As the 2020 presidential race gets down to the nitty-gritty, everyone is speculating about which politician will be the VP candidate on the Democrats’ possible Biden or Sanders ticket. But whoever ends up clinching the vice-presidential nomination, and regardless of what happens after that, that person can take comfort in knowing that in a few years’ time, he or she could end up on The Masked Singer, trussed up like a Care Bear at a Lisa Frank-sponsored rave, rapping an R-rated ’90s hip-hop banger.
Why? Because on Wednesday’s latest episode of The Masked Singer, which debuted Season 3’s six new Group C costumed contestants, the Bear was revealed to be... former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Seriously, the only thing that might be stranger than this election year’s hard-news cycle is the fact that the self-described “un-bear-able” and “polar-izing” 2008 Republican veep nominee and former governor of Alaska “came out of hibernation” this week to very enthusiastically rap — and shake her healthy, fluffy butt — during Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.” (Oh my gawd, Becky, look at that bear, indeed.)
Judge Robin Thicke actually thought the Bear might be expert Palin impersonator Tina Fey. And his fellow judge, Nicole Scherzinger, still seemed think that even after host Nick Cannon yanked off the Bear’s plush bobblehead to reveal a certain signature mid-aughts Bumpits hairdo. (I imagine Lorne Michaels is frantically ringing up Tina right now, begging her to make a cameo on Saturday Night Live this weekend in a pastel bear-cub onesie and beehive bun. Make it happen, NBC!)
It actually seemed to take a moment for it to truly register with all four of the double-taking Masked Singer judges that this was in fact the real Palin — as Nick, speaking for all of America, gasped, “This might be the most shocked I have ever been on this show!” Thankfully, Nick regained his composure quickly enough to twerk alongside Sarah the Bear during her post-unmasking reprise of the 1992 rump-shaking classic.
“I was really appreciative of The Masked Singer, because they let me exploit men. Did you guys notice I changed the lyrics? It was all about men's butts, not women’s!” Palin pointed out.
Yep. So that’s 2020 in a nutshell. It’s barely March, and this is already the most bonkers year ever. Even Palin had to admit, “This is the weirdest thing I've ever done, that's for sure.” But at least this was some light-hearted political news — a wacky, welcome distraction from the usual depressing headlines. “It’s about fun. It's unity,” proclaimed Palin. “This is something that our country needs right now.” The Bear for President!
Which other contestants might have America’s vote? Let’s look at the Group C ballot:
The Night Angel, “You Give Love a Bad Name”
This was a shot through the heart and a shot of adrenaline, the perfect start to the show. Judge Jenny McCarthy even declared this the best performance of the entire season. I definitely think this is the best costume of the season — the Night Angel was a glorious gothic goddess, an ethereal plum fairy, a crazy-beautiful creature of the night.
The clues: She made references to “magic,” the number four, “my prerogative,” “landslide,” and “the boy is mine.” She also said she loved the “duality” of the Night Angel, and it showed — not since the Leopard, a.k.a. Seal, has a contestant so fully embraced and embodied a character like this.
Judges’ guesses: Taylor Dayne, Monica, Lil’ Kim, Britney Spears.
My guess: For now, I’m going to go with four-time Grammy winner and “Angel of Mine” singer Monica, also known for the duet “The Boy Is Mine.” But it sure would be cool if it was “Landslide” and Street Angel singer Stevie Nicks instead! This outfit looks like something Stevie would wear to the grocery store, actually.
The Astronaut, “You Say”
This spaceman’s voice was a bit strained and weathered, but his emotional performance sounded like that of a professional singer — one that has been doing this from, as he said, a “young age.”
The clues: This show gets his “heart throbbing”... but clues like a Hawaiian lei, broom, and toolbox were too random and vague to get my brain buzzing.
Judges’ guesses: Adam Devine, Josh Hutcherson, Lance Bass, Zac Efron.
My guess: Lance Bass, whose ‘NSYNC bandmate Joey Fatone was the Rabbit in Season 1, recently told Yahoo Entertainment that if he ever competed on The Masked Singer, he’d be an astronaut. But that seems a bit obvious. I think, based on the religious song choice, the “heartthrob” mention, and most of all that familiar-sounding voice, that this is former teen country sensation Hunter Hayes. Brooms are made of hay, aren’t they?
The T-Rex, “So What”
What, no Marc Bolan songs? No “Jurassic Park” by Weird Al or “Walk the Dinosaur” by Was (Not Was)? Maybe this rowdy reptile will get a chance to sing those tunes later on this season. But, probably not. While her P!nk performance had some bite to it, it was vocally lacking. Then again, the Tiger outlasted Chaka Khan, and the Banana made it to the semifinals over Dionne Warwick. So who knows?
The clues: The T-Rex is a “survivor” who was “plucked out of obscurity” and deported to “an extraordinary place called T-Rex Island,” where she was” one of dozens of talented creatures pirouetting the land, all similar in looks, strength, and skill.” But then a “cataclysmic event” nearly rendered her extinct.
Judges’ guesses: Kourtney Kardashian, Maddie Ziegler, Rebecca Black.
My guesses: You guys, it’s not Rebecca Black; Rebecca can actually sing. I am not sure who this lithe lizard is (Maddie’s a good guess, especially if this dino-mite gal sings some Sia later), but it might be a former U.S. Olympic gymnast. Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, or Simone Biles, possibly?
The Rhino, “Have a Little Faith in Me”
This “gentle giant” gave off an athlete vibe at first, but he had a surprisingly strong, twangy voice. Even if the Rhino isn’t a singer by trade, he’s a performer of some kind and a natural-born storyteller. “I have a lot of faith in you after that performance,” gushed Nicole.
The clues: This horny dude was once on top, but then he “crashed and burned.” Now he’s “ready to soar again.” Other clues and references included Nashville, a motorcycle, and a butterfly.
Judges’ guesses: Jason Aldean, Tim Tebow, Tim McGraw.
My guess: I’m going with 6-foot-6, motorcycle-riding, troubled country star Trace Adkins. It sure sounds like him.
The Swan, “Fever”
Nicole thought this feathered friend seemed “out of her comfort zone,” but I thought the Swan took flight. Though she wasn’t a fantastic vocalist, she was clearly born to perform.
The clues: There were references to horror imagery (including ghosts and vampire fangs) and “reruns,” and this bold bird “played games” and has “seen shame.”
Judges’ guesses: Nina Dobrev, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar… and Bjork, of course.
My guess: TV star, occasional singer, and body-shaming victim J.Love — of The Ghost Whisperer, Byrd of Paradise, and In the Game fame — seems like the best bet for now. But I really wish it was Bjork.
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