Split decision: Eliminated 'Masked Singer' duo revealed as musical power couple

American Idol alumni just can’t catch a break on The Masked Singer.

Two years ago, Idol rocker Chris Daughtry, who lost on one of American Idol's most shocking elimination nights to Katharine McPhee, competed as the Rottweiler on The Masked Singer Season 2. And while he made it to that Masked Singer finale, he ultimately lost yet again, this time to Wayne “The Fox” Brady. (“I'm just not good at winning s***,” he memorably told Yahoo Entertainment. “That's my destiny. I'm a very solid runner-up. I'm so good at being the runner-up.”)

And now, on Wednesday’s Masked Singer Season 6 Group B finals, we learned that none other than Katharine McPhee herself was one-half of this season's newly eliminated cool duo, the Banana Split. (Kat was the ice cream scoop; her husband, 16-time Grammy-winner David Foster, was the fellow in the seemingly borrowed-from-Bret Michaels banana outfit.)

And while Katharine did make it to the finale in her Idol season (ultimately losing to Taylor Hicks), she and her Foster-freeze silent partner missed this year’s Masked Singer finale by just one week. I guess Kat is “just not good at winning s***” as well.

But Katharine seemed delighted to have had this unique Masked Singer experience with her husband by her side. “We are not a conventional relationship. There can be lots of quick judgments about me and him together,” she said of their decision to compete on the show. “And we just thought, 'Wow, this is such a cool opportunity to present ourselves.' We just truly love each other, and it's best not to judge people, right?”

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Masked Singer judge Nicole Scherzinger actually quickly sized up out the piano-playing banana as David, since she’d worked with him multiple times, dating back to her own pre-Pussycat Dolls stint on the reality show Popstars. And both Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg and even Ken Jeong (who has a less-than-stellar track record) also wrote down the musical power couple as their first-impression guesses. But Robin Thicke, who knows Foster as “Uncle Dave,” was convinced that the "egomaniac" music producer would never dress up as mere produce (“He’d come on as a yacht, a helicopter, maybe a killer whale”) — so much so that even after Robin dueted with the Banana Split on “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” this week, he remained unconvinced.

All of the judges should have figured out from the Banana Split’s charming performance of “Singing in the Rain” that the anthropomorphic ice cream with the creamy voice was Broadway star Kat. “Your vocals sound like a record; they’re always perfect,” Nicole raved. But Kat’s surprising tap-dancing moves probably threw Robin for a loop. (If only former Idol executive producer, So You Think You Can Dance judge, and tapping enthusiast Nigel Lythgoe were involved with Fox's The Masked Singer, he surely would have orchestrated a McPhee victory.)

Although only two mystery contestants competed this week, Wednesday’s final Group B episode was action-packed. Along with Kat and David’s Broadway-baby tap number and loungey Robin Thicke duet, the Queen of Hearts epically belted Aerosmith’s “Dream On” with Nicole (incredibly, this was the first time that the judges had sung on the show, other than Ken’s “Little Drummer Boy” number on last year’s bonkers holiday special).

The Queen of Hearts also wowed with her heart-on-sleeve solo rendition of Sia’s “Bird Set Free,” which reduced Nicole to tears and ultimately led to the Queen beating the Banana Split. “All hail the Queen! Probably one of my favorite performances ever on the show,” said Nicole of the Sia cover. “God bless you. We’re just honored to be in your presence,” gushed Ken.

Anyway, there’s still a chance that an American Idol veteran could win The Masked Singer this season, because I am certain that the worthy Group A finalist who will face off against the Queen of Hearts next week, the Bull, is YouTube star Todrick Hall, who was a semifinalist on Idol in 2010. But who is the Queen of the Hearts? I’m even more certain that it is singer-songwriter Jewel.

Past Queen clues have included a Blockbuster Entertainment Award (Jewel won that trophy in the ‘90s for “Favorite CD”), The Wizard of Oz (Jewel played Dorothy in a 1995 Oz television concert special), Hilary Swank (Hilary is one of Jewel’s best friends), Sean Penn (Jewel dated him in the early ‘90s), and a cowboy hat (Jewel has recorded country music and was once married to rodeo star Ty Murray). This week, we saw a red devil (Jewel starred in Ang Lee’s 1999 Civil War film Ride With the Devil), and she discussed her homeless past when she was “living like an animal” and foraging for food and shelter. (Jewel famously lived in her car in her pre-Pieces of You youth.)

Plus… the Queen is dressed like a giant jewel! Clearly Jewel was meant for this show.

So, get ready for a final showdown next week, when either the Bull/Todrick or Queen of Hearts/Jewel wins the Golden Mask. And at this rate, Ken — with now two correct guesses on the Season 6 leaderboard — might even win the show’s Golden Ear trophy.

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