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Following a special non-competitive preview episode featuring the big reveal of Demi Lovato as Anonymouse, The Masked Singer officially returned this week for its 10th season, which will presumably feature more demi-celebrities than Demi-level celebrities. Wednesday’s Group A episode featured the season’s first competitive unmasking, and in what was deemed a “Season 10 miracle,” judge Ken Jeong, who almost always gets it wrong, guessed the identity of the eliminated Rubber Ducky correctly. This time, he really did know exactly who this was.
The other judges thought this duck-faced mystery celebrity might be David Arquette, one of the Wayans brothers, or Jaleel “Urkel” White. But only Ken figured out that it was his fellow comic actor Anthony Anderson.
It was understandable the Rubber Ducky was not the one, but he did make bath time lots of fun Wednesday, with his bubbly (and bonkers) performance of my personal favorite song of all time, Dexys Midnight Runners’ “Come On Eileen.” The Black-ish star’s vocals were not even decent-ish (he literally could not sing in the shower), but the fact that I wasn’t totally outraged his total flubbing of Dexys’ lyrics and inability to stay in key proved what Ken declared: that this was “the most fun performance of the night.”
"This is the most bizarre thing I've ever done," Anthony chuckled. "I'm naked up under these bubbles right now. Don't let the tights below the knees fool you!"
However, Anthony could not compete with Group A’s other four crooning cosplayers, at least of which have to be accomplished, professional vocalists. Let’s review their premiere performances below, and commence with the assessing and guessing.
Alanis Morrisette’s epic, orchestral power ballad is not easy to sing, but this talented vocalist pulled it off with the effortless grace of, well, a gazelle. Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg was shouting, “Yes, yes, yes, yes!” as all four judges gave the Gazelle a standing ovation. “You completely commanded that stage,” Nicole Scherzinger gushed.
The clues: The Gazelle caught the showbiz bug at age 6 after seeing a Broadway show, but when she performed on a national talent show as a teen, she “crashed and burned” and was “super-bad.” She almost swore off singing for good, but she tried again because music was always her “first love.” Visual clues included a bulldog, a Hawaiian shirt, cheerleader pom-poms, and a movie soundtrack. “I don’t just act in movies, I sing in them too,” she hinted.
Judges’ guesses: Camila Mendes, Lucy Hale, Vanessa Hudgens.
My guess:I am certain this is Honolulu-born Wayne’s World actress/singer Tie Carrere, who also once played a cheerleader on Duck Dodgers. Tia appeared on Star Search in 1985, when she was 18, but she was embarrassingly eliminated during her first round. She has obviously come a long way since then, winning two Grammy Awards for Best Hawaiian Music Album. And in the words of Wayne Campbell himself, her Alanis cover this week was excellent!
Diver, “Any Way You Want It”
Journey is another artist that’s extremely hard to pull off, and while the Diver was no Steve Perry, his bravery was impressive. Overall, he gave a competent and in-tune performance. He’s probably not a professional singer, but I bet this guy kills it at karaoke.
The clues: We saw tabloid headlines that drew “11 million eyes,” and a compass pointed towards the Midwest. But the biggest tip-offs that this might be some sort of reality-TV villain were the Diver’s own admissions, like, “I’ve been everyone’s favorite person to hate, and to be honest, I get it”; “It hurts when I get judged by people who’ve never met me, and I become a scapegoat for every bad dude they’ve ever known”; and “I’m the first to admit I’ve made mistakes, but I did it for love.” (Italics mine.)
Judges’ guesses: Adam Levine, Tom Sandoval, Scott Disick.
My guess: Ken was roundly booed when he guessed Tom Sandoval — but this season, I think Ken is on a roll. I also believe this is the scoundrel from Vanderpump Rules, a show that has garnered 11 million viewers this season thanks to its tabloid-baiting #Scandoval storyline. And the Diver’s onstage arrogance definitely seemed on-brand for the St. Louis-born Tom. Plus, this slimy sea creature sounds like Tom! I cannot wait to see Ken gloat when the Diver’s helmet comes off and he’s proven right again.
S'More, “Slow Hands”
Looking like what Nicole called “the sexiest s’more I’ve ever seen,” this sweet softie melted hearts with his gooey cover of Niall Horan’s sultry makeout ballad. This guy was a total pro — and he’s probably no stranger to longtime Fox viewers.
The clues: S’More “started off on a rocket to fame, a journey from obscurity to major heartthrob status in a matter of weeks.” After “millions cheered him on step by step” and he “became a household name,” he traveled the world having adventures with his “fellow idols.” (Italics mine, again.) Visual clues included a Chicago deep-dish pizza, a Christmas tree angel, and a can of soda.
Judges’ guesses: Joey McIntyre, Justin Guarini, Kevin Richardson.
My guess: I agree with Jenny’s guess. This is Season 1 American Idol runner-up, Chicagoand The Awakening of Angel DeLuna theater star, and Dr. Pepper spokes-mascot Justin “Lil’ Sweet” Guarini. Perhaps Justin can win this season, something other Idol/Masked Singer crossover alumni like Chris Daughtry, Katharine McPhee, David Archuleta, Tori Kelly, and Todrick Hall could not.
The most udderly spectacular performance of Wednesday’s premiere was saved for last. Nicole told the Cow, “You were effortless on that stage” and called him an “absolute pro.” I think this Cow just tipped… the odds in his favor.
The clues: This cattle-caller's life went from black-and-white to vivid color when he realized he could manage his emotions through writing. Soon he was leaving his small-town life behind to pursue his dreams of stardom, winning Grammys and racking up “hit after hit after hit.” We also saw the date July 4, a Las Vegas sign, coffee, and a movie ticket (because his career “all started with a mooovie”).
Judges’ guesses: Shawn Stockman, Usher, Leslie Odom Jr.
My guess: The Vegas clue and “hit after hit after hit” had me thinking this could be Usher… but I seriously doubt someone who just signed up to play the Super Bowl halftime show would also sign up to sing an Imagine Dragons song in bovine drag. Based on the vocals, the sassy personality, and the outfit, I'm going to guess this is Billy Porter, who's won a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album for Kinky Boots and has starred in multiple hit TV shows and stage productions. Whoever this is, I have a feeling the Cow will be moooooving on to the Season 10 finals.
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