But Ken still thinks this could be the Jonas Brothers, who did sell out huge venues and did have a dip in their story before their recent reunion, while Rita wondered if the road sign means Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road.”
Nicole, however, finally landed on the earlier brother band the Twittersphere has been talking about all along, Hanson. She’s thrown a little by the uncertainty as to how many of them there are, but Twitter isn’t phased by this game the boys are playing at all. They’re sure it’s Hanson!
In fact, even some who were thinking maybe it was the Jonas Brothers realized they were forgetting who came before them, laying the template.
Ok I retract my prior # 1 guess for Russian Dolls...it's not Jo Bros.😋 I'm now gonna stand firm on my # 2 guess...now my # 1 guess lol...& it's for sure @hansonmusic. Today's clues+performance literally made me🤦🏽. My 1st boyband crush, how could I miss that?!?😂 #TheMaskedSinger
Crab dropped an odd “whoaowh!” in the middle of his performance, but the rest of this was a very strong vocal, with a lot of grit and angst. He’s got a real power in there and great control of what he does, singing like someone who’s very seasoned as a vocalist. It’s odd, then, that his stage presence is little more than lumbering around, though after last week’s panic attack, we know the suit is not comfortable for him.
Guesses: He said that panic attack reminded him of his first-ever talent show, where he thought he was getting booed off stage only to realize it was applause. He was playing violin in the clue package, so does that mean he can play the instrument?
He also revealed that he was actually discovered at a talent show, as he kept doing them after his first success (he won). That talent show, per the package, was at Brooklyn Bridge Elementary. When he said he got discovered, we saw a Jack of Clubs playing card, while the judges threw stuffed camels on the stage with the flowers.
There was a suspension bridge behind him on that talent show stage, probably the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as cutouts of a rainbow, trees and flowers. The crab’s dinner clue was a plate of marshmallows, which he said his kids love more than him, making s’mores by the fire.
Robin picked up the word “Busting” in the clue package and took it to Ray Parker Jr. (of the “Ghostbusters” theme song), which reduced everyone to tears. Even the marshmallow fits for the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
Jenny was still thinking about Bobby Brown (BB for both his name and Brooklyn Bridge), while the Jack had her thinking of “New Jack City” and suddenly she was thinking Flava Flav can sing like that? Sit all the way down, Jenny!
Nicole piggybacked off of “New Jack City” and tied a whole bunch of other clues, including the Cancer sign, to Keith Sweat. But the internet knows to go with your gut, and we all agreed (including Ken) that this is Bobby Brown. Because it just is.
Seashell gave a solid, if not remarkable, vocal performance. She has a consistently pleasant voice and way of using it, but she didn’t really have any nuance or signature moves in how she performed this song, to show her artistry or make it her own, making us think that singing is not necessarily her thing, but maybe just a joy she also has.
Guesses: This week, we saw the price $119, a Christmas tree, a box labeled TNT, Seashell Scout Cookies and a yellow Jell-O mold, all of it encased in a clue package framed around a newscast.
In it, she talked about going live on television for the first time without rehearsal, which would seem to indicate a newscast, but could be other rare live TV opportunities. She said it’s taken her decades to fully openup, and told Nick before she performed she’s learning it’s okay not to be perfect.
As her food package made its way out, Cluedl-Doo took control of the robot bringing it out, taking away the food clue entirely. “Sorry, Ken and Jenny,” he said on his way back out, but was that another clue? He did share it with viewers, showing green and red grapes..
But Seashell gave us a clue anyway, saying the rooster should be worried because she makes good fried chicken.
Ken thinks the roasted chicken in the clue package could refer to comic roaster Sarah Silverman, who also plays a character on “Robot Chicken,” and the show “Lady Dynamite,” for the TNT clue.
Rita thought it might be Scout Willis, thinking the Scout Cookies could refer to her name and the Christmas tree to everyone’s favorite movie starring her dad Bruce Willis, “Die Hard.” Way to read those clues, Rita!
Nicole, once again, suddenly was picking up what the internet has been saying for weeks, thinking the TNT refers to Tamera and her sister Tia, properly even guessing which Mowry sister this is (if Twitter is right).
Honestly, the clues just keep fitting Tamera Mowry, and sometimes Tia as well. Even her talk this week of going live on television is likely a reference to when she joined the panel of “The Real” and had to deal with that live pressure day in and day out, well out of what she was used to.
Seashell clues: Husband Adam is a news reporter. She's has her own show The Real 🐚Tamera Mowry 🥰#TheMaskedSinger
Black Swan delivered the artistry we were missing from Seashell, with how she chose to interpret such a well-known song as “Use Somebody.” On top of that, she delivered a powerful vocal performance, with lots of heart and range and even impressive runs that came unexpectedly. She’s an incredible singer and even had a compelling minimalist stage presence here.
Guesses: Black Swan revealed before her performance that stage fright was hitting her something fierce over the emotional content of her song. And yet, music has been a part of her life almost as far back as she can remember.
That takes her back to living in a one-bedroom apartment with her mom where she sang to transport them somewhere else. That place, at least in the clue package, looked like a ballroom of sorts with veiled grandfather clocks.
Her dance partner had a shark fin on his head, while she was presented with a glass slipper a la Cinderella, and we even saw two ceramic dwarves (a la Snow White?). Are the clocks for “Beauty and the Beast’s” Cogsworth?
She also shared that once she did achieve success, she bought her mom her first real home. As for her dinner order, which she got visibly excited about, it was Goldfish crackers. She shared that this was the snack of choice for her and her mom, and they used to just devour them.
Rita wondered if perhaps it could be Kesha, as she has a song called Princess and even parodied Disney princesses in a Funny or Die short. Ken threw out Nelly Furtado, who did sing on the “Gnomeo and Juliet” soundtrack. But he still thinks it sounds like Demi Lovato.
Nicole, though, wonders if maybe it was Becky G, the lead voice in “Gnome Alone.” But she thinks she knows the voice, and as far as Twitter is concerned she’s on fire tonight as she dropped JoJo’s name. Robin, though, isn’t sure that’s her tone (which could make him look silly if it is her).
As far as Twitter is concerned, it’s such a foregone conclusion that this is JoJo they were simply able to sit back and be blown away by how powerful this performance was. And it realy was. It’s wild how the industry sat on JoJo when she’s always had this ability.
It’s a testament to the casting this season that it’s so hard to pick two singers we’re ready to let go out of this Super Eight. That’s eight very good singers. But, since we have to pick, it’s time to break it down.
First up, for us, would be Seashell. She gave a solid vocal, but it was also unremarkable in any way. Everyone else seemed to deliver something with heart, or edge or something and she just sang the song. It was sang well, but that doesn’t stack up.
Then, we’d be taking a look at Piglet, who really let us down this week with his weakest performance of the whole season. But are we judging based on this performance alone, or the whole season? He’s been a front-runner before this point, making it harder to think he should go.
But after that, it’s almost impossible to say who wasn’t great. Chameleon showed more artistry and range than we’ve ever seen, as did Russian Dolls. Black Swan and Yeti broke our hearts, while Robopine was just all class. That leaves Crab, who had a lot of heart and some great vocal moments, but his physicality was probably the least impressive of all of them.
As such, if it’s based on tonight’s performances alone, we’d go with Piglet and Seashell. If it’s a season-long choice -- and it really should be -- we can’t discount how strong Piglet has been to this point, leaving us with Crab and Seashell. And after this, we don’t want to speculate anymore.
So did the panel and at-home voters agree? Well, right off the bat, they did, as the first unmasked singer of the night was Crab. That means the other one has to be Seashell, right?
Robin Thicke: first impression (Kool from Kool & The Gang), final guess (Ray Parker Jr.)
Jenny McCarthy: first impression (Bobby Brown), final guess (Bobby Brown)
Ken Jeong: first impression (Bobby Brown), final guess (Bobby Brown)
Nicole Scherzinger: first impression (A member of the Jackson 5), final guess (Keith Sweat)
Rita Wilson: (Martin Lawrence)
From the beginning, with his stories of heartbreak, his voice and even what of his body we can see, we were feeling that this was Bobby Brown, and Twitter was right there with the same guess. He’s not done as much singing in recent years, which could explain why it wasn’t as smooth as he’s been in the past.
And of course it was Bobby Brown, ironically keeping Ken and Jenny tied in the lead (now with 2 points each after our 6th unmasking) for the Golden Ear trophy.
In a heartfelt speech, Bobby talked about the loss of his children, Bobbi Kristine and Bobby Jr., saying that he wanted to do this show for his younger children, to show them that their dad is “still kicking.”
That left one final unmasking before we’d be left with our Spicy Six. And, as predicted, it was Seashell. She has great heart and a solid enough voice, but there was no way she was going to be able to continue competing against some of the incredible singers left in this competition.
From here, though, it’s almost anyone’s game. We could make a strong case for just about every one of them. That said, Piglet needs to right the ship or he might be in trouble when the competition resumes in two weeks!
Robin Thicke: first impression (Ashley Judd), final guess (Haylie Duff)
Jenny McCarthy: first impression (Vanessa Hudgens), final guess (Vanessa Hudgens)
Ken Jeong: first impression (Kristin Chenoweth), final guess (Sarah Silverman)
Nicole Scherzinger: first impression (Hilary Duff), final guess (Tamera Mowry)
Rita Wilson: (Scout Willis)
Robin did a great job of laying out the reasons for his Haylie Duff guess, but we’re hard pressed to deny the onslaught of certainty the Twittersphere has had since the beginning. And as Nicole seemed to be on a hot streak tonight, and she went with it, too, we’re just going to piggyback on Tamera Mowry for our guess.
Unfortunately for Nicole, you only get a point if your first impression guess is right, and hers was definitely not. But she got there in the end. As for Twitter, they’d have gotten the point for rightly guessing Tamera Mowry.
Tamera revealed that she hasn’t been on a stage singing like this in 20 years, so she was proud of herself for hanging with some of this show’s big voices into the Super Eight. And she’s right, that is a lot to be proud of as she is more than likely the last one standing who isn’t a vocalist as their career.
“The Masked Singer” continues Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.