Not only do we get to see if Black Swan, Chameleon or Piglet takes home the Golden Mask trophy -- we get to see who they all are as everyone gets unmasked in this season finale!
There might have been three contestants left on “The Masked Singer” finale, but there were four finalists in the building as Season 4 winner LeAnn Rimes joined the panel.
It’s always a lot of fun when a former contestant jumps into the fray as a guest panelist, because they really understand what this experience is like from the other side. Plus, they can get a sense of just how hard it is to figure out who’s under these masks on just their voices alone.
Tonight was about two things. It’s about ranking this Top 3 to determine who our Season 5 winner is, and it’s about finding out the identities of all three of our finalists. Do we (and you) have it right about who’s under these masks?
More importantly, did these voters get it right, elevating the worthiest competitor above all the rest so that there is no doubt the right singer won that Golden Mask trophy? Sure, they’ve been getting it wrong for weeks now, infuriating social media seemingly every week.
Surely, they won’t blow it on the most important night of the whole season and leave the best singer out in the cold, standing to the side as they watch someone far less deserving take home the crown. They wouldn’t do that, would they?
We’ll get into all of that a bit later---
First we’ve got one final round of competition so we can see if Black Swan, Chameleon or Piglet can make an undeniable final case for why they should win. And then hope the audience gets it right.
For the first time, “The Masked Singer” invited back the reigning champ to be a part of the finale, and it created a truly special and memorable experience. We loved hearing how LeAnn has kept this song fresh after all these years, and it was great hearing our finalists tackle such an iconic track. Black Swan, in particular, was absolutely divine on this, matching LeAnn’s talent note for note.
Chameleon was definitely putting his own flavor on Coolio’s classic “Gangsta’s Paradise.” It was a little less urgent in his delivery than the original, which didn’t work quite as well for us, considering the message of the lyrics. But he’s still such a consummate professional up there, taking us on a journey in his signature laid-back style.
Black Swan has so much soul and passion in her voice that carries through every single time she hits the stage. We didn’t expect her to take on Michael Bolton, but what an incredible job she did of making it sound like it’s been a part of her stage show for years (who knows, maybe it is). She remains the most consistently great contestant of the season!
Piglet definitely poured his full heart into this very sweet performance. He’s got a nice tone to him, and managed to put some oomph onto this performance making it his strongest yet, but it still seemed somewhat limited in range and power. He’s still sounding like a boy bander or someone whose voice just isn’t quite big enough to command the stage alone. There’s nothing bad about what he’s doing, but we never feels quite as full as we should when he’s done.
It’s actually a more challenging final lineup than you might expect at first glance. Piglet has been an emotional fan-favorite this whole time, Black Swan is the powerhouse voice that just won’t quite, while Chameleon is bringing a whole different flavor with a great voice, just in a different genre than the norm.
Still, we think it should probably come down to Piglet and Black Swan in the end. Chameleon represented hip-hop all the way to the finale, but he also showed a more limited range even in his flow than Piglet or Black Swan. They’ve both taken us on journeys with some of their performances.
The voting audience apparently agreed, as Chameleon had to settle for repping his way to a respectable third place finish. He was a lot of fun this season, and he’s easily got one of the coolest costumes, but who is he?
Guesses: This week, Chameleon clarified that he has a son, which is why he originally signed up for the show as it’s a family favorite. He also said that he’s performing in part in memory of his sister.
Jenny was close with identifying the “military brat” background of Twitter’s favorite guess of Wiz Khalifa with her Gucci Mane finale guess. Ken and LeAnn, however, went with 2 Chainz. But it was Robin and Nicole who landed on Wiz Khalifa.
Robin Thicke: first impression (Redfoo), final guess (Wiz Khalifa)
Jenny McCarthy: first impression (Denzel Washington), final guess (Gucci Mane)
Ken Jeong: first impression (Dwight Howard), final guess (2 Chainz)
Nicole Scherzinger: first impression (Nick Cannon), final guess (Wiz Khalifa)
LeAnn Rimes: final guess (2 Chainz)
It’s just a shame final guesses don’t count when it comes to the points game for that Golden Ear, because of course it was Wiz Khalifa, who was also a military brat. When you’re dealing with someone as tall as Chameleon who can rap like that, it really does narrow down the pool, so we’re not surprised a few members of the panel got it.
We’re fully satisfied with this Final Two based on the Final Three, but we’re torn about what we think America will do. If it were fully up to us, Black Swan would take this and there’d be no questions at all. Unfortunately, it’s not up to us.
If it were, Piglet wouldn’t even be here, because he just hasn’t shown the same vocal prowess and consistency as Black Swan. She has brought her A-game every single time she’s hit the stage, she’s torn our hearts our, she’s moved us and she’s wowed us.
Piglet has a spinning propellor. He’s also got a nice enough voice, and he had a few emotionally real moments, but he’s just not at her level. Which is why we kind of feared the voting audience would go ahead and vote for him anyway. Did they?
They sure did, and we’re incredibly disappointed. Don’t get us wrong, Piglet is entertaining enough, but Black Swan is among the best to have ever graced this stage. She deserved to take it all the way this season.
Guesses: She’s hinted at her insecurities about performing, opening up about having stage fright before taking on this task -- this despite the fact she was known worldwide, presumably for singing, before she had a driver’s license.
Robin was feeling pretty confident that all those vocal tricks, not to mention “X” for “X-Factor” and the number “5” all point to former Fifth Harmoney member Normani. Jenny, though, thinks maybe it’s the one-named Monica.
Ken was also thinking “X-Factor,” but with the clue about her being famous before getting a driver’s license, he decided to opt for Demi Lovato. Nicole was super-confident that she had this with JoJo and that’s the internet’s favorite guess, too. JoJo definitely has those pipes, and the clues all fit. LeAnn agreed based almost solely on her voice alone.
Robin Thicke: first impression (Rita Ora), final guess (Normani)
Jenny McCarthy: first impression (Leighton Meester), final guess (Monica)
Ken Jeong: first impression (Jessie J), final guess (Demi Lovato)
Nicole Scherzinger: first impression (Natasha Bedingfield), final guess (JoJo)
LeAnn Rimes: final guess (JoJo)
Once again, no one was getting anything with those first impression guesses, but props to Nicole -- and LeAnn for hearing JoJo right away. She’s such an incredible vocalist, it really is amazing that she faded from the popular spotlight so quickly after her early meteoric rise. We don’t know if this show can change that, but it’s great to see she’s conquered some anxieties and maybe gained some confidence that she really is incredible … because she is.
Early on, we might have agreed that Piglet was a contender to win this whole thing, but after seeing the entire journey of all of our contestants, Black Swan got robbed and we’ll say it again and again. We’re still bitter he outlasted talents like Hanson, Omarion and Tyrese.
Guesses: Hoping to bring this win home for his kids, Piglet talked about being one of the first people to truly open their life up to the public (pre-social media), which makes us think immediately of early reality television.
Of course, we and the Twittersphere know that Nick Lachey opened up about his whole life on reality television when he married Jessica Simpson. Robin heard it, too, but there was no stopping Nicole from landing on the wrong boy band and guessing Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell.
As for Ken, we’re pretty convinced he just really wants Jeremy Renner to do this show and is trying to manifest it into reality. It’s not going to work, but it’s cute he’s committed. Jenny was feeling confident that she would win the Golden Ear this season with her first impression guess, Nick Lachey, which she of course stuck with.
Robin Thicke: first impression (John Rzeznik), final guess (Nick Lachey)
Jenny McCarthy: first impression (Nick Lachey), final guess (Nick Lachey)
Ken Jeong: first impression (Adam Lambert), final guess (Jeremy Renner)
Nicole Scherzinger: first impression (Cody Simpson), final guess (Brian Littrell)
LeAnn Rimes: final guess (Nick Lachey)
She waited until the last second to pull ahead of Ken and secure this victory, but with her larger-than-life wig, Jenny totally earned that second Golden Ear trophy as it was obviously Nick Lachey.
It’s funny she did it with only three right guesses out of 14, but as we’ve seen and witnessed ourselves, it’s not always easy to figure this out after just one performance. Not unless, that is, you have the combined power of social media at your fingertips.
Oh, and if you think we’re the only ones grumbling that Black Swan got robbed, then you clearly didn’t pay attention to social media after the show ended. “The Masked Singer” dominated online chatter, with a lot of it people expressing just how they feel about these results:
JoJo didn’t release the hit single Leave (Get Out) at the age of 13, go through allll that bullshit with her weak ass former label, and sing her heart out on that stage for y’all to play her like this. #TheMaskedSingerpic.twitter.com/bAStb7q4uK