In a shocking twist, one of our illustrious panel of mad guessers actually got this one right!
It was a return to Group B on “The Masked Singer,” and with it came the addition of one of the most impressive and adorable costumes yet, the Caterpillar.
What stood out the most from this week’s show, though, was just how impressive this entire Group B lineup is, including Caterpillar. He came out and absolutely slayed on a Queen Bay classic, which probably says as much as needs to be said.
But right there with him were Queen of Hearts, Cupcake, Banana Split and a surprise left turn into hip-hop from Mallard after singing country his first time out. This duck was out here singing and rapping this week, leaving the panel blown away.
The theme of the week was “Date Night,” which allowed the panel to ask a series of speed dating questions, before the celebrity then responded with who they’d like to continue dating and why. This was actually much more effective in delivering clues than the usual method, so long as the panel could focus on asking questions and not hamming it up.
Speaking of hamming it up, we have to give props to both Ken Jeong and Nick Cannon for an impromptu Michael Jackson dance-off at the top of the show. It got so intense that Ken even made his way down to the stage to battle it out with his “daddy,” who he later called Ne-Yo for his outfit -- and the show’s production backed up the burn with a spot-on side-by-side.
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.
Banana Split once again blew the roof off the joint, with “Split” delivering an incredible vocal performance filled with a throwback style that felt so authentic, it’s like she stepped right out of a speakeasy in the ‘40s. Banana, once again, capably supported her on piano, which remains one of the oddest roles for a celebrity yet -- he’s not singing!
Guesses: For their “Date Night” video, Banana Split shared the ingredients they believed make a perfect love song. They put in fantasy, pain (as represented by a Red Cross box), and plenty of heart. Split rejected Banana’s reality ingredient: a globe.
We also saw a plate with the word “nothing” on it. This week’s bonus clue came in the form of “Speed Dating,” with a Man in Black bringing out a table. The panelists have questions to ask to find out how compatible they are with each of the singers.
Split’s answer to kissing on the first date, “Heck yeah!” When Nicole asked if they’d ever dated anyone on the panel, Banana said he went to Costco once with Ken. After the speed dating round, they revealed, “We would date Nicole because we’d have a ball together.”
“Well, I love balls,” Nicole declared. “We all know that.” To this, Ken could only get up and go, “I’ll see you later, good night, everybody.”
Ken went with “Masked Dancer” stars Craig Robinson and Ashley Tisdale but didn’t really have any reason for the guess -- maybe it was just to change the subject from Nicole’s love of balls.
Jenny, meanwhile, wondered if “ball” referenced Camila Cabello’s new “Cinderella” movie, and this was her partnered with Shawn Mendes. But Robin doesn’t think the frame is right. Nicole, though, is thinking Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban. Sara wrote “Waitress.”
That’s at least connected to the most popular guess emerging online, as Katharine McPhee did star in Broadway’s “Waitress.” Probably our favorite reason people online are so certain is because David Foster is Banana in this scenario, and bananas foster is a thing. You gotta love it!
Cupcake continues to throw us with a higher-pitched clue presentation and then that lower, sultry singing voice. As for performance, there wasn’t much going on physically on stage, so either the costume is restricting or this performer just isn’t used to doing this. Vocally, it was just okay, but nothing that tells us this is a recording star. It’s solid enough, but even the way the rapping was handled suggested amateur at best here.
Guesses: Before even throwing to the clue package, Cupcake was holding a sign that read, “You bake me crazy.” They described themselves as the Black Liz Taylor, talking about multiple husbands.
While looking at wedding dresses, there was an emphasis on some purple butterfly wings, as well as a spool of thread. This latest husband, we’re told, is the last. And we were also told that they’re both dripping in finesse, just like Bruno Mars!
The Speed Dating round revealed Whole Foods as the most-used app on Cupcake’s phone, they sometimes believe in love at first sight, and the advice they’d give their past self when it comes to dating is to just “date, don’t marry.”
Cupcake’s conclusion was a strong connection with Nick because “we’ve both got double trouble.” Is that a reference to twins? Nick has two sets of them. Jenny wondered, then about Jackée Harry, who played twins in the film “Double Your Pleasure” and mother to twins Tia and Tamera Mowry on “Sister, Sister.” (Fun fact: Tamera Mowry-Housley was Seashell on this show)
Jenny, then, swung for the fences to consider Grace Jones as a fashion icon, but Ken still thinks it could be Tina Turner -- who still lives in Switzerland. No cupcake for him! Nicole thought Tina Knowles could be referenced with the needle and thread (who dressed her daughters for years). We then got Jane Fonda rooting for her in a video; but does that mean Jane knows her?
Twitter certainly thinks so, jumping on the guess from last time that this might be a Pointer Sister. Cupcake did say they weren't supposed to be on that stage alone. Throw in the fact that Ruth Pointer has twins and is friends with Jane Fonda and we might have a winner!
But it's not a popular guess, with many still waffling online about whether or not Cupcake is a man or a woman. RuPaul remains a popular guess, as well as Laverne Cox (she has a twin). The disparity between those singing and talking voices is really throwing people.
Queen of Hearts definitely slid into a character for this delivery of a love song in French, but she was also very successful in it. She has a lovely timbre to her voice, and a depth and complexity in her tone that speaks of a professional singer. Her stage presence was limited, but it felt like a conscious choice to emphasize the “heart” of the piece.
Guesses: She did suggest a life on stage in her clue package, saying people would be surprised to learn how shy she is as she doesn’t come across that way on stage. She then decided to make her whole clue package a dating profile, suggesting she’s single.
She then proceeded to swipe left on a whole slew of pictures, including The Rock as an “Action Star,” a “Joe Kerr IV,” “Couch Surfer,” “Sour Doughboy,” “Austin Tatious” and a “Fly Guy.” Queen said she’d be down to find someone with a private plane because why not?
Speed dating answers revealed she’d never date an ex again, and that she likes to read, ride motorcycles and hike. She notices vibes/swagger when meeting someone new, and her favorite place to travel was the Alps. She revealed she’s a book person over movies.
“I would pick Ken,” she said. “We would both have a roasting hot first date.” That got Ken thinking about “The Comedy Central Roast of Alec Baldwin,” which led him to Ireland Baldwin. Robin, though, wondered if maybe it was Ashley Judd, due to The Rock connection.
“She’s a Judd,” he insisted, with singing roots and their co-starring role together in “The Tooth Fairy.” But Jenny was thinking more along the lines of Lady Gaga, as this is one of her favorite songs, or maybe even Miley Cyrus.
The internet, though, is wondering if maybe Dolly Parton's famous figure is being obscured under that massive heart head, or even a second possible costume that could be hiding RuPaul. But the guess with the most growing popularity is still Jewel, who does fit the clues we've seen so far.
Was wondering if Queen of Hearts is Björk, but then that Southern accent kicked in. TL says it's Jewel, and that actually makes sense. She knows how to ride motorcycles. 🤔 #TheMaskedSingerpic.twitter.com/kaBSCW2IXz
Mallard admitted he was out of his comfort zone on this one, and you could tell a bit, but this was a surprisingly strong vocal performance with a lot of hip swagger. Seriously, he came across as having a very cool vibe after this performance. His vocals were smooth, he actually had some good rap flow, and even though he was still a little stiff on the stage, he was nevertheless engaging and fun to watch.
Guesses: We weren’t sure at first that the internet’s “Duck Dynasty” Willie Robertson guess could survive that performance, but we’re probably going to have to wrap our brains around it. This week’s clue talked all about love at first sight, and how he and his wife met in the fourth grade, and that’s exactly what happened to Willie -- well, she was in the third grade.
He recalled their first date as a hike under the moonlight, which Willie has also talked about, and described her big curly hair as “like a big old glass of iced tea.” He said his wife being present during rehearsals actually made him more nervous, even as he appreciated her support.
Talk about a costume being more than a little on the nose.
Speed dating revealed Olivia Newton-John as his first celebrity guess, he prefers the lights on and likes his dimples. When asked if he was really hairy or completely bald, he went with “extremely hairy.”
He connected the most with Jenny “because I feel like, we could, like, sit on the couch and get on the same wavelength.” Robin was feeling super-confident that it might be Freddie Prinze, Jr. Ken, then, wondered if maybe this was Nick Offerman.
But Jenny said Nick is not from the South. She didn’t do much better, though, with everyone hating her Jon Bon Jovi guess -- so Robin went back to dimples and guessed Mario Lopez. So anyone with dimples is now a suspect.
You know who has dimples? WIllie Robertson! Listen, if we're positive who someone is, you know the Twitter-sphere is locked in! And they're getting a little irritated the panel hasn't even come close.
In the panel's defense, though, Twitter is still throwing out super-confident (and wrong) guesses like Kenan Thompson, Tim McGraw, LL Cool J, and Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley. But seriously, y'all, it's Willie.
It is so obvious but the Mallard is Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson and while I don’t love that, it’s so one the nose that it kinda baffles my mind the judges haven’t even guessed it! #TheMaskedSingerpic.twitter.com/36Mli9q9j0
Caterpillar broke everyone’s heart with a stripped-down performance of Beyoncé’s “If I Were a Boy.” Is that song choice a clue, as this is a male voice? Regardless, it was such a beautiful and confident performance, we were already loving it … and then he hit us with that falsetto and we were on another planet. What an incredible vocal, performance and routine.
Guesses: Caterpillar wrapped his performance with a shout-out, “You’re just my boy, Ken!” His clue package revealed that he’s definitely been through some hard knocks in his life, opening up about loneliness in his youth. He compared his life to a metamorphosis, achieving success after what he’s been through.
During that talk about his early life, we saw a hurricane on the TV screen. He then talked about leaving home early, living in his car, homelessness, stealing and even going to jail, as everyone said he would. We also got an image of the Great Lakes, so was the hurricane a clue to his name?
Caterpillar admitted he’d probably ghosted someone after a date, and said the occupation he’d be worst at is asking rapid-fire questions. He did say he’d been cheated on and that he prefers texting. “Don’t call me.”
When asked how he de-stresses, he said, “I get dressed up in a freaking caterpillar costume.” He’s got a lot of charm, this one! “I’m into Robin,” Caterpillar concluded, “And I can’t take my eyes off all his printed shirts.”
Robin took a basketball image from the clue package to BB to Backstreet Boys, which had him wondering if maybe it was Howie d. Ken extended it out to Aaron Carter, who he believed had been in jail.
Jenny was agreeing with the boy band vibe, she was wondering if maybe it was BSB member AJ McLean. But the internet is actually backing Ken, as much as they're backing anyone.
The biggest consensus seems to be agreeing that there are boy band vibes here, but mostly they want to hear him perform again to try and nail it down. They absolutely were loving the performance, though!
Props to Group B, there was not a single weak voice on the night. That also makes it a lot harder to say goodbye to any of them. Banana Split and Caterpillar were both incredible, bookending a night of impressive performances.
Queen of Hearts brought it, too, leaving us only slightly less enamored with Cupcake and Mallard. Neither one feels quite as polished as the other three. Based on the fact that Mallard mixed things up and pushed into a whole new genre this week -- and was competent in it -- our guess to go was Cupcake.
And no one was as surprised as we were to be absolutely right, as Cupcake got the least votes, heading to an unmasking that was sure to surprise and delight. Seriously, this one has us more stumped than perhaps any in the history of the show.
Robin Thicke: first impression (RuPaul), final guess (Leslie Jones)
Jenny McCarthy: first impression (RuPaul), final guess (Grace Jones)
Ken Jeong: first impression (Angela Bassett), final guess (Tina Turner)
Nicole Scherzinger: first impression (Roberta Flack), final guess (Ruth Pointer)
Kudos to Cupcake for keeping the panel and the Internet guessing. Even though we didn’t get to spend much time together, those were some entertaining and perplexing performances. It’s a testament to their talent and subterfuge that we saw guesses from fashion icon to legendary singer to actress to comedian. This panel was all over the place.
Nicole Scherzinger said she was hanging onto that notion from their first appearance when Cupcake said they were supposed to not be alone up there, suggesting this was intended to be a group initially. It was a good instinct, as her final guess of Ruth Pointer was -- ahem -- on point.
Ruth shared that her sister Anita was originally supposed to join her, but due to some health issues, she was not able to.
As for Nicole, since it wasn’t her First Impression Guess, she gets no points for it -- inexplicably leaving Ken in the lead with exactly one point to everyone else’s giant goose eggs this season.
“The Masked Singer” continues Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.