The Masked Singer made the Skeleton take his bony booty to the great costume party in the sky in the fourth episode of the season, but that loss was counterbalanced by seeing Nick Cannon done up like a Forever 21 version of Liberace. Reveling in whatever sequin-encrusted outlet couture he decides to serve up every week is almost as fun as finding out who will be revealed, and this week Nick brought his A game. His stunning jacket looked like someone printed out what Tim Burton sees before he goes to sleep and then smothered that with a Krispy Kreme glaze, paired it with bedazzled loafers and a matching turban and said "Now WALK." Doing a bit that included a martini glass, Nick could've very well mesmerized us into tomorrow with his ensemble and the silly drinking game The Masked Singer debuted, but they had a show to do, and this is what happened.
Matchup No. 1: Flamingo vs. Leopard
She tore through Kenny Loggins' "Footloose" with flair and panache and it's clear she knows how to work a stage.
This week's clues: This week's package included some hints that this might be someone of Latinx background, beginning with the salsa music at the top of the package and Flamingo saying something like "chica flam-flam," whatever that means. She said being here was "so dope" and when she started out she was a hood rat who became a triple threat. (So that means she's a singer, actor, and dancer.) At a gas station, she was holding an apple and said she came to Hollywood with zero connections until one day she was discovered by a powerful wizard who led her to a dream. She's had years of highs and lows and hasn't felt the same passion. She later said she wanted to be a doctor and attended medical training school.
Previous performance clues: There was a big Miami influence in the background as Flamingo referenced "ZooTube." She said she'd let us in on all her tricks for beauty, and she knows what it's like to be trapped in a career. She said she was here to take back control of her destiny, and was holding a stick-shaped light almost like a sword. She said, "I'm sassy," and that the flamingo is a symbol of luxurious vacations. Robin peeped that "escape" might be be clue for the group Xscape but couldn't think of Kandi Burruss' name. That'll be awkward the next time they see each other.
The guesses: Adrienne Bailon, Kandi Burruss... and it doesn't matter because tonight honestly confirmed that she's Adrienne Bailon. Flamingo is clearly a seasoned performer — Adrienne was in 3LW — and she's from the Lower East Side of New York. She also wanted to be an obstetrician (and went to a high school for the medical profession) and was a protégé of Ricky Martin. So that mystery is solved.
Oh snap! After a pretty rough first performance, Leopard redeemed himself with Shawn Mendes' "Stitches," and he had everyone extra stumped.
This week's clues: He said losing was humbling, because he's used to being at the top all the time. The number 1963 was on a door. He said he wasn't born a winner and we saw a baby in a basket dropped at a door, indicating he might be adopted. He said it's never too late to flip the script and that he wanted to be a hero because that would be his greatest title yet. He said he once served food.
Previous performance clues: Leopard said he's adaptable and can survive anywhere, and he knows what it's like to be at the top. He said he's been a heavy hitter and that "no one could catch me," which probably means this is an athlete. Further confirmation this is probably some flashy, fashionable sports person came when he said all people want to talk about is what he's wearing, his celebrity aspect, and who he's dating. Also, "J'adore," was scribbled on the wall in the background, which could be a nod to Paris, intrinsically linked to fashion. Leopard is very tall.
The guesses: Billy Porter. RuPaul, Jenny said, because he had a "drag queen" vibe. The audience booed Ken when he suggested Neil Patrick Harris.
Matchup No. 2: Black Widow vs. Skeleton
Black Widow came out and slayed "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood. That's a helluva voice.
This week's clues: Black Widow said that since she was young she had to have a squeaky clean image but she never fit the part. We saw a peach, and some knit/crotchet work. Black Widow said she's been successful in a couple of areas and then we saw a gold record and a TV. Black Widow said she's been waiting for a moment like this were she doesn't have to pretend, and all we know about her is her voice. And she has a badonkadonk! She said she never went to prom but pretended to.
Previous performance clues: Black Widow does an impressive, soulful version of "I Wanna Dance with Somebody," and she sounds good. Jenny McCarthy says, "Oh, she can sang," and girl, yes, we felt that. One of the first things Nicole said was that she's a tiny little thing, and Jenny noted she's voluptuous, like Sherri Shepard. As Jenny noted, starting her turn on this show with Whitney says "I know what I'm doing," so this is someone in the business.
Guesses: Robin said Raven-Symoné, which is a great guess, but then Nicole Scherzinger made several hundred people make dentist appointments to repair their teeth after sucking them so hard when she had the nerve to suggest this was Her Highness Christina María Aguilera. Gosh, Nicole! Ken said Tatiana Ali.
He sang "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" by Jet, sounding every bit like the dead person he looks to be in that costume.
This week's clues: He said "amigos," and said his life has been pretty great. He said his life sometimes feels like joint custody and he only gets kids on the weekend. Ever since childhood he felt overshadowed but he realized being in the background let him be more instrumental in orchestrating the people around him. Bonus! He added that he was once inducted into the National Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame and national hero Nicole asked if you have to be black to be inducted. (No, apparently! It seems to be defunct now, but it inducted non-black people who opened doors for black folks, including Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.)
Previous performance clues: Skeleton said he's been around the block a few times, is far from dead, and has no fear of death. Lord knows that "Winning!" period made it seem like Charlie Sheen wasn't long for this world. He sang "Good Times/Rapper's Delight," and not very well, so this is obviously not a seasoned singer. Not surprisingly, Thingamajig beat him.
The Guesses: Ken said Teller of Penn & Teller and Jenny thought it was Paul Shaffer. Ken kept riding that Martin Short train.
Matchup No. 3: Thingamajig vs. Butterfly
Once again this creature captured hearts with an amazing performance, this time doing "Rainbows" by Kacey Musgraves. His voice sounds like syrup gliding over pancakes. Nicole wept and said the now classic line, "I'm looking at Thingamajig, but he sounds like an angel." Then she said she'd marry him.
This week's clues: He said music was always his first love. His parents taught him to do well in school and not run with the bulls. He was taught that real strength comes from within. He wants to show the world he's as warm and fuzzy on the inside as he is inside. He said his darkest moment was when he went to rehab and people laughed.
Previous performance clues: Very tall, called himself a "gentle giant." Said he's more than "fashion shoots and a dream." He wanted us to see his big hightop sneakers. He has a "magic case" and mentioned something about "pace" — both of which are the names of basketball teams. The number 4 is relevant, somehow, because that number was in his cupcake.
The guesses: Nicole said LeBron James and Robin said Dwight Howard. Ken offered up Montell Jordan.
She sang "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi and, if she is who everyone thinks she is, gave away her identity with that reference to her spiritual roots. She sounded great, like it was her DESTINY to be on the stage.
This week's clues: She said after some time in isolation she's back. London came up again. At the height of her career she had everyone saying her name. But when she spread her wings, people talked about her. It led to breakdowns, breakups, and hibernation. She feels like she's being given a second chance and that as Butterfly she can be any age, color. Signs on her mirror said Be Kind and Not Today Satan. Two hands holing said "You are not alone." She revealed she has a butterfly tattoo, which was the final hint needed to confirm this is Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child.
Previous performance clues: She's tall and skinny with slim legs! (Thanks Jenny McCarthy and Nicole Scherzinger!) For the past year she's been "waiting patiently in my cocoon" for the promise of metamorphosis, so she's someone who had a bad year recently. She's achieved success in many stages of life as we saw her being shot by photographers like a model. Said she found herself "terrified by the place I used to call home," with a shot of London in the background, but she said "bless your heart" when talking to Nick. She's got church roots. She said she's here to "take us to church," as they say when someone's going to sing their face off, and with a shot of her being baptized in her package, Butterfly wants us to know she's spent time in the Lord's house.
The guesses: Fantasia came from Jenny and though that's not right, Jenny has a good grasp on R&B girl voices, I have to say. Ken burped up Mel B. Nicole said Twiggy and Robin said Leona Lewis.
After a vote, Skeleton was dismissed and revealed to be Paul Shaffer!
The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on Fox.