What does the Fox say? Apparently, he says, “I am the winner of The Masked Singer Season 2.” And another thing he says is, “I am Wayne Brady.”
Yes, on Wednesday, America learned that it was the famous comedian/singer/talk show host/actor lurking underneath all those faux-fur pelts and layers of steampunk pleather, as Brady was handed the coveted Golden Mask trophy.
Brady’s victory came after a blockbuster performance of Otis Redding’s “Try a Little Tenderness,” during which the fabulous Mr. Fox tried a little bit of just about everything, including boy-band-style dance moves and even some old-school rapping. “I didn’t know until right now exactly how much winning this would mean to me,” he confessed, actually sounding like he was crying from somewhere inside to hollow cavity of his top-hatted bobblehead. “I’ve done this my whole life, and I’ve been able to be blessed enough to make a lot of people happy, but I haven’t always been happy myself. It’s taken me all this time to find my joy again.… I just want to thank the show for making me one happy fox.”
It was a surprisingly emotional evening Wednesday, considering that this is usually a supremely silly show starring bipedal furries doing Devo and Pussycat Dolls karaoke. The judges were all sobbing through their own Mardi Gras masks; overexcited host Nick Cannon was claiming Brady had just given “one of the greatest musical performances in television history” (yeah, no); and Jenny McCarthy was calling The Masked Singer “the greatest show on TV” (actually, she was right about that). Nicole Scherzinger told Wayne, “This [victory] couldn’t go to a more deserving human,” while Brady praised The Masked Singer for “putting talent first.” (Well, if Brady meant the talent of Emmy-nominated costume designer Marina Toybina, then yes.)
Third-place finalist the Flamingo, revealed to be (as expected and widely predicted) TV personality and former 3LW/Cheetah Girls member Adrienne Bailon, also shed a few pink tears. “I was told I would never amount to anything, and even though I have doubted myself, I’m determined, I’m hard-working, and I have truly had the time of my life,” she declared.
I’m not exactly sure why Bailon grappled with so many insecurities this season (and, apparently, throughout her entire career). She gave a dynamite swan-song (or flamingo-song?) performance this Wednesday, literally shaking a tailfeather during her Vegas-style spectacular of “Proud Mary.” And she should indeed be proud.
On a bummer note, poor Chris Daughtry can’t catch a break. Thirteen years ago, he went home in fourth place on American Idol — arguably the most shockingly elimination in that series’ history. This year, he returned to the same network to avenge his defeat and complete his redemption story arc… and he stalled as the runner-up on The Masked Singer.
Yep, despite the fact that the judges mistook the Rottweiler for everyone from Jared Leto to Darren Criss and Patrick Stump to Jason Mraz, he was — as every Idol stan on Twitter correctly guessed in week one — American Idol rocker Chris Daughtry. Chris too babbled a lot about his insecurities, which made zero sense, considering that he’s one of the most successful Idol contestants of all time. While losing on yet another reality show probably won’t help bolster his supposedly flagging confidence, his performance Wednesday of Sia’s “Alive” was the best vocal of the night, paws down, and I think he should have been named the Season 2 champ. This dawg was not pitchy! But he told the judges, “I feel like I’ve already won,” and he enjoyed a sweet intra-species hug with the Fox, so I think he handled his defeat well.
The Masked Singer Season 3, featuring the “biggest celebrities yet,” this Andy Warhol-esque banana, and many other surely Emmy-worthy awesome costumes, will return Feb. 2, right after the Super Bowl. So, as Daughtry would say, it’s not over. And it’s going to be bananas. See you then.