With terrible guesses ranging from Taylor Swift and Jay Leno to "Sesame Street's" Bert & Ernie, we're starting to think our panel will never identify Armadillo, Hydra, Miss Teddy or Ringmaster.
Four masks and who know how many performers remained as the second group hit their second week on “The Masked Singer” with two stellar performances and two -- well, yikes!
Our illustrious panel of terrible guessers were joined by comedian and “Nailed It!” host, Nicole Byer this week. She got the chance to try and “nail it” with her guesses, and did better than we might have expected.
After losing Christie Brinkely’s Lemur last week, it was down to Armadillo, Miss Teddy, Ringmaster and the mysteriously multi-headed Hydra. Once again, the panel was stumped even trying to figure out how many people were in that costume, much less who it was.
They weren’t doing much better with the other three, either, with ridiculous guesses like Taylor Swift, and Jay Leno being thrown around with all sincerity. They also guessed Bert & Ernie this week for Hydra, which is about as impressive as Statler & Waldorf last week.
If you seriously can’t identify Jay Leno’s voice, or Bert & Ernie, or even Taylor Swift’s for that matter -- well, it’s no wonder the show abandoned the Golden Ear trophy after last season’s disastrous win by Nicole with a paltry three correct guesses out of 16 celebrities.
Would anyone get it right this week?
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.
Along with the panel’s guesses, we'll be sharing some internet speculation, too, so if you don't want to be potentially spoiled (because they are very good at this), you may want to skip past the guesses sections.
(“Super Bass,“ Nicki Minaj) Ringmaster put a little bit of melody on that opening rap verse, and then proceeded to give us everything in this performance. She has such a polished and rich voice, and she knows exactly how to use it. This was a masterful performance by a consummate professional who is no stranger to a stage and a crowd.
Guesses: This week marked the return of the “mega-clue,” which for Ringmaster included the Men in Black snatching up a guitar from her dressing room. As they showed us an acoustic guitar and a crossbones “90s” guitar pick.
Ringmaster told the panel she’s “a 90s chick,” but she’s been songwriting for as long as she can remember. Immediately, they suspected that meant she was born in the ‘90s, though it could also mean she came of age in some way that decade.
Ken lost his mind so dramatically he threw out his catch phrase, declaring, “I know exactly who this is.” He then made himself look the fool by guessing Taylor Swift because her December 1989 birthday is “close enough.”
He even tied the drivers license clue from last week to Taylor’s support of Olivia Rodrigo -- so it’s a stretch. “I love your passion, Ken,” Ringmaster quipped, which probably means he’s as dead wrong as dead wrong can get.
Nicole, though, considered that maybe it referred to someone who was famous in the ‘90s like Alanis Morissette. But Nicole was listening hard and went deeper into the pop culture lexicon for Zara Larsson, who was born in the ‘90s.
Twitter is still a little unsure on this one, with some terrible guesses out there like Britney Spears and Nicole Kidman. But there is definitely a growing groundswell of support for "The Goldbergs" star Hayley Orrantia.
Fans online have tied the lone "X" on the Tic-Tac-Toe board to her "X Factor" start, while celebrity fan John Oates appeared on an episode of the show. She also sang backup on Miley Cyrus' "Hannah Montana" Season 4 soundtrack, which ties in those images, as well as her performance of "The Climb" last week.
Ringmaster is Hayley Orrantia from The Goldbergs.. Born in the Golden State of Cali in 1994..she was a contestant on x factor when Nicole was a judge and girl has written songgs for other artists #TheMaskedSingerpic.twitter.com/HdApy365MR
(“I Fought the Law,“ The Bobby Fuller Four) Armadillo once again came out high-kicking and ready to have some fun. Unfortunately, he couldn't back it up with vocals any stronger than last week -- and one of his high kicks actually knocked him off balance and on the ground. He still shuffles and bounces around like he has no business singing, and that voice agrees.
Guesses: In response to the panel’s comments about all his high kicks last week, Armadillo said, “That’s what I do for a living, kick butt.” And after one of this kicks knocked him down, he quipped that it was all done on purpose. We doubt it but we love the gusto.
Armadillo’s mega-clue was actually quite small. He said they were his keys to “the wild hog.” And then, a motorcycle was wheeled out. “It’s a shame these guys had to walk my bike out,” he said. “Looks like it’s dead.”
We were already thinking of the most obvious possibility based on the kicks and the bike, but the “dead” quip had us wondering if “The Walking Dead” star Norman Reedus actually decided to drop by “The Masked Singer” and have some fun.
Nicole Scherzinger, though, thinks it might be dead because Gary Busey got into a major motorcycle accident. Nicole Byers got a laugh out of Nick when she guessed that maybe it’s actually Jay Leno, but Jenny wasn’t buying it.
She thought last week’s hot dog clue could tie to the Chicago-based series “Shameless” and “Wild Hogs,” which could mean this is William H. Macy. Not a terrible guess, and definitely someone who would go all out.
When they weren't cracking up over the kick/fall, the internet was starting to grow more and more suspicious that this could be Dog the Bounty Hunter under the costume. They also threw out other possibilities like Mr. T, Erik Estrada, Tim Allen, and it was nice to see we weren't the only ones who got Norman Reedus stuck in our heads.
First off I think Armadillo is Erik Estrada. The motorcycle is “dead” because Chips, the cop show he was on hence the song “I fought the law” is no longer airing on tv… How’s that for train if thought lol 🤪 #TheMaskedSingerpic.twitter.com/Rk9wYaeUZ1
Does anyone else think Armadillo could be Norman Reedus, he owns motorcycles, is a part of The Walking Dead (part of the mega clue) and his character Darryl Dixon is known for using archery equipment. #TheMaskedSinger
(“Sharp Dressed Man,” ZZ Top)Hydra once again came with comedy at the forefront of their performance. As singers, they were just terrible, but as a comedic performance piece it was actually quite funny. We enjoyed the playfulness with the lyrics, the different voices they were clearly putting on, and that they were clearly enjoying the silliness of the whole thing.
Guesses: For this week’s Hydra mega-clue, the Men in Black presented a deck of playing cards. “Why, how very curious,” Hydra said. “A deck of cards that’s all jokers.” Jenny took that to mean comedians, but she’s still stuck on Muppets and puppets, going from Statler and Waldorf last week to Bert and Ernie. Just no.
Nicole Byers was able to accomplish one thing with confidence. She rejected her own Lonely Island guess by noting that there are only two voices inside the costume, despite its three heads.
Robin was thinking about the jokers and comedy duos, and then wondered if last week’s ATM could refer to the $900 million deal just signed by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. It’s not a terrible guess, as they definitely have some fun. Their celebrity pal was Gilbert Gottfried
But we’re leaning toward a guess that came from the Twittersphere last week. With that scratchy voice and that deck of Jokers cards, we found ourselves even more intrigued by the idea it could be comedic magicians Penn and Teller.
Certainly the fact that Teller never speaks in their act makes his a voice not too many people are familiar with, which would make it even easier to throw off the panel. If it is them, would he sing whenever they finally get unmasked? Or maybe it’s Penn throwing voices.
Without much to go on, the growing consensus on Twitter is that it's probably Penn & Teller ... but there is still some love out there for last week's favorite guess, Steve Martin and Martin Short with the three heads representing their "Three Amigos" film with Chevy Chase.
I know who the hydra's are, They are american magicians, And illusionist, And the hydra's are none other than the one and only penn and teller #TheMaskedSinger.
#TheMaskedSinger ok the hydra is either every muppet ever or it’s the whole cast of sesame street bc the whole hydra thing. either franchise they just switch out which puppets are in it every show. this is my final guess
(“Tell Me You Love Me,” Demi Lovato)Miss Teddy has the voice of a legendary soul or R&B singer (or both) and again delivered a heartfelt performance just packed with genuine emotion. She appeared to struggle a bit moving those giant teddy bear feet, but luckily she was able to command the stage and our attention with her incredible pipes alone.
Guesses: For that mega-clue, Miss Teddy was asked to explain the meaning behind a Grammy napkin with a note written on it, “Congrats on the win!” She told the panel, “Winning a Grammy was one of the greatest moments of my career.”
She then paraphrased the hell out of Gloria Gaynor by rattling off, “As for me, once I was afraid, I was petrified. Sometimes you have to go through life without anyone by your side. But you learn how to get along and you learn how to survive.”
Congratulations to Jenny for amazingly thinking of the song “I Will Survive” and guessing two-time Grammy winner Gloria Gaynor. That was about as clever as most of what Ken comes up with. The chances of it being that obvious seem impossible.
Nicole Byers was right in that Jennifer Hudson has two Grammys but that ain’t no Jennifer Hudson voice no how no way. Nicole Scherzinger, though, thinks it could be CeCe Winans who has more Grammys than any other gospel singer, tying it to last week’s gospel robes.
There was definitely some love out there for Miss Teddy's performance, as well as some others falling into the too obvious (we think) trap that this is Gloria Gaynor. But for the most part, those who think they do know are definitely thinking it's Jennifer Holliday. Unless it's Mary J. Blige.
Teddy Bear is Jennifer Holiday..has to be....she has that distinct sound and she's older now but still has that powerful voice and won her Grammy in 1982 for...." and I am telling you" from Dreamgirls #TheMaskedSingerpic.twitter.com/Q3i6IN9CC8
Honestly, this one’s not even a stressor at this stage because there were two very strong artists in this group and then there were Hydra and Armadillo. Both are clearly having a lot of fun in this competition, but neither one of them can hold a candle to the ladies.
And if we’re being totally honest -- and since it’s just us we feel we can be -- we kind of don’t even care which one of them goes home this week so long as one of them does. This Group only becomes worrisome because next week it’s going to be whoever’s left out of those two going up against two great singers. But only one will move on.
Just as we can’t pick between Hydra and Armadillo who we want to go home this week, we can’t pick yet between Ringmaster and Miss Teddy who we want to win from this group. We’ll need another week and another song to figure that one out.
For now, we just need to confirm that the right masks are in the Duel -- and of course they were, which means we get one more performance each from the very “meh” Armadillo and Hydra.
(“Walkin’ the Dog,” Rufus Thomas [as performed by Aerosmith]) Armadillo didn’t really sing any better, but his rough gristly voice worked better on this track, which wasn’t trying to do too much. Look, we’re not going to say it was good, per se, but all he has to do is be better than Hydra.
(“Two Princes,” Spin Doctors) Hydra was an absolute mess on this, with their schtick not really working at all. There are so many songs out there they could be really entertaining on, but this was not one of them. It honestly started to sound like maybe they wanted to be done. Head-to-head it wasn’t even close.
We said it all above, Hydra didn’t even come close to the musicality and entertainment value that Armadillo did in the Duel. Neither act is particularly strong, but in the battle of the least Armadillo did the most and deserves to make it to the next round -- where he should immediately get eliminated.
As we said, though, we aren’t too passionately concerned about it either way so long as the other one follows them right out the door. But it was still nice that the audience and panel agreed with us and called Hydra done in this competition.
Robin Thicke: Matt Stone & Trey Parker
Jenny McCarthy: Bert & Ernie
Ken Jeong: Will Arnett & Zach Galifianakis
Nicole Scherzinger: Will Ferrell & John C. Reilly
Nicole Byer: Penn & Teller
Props to Nicole Byers for pulling out Twitter’s -- and our -- favorite guess, with Robin even solidifying it by noting that an ATM is an automated Teller machine. So could it be the comedic magicians?
That’s exactly who it was, as Penn & Teller were revealed stuffed inside that massive costume. They also revealed how they kept the panel guessing, by having the usually silent Teller sing most of their performances. Even better, Teller was the one throwing different voices.
We loved how Penn talked for him when he was asked, and he held a fan over his mouth when it came time for them to perform unmasked. So we finally got to hear Teller on a major stage, but we still didn’t see his mouth moving. Self-ventriloquism?
“The Masked Singer” continues Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.