The Masked Singer viewers got a double-dose of reality on Wednesday — when two celebrity cosplayers, the Mallard and Caterpillar, were revealed during Season 6’s Group B semifinals and turned out to respectively be Duck Dynasty personality Willie Robertson and Queer Eye interior design expert Bobby Berk. And surprisingly, both contestants could actually sing — unlike Group B’s previous two unmasked reality stars, the tone-deaf Honey Boo Boo and Mama June. In fact, all season long, the judges had been convinced that the Mallard was a country artist like Billy Ray Cyrus or John Rich or even a stadium rocker like Jon Bon Jovi, and that the Caterpillar was a boy-band veteran like Niall Horan, Harry Styles, AJ McLean, or JC Chasez.
However, Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg, the judge with historically the best guessing track record, was convinced that the Caterpillar was a different sort of male heartthrob – so much so that she risked sullying her legacy by using this season’s new gimmick, the Take It Off Buzzer. That buzzer, which can only be used by the panel once per group, allows the judges to make an instant guess; if that judge is correct, the contestant must unmask and leave the competition immediately, but if the judge is wrong, humiliation and punishment will ensue.
And wow, did it ever ensue! Jenny was so sure that the Caterpillar was Jake Gyllenhaal (after hearing his Wednesday performance of Garth Brooks’s “Friends in Low Places,” bizarrely) that she forcefully whacked that wacky buzzer — even though the Caterpillar himself was warning her, desperately crying out, “Nooo! Jenny, don’t do it!” Jenny was obviously way, way off; perhaps as a two-time winner of the series’ Golden Ear Trophy, she has become a little too cocky. But Jenny is actually trailing notorious wrong guesser Ken “I Know Exactly Who This Is” Jeong this season — and if this week’s Take It Off gaffe is any indication, she may not want to clear space on her mantel for a third Golden Ear trophy just yet.
But there’s obviously also a Golden Mask award up for grabs this season. And two surviving singers from Group B, the Banana Split and the Queen of Hearts, will now be moving on to compete for it against the two finalists from Group A: the Bull, who is probably Todrick Hall, and the Skunk, who is probably Faith Evans. But what famous faces lurk behind this trophy-themed week’s Banana Split and the Queen of Hearts masks? Let’s review their performances and clues, and keep the guessing game going…
The Banana Split, “Poker Face”
This dynamic duo was inspired to it “take even further this week” by tapping into what they believe is their biggest advantage in the competition: their theatricality. In a “real shocker,” the banana even walked away from his piano to play drums at the end of this Vegas-style number. Jenny was so impressed that she predicted they could become the first duo win the in Masked Singer history. She might be right about that one.
The clues: For “Bring Your Trophy to Work Day,” host Nick Cannon rolled out a glass case stocked with awards that these two showbiz lifers have accumulated… and apparently the banana is most proud of the ice cream scoop’s “Favorite Hottie” award. (The banana actually once dreamed of being a pop star himself, but it didn’t work out, so apparently he is living vicariously through his cooler, sweeter partner.) Past Banana Split clues have referenced claustrophobia, the Red Cross, a silver medal, a globe, and the words “nothing” and “reality.”
Judges’ guesses: Ed Sheeran & Jessie J, Ryan Tedder & Leona Lewis, John Krasinski & Emily Blunt.
My guess: This absolutely is former “reality” and current Broadway star Katharine McPhee and her producer/multi-instrumentalist husband, David Foster. David cowrote Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing,” has won a Golden Globe, is a Red Cross supporter, and has claustrophobia. And his key clue this week is he did start off with pop/rock aspirations of his own — playing in the band Skylark and scoring a top 10 hit with them in 1973 — before moving behind the scenes. As for the ice cream, her brassy vocal delivery does match ex-Smash star Katharine’s, and that silver medal likely represents Kat’s second-place finish on American Idol. But Katharine's new crucial clue – and the one that confirms my guess that it’s her – is Kat won the Favorite Hottie trophy at the Fox Reality Awards in the mid-aughts, beating out cast members from Rock Star: Supernova, Survivor, and Big Brother.
The Queen of Hearts, “She’s Got You”
This rendition of Patsy Cline’s cry-in-your-beer ballad, inspired by the single-and-dating Queen’s real-life heartbreak, was so sublime. She has an excellent chance of winning Season 6 as well. “You have sucha gift. … The way you enchanted us, you took us in, but you also really touched our hearts,” raved Jenny.
The clues: For Bring Your Trophy to Work Day, the Queen of Hearts showed off her Blockbuster Entertainment Award, which she said made her feel like a “real leading lady.” In past clues packages, we learned that she loves riding motorcycles and “roasting” and that she left home at a young age, while visual clues have included The Wizard of Oz, a framed photo of Hilary Swank with the caption “BFF,” and a cowboy hat.
Judges’ guesses: Kristin Chenoweth, Kelly Clarkson, Sia.
My guess: This is for sure Jewel, whose debut album Pieces of You won a Blockbuster Award back in the day for Favorite CD. (Does it get any more ‘90s than that?) Jewel is friends with Hilary Swank, left her Alaskan home at a young age, is divorced and currently dating, loves to ride motorcycles, has released a country album, played Dorothy in a 1995 Wizard of Oz TV concert special, and once did a great job roasting Rob Lowe. Also, a pre-season clue that leaked online linked the Queen of Hearts to Sean Penn, who dated Jewel in the ‘90s. Plus, she’s dressed as a giant jewel! As they say in the biz, (Jewel) case closed.
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