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With the World Series now over, the previously preempted grand championship of all cosplaying reality shows, The Masked Singer, resumed Wednesday on Fox — debuting five new Group C characters, just in time to give viewers some Halloween costume inspo for the weekend. During this round, we met the Broccoli (not as funny as Dahlia Sin’s “fierce broc-ally” from RuPaul’s Drag Race, but still cool), the vaguely named Squiggly Monster (which indicates that in this fourth season, producers are quickly running out of costume idea themselves), the Jellyfish, the Mushroom… and, finally, the Lips, which looked like a walking Rolling Stones logo and turned out to be one of the biggest mouths in showbiz.
While the Juvéderm-puffed, bipedal pout’s time on The Masked Singer was brief before she got the kiss-off from the voting audience, her “internet-breaking” reveal definitely got everyone talking on Twitter — when these flaming Lips turned out to be Wendy Williams. “I can’t sing, I can’t dance, but I know how to have fun!” the controversial talk show host declared, and truer words were never spoken on The Masked Singer (or on The Wendy Williams Show, for that matter).
Wendy delivered what just might be the technically worst vocal in this series’ history; she practically made Sarah “The Bear” Palin sound like Gladys “The Bee” Knight, which made it all the more bizarre that judge Ken Jeong thought the Lips might be host Nick Cannon’s ex, Mariah Carey. (Ken has a terrible guessing track record, but that was a stretch even for him.) However, Wendy definitely had that divalicious Mariah attitude and she was definitely in her element — regally reclining on a chat-show couch as her lippy backup dancers did all the heavy-lifting work around her, hilariously deadpanning her way through Odyssey’s forgotten 1977 disco hit “Native New Yorker” in her iconic East Coast drawl.
Wendy’s old pal Nick, who has filled in as a host on her show several times, quickly recognized that accent, and the two were flirting and giggling onstage before the Lips’ identity was even revealed. It was a cute reunion, but soon, Nick and the Lips had to part (heh) — but not before Wendy brought up Mariah herself, grilling Nick. “Are you gonna get back together with her eventually? You belong together!” she barked, in her usual unfiltered manner. To quote the Smiths song that Wendy should have performed, big mouth strikes again.
Wendy’s amateur antics, as amusing as they were, were no competition for the actually impressive vocals of the other Group C mystery celebrities — notably stunning standout the Mushroom, who seems like a really fun guy (heh, again.) Let’s keep the guessing game going, hopefully with a better success rate than Ken, and assess the surviving singers of Wednesday’s episode:
The Squiggly Monster, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?”
Nick described this ambiguous cuddly creature as “Beetlejuice on steroids,” but I was getting Mummechantz-on-acid, Nightmare on Sesame Street vibes. My guess is John Fogerty was happier with this freaky but capable CCR cover than he was with Donald Trump’s appropriation of “Fortunate Son.” Man, 2020 is a weird year.
The clues: “People always roll their eyes” at him, but apparently he’s also “easy on the eyes” (in his opinion). He’s a “patchwork of personas, a father figure and a scoundrel” — but he’s “no dumbo.” Visuals included chocolate chip cookies, video games, salami, a monocle, and a stethoscope.
Judges’ guesses: Ray Romano, Brad Garrett, Al Franken, Dr. Anthony Fauci (that last guess was Ken’s, of course).
My guess: Everyone thought that last season’s Taco was America’s favorite father/scoundrel, Bob Saget. (It turned out to be another America’s Funniest Home Videos host, Tom Bergeron.) This time, I think this Squiggly dude might really be Bob, who has showcased his surprisingly strong singing voice in the past.
The Mushroom, “This Woman’s Work”
Just when you thought The Masked Singer couldn’t get any more psychedelic, here comes this psilocybic superstar to ‘shroom up the proceedings in Season 4. But probably the trippiest thing about this performance was how unexpectedly gorgeous it was. All of the judges had assumed the Mushroom was a woman, but it turned out to be a man with the falsetto of a Maxwellian angel. “Things just got real!” shouted Nick, after hearing this exquisite Kate Bush cover. Judge Nicole Scherzinger called this the “most transcending performance” in Masked Singer history and raved, “I have every goosebump, in places I didn’t even know I could have goosebumps!” Robin Thicke said, “There was a feeling behind every note.”
The clues: This “scholar” started “underground” used to work “in the rat race,” and “at first the suits didn’t understand” him. But he finally got a shot in a talent contest and was able to “turn a hobby into a career” and “be in the room where it happened.” Visual tip-offs included a Times Square hot dog cart, a violin, and orange curtains.
Judges’ guesses: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anthony Ramos, Donald Glover, Usher, Frank Ocean.
My guesses: This is admittedly a stretch… but I’m going with my gut and going with D’Angelo. The Mushroom has that neo-soul vibe, and D’Angelo got his start at Harlem’s Apollo Theater talent contest, which he won three weeks in a row. He’s also been misunderstood by many record label executives, which contributed to his long sabbaticals from recording. I am not entirely convinced this is D’Angelo, but the Mushroom does do the Voodoo that he does so well.
The Jellyfish, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”
This seemingly youthful contestant was quivering like a bowl of jelly(fish) when she first got onstage, but once she powered through her shaky first verse, she demonstrated some surprising raw talent. Robin noticed her nerves, but praised her “beautiful vocal tone.” And she looked spectacular, with the most dazzling costume of the night and perhaps of this entire season. This was costume couture! (Random side note: I was really hoping that the Jellyfish would do a song by the actual band Jellyfish. Oh well. Maybe next week.)
The clues: She “once reigned supreme over an entire underwater kingdom” and had “legions of followers,” but she eventually felt like she lived in a “gilded cage” and yearned to break free. We also saw handheld fans, a tiara, a flower crown, baby powder, and bubbles.
Judges’ guesses: Gabby Douglas, Chloe Grace Moretz, Awkwafina, Sofia Richie.
My guess: The flower crown and lightstick-like, festival-ready outfit has me thinking this might be the queen of Coachella, Vanessa Hudgens.
The Broccoli, “House Is Rockin’”/“Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”
This jolly green giant’s clues package (specifically a TikTok dance challenge) indicated that he is a young contestant, but his husky voice and retro-rockabilly medley made it seem like he’s a more seasoned entertainer. I was getting déjà vu to Paul Shaffer’s kooky, goofy Skeleton from Season 2, but with more robust vocals.
The clues: A contest set up his career, and now he “works with biggest artists in the world.” He has performed on “many stages” and he “grew up with OGs.” He believes in staying healthy, which is why he chose this leafy green, antioxidant-packed character. And along with his clean eating, he keeps his car — which has the mysterious license plate LD1ESMN — scrupulously spotless. He might also be a member of a mariachi trio.
Judges’ guesses: Bill Murray, Henry Winkler, Jerry Springer, Howie Mandel, Steve Guttenberg. (All of the judges seems convinced that the Broccoli is a comedian.)
My guesses: The “contest” mention has me thinking Taylor Hicks, but the scratchy voice, onstage bluster, and automotive clues scream “David Hasselhoff.” However, the Broccoli could be a comedian like Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, or Martin Short, if the mariachi band is a Three Amigos reference. Heck, this might even be another SNL veteran, Dana Carvey, who once sang famously sang “Choppin’ Broccoli.” I am stumped.
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