Here's the story: 'The Masked Singer' Mummies are TV brothers and 'TV royalty'

It was A Very Brady Episode of The Masked Singer this Wednesday, when three King Tut-suited members of TV royalty, the Mummies, were revealed to be Barry Williams, Christopher Knight, and Mike Lookinland — aka Greg, Peter, and Bobby Brady.

It was much more than a hunch for me — I guessed those voices straight away (as did judge Nicole Scherzinger), even if Christopher/Peter’s voice didn’t crack once, and even though it had been decades since the male half of the Brady Six had sung together in public. Their song choice, the theme from the Monkees’ TV show, was the greatest Brady Bunch/Monkees television crossover since Davy Jones surprised Marcia Brady in 1971 and sang “Girl” all in one flawless take. And those mummy costumes fit them like Johnny Bravo suits — although it was a real missed opportunity that they weren’t dressed up as Hawaiian tikis, or as porkchops and cans of applesauce.

But while the Mummies/Bradys made the world a whole lot brighter during their brief Masked Singer run, it ended up not being a sunshine day for the trio, as they were the first contestants to be cut during Wednesday’s double-elimination episode. I really think this was a bad call, and I really wish they’d been able to keep on, keep on, keep on, keep on dancing all through the night. Surely their groovy performance was worthy of at least a second-place silver platter… but they lost out to the Harp and Fortune Teller.

But at least we got to see the Brady Three perform one last time, doing their small-screen classic “Sunshine Day,” which had everybody smiling indeed. And of course, the sportsmanlike TV brothers accepted their defeat with the sort of grace and class that would have made Carol and Mike Brady proud, with Mike Lookinland telling the judges, “Now the Masked Singer family and ours are forever blended.” Visibly touched judge Ken Jeong declared, “Honestly, this might be the purest moment of The Masked Singer, just to see the Brady Bunch here live!"

Yes, it was A Very Special Episode of The Masked Singer in general, because it was TV Theme Night, so there were several other moving moments conjuring the sweet nostalgia of TV’s golden age. For instance, judge Robin Thicke opened the show by belting the theme to his late father Alan Thicke’s sitcom Growing Pains, while his mom, TV songwriter Gloria Loring, beamed in the audience. And the golden girl of Season 8 so far, reigning queen the Harp, actually sang the Golden Girls theme “Thank You for Being a Friend.”

But maybe the purest moment of all was when the Harp and the Fortune Teller sang the Full House theme “Everywhere You Look” while Full House actress Jodie Sweetin also sat in the crowd. Ken became genuinely choked up as he paid tribute to Full House patriarch Bob Saget, who died shortly after competing on The Masked Singer Season 4. “Watching you sing that and seeing Jodie... somewhere up above, our friend Squiggly Monster, Bob Saget, is smiling. This is what TV is all about — it unites us,” Ken declared tearily.

But, that being said, the judges still had to send another contestant home. After the Harp’s Golden Girls tribute and a fun Jeffersons theme performance by the Fortune Teller (who strongly resembled another television icon, Jambi from Pee-wee's Playhouse), followed by their above-mentioned Full House Battle Royale, it was time for that battle’s ultimate loser, the Fortune Teller, to remove his headpiece.

The Fortune Teller turned out to be a man who has amassed a great fortune, FUBU founder and Shark Tank investor Daymond John — who, in another surprisingly sentimental moment, confessed that The Jeffersons had inspired him as a kid to become a businessman. "As a young man growing up, a person of color, I didn't get to see people that looked like me on TV that didn't have anything to do with music or sports," he said. "But being a short guy and moving up to the East Side from New York, George Jefferson made me want to become a shark."

That meant that, for the third episode in a row, the Harp — the “frontrunner for this season,” according to Ken — was the last mask standing. And, for the third episode in a row, I am going to guess that she is a TV star herself: Glee’s Amber Riley.

Besides her almost instantly recognizable power-vocals, all of the Harp’s clues have led to an Amber alert. She described herself as an “idol for anyone that felt like an outsider,” which was on-brand with the Glee ethos. She introduced herself with the line “And I am telling you,” and Amber was in Dreamgirls. We have seen a witch’s hat, and Amber played the Good Witch of the North in NBC’s The Wiz and performed in Wicked in Concert. We saw 3D glasses, a likely reference to the concert movie Glee in 3D. She mentioned winning awards for acting, singing, and comedy — the latter honor shared with her “besties” — and Amber has picked up the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical, the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical Performance, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (for Glee, of course). She mentioned that when she was a teenager, she auditioned for “the biggest show in the world” but “didn’t fit the mold and was turned down,” and Amber unsuccessfully tried out for American Idol at age 17. And she revealed that she has worked with Nicole, who co-starred with Amber in the short film Straight Outta Oz with Season 6 runner-up Todrick “The Bull” Hall. This week, we got a Christmas clue, too — likely referencing Amber’s two television holiday movies, Christmas Déjà Vu and One Christmas Wish.

So, now the plucky Harp is headed to the semifinals. But can she eventually be defeated and de-masked? We'll soon find out. But first, come back next week for a new bracket, as three new mystery celebrities — from among future cast members the Avocado, Beetle, Bride, Gopher, Lambs, Maize, Mermaid, Milkshake, Robo Girl, Scarecrow, Sir Bug a Boo, Snowstorm, Venus Fly Trap, and Walrus — compete to be Season 8's new reigning king or queen.

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