Harp and Lambs each performed twice and each brought the house down and reduced us to tears with one of the most incredible and competitive finales ever!
Just when we thought we’d seen the best of this season’s finalists, they both reduced us to tears on “The Masked Singer” finale.
Both Harp and The Lambs fought a hard and long journey to get to this moment, delivering some incredible vocal showcases along the way. But they both saved their best for last, with mind-blowing, emotionally wrecking performances tonight.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house tonight after they each performed two different songs. One was a personal anthem that meant something to them, while the other was their own fresh take on a pop classic. This latter category showed off their artistry as each delivered stunningly unique arrangements.
The Lambs have risen to the top thanks to their unbelievable harmonies. It’s their secret weapon, but this week saw them step up in their solo work as well. Harp may be outnumbered three to one, but her voice is second to none. She’s soared all season, but found new heights tonight.
This was one of the most competitive finales we’ve ever seen with either finalist a more than worthy potential winner for Season 8. But in the end, there can be only one -- or three, if The Lambs won. So who did enough? And more importantly, who was under all those masks?
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.
(“The Edge of Glory,” Lady Gaga)Harp gave everything in this performance, freeing herself from her encumbrance after a gorgeous opening. There were these subtle runs she did during certain words in the chorus and they injected so much personality into a song we all know so well, making it more than just another cover. Harp is a world-class musician -- she knows what she’s doing up there.
Guesses: Harp said Nicole was her favorite panelist because “she gives me the most encouragement.” She also talked about how nervous she was taking on some of the incredible talent this season. Her “BIg Time Clue” was a shot of a yellow sports car.
After her Gaga cover, Jenny declared it the best finale performance she’s seen across all eight seasons. Ken really worked hard to try and make all the clues fit his wrong Jennifer Hudson guess. Yes, “American Idol” was the biggest show in the world, but he was stretching trying to tie J-Hud into the comedy world, for which Harp won an award.
Robin was still feeling his Yvette Nicole Brown guess, tying a previous Oprah Winfrey clue to Yvette having an Oprah impression. Jenny was all over the place, tying Jill Scott to one clue and Jordin Sparks to another, and then deciding maybe Robin’s clue was pretty good because Ken can never identify his co-stars, and he and Yvette starred for years together on “Community.”
Nicole, though, was still thinking Fantasia with “The Color Purple” being represented by the purple mashed potatoes, and the #1 trophy indicating her “Idol” win. But, the voice didn’t match so she went back to Harp’s comment about auditioning for a big show and not getting it because she didn’t fit the mold. Amber Riley missed out on “Idol,” but she did land “Glee.”
And Nicole landed on the right guess, so far as the internet has been concerned since the first time Harp opened her mouth. And we’re definitely inclined to agree, as we immediately heard her signature tone right away, too. The physique matches, the way she dances, sings, even her speaking voice carries through the modulator.
(“I’m Every Woman,” Chaka Khan)The Lambs definitely came out to fight, stripping away all the music to end a cappella. Their solo moments were stronger this week than they’ve been in some of the past weeks and there was only one line that sat a little too low for us. But as always, those harmonies are just sublime, beautiful and so effortless. It’s the kind of sound you could listen to all day and never tire of. It was also cute how they incorporated Jenny and Nicole into the stage presentation in the first-ever all-woman finale.
Guesses: The Lambs were asked the “most unique” part about the show, which they said was not really knowing who their competition was. They also enjoyed having a secretive alter ego. They had nothing but praise for the “beautiful voice” of their competition, even as they admitted they had no idea who she was. Their “big time clue” is a bouquet of white roses.
Ken has had some slightly reasonable guesses this season, but fell back on one of the worst guesses he’s ever had, the Kardashians. But other than the fact they called one another “sisters,” the best connection he could come up with was the fact that Ken once dated Ken. Also, the Lambs are all close to the same height and aren’t Khloé and Kourtney like a foot apart?
Robin picked up on the “Pet Sounds” clue, which obviously ties to the Beach Boys. The famous parentage of Wilson Phillips is both the Beach Boys and the Mamas and the Papas. Nicole threw away her Haim and Corrs guesses to land on Robin’s two guesses, the Chicks and the correct one, Wilson Phillips.
(“I Want to Know What Love Is,” Foreigner)The Lambs have clearly been remastering their voices throughout this journey as this was their strongest vocal of the entire season, and that goes for those solo performances. All three ladies really stepped up and created something heartfelt and passionate. This was achingly beautiful, hitting us emotionally more than any performance before it this season -- and that’s a powerful thing to be able to do in this silly format.
Guesses: The Lambs talked about how much it would mean for them to win, how they’ve stretched themselves artistically on the show and how they really want their “little lambs at home” to be proud of them.
After not working together for 14 years, it’s really beautiful that they took the opportunity of this goofy little show to try and come back together and recapture the magic that helped them dominate the pop scene 30 years ago (this is assuming, of course, it’s who we all know it is). More importantly, it helped reignite their love for performing together and helped solidify that bond forged all the way back in childhood, which is more beautiful even than their harmonies.
(“Gravity,” John Mayer)Harp put us in our feels, too, and immediately. She took this song straight to church and to the heavens, and this time did it fully strapped into her harp, meaning it was a voice forward performance. Harp has taken on Whitney Houston this season, but her arrangement of this song soared even higher and she definitely made a statement for herself as one of the voices of this generation.
Guesses: Harp talked about the challenges she’s endured in Hollywood because she doesn’t always fit their shallow standards for (we’re inferring this part) body type. But even she was surprised at how much this journey came to mean for her as it allowed her talent to take the lead while she hid underneath a gorgeous and cumbersome costume.
She said she wants to win not just for herself but for all the other girls who’ve ever felt “less than perfect.” “Do not underestimate us,” she said. “We have greatness inside and the world needs to see it.”
Robin rightly declared this one of the best vocals ever on this show, while Nicole told Harp she was “anointed.” She took note of the fact she stood up there “in your stillness” and declared that it was the power of God in Harp in that moment. With this, Harp was overwhelmed in her own emotions, as everyone was watching that transcendent performance -- which may be the best ever on this show.
From the first performance to the last, it felt like this season was Harp’s to win. She set such a high bar in the season premiere, and then she shattered that bar with her final performance. The Lambs delivered their best performance ever at the end, and it was genuinely a palpable moment. But it just couldn’t compare to what happened next, as Harp laid down what may become one of the most pivotal moments of her entire life.
All of that was to say that we can’t imagine a result where Harp doesn’t win this season, leaving the Lambs a very, very, very worthy trio of runners-up. But is that what happened? It absolutely is, hopefully validating in the Harp that she is worthy of all of the praise she’s seen all season long, and she is apparently so much better than even she believes.
This isn’t to take anything away from TheLambs, who had a magical journey of their own on this show. They’ve already achieved the highest of highs in their careers, so for them this was a journey back to one another and to finding again that passion that first drew them together. Hopefully, as they’ve said here, they’ll continue to shine their light -- and those stunning harmonies -- around the world.
Half the panel was on the right track, and one of them was absolutely idiotic in their guess. This was the triumphant return of one of the biggest acts of the ‘90s, Wilson Phillips. Wendy Wilson said this was a journey they’d never forget, while her sister Carnie said she was speechless before calling it a wonderful honor and a trip.
The good news is that they’re definitely committed to making more music together, releasing in this past week their first single in a decade. On top of that, they took inspiration (we’re speculating) from the covers performed on this show to deliver their unique take on Harry Styles’ “Boyfriends,” streaming now. They then told Hollywood Life that “it might be time” to release original music again.
It’s always special when the journey of “The Masked Singer” is more than just winning a trophy. For Harp it definitely was as it was about validation of her talent that hasn’t always been there in the sometimes cruel world of Hollywood and even in the music industry.
After what she laid down week after week on this show, she should have people lining up to let her sing whatever she wants wherever she wants. She is a true triple threat and it’s tragic to think that someone this humble and sweet and talented has ever felt like she was less than her obvious greatness. Take this win as testament to that greatness, but also take this win and run with it!
Honestly, after hearing her week after week, we still can’t believe that three of the four panelists don’t hear that distinctive voice all over those incredible performances. Maybe they just weren’t Gleeks. Nicole, though, has worked with Amber Riley, so she knew, just like we knew and just like the internet knew immediately.
All the way back to “Glee,” Amber always stood out as one of the most incredible voices on that show, often outshining Lea Michele. Their rivalry on the show seemed to rival one in real life, and maybe that’s because Amber did shine so bright, even when she was never the lead on that show. She is that damned talented!
For ten years this woman has been giving us everything on stage and screen. Can we finally get her a solo record deal and huge recording career. How have we been sleeping on this talent for this long? Someone should be ashamed of themselves!
Yes, we know she’s been keeping busy, but that voice not recording original music all the time is a travesty of justice, and a loss for all of us.