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Stark raven mad: Latest crazy 'Masked Singer' reveal is Emmy-winning TV host

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  • Gladys Knight
    Gladys Knight
    American singer
  • Ricki Lake
    Ricki Lake
    American actress and T.V. host

Welcome back to The Masked Singer, the logic- and ratings-shattering celebrity talent competition that stars Super Bowl LIII national anthem singer Gladys Knight as the Bee (come on, it’s obvious!) and is approximately 53 times more entertaining than last Sunday’s underwhelming Super Bowl halftime show. Seriously, if the NFL had just asked Knight to put on her bumblebee outfit and join the Monster, Peacock and Raven on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium field last Sunday for a spirited supergroup number of the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” — as these kooky characters performed on this week’s Masked Singer episode — it would have been the best use of Super Bowl animal costuming since Left Shark, and no one would have complained.

Anyway, following the previous unmaskings of least-valuable players Antonio “The Hippo” Brown, Tommy “The Pineapple” Chong, Terry “The Deer” Bradshaw, Margaret “The Poodle” Cho (actually, Cho was robbed) and Tori “The Unicorn” Spelling, this Wednesday’s eliminated celebrity was Ricki Lake, aka the Raven. It truly was a missed opportunity that the surely soon-to-be-Emmy-nominated Masked Singer wardrobe designer didn’t dress up Ricki as the Roach, as an insider-y homage to her Tracy Turnblad bug-dance in Hairspray. But obviously the Emmy-winning talk show host is used to wearing bonkers costumes from her John Waters days.

As wonderfully wackadoodle as this program is, Wednesday’s episode took an unexpected sweet and serious turn when Lake, who’d delivered an earnest rendition of Sara Bareilles’s “Brave” earlier in the evening, told host Nick Cannon what her Masked Singer experience had meant to her. “The raven is about metamorphosis. It’s about death, but it’s also about rebirth. I went through a loss of my husband [in 2017], and this really was an opportunity for me to sort of share my journey through his loss. He was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

With half of the Masked Singer contestants now out of the running, we’re down to the ones that can actually sing (well, five that can actually sing, plus probably LaToya “The Alien” Jackson). And three of the best mystery singers performed this week. Let’s take a look at their performances and clues, and keep the guessing game going…

The Bee, “Wrecking Ball”

Previous clues: This seasoned diva has been performing since the 1950s, has an appetite for Georgia peaches, and once proclaimed, “You can call me ‘Queen Bee,’ but ‘Empress’ also suits me.” Oh… and she ALSO SOUNDS EXACTLY LIKE GLADYS KNIGHT. This week’s Bee performance was spectacular, and better than anything on American Idol and The Voice.

This week’s clues: She formed a group at age 8 after her mother suggested it at a family birthday party, and “it’s been peaches and marmalade ever since.” She also described her desire to perform as “it’s all in me.” Her physical clue this week was a set a bakeware.

Judges’ guesses: Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Anita Baker.

My guess: It’s totally Gladys Knight, you guys! The “Midnight Train to Georgia” Grammy-winner commonly known as the “Empress of Soul” first gained fame as a 7-year-old talent show winner in 1952, and formed the Pips as a child with her siblings and cousins. I can understand why the judges thought it might be LaBelle, based on the “marmalade” line and Patti’s popular line of pies, or Chaka, because of the lyrical reference to “I’m Every Woman.” But don’t forget that Knight was friends with Whitney Houston, who covered that Khan song, and Knight’s daughter owns a bakery that sometimes sells Gladys’s pastries. So I’m sticking with my original guess.

The Peacock, “All of Me”

Previous clues: The Peacock “started out as a little teenybopper” and has gone through “different incarnations” of his career, ranging from Las Vegas appearances to dramatic acting roles. He’s also been pictured cradling a puppy and was a “dear friend” of Michael Jackson. (I wonder if he’s figured out yet that the Alien is Michael’s sister?)

This week’s clues: The Peacock said he weighs 176 pounds, flashed a rainbow-striped cape and brought out a long dark wig as his physical clue, saying, “Because of this wig, I was thrown in jail.”

Judges’ guesses: Neil Patrick Harris, David Hasselhoff, Donny Osmond, Wayne Brady.

My guess: It’s totally former “Puppy Love” heartthrob Donny Osmond, you guys! Sure, the openly gay Harris was a good guess, given the rainbow clue (which seemingly doesn’t align with the fact that Osmond isn’t known for being a proponent of same-sex marriage). But Donny is the correct weight, and I think the rainbow cape was a nod to when he starred in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, WEARING A WIG. The Joseph character is jailed in that musical. I am confident now that this is Osmond. I just wish the show’s costumer had dressed him up as — wait for it — a crazy horse.

The Monster, “American Woman”

Previous clues: “The game turned on him” so he “retreated to his cave,” and “not everyone” considers him a professional singer. Now he is back to “rewrite his mixtape” and prove to his haters that he’s “more than just puff and fluff.” This party-monster is also from the South and likes to pop bottles, and he has a fondness for Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Want to Be” — which a certain AutoTune rapper performed in the Yahoo studio in 2005.

This week’s clues: He offered several sports metaphors, calling himself a “fighter” and using the verb “swing” a lot, the latter leading the judges to think he might be a golfer or baseball player. His physical clue was a headset, on which he said he “makes his best calls.”

Judges’ guesses: Lil Jon, David Alan Grier, Tommy Davidson, Lil Rel, Sugar Ray Leonard.

My guess: I still think it’s T-Pain, you guys. Not only does the Monster sound like T-Pain’s above-mentioned Yahoo performance, but he sounds like T-Pain’s excellent and AutoTune-free NPR Tiny Desk concert from earlier this year. Here are a bunch of Google search images of him wearing an old-school headset. He’s also performed the national anthem at baseball games. And finally, this week judge Nicole Scherzinger make a wisecrack about how this celebrity might be someone with missing teeth. Well, T-Pain lost some teeth in a golf-cart accident 10 years ago. I rest my case.

Tune in next week, as more clues — and one more mask — are dropped!

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