“This show is the weirdest fever dream of any I’ve ever been a part of,” Ken Jeong says as he and the rest of the panel of celebrity detectives try to recover from the emotional thunderblast of listing to a McDonaldland creature sing a song by Kacey Musgraves. This is high praise coming from Jeong, the star of Dr. Ken, a blazing meteor of a sitcom The New York Times once called “a train wreck.” As the celebrity panel continues to regain their composure, wiping actual tears from their eyes as they fawn over this anonymous millionaire in a mascot costume, I have to agree with Dr. Ken. The Masked Singer is the type of hallucination you experience in the last few moments before brain death. I’m still not convinced it isn’t a show being beamed in from another dimension. Considering the crux of the show is a group of famous people watching their friends and acquaintances do karaoke in animal suits while trying to guess who they are, I guess it technically is? What I’m trying to say is I fucking love this show and I cannot tear my eyes away from it.
This week, the Skeleton was eliminated and revealed to be Paul Shaffer. Shaffer, in addition to being the longtime bandleader and sidekick to David Letterman, is a veteran of the music industry, so it never occurred to me that he might not be able to sing. As it turns out, he absolutely cannot, and his Skeleton was ceremoniously decapitated after failing to earn enough votes from the viewers. Shaffer is this season’s fifth elimination, following Dr. Drew Pinsky, Ninja (the famous Fortnite streamer), Johnny Weir, and Laila Ali, all of whom are great in their chosen careers but should face actual jail time for entering a singing competition.
The remaining celebrities-in-disguise are all legitimately decent-to-good singers. I only started watching on the third episode, so I’ve missed some of the clues to their respective identities, but I’m going to toss out some of my best guesses as to who they could possibly be.
The Fox – Ok, the Fox didn’t perform this week, but I took furious notes on his performance last episode, and those are billable work hours, so he’s going in this article. I’m pretty sure the Fox is Jamie Foxx. Like, almost 100% certain. His clues last week included “Foxes are clever and nocturnal, and I’ve definitely done my best work at night. I dabble in many different genres. From Doogie to Doubtfire, I’ve laughed with them all.” Jamie Foxx was both a stand-up comic, which you typically do at night. And he was on a primetime sketch comedy show In Living Color. He’s dabbled in comedy, drama, action, and musicals, and he’s been in movies with both Robin Williams and Neil Patrick Harris. Also, Foxx currently hosts a music-themed game show called Beat Shazam, which airs on Fox, the same network as The Masked Singer. So theoretically, he wouldn’t even have to drive anywhere to be the Fox, he’d just hop into the next soundstage and be ready to go. I’ve picked my hill to die on, and that hill’s name is Jamie.
The Penguin – I dunno, Tanya Harding? Seems like she’s probably Tanya Harding. Getting some real Harding vibes.
The Flamingo – I hate agreeing with Jenny McCarthy about anything, but her guess of Adrienne Bailon seems pretty likely. The Flamingo gave clues about being a Hollywood triple threat and briefly attending a medical training school both apply to Bailon – according to her Wikipedia page, she went to the High School For Health Professions and Human Services, and Wikipedia has never been wrong. The same infallible source also indicates that she grew up in Manhattan, and the Flamingo shoved an apple directly into my face during her clue segment, which either means she is secretly a dentist or she’s from New York. The only clue I can’t connect is her statement that she was discovered by a powerful wizard, because Bailon was discovered by Ricky Martin, and to my knowledge Martin is not a magician. I don’t know what you’re trying to tell me, Flamingo.
The Leopard – The Leopard is fucking Seal, you guys. Listen to his damn voice. That. Is. Seal. Ok, if you’re still not convinced, let’s look at the clues. First of all, the Leopard says he “wasn’t even always wanted” and was “passed from pack to pack.” Seal was raised by a foster family and spent the early part of his career jumping from band to band. In the clue segment, the little baby Leopard is left in front of a building with the address 1963 prominently visible, and Seal was born in 1963. Also, the Leopard says “After all my years at the top, it was humbling to nearly lose my mask in the smackdown.” Seal was killing it in the 90s with “Kiss From a Rose”. Everyone knows the words to that Batman song. And the Leopard was nearly eliminated in his first episode, which would’ve been humbling for a one-time chart-topping performer like Seal. Plus, he mentions his “cubs,” and Seal has 4 children. HE’S A LEOPARD SEAL, YOU GUYS. I’m the world’s greatest detective.
The Black Widow – As much as I hate agreeing with Jenny McCarthy, I hate agreeing with Robin Thicke even more. Robin Thicke is a man with the perpetual air of someone trying to convince his daughter’s friends that he’s cool. He’s even wearing a pinky ring. The only time you should ever wear a pinky ring is to sign your divorce settlement. Anyway, Robin’s guess of Raven-Symone seems right. The Black Widow’s clues include a platinum record (Raven-Symone has a few of those) and having to maintain a “squeaky clean image” since she was “an itsy bitsy spider.” Raven-Symone started out as an adorable child star on The Cosby Show and Hanging With Mr. Cooper before moving over to the Disney Channel in That’s So Raven. There’s also a painting of a peach in the background of the Black Widow’s clue package, and Raven-Symone is from Georgia. Her final clue, “I never went to prom, but I pretended to,” could be a reference to the That’s So Raven episode “Save The Last Dance”, in which Raven-Symone’s character goes to prom. Anyway, maybe Robin Thicke will stumble pinky-first into a nest of black widows.
The Thingamajig – The celebrities all guess basketball players, because Thingamajig is super tall. The internet seems to think Thingamajig is the Indiana Pacers’ Victor Oladipo, and that actually makes a lot of sense when you look at the clues. First, Oladipo has three sisters, and in his clue package, Thingamajig is having a tea party with three dolls. One of the dolls is a mermaid, and I don’t know what the hell that means, but I think the number of dolls is what’s important here. Next, Thingamajig does a magic trick in front of an American flag. Oladipo’s parents are immigrants from Nigeria and Sierra Leone, but he was born in Maryland, and he was drafted by the Orlando Magic. Thingamajig says “I’ve always worn my heart on my sleeve,” and Oladipo frequently wears a sleeve on his left arm while playing. His final clue references going to rehab. Oladipo’s last season was plagued with injuries to his right knee, and was ultimately ended early when he had to have surgery. That would explain the Thingamajig’s “rehab,” though probably not the kind a panel of celebrity detectives would immediately think of. Finally, Thingamajig wears a plaid blue suit, with a plaid yellow left arm and a plaid yellow right leg. Oladipo wears a sleeve on his left arm, and recently had surgery on his right knee. I gave you all the clues, Mr. Policeman.
Butterfly – Tommy Lee Jones.
And that’s Week 4. I personally cannot wait until the obvious final two contenders, Jamie Foxx and Victor Oladipo, have to wrestle in a pit of anti-vaxxer pamphlets, frantically trying to tear off each other’s animal heads. Which is how I assume the champion of The Masked Singer is decided.