The reveal of who's been behind the mask of this season's biggest prankster is more epic than the reveal of who fell just short of next week's finale.
This was a big night for “The Masked Singer” as we not only found out the three singers who will battle it out in next week’s finale, but the identity of this season’s trickster, Cluedle-Doo, was also revealed.
As predictable as many of these unmaskings have become for internet slueths, Cluedle-Doo did a great job of hiding his real identity. Granted, we didn’t really get any clues, so we had very little to go on.
Everyone had their theories, but this week he took the stage not only to reveal his identity finally, but also to perform. That was just about the biggest clue of them all, and still no one got it. Then, the reveal was so much better than any of us could have hoped for. It may be our favorite unmasking of the season!
There was one more unmasking to deal with, though, as Black Swan, Chameleon, Piglet and Yeti poured out all their blood and sweat -- lots of sweat under those costumes -- onto that stage. To make it even harder, everyone left in the competition is so good at what they do.
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.
Yeti brought a very smooth delivery to this “Celebration,” but it wasn’t a very dynamic one. At this point in the competition, it’s about finding a way to stand out and be remembered by the voting audience, because there are no bad performers left. He was good, but lacking a moment to make it great. It was awesome seeing how he moves, though, which looks even cooler in that costume.
Guesses: This week, Yeti opened up about growing up without a father, sharing that when his father did show up at his door one day later in life, he left it open. The agent portraying his father had what looked like a custom volleyball.
A crystal ball featured earlier in the package, as well as a sign for the North Pole Post Office. This week’s bonus clue was a connection to one of the panelists. For Yeti, that meant air dropping a little surfboard that read Santa Monica.
He then said he’d never forget the time they were rubbing elbows down in Santa Monica. She wondered if the three-star constellation could be indicative of the three members of Immature, singling out Marques Houston … but she never hung in Santa Monica with him.
Nicole then went down the Ken rabbit hole, guessing “J-Boog” (aka J-Bug) and lying about him being a dear friend. Ken ignored previous clues about Yeti having kids to guess Justin Bieber, with Darius hilariously ripping him with, “That’s a better chance of being me than Justin Bieber.”
Darius was wondering if perhaps it could be Sisqo, based on his Christmas book, but Nicole wasn’t sure if she’d rubbed elbows with him. She also wasn’t sure that she hadn’t, with Jenny quipping, “Other body parts.”
And yet, nowhere in there was America's favorite guess for Yeti, Omarion. He fits all the clues we've gotten, so he simply must have rubbed elbows with Nicole in Santa Monica, right? She's probably interacted with lots of people there.
Black Swan put a kind of R&B spin on “Tequila” without losing its own unique cadence, and it was surprisingly emotional. Even with a more tender delivery, as we got through so much of this, her voice is so pure and beautiful. Tonight, it came across with vulnerability and a little bit of pain, as well, which made the performance heartbreaking in the best way possible.
Guesses: And yet, her clue package was about overcoming her own fears and insecurities, crediting this show with a lot of that. It was also a message for others to “Be Unafraid,” as she wrote on a piece of paper.
Other images included a tropical fish tank, a painting of a maple leaf, which always makes you think of Canada, and a name tag reading “Hello My Name Is 1.” Her panelist connection was Robin with the words “Celebrity VIP.”
Black Swan said she was a huge fan, loves his music and his dad jokes. She also said it was great bumping into him at “that afterparty.” Props to Ken for thinking the “1” on the nametag suggested she’s a one-name superstar (and he’s right, if Twitter is right).
Ken then recalled Bjork (one of his favorite guesses for anyone) once wore a swan dress to the Oscars, so it could be her, right? Darius, though, wondered if the “1” might refer to the number one female singer of the ‘90s, Alanis Morissette. Robin then went with “Party for One” singer Carly Rae Jepsen, so they were all over the place with that “1.”
But they never considered JoJo Levesque, who goes by just one name professionally and had a number one with her first single, "Leave (Get Out)." She does have French-Canadian ancestry, but perhaps the leaf simply represents the title of the song.
Chameleon really needed his “Oh Boy” vocal track a little louder to better match his broken rapping to accommodate for its intrusions. Otherwise, he did his usual confident, masterful rapping through the performance. Obviously, this is a professional rapper, giving us those Snoop Dogg laid back vibes without being Snoop. We’d have liked a little more pop on this one to get us excited; this is a competition, after all.
Guesses: Reiterating that he moved around a lot as a kid, which could mean Army brat or poor or someone in the family moving for their job a lot, but he also showed a British double-decker pbus while talking about creating a brand that reached millions.
Before that we saw him place the third brick on a pyramid-shaped stack while he talked about how he brings a lot of confidence -- his way of handling his rootless upbringing -- and said he had a strong ability to adapt, like a Chameleon.
His panelist connection was for Darius, with a snake coming down. Chameleon said they shared a stage and Phoenix was there … oh, and the corn dogs were delicious. Darius took it very recently, saying he shared a stage with Arizona Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald, who he says can definitely rap.
Jenny thinks it might be Riff Raff, due to the bricks imagery tying to his song “Brick Off the Balcony” … but that’s about the only connection she was able to make to ping it on him. Ken, though, countered with 2 Chainz featuring on Worl’s “Brick on My Face.”
But has anyone considered that Wiz Khalifa was on the cover of the very first "BRICK" magazine -- a publication out of London? He was also "Whippin' a Brick" with Migos in 2020, so that's twice the reasons Twitter is still positive Wiz is under that multi-colored costume.
Twitter even made the connection between Wiz and Darius, so we wouldn't have to. Thanks, Twitter! They even think the artist he covered tonight is a clue to his identity. There are layers to this show!!
Chameleon is Wiz Khalifa & his name is Cameron & he doing Cam’Ron song tonight🔥🔥#TheMaskedSinger
Piglet finally stepped up again as a lead singer with the kind of vocals he was delivering in the earliest weeks of this competition. This is the guy we called an early front-runner, who’s disappointed us these past two rounds. That was so passionate and connected, with just the right mix of tenderness and strength. That one moment he punctuated his passion was Piglet perfection. Way to prove you belong her to all the doubters (ourselves included).
Guesses: Piglet talked about how he hoped this journey would inspire his kids to be fearless in their lives, saying he has no regrets. He said that he loves the simple life -- which always makes you think of early reality TV days (and Paris Hilton) -- including landscaping and football.
His story took place on a farm, which inexplicably had a giant, purple llama pinata, as well as a tree with tiny instruments hanging from it like ornaments. His connection was with Jenny, and it was a poker chip.
“I’ll always go all in for you,” Piglet told her with a very pregnant pause before adding, “Especially for charity.” Jenny tossed around the real answer (per the internet) Nick Lachey, but took the llama to think of “Masked Singer’s” Llama, Drew Carey, to land on Drew Lachey. But the clue could just be indicating Nick’s brother, Jenny!
Ken picked up on “The Simple Life” and wondered about Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden, husband to one Nicole Richie. There was even a spider (“Charlotte’s Web”) in a previous clue package.
Darius, though, thought maybe the football reference meant “Friday Night Lights” and family meant Tim McGraw, which isn’t a terrible guess as those go. But, of course, this is Nick Lachey as Twitter has known since his first note.
Guesses: We were cracking up at all of Cluedl-Doo’s interferences this week, from confusing Black Swan with his nonsense talk to a full-on “TMZ on TV” parody teaser trying to build anticipation for his ultimate reveal.
Then, he showed up after all the other performances to say he wanted to give everyone a clue to his identity … with a musical performance of his own. He thin started performing “Return of the Mack” and he sounded incredible -- which immediately had the panel convinced that it wasn’t him singing at all!
Darius wondered if the song title was an indicator that this was a familiar face to “Masked” fans, and they were all reluctant to admit that he gave a masterful performance. Then, he dropped his last clue for Ken and it was a giraffe.
“This is not the first time we’ve been around animals together,” he told Ken. “But it will be the last.” Our immediate instinct from the moment he showed up was that Cluedle-Doo ws Ken’s “Community” co-star, and frequent “Masked” guest panelist prior to this season, Joel McHale.
The internet was quickly on board with that, guess, too. But Ken thought of his “Zookeeper” co-star Kevin James, who is not that tall and usually not in that kind of shape. Robin had a fun guess, thinking this was the panel’s favorite guess, Jamie Foxx.
Jenny thought his tone reminded her of Akon, while Darius actually backed Ken’s guess -- which seemed to surprise himself as well. But who was it really? Well, in the end, none of us were right.
It was Donnie Wahlberg, Jenny’s husband and New Kids on the Block legend, which was an even better reveal than anyone any of us could have guessed. On top of that, it suggests he really was singing that song, so good on him! Jenny’s reaction was pretty hilarious, too.
“I’m supposed to have Golden Ears and I didn’t recognize my husband’s voice,” Jenny admitted ashamedly, with Nick helpfully reminding her she guessed Akon.
With a much better result to the “Who Is It?” of Cluedle-Doo than anyone anticipated, we had to get down to the business of the night, which was deciding which of the four remaining finalists did enough to make it into next week’s finale, and which one fell just short.
For us, it was a no-brainer that both Black Swan and Piglet did enough to earn their positions, leaving a battle between Yeti and Chameleon. It could honestly go either way, as they both gave comparable performances.
Both songs were pretty mellow and in one groove throughout, with no dynamic elements to them at all. Ultimately, though, we suspect that voters were more impressed with consistent-but-not-exciting rapping than consistent-but-not-exciting singing.
After all, Yeti’s performance paled in comparison to the other singers, while Chameleon is in his own lane. For that reason alone, we think he got the slightest edge. And the voting audience agreed, with Yeti set to go home tonight.
Nick was clearly surprised by this result, saying he thought Yeti might have a chance at winning the whole thing (our money is on Black Swan, though Piglet seems to be wildly popular).
Robin Thicke: first impression (Omarion), final guess (Omarion)
Jenny McCarthy: first impression (Mario), final guess (Ne-Yo)
Ken Jeong: first impression (Justin Bieber), final guess (Justin Bieber)
Nicole Scherzinger: first impression (Jason Derulo), final guess (Mario)
Props to Robin for not only hearing Omarion in that first performance, but hanging with it after all these weeks and locking it in. He’s been the internet’s favorite guesses, and the clues have matched his story week after week.
But was it him? Everyone was wrong about Cluedle-Doo. But they were right about Yeti, as Omarion was the obvious face behind that adorable smile and those glowing eyes.
That leaves Black Swan, Chameleon and Piglet to battle it out next week for the Golden Mask trophy. Can Chameleon create an upset and become the first rapper to win? We're thinking not, as it's going to come down to Piglet and Black Swan.
Now, Black Swan has been the most consistent performer of the three, bringing her A-game every single week in this competition. As such, we are absolutely convinced that Piglet is going to win. He's advanced on weeks when he shouldn't, so if he sings well at all, he's going to advance.
It's probably that damned propeller.
“The Masked Singer” Season 5 concludes next Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.