The Masked Singerkicked off Group B playoffs Wednesday, and yet again an absolute musical treasure was told "You ain't got to go home, but you can't stay here." This is now officially The Masked Singer's thing, having old-school greats banished to a faraway place, but Mouse's reveal wasn't the only shock of the night.
The first came when Nick Cannon opened the show rhinestone-less, pattern-less and glittery mask-less, looking quite dapper, yet plain, in a double breasted tux and -- whoops, sorry I didn't see those shoes! Those shoes look like they're made of repurposed disco balls from Studio 54 and well, all is right with the world now that we know Nick is never without a little bit of sparkle. What wasn't right was finding out that Mouse won't be joining Turtle, Kangaroo, and White Tiger in the next "Super 9" group but thems the breaks.
Here's how it went down.
This week wasn't exactly his ripest moment with a subpar performance of Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart"; Banana seemed to even forget the words at the outset, but the voice confirms this couldn't be Darius Rucker as we might've thought last week. This person is a novice singer, but as Ken Jeong said, he's having fun.
This week's clues: A sign that read Bananagement Management behind him as he sat in an office. A clock read 2:13, but also June 8 and 9:15. He said Git-R-Done, as Larry the Cable Guy used to, and cowboy boots. He had an orange towel, and we were shown parody show titles Banana could be in one day, like he's not yet been in his own show. He's in need of a rebrand, and embracing his flaws. He said he had a tough time in life before and art had got him through.
Last week's clues: A cowboy hat. We saw a blowfish, and he said he's a hoot at parties. We saw him on a party bus. He said it's not his first rodeo. We saw a blue collar.
The guesses: Ken said Larry the Cable Guy, taking the obvious bait. Nicole Scherzinger said Ed Helms because Banana was in an office, and guest Gabriel Iglesias thought it might be Billy Bob Thornton.
Was Nick throwing shade when he prepped the mouse's entrance? He said nobody knows who anyone is -- not even the IRS -- and with Mouse sounding an awful like Dionne Warwick (whose history with the agency isn't sparkling) that sounded like a dig. Maybe I'm reading into it? Or maybe Dionne was under there vowing to ruin Nick as soon as she's off the show. Anyway she sang, "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" from Natalie Cole and, well, this is definitely Dionne Warwick.
This week's clues: The Mouse said the stage is her song home. We saw a framed photo of prayer hands, Mouse doing her makeup, her putting on gloves, a possible Love Boat reference, and Mouse saying she loves romance novels and needlepoint. There was wine too, and she said "there ain't no stopping me now," to give a nod to old-school soul.
Last week's clues: She's small! She said that she may be small and cute, but she's larger than life. On a football field, we saw a sign reading "Bang Bang formation" and we saw players wearing jerseys bearing the numbers 19 and 79. She said she never accepts anything less than gold, and we saw gold pom poms. She admitted she's a bit of a chatterbox.
The guesses: Everyone knows this is a legendary performer: Ken said Tina Turner, while Nicole and Robin wisely confirmed it's Dionne. For some reason, Jenny said Tracee Ellis Ross, which only makes sense when she said there's no way producers would have Chaka Khan and Dionne Warwick in the same season. That does sound crazy!
Yes, you saw a Frog sing a mamba-inspired version of 50 Cent's "In da Club," and Frog proved he can really get down with the moves. He has a lot of stage presence too, causing Robin to utter, "He definitely knows what he's doing."
This week's clues: He said he had a new lease on life after last week's performance. We saw a basketball, and keys on a typewriter. He said he sacrificed to be "all that," and we saw an envelope that read $19.00. We saw toy soldiers and a letter that read "Not every Frog wants to be a Prince" -- the second time he's dropped a Prince-related clue.
The clues: Someone remarked that he's short! He said his metamorphosis has been anything but typical. We saw a newspaper that read "Tadpole plucked from large creek!" He said he left stardom as fast as lightning bolt. We saw a bag marked "leftovers." He said he had to fit in with the big frogs from "jump jump," which I thought might've been a clue he was Jermaine Dupri? We saw a poster of the 1996 Olympics. (Which were in Atlanta, where Jermaine is from!) He said he can write his own masterpiece. We saw $106. He said he's ready to drop the hammer and sing his face off.
The guesses: Jenny McCarthy said Fresh Prince star Alfonso Ribeiro; Ken thinks it's Kevin Hart, and Robin said Omarion.
How quickly things change: we were willing to bet our first born that Taco was Tim Allen, but hearing him sing "Bossa Nova Baby" from Elvis Presley changed that prediction entirely. He doesn't sound like Tim at all, but it's worth noting that he sounded like he was having the time of his life. "I'm so thrown right now!" Jenny screamed and yes, us too, girlfriend!
This week's clues: He said he used to be a hothead, until he met the most stunning taco in the galaxy, so he's married or partnered, and close ups on a galaxy suggested Taco might be way into space or sci-fi. We saw a Whoopee Cushion. There was a close up on a hair piece. He said he was a class clown in school and was put in a closet for bad behavior.
Last week's clues: He said he's been in the business for decades, and we saw VHS tapes. Also in his package: an anchor, a Rubik's cube, a trolly car.
The guesses: Jenny said Seth MacFarlane. Ted Danson came out of Gabriel's mouth, and Nicole said Alec Baldwin.
Oh snap! Kitty sang Mercy," from Brett Young and she sounded legit! Purrfect, even.
This week's clues: She said sewing is one of her favorite things to do. She said she might make a modern creation for family, leading Jenny to pounce on "modern family" as a clue. We saw a guy in a Little Red Riding Hood-inspired cloak.
Last week's clues: She's short! Positioned against a reel of old black and white Hollywood footage, Kitty said she wanted to wipe her slate clean. We saw pirates, her sitting atop a carafe of milk, and a rose shattering. She kept saying nobody has ever seen her like this before, so she's probably not a singer.
The guesses: Jenny said Millie Bobby Brown. Gabriel said Amanda Seyfried, and Ken thought it was Sarah Hyland from Modern Family -- prompting a hilarious fight between him and Nicole.
In the end, it was Mouse who had to scurry on out of there, revealing the face of...soul legend Dionne Warwick. Yet again this show sends a treasured performer on their way, and pretty soon we're going to need to demand justice for scorned Masked Singer divas!
The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays 8/7c on Fox.