The Masked Singer may be the most exciting singing competition in years, but it’s not a typical singing competition. It exists in some parallel universe where every day is Opposite Day, where someone who sounds like — or actually is — Gladys Knight or Patti LaBelle can go home in third or even eighth place.
And that is why, on this Wednesday’s episode, another R&B legend didn’t even advance to this super-sized third season’s semifinals.
Miss Monster, a.k.a. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominee and 10-time Grammy winner Chaka Khan — yes, that Chaka Chaka Chaka Chaka Khan — went home instead of the Kangaroo (who is mostly likely Kardashian/Jenner associate Jordyn Woods), the Turtle (who is mostly likely ex-teenybopper Jesse McCartney), and, most egregiously, the White Tiger, who is most likely tone-deaf footballer Rob Gronkowski. The result made Khan an instant trending Twitter topic, sparking both outrage among Masked Singer viewers and alarm among non-viewers about the singer’s well-being.
I feel for her, I really do.
In all fairness, Khan didn’t have her best week. She didn’t quite own her cover of Leslie Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me,” sounding sultry and confident in the lower-registered verses but strained and shrill during the choruses. Judge Robin Thicke pointed out that she “didn’t hit some of her signature notes.” Thicke actually suspected that Khan may have been deliberately trying to disguise what another judge, Nicole Scherzinger, called her “iconic” and “legendary” voice. (Side note, if her voice was so damn iconic, why did the judges guess Mary Wilson, Queen Latifah, Dionne Warwick, and Gloria Gaynor before they even entertained the possibility that this one-eyed diva might be Chaka?)
Oh well. At least Khan got to sing twice this week, since Wednesday’s episode opened with an epic group performance of KISS’s “Rock and Roll All Nite” in costumes weirder than anything Paul, Gene, Peter, and Ace ever rocked during their masked era. This bonkers number may have served as a preview of the just-announced Masked Singer concert tour — though it’s unlikely that Khan will take part, or that any of the series’ celebrities will actually don their old furry suits and hit the road. (Who am I kidding? I’m totally buying tickets anyway.)