Week 7 of The Masked Singer has come and gone, revealing Godmother of Soul Patti LaBelle as the person trapped beneath the tepid, sweat-drenched mask of The Flower. The 75-year-old icon of American music was forced to stand next to Nick Cannon for nearly two entire months and listen to Jenny McCarthy, who as far as I know has never been in the same room as a musical instrument, critique her performance as she stared out at an ocean of faces that could not pick her out of a lineup if they watched her Gluttony murder their parents with a stack of Patti LaBelle’s Fancy Cakes.
As Nick Cannon delivered his latest animal pun I was struck between the eyes by a bolt of white-hot energy. My thoughts became a jumbled mess of image and sensation, a kaleidoscope of indecipherable stimuli. The pop of explosive decompression as Robin Thicke opened the slot on the front of his gigantic head to speak brought me back to the realm of mortal consciousness. It was at that moment, staring at Robin Thicke’s pinky ring, that I realized I had just witnessed my own death.
The fragments are still scattered in my brain, like shards from a broken mirror. And so far, every attempt to reassemble the picture has resulted in slashed palms and confused failure. But I must succeed. I must. I feel I don’t have much time, and yet something tells me this is only one piece of the puzzle. Why does The Masked Singer taunt me so? It whispers only slivers of my impending demise, doling it out like water rations to a sun-bleached castaway, letting me know that I have to keep watching if I am to cheat the death it has foreseen.
I don’t recall when the ultimate horror dawned on me, crashing against the breakers of my sanity like the remorseless waves of a malevolent storm. How apt, that analogy – the wisdom granted me by The Masked Singer’s horrible vision is like much like the cruel lie of sea water, which has the appearance of life-giving liquid, but is poisonous to drink, and cloudy with the decay of a trillion animals. The ultimate horror was this – one of the costumed millionaires lumbering around on stage to the delight of Ken Jeong may well be the avatar of my destruction.
Am I going to get mauled by a leopard? Crushed by a giant aluminum Christmas tree (the holidays are coming up, after all)? Will a shredded Rottweiler beat me to death in an amateur boxing match? I don’t know, and I dare not miss an episode if I hope to discover the answer. What follows are the notes I managed to collect while watching last night’s competition.
The Flamingo came shuddering out to sing “Lady Marmalade”, which is a song that Patti LaBelle wrote. But Flamingo chose to sing the “updated” version from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack, and I think that means she wants to push Patti LaBelle out of a moving train. There is no other way to interpret this.
Jenny McCarthy guessed Adrienne Bailon, which has been my guess in previous weeks, and based on all the clues we’ve seen so far, I’m sticking with it. Ken Jeong guessed Bella Thorne, despite the fact that Flamingo is shorter than Nick Cannon and Thorne is roughly Cannon’s height, because Ken cannot distinguish size. Guest host Joel McHale guessed Jillian Michaels and offered $100,000 for her to take her mask off. The Flamingo revealing herself to be the reanimated bones of Richard Nixon would be a wilder flight of fancy than Joel McHale actually having $100,000 in cash. Robin Thicke guessed Fantasia Barrino. Also, he is dressed like a magician at a Mexican restaurant. Do you tell fortunes, Robin Thicke? Tell me what darkness awaits me.
The Leopard ordered a dozen roses for Nick Cannon. I assume this is both a continuation of last week’s courting ritual, and an oblique reference to Seal’s hit song “Kiss from a Rose”, because the Leopard is Seal and I will hear no argument.
Jenny suggested that Leopard has 17 kids, after he referenced his little ones and patted several invisible heads. Maybe she thinks his kids all died after he got them vaccinated, and now they are ghosts haunting the stage of The Masked Singer. Dr Ken guessed Donald Glover, because I am now convinced he makes deliberately bad guesses.
Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke both guessed Seal. I hate being forced to agree with Robin Thicke, the only successful pop singer to look like the default create-a-character in a video game about coke mules. But I need to learn how I am going to die, and the secret may lie behind his vacuous eyes. So I will accept this hardship and soldier on.
Leopard and Flamingo were forced to face each other in musical combat, and Leopard’s rendition of Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September” was found wanting. He was banished to the Smackdown round to await the other shittiest singer of the night. Flamingo was allowed to return to the mascot barracks, where she presumably brainstormed ways to lure Patti LaBelle onto a train.
They always cut to the audience looking shocked when the chorus kicks in, as if they’ve all just crawled out of the Fox studio audience clone vats and are experiencing music for the first time.
Rottweiler is definitely Chris Daughtry. In his clue package, he was wearing a ring that read “Platinum” and a pair of boxing gloves with “Boxing Day” written on them. Daughtry’s band had a record go quadruple platinum, and he was born on December 26th, which is Boxing Day.
Jenny thinks Rottweiler is Gavin Rossdale, even though he’s clearly American and has made references to being from North Carolina. I think Jenny saw Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes, bumped into Downey Jr. at the airport, and now believes all British people are just Americans doing funny voices.
Ken Jeong thinks Rottweiler is Billie Joe Armstrong, despite the fact that Billie Joe can barely sing his own songs without doing the most bizarrely affected voice in music history and is from fucking Oakland. It might be best to escort Dr. Ken out of the building at this point. Robin and Nicole think it’s Darren Criss. They may continue to think that, and be wrong in their thinking.
Now we’ve reached the Smackdown, in which the two worst performers of the night will have to go head-to-head in a “who will be asked to leave the karaoke bar first” competition. Joel asked if this was the part of the show when the talent show participants finally fight, which is a question I have posed aloud to an empty room every single week this show has been on the air. Jenny took the first opportunity she could to slap Ken Jeong, because her hatred of doctors could no longer be contained.
A weird feather boa descended from the ceiling for Nick Cannon to make more terrible animal puns. STOP THIS, NICK CANNON. STOP THIS FRIVOLITY AND TELL ME OF MY DEATH.
During the Smackdown, Leopard and Flower both made the curious decision to pick songs that they can’t really sing. Leopard chose “Don’t Cha” by the Pussycat Dolls, a song which calls for the same level of vocal performance as ordering a pizza. I guess he did it to impress Nicole, and she seemed blown away by the very idea that somebody else could sing her hit song, despite the fact that it was originally written for and recorded by an entirely different artist. Flower, whom we now know was Patti LaBelle all along, sang a bizarre version of “Eye of the Tiger” in which she skipped all of the high notes that are actually in the song in favor of randomly adding one in at the very end. She lost, and she deserved to. But at least now she is free.
The show has ended, for now. Patti LaBelle is safe from the Flamingo for the time being, and while I take comfort in that, I am no closer to piecing together the riddle of my impending doom. Even if I have to crash a blimp into Robin Thicke’s colossal high-faded skull to release the secret, I will do what it takes.