See the most hilariously awful First Impression guess we've ever seen -- plus, the guess so bad it has Robin Thicke pack up his things and walk off the set.
"The Masked Singer" came back for a second week of competition with a whole new batch of masks, including the first group of the season -- and what might have been intended as a second.
There was an unexpected sadness with one of the contestants when they revealed that they weren’t supposed to be on the stage alone, but that’s what wound up happening. Yes, it’s a clue, but when part of their actual clue package was that they were doing this to cheer someone up who got some bad health news, we can’t help but worry.
The duo we did get, though, was an unexpected and incredible surprise, with really fun costumes and a stellar performance that has us scratching both sides of our heads. Banana Split was joined this week by a duck, a one-eyed heart, a dog and a sweet confection.
There was also a moment of randomness that may or may not have been a clue -- with even Nick Cannon having no idea what was going on -- which has us loving the outrageousness of this show even more.
Critics often complain that this show is stupid and dumb and corny and over-the-top and it is all of those things. But that’s what makes it fun. And clearl that is the whole point of this show. For one hour a week, we can shut everything else off and just have fun.
And we can laugh at Ken’s terrible guesses -- though we’re going to have to give props to both Nicole Scherzinger and Jenny McCarthy for epically outdoing him this week with their truly awful First Impression guesses. Maybe it was the 15-second timer, but these are among the worst guesses ever! We’re still dying over what Nicole actually wrote down.
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.
Queen of Hearts had us stumped right from the top. At first, she sounded like someone with a good voice who definitely wasn’t a pro, but as it progressed and what she was doing got more complex, more range and more impressive, we had to keep resetting our expectations That was a masterful vocal and we’re still pretty sure she was holding back her full potential.
Guesses: Her clue package was definitely “Alice in Wonderland”-inspired, complete with white chess pieces. But what was most striking was how much she absolutely nailed what sounded exactly like Dolly Parton’s accent. Had we not heard her sing, that might have been our guess.
We saw a clock at 10, as well as a Tin Man mask on a bartender at her palatial estate and a picture of Hillary Swank labeled BFF. In her story, she opened up about the challenges she faced after leaving a home with little warmth and striking out on her own young.
But rather than lament the challenges she endured, she said all of those hardships shaped who she’s become, so she’s actually grateful for them. When asked why this character, she said the world is too noisy, so she’s here to be a big old blaring megaphone of heart.
Nicole got real ambitious and hopeful right off the bat with her Britney Spears guess. Not only is Britney not doing this show -- her plate’s kind of full -- but her vocals don’t sound like that unless she’s been hiding that kind of range all her career.
Jenny rambled through Kellie Pickler, Faith Hill and Carrie Underwood, but thinks she knows Fergie from her legs -- Fergie does have that kind of power, but Nicole doesn’t think that’s her vibrato.
Ken really stretched to tie Hilary Swank into things by thinking that maybe all Oscar winners are BFFs and he could somehow wrap that into this being one of his go-to guesses, Renée Zellweger.
Twitter isn't completely locked in as we saw a lot of "dunno" and names like Dolly, Miley Cyrus and Celine Dion, but they're circling on an incredibly solid guess with Jewel. She was actually homeless and living in her vehicle before she finally got her big break, having not come from a very warm home.
Mallard didn’t really do much up there, and even Jenny noted he dances like her dad. And that was before he started singing. He’s clearly someone with a lot of charm and confidence performing, but not as a stage performer. Maybe he’s an actor who can carry a tune, but with no real grace or nuance. In other words, this was respectable karaoke but that was absolutely it. He’s no singer.
Guesses: Jenny and Ken keep thinking this is a real-deal country singer, but we can’t help think a real country singer would have done some real singing and this wasn’t that. He does, however, have a platinum album to go with his best-selling book, so we could be wrong. Or that album is spoken word or comedy.
His story about being a human jukebox on the school bus, accepting quarters in his armpit to sing, makes us think he’s a comedian who can hold a tune. He also said he used to sell worms, which fits with our idea that he’s older as we just don’t see modern kids going for that.
His clue package featured a cowboy boot on display in a ticket booth, a toy deer and apparently his BFF is Chris Pratt. Mallard told Nick he normally doesn’t dress as fancy as the Mallard’s duds, but “with a face like this, I’m used to disguising it.”
Robin wondered if maybe Garth Brooks was just having a good time by stepping out onto this stage, but we think he’s a much stronger singer than this. They then rattled off a ton of country singers, while Ken went with Billy Ray Cyrus.
Then, out of nowhere, the ridiculous horse that danced off-stage during Mallard’s performance galloped on stage before separating in two and running in opposite directions. When asked if that was a clue, Nick responded, “I don’t know. Don’t ask me.” We love that he and the panel are just as lost as the rest of us when it comes to the absurd ridiculousness of this show.
Honestly, Twitter is so pedantic they were more worked up over the fact that Mallard's design matches more the classic wooden duck than an actual mallard, forgetting that ducks don't wear clothes.
Maybe that's because they had no idea, even going so far as to make fun of their own terrible guesses like Michael Rooker, Jeff Foxworthy, "Duck Dynasty" star Willie Robertson (actually not a terrible guess, though a decade too late). We also saw Darius Rucker and, but there is a dual contingency growing that this is a "Duck Dynasty" guy ... or it's Rooker.
The clues might actually point to Willie Robertson, with "Duck Dynasty" fans seeing the human jukebox connection. Willie definitely has a best-selling book and the family actually released a Christmas album during that time when Walmart's had whole "Ducky Dynasty" aisles. They knew how to strike while the iron was hot.
Cupcake may have a female costume, but that’s a traditionally male vocal, or is it just a low female voice? Maybe that’s a clue and this is a male who loves makeup? The voice was definitely nothing to write home about, though competent enough. And we saw a lot of that classic lame side-to-side step dancing going on, so we’re not talking about someone who traditionally commands a stage like this.
Guesses: The clue package had us thinking this was a woman, too, based on the speaking voice used. Maybe gender is supposed to be fluid? At any rate, Cupcake basically revealed that they’re doing this whole show for someone close to them who got some bad health news, in hopes this silliness will cheer them up.
We saw a bottle of whiskey, a wet floor sign, someone jumping rope, heart-shaped pancakes and a significant focus on two cupcakes in their diner-themed package. Cupcake revealed they weren’t used to going solo, so maybe it’s their professional partner that’s sick, or they were referring to their personal life.
On the bill was the message, “Go get ‘em, girl!” but was that referring to the friend or to Cupcake? We have more questions than usual. When asked how they were feeling, Cupcake revealed they were supposed to be here with “some other sweet things,” but now I’m all alone.
Was this a group that was supposed to perform together and maybe positive Covid tests -- or something else -- removed the others from the competition? Jenny was a bit all over the place, dropping female names with lower voices like Whoopi Goldberg and Tracy Chapman, but she instead settled on RuPaul, thinking Cupcake is taller than they appear. Robin was right there with her.
Nicole, though, went in an entirely different direction, thinking this as a legend like Roberta Flack or maybe Leslie Jones. When she said she was of two minds, she wasn’t kidding. But we would be surprised if Leslie could sing even this well. Ken, meanwhile, really wants it to be Tina Turner.
The internet was feeling RuPaul as a guess -- though height concerns had them waffling -- but also threw out Billie Porter and even Clay Aiken. But Porter and Ru are the top two, with arguments going around as to why it couldn't be Ru, but could, but maybe Billy but could it be John Travolta? Yeah, that was from left field.
Another string of guesses threw out Ruth Pointer, suggesting that maybe the Pointer Sisters were supposed to join her on the show and that fell through, leaving her to represent alone. In other words, there are a thousand possibilities, but no certainty. Unless, it's Ru.
Dalmatian dropped some musical choruses and rap verses on a Snoop Dogg classic, and managed to bring some of Snoop’s swagger to those lyrics. He definitely moves more like an athlete -- we’re thinking football player with the stance -- but he’s got some rhythm and real vocal ability in there. Probably, this is more of a hidden talent than well-known, but we could be wrong. He has a ton of confidence up there.
Guesses: Working out and athletics were all over Dalmatian’s clue package, set in a gym as he worked out with various pieces of equipment. He did say he liked weight lifting -- and robots. He also said he visualized success so much as a kid, he bought his own gear.
This season has revealed the physique of the singers a bit in their “Don’t Talk to Me” gear, and Dalmatian appeared to be wearing compression tights that showed off just how ripped his legs are, so another hint he’s definitely an athlete; not to mention his football entrance busting through the banner and the costume itself.
There was a copy of “The Scream” classic painting, as well as a stuffed black cat. He said he’d always wanted to play in the big leagues and then was lucky enough to meet one of the biggest players in the game. That meeting apparently put him on the path to his own successes.
When asked why he picked this costume, he said it’s because he always felt like an underdog, and as tonight was going to be the underdog, he had to go with his favorite dog, the dalmatian.
Robin decided it could be the athletic Nelly, with Jenny thinking that wasn’t a bad guess. Jenny noted that she was in “Scream” and “Scary Movie,” and Katt Williams was in “Scary Movie,” so could the black cat be referring to him and that’s how it all connects? Is he that ripped, though?
Ken noted Now Orleans Saints colors, but also the USC red and yellow bouncing balls in the clue package, so he wondered if it was maybe Reggie Bush, who grew up in the same neighborhood with Nick -- who said he knows who this is.
Twitter was feeling the groove with Dalmatian, but they weren't sure who he was. There were guesses for Odell Beckham Jr., Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson, and Iman Shumpert from the sports world, but some think this might legit be a real rapper like Tyga (a few feeling confident this is how he sounds rapping) or even Snoop Dogg fooling everyone by performing his own song. Hint: there's no way that was Snoop.
Banana Split tore the stage up with a really surprising performance, where the Banana half of the duo played piano and the Split (ice cream) half performed the vocals. She’s definitely a professional singer with a beautiful soaring tone, and if they’re a duo then they’re a well-known one like Billie Eilish & FINNEAS (but not them). Banana had a microphone but he did not song, or if he did we didn’t hear it, so maybe that’s a trick for a future episode.
Guesses: Set in a carnival, the Split half talked about how she had a day job (we saw her holding a silver medal) only to quit it when she thought she’d finally gotten her big break after heading to Hollywood after school. When that fell through, she had to crawl back and beg for that job back.
She said it was when she found a collaborator to “share her wacky dreams” with, that’s when things changed. It gives the sense that she’s the front-person for this group, which was also the case in this performance. But him being there suggests his role is more than just piano player. Maybe they’re a songwriting duo, as well?
They said that them being on this show is unexpected, but that could mean so many things. They’re big enough stars it would be surprising for them to do this, or it’s just way out of what anyone would expect from them, or maybe they’re not musicians by trade at all -- though we’d find that incredible.
Nick threw a wrinkle in all of that, though, by asking if they’d worked together in the past, with Split saying that they don’t work together all the time, but when they’ve worked together in the past, it’s gone well. He then argued that Banana is good by itself. “Are they a divorced sundae?” Jenny asked.
Jenny was wondering if this was a pair that are individually talented, then, meaning their connection was probably romantic -- but Banana’s comment suggests maybe the romance part of things is over, but they clearly still get along. She threw out names like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. She then wondered if maybe it was Katharine McPhee and David Foster.
Robin wondered if maybe it could be Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, while Nicole went to left field with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling (that would be a shock to see them on this show). Twitter wasn't doing much better, though they did like the Katharine/David guess.
They also threw out Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri ("SNL" Spartan Cheerleaders) as a terrible guess. Do you not remember how small Cheri is when standing next to Will? We also saw guesses like Julianne and Derek Hough, Lea Michele and Darren Criss, and even Idina Menzel and Josh Groban.
Ultimately, though while Idina got some love as perhaps being the voice of the Split half, most seem pretty confident that this was Katharine allowing her husband David to join her on stage to play piano.
#TheMaskedSinger i got a guess for banana split. thinking this is a comedic duo so that leads me to think Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri who appeared alongside together as spartan cheerleaders in snl pic.twitter.com/oTEC6jhc60
The judges were digging Mallard and Cupcake a lot more than we were, while they at least seemed to concede that Dalmatian could be a professional rapper and maybe he’s not. We still think he could be a super-talented athlete who could have a much better rap career than Shaq.
If it were up to us, we’d probably drop Mallard first, but we have a sneaking suspicion that it might just be Dalmatian. Not only because of the varied response to him from the panel, but because of the quality and intricacy of his costume, or lack thereof.
The last time we saw a dog costume that looked this much like someone in regular clothes with a fake head plopped onto their head -- that was also a dog -- it turned out to be Nick Cannon’s triumphant return to the show as the Bulldog last season.
It kind of makes us wonder if this was a last-minute addition to the show with no intention of staying longer than one episode. Well, it was Dalmatian to get the boot, but we may never get the truth of whether this was always the plan.
Robin Thicke: first impression (Nelly), final guess (Nelly)
Jenny McCarthy: first impression (Steve Harvey), final guess (Kevin Hart)
Ken Jeong: first impression (Reggie Bush), final guess (Reggie Bush)
Nicole Scherzinger: first impression (“one of the Lils”), final guess (Nelly)
We don’t usually comment much on these First Impression guesses but we have to give a shout-out to Nicole’s ridiculous guess. At least she gave herself a lot of leeway to get this right. But as bad as that one was, Robin couldn’t even take Jenny’s Steve Harvey.
“That’s it. I’m out,” he joked, gathering up his notes and heading off the set. “I got my stuff. Thanks, everyone, Good show, guys. Good show.” At least Jenny had the decency to hide under the desk while Nick read that one. So if not Steve, then who?
Ooh, what if this is actually Nick Cannon and he’s going to help unmask himself!
Maybe he can play a dog every season on this show. He did say that he definitely knows who this is and who would Nick know better than himself?
Okay, obviously we’re joking, but we still want to know if Tyga agreed to do this show with the understanding it would be a one-off appearance. Would the integrity of a show this stupid allow them to do that … again?
Also, we were clearly off base with this being a super-talented athlete, so we’ll just have to apologize and cross the line over to a super-ripped rapper who has some real athletic ability. Both are compliments, right? Right?!
“The Masked Singer” continues Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.