Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY
Published 9:10 p.m. ET April 22, 2020 | Updated 10:48 a.m. ET April 23, 2020
“The Masked Singer” unmasked the colorful bear costume during an elimination, revealing a rapping Sarah Palin underneath the mask.
Spoiler alert! This story contains details from the April 22 episode of “The Masked Singer,” including the identity of the eliminated celebrity.
The absurdity, sparkle and pop music of “The Masked Singer” returned Wednesday night after a sing-a-long special last week. Maybe it was host Nick Cannon’s rhinestone-crusted tuxedo, but it was a welcome bit of distraction, even if these were not the most skilled performances of the season so far.
Four contestants took to the stage to sing for their lives (or, um just for fun) in front of panelists Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke, as well as guest panelist Sharon Osbourne (mother of former “Singer” contestant Kelly), bringing her trademark flaky, delightful wit to the proceedings.
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Frog vs. Kitty
Frog was up first and sang (and rapped) “Fireball” by Pitbull and offered some smooth dance moves (a lot of hip and ankle work) that seemed like something not just anyone could or would attempt. He moonwalked back to Cannon after his performance was over. The judges were impressed – Osbourne was so enamored she may have asked him out.
The clues in each singer’s bag were viewed by “x-ray.” Frog was carrying sneakers, a keyboard, an ice tray, a tag that says “thank goodness it’s Frog-day” and a Japanese flag.
Guesses: Jeong guessed Katt Williams; Osbourne went with Alfonso Ribeiro; McCarthy thought it might be Ice Cube’s son O’Shea Jackson Jr., who starred in “Straight Outta Compton.”
Kitty offered a gorgeous, pared-down rendition of “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper that Thicke thought could take her to the finals. Her clues were a dragon, a pope hat, an angel ornament, a mouse and a tag that read “if found call me? Be a hero!” Kitty also made mention of the word “grease” while her bag was being analyzed by the judges.
Guesses: McCarthy stuck with her Vanessa Hudgens guess; Scherzinger suggested its Emma Roberts and Jeong was thinking Kate Bosworth. Osbourne concurred, but she was annoyed Jeong said it first.
Frog hopped over Kitty for the win, sending Kitty to the smackdown at the end of the episode.
Banana vs. Rhino
Banana sat at the piano to sing “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan, and his growly performance had the crowd standing and swaying. His bag was packed with a cat, a can of bug spray, a Nashville sheriff’s badge and two labels, one that said “backstage crew” and one with the image of a tongue.
Guesses: McCarthy surmised that the cat in the bag and the fake x-ray machine constituted a “cat scan,” meaning it’s Bret Michaels under there. (The Poison singer suffered a head wound at the 2009 Tony Awards.) Jeong apparently didn’t listen to the voice of the performer and guessed Keith Urban, seemingly just on the Nashville clue. Scherzinger suggested Kid Rock because of the many cowboy hats in his clues.
Rhino busted out onstage with his version of “10,000 Hours” by Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber that impressed but frustrated Osbourne. (She really doesn’t like the not-knowing part of this show.) In his bag: a Christmas stocking full of coal, a yellow house, the Tennessee flag, a seal in a bow tie, one label with a bass clef and another that said “Rhino secrets.”
Guesses: Thicke went with country singer Sam Hunt and Scherzinger agreed because of the coal in the stocking – Hunt is known as the bad boy of country music. Osbourne swung wide, with David Hasselhoff, and Jeong went with “Property Brother” Jonathan Scott (because there is a house, because he’s dating “Elf” star Zooey Deschanel? Sure).
When the votes were in, Banana slipped to the bottom and Rhino charged ahead with the win.
Kitty vs. Banana smackdown
The microphone fell from the ceiling and it was smackdown time on “Singer.” Kitty and Banana sing for their supper (and to keep their identities secret for a few more weeks). The feline was up first, belting “Unstoppable” by Sia, but the fruit countered with “Brick House” by The Commodores and even Kitty danced a little bit. But it was all for naught: Kitty won the smackdown, and Banana had to peel off his mask.
Final guesses: McCarthy stuck with Michaels, and Osbourne, Scherzinger and Thicke jump on her bandwagon. Jeong went with Brad Paisley, and Cannon said what we were all thinking: “Ken’s probably wrong.”
So who has been under all that potassium this season? He takes off the mask and it is indeed Michaels.
“I gotta tell you, I would have done anything to get here, this is the most awesome show,” Michaels told Cannon. “I’ve never had such a great time.”
“Bret, did you choose to be the Banana?” asked Osbourne. The rocker responded, “I did!”
And though “The Masked Singer” was taped before the coronavirus crisis hit the world, Michaels seemed prescient when he said the show is “such an upbeat party – the world needs it right now.”
Next week, it’s the “Battle of the Sixes” as the competition moves towards the finale.
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