The Masked Singer kicks off Season 10 with Gazelle, Diver, S’More, Rubber Ducky, and Cow with guesses ranging from Tom Sandoval to Usher, Scott Disick, Camila Mendes, and Vanessa Hudgens — see who got unmasked first!
After a teaser special that revealed Demi Lovato as the Anonymouse with zero competition and no vote — so really it was about as gimmicky as you can get — The Masked Singer kicked off its tenth season for real on Wednesday night.
The episode wasn’t nearly as busy as previous seasons have been in every single episode. There was only one celebrity unmasked, while there were a whopping five introduced. It’s probably too much to hope we can follow along with them for weeks and weeks as TMS loves to mix things up every season and it seems to get more and more obnoxious.
Just as obnoxious as always, though, are the judges, with all four of them returning Ken Jeong again called Nick Cannon “daddy” prompting a pretty funny response from the host. “Been calling me daddy for 10 seasons,” Nick said. “That’s the only child I don’t claim right there.”
As always, the banter among the cast is half the fun, but we have to give props for some solid casting in this first group of five. Not only did we get some incredible singers who really blew our socks off, but we got someone who described themselves as someone everyone now hates because of a personal mistake they made “for love.”
As for this week’s unmasked celebrity, we were definitely rooting for them to continue in the competition after a very entertaining first outing, and an incredible costume. This week, we were introduced to Gazelle, Diver, S’More, Rubber Ducky, and Cow and we already have some favorites.
We’re told this season cast has won 40 medals, 33 Grammy nominations, seven Hall of Fame awards, three Lifetime Achievement Awards, and sport over 50 tattoos. The celebs are broken into three groups, with Group A starting with five contestants before adding a sixth “Wild Card” next week. Groups B and C will start with four and add a “Wild Card” in their respective second week. Each group will send one semi-finalist to the finale, so we may yet get some kind of journey for these contestants (fingers crossed).
Let’s jump right in with this week’s mask. And don’t worry, before we get to the shocking unmasking(s), we’re going to make you power through the terrible (and occasionally good) guesses made by our illustrious panel of Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger first. We do this because we love … to torture you.
Along with the panel’s guesses, we’ll be sharing some internet speculation, too, so if you don’t want to be potentially spoiled (because they are very good at this), you may want to skip past the guesses sections.
(“Uninvited,” Alanis Morissette) Gazelle is either not someone who sings professionally or she’s a singer who was pushing herself in a whole new direction. There is nowhere to hide on this haunting track and she didn’t need to, delivering a beautifully dark vocal. It lacked a bit of finesse and flair, which is why we suspect this isn’t her main jam (how embarrassing if we’re wrong), but she’s just oozing talent as a singer. She even has a bit of Alanis’ signature lilt.
Guesses: There were a lot of juicy clues to chew on with this one, including the fact that Gazelle hit up a Broadway show at six years old (the sign in the clue package read Hello Doll! which could mean she saw Hello Dolly!). That sparked her interested in being on the stage, which she says she leaps at any opportunity to do.
One of those came as a teen when she entered a national talent competition … and “crashed and burned.” After this, she almost swore off singing for good, but she’s too passionate about it. Now, she’s looking to face her fears, which is another reason we suspect singing isn’t what she’s known for.
With a petite frame, Gazelle’s clue package included a Hawaiian shirt, three statues of bulldogs together, a director’s chair and a camper in the desert. David Spade then brought out an LP with “Movie Soundtrack” printed on it, so maybe Gazelle performed on one? Or was she associated with a film with an incredibly famous one?
“Not only do I act in movies, I also sing in them,” Gazelle told Nick, throwing off our theory that she’s not known for her singing (oops!). The clues sent Jenny to Riverdale star Camila Mendes, with their high school bulldog mascot. Robin, though, wondered if the Hawaiin shirt tied to Fantasy Island star Lucy Hale.
Nicole, though, said she was primarily using her ears and they were telling her it might be Vanessa Hudgens. If that was the case, then we can be slightly right in that she was pushing herself vocally into a genre she’s not known for.
The internet was feeling confident that TMS is now booking major stars with Emma Stone an early favorite on X (formerly Twitter). Other popular guesses included Idina Menzel, Hayden Panettiere, and Evan Rachel Wood … but in truth, they’re all over the place on this one.
(“Any Way You Want It,” Journey) Diver wasn’t polished by any means as a vocalist, but he had pretty spot-on pitch through a lot of this, and that’s not easy as that put him into his falsetto a lot. The falsetto was … not great and was pitchy at times, but we’ll give him credit for tackling such a tough song. We could see him having fun with a bar band, but there’s no way he’s making his mark on the recording industry with what we just saw, though it was competent and fun.
Guesses: Boy, we gotta tell you, the clue package after the spring and summer we all shared was just screaming Vanderpump Rules star Tom Sandoval. It was almost entirely about how he’s been everyone’s scapegoat and he’s everyone’s person to hate. He also said that he gets it as he’s made mistakes, but he did it all for love.
The package opened with a front page headline — which the cheating “Scandoval” that saw Sandoval cheating on longtime girlfriend Ariana Madix with her best friend Rachel Leviss certain made plenty of those. He said it hurts getting judged by people who’ve neer met him and becoming the scapegoat for “every bad dude they’ve ever known.”
He also said he’s not ready to get back to the real world just yet, so he’s getting his head in the game. If this taped before the new season of VPR started rolling, all that drama would certainly still be fresh. So if it’s not Sandoval it’s someone who’s had a very, very similar experience.
As for imagery, the package took place on an oil rig and we saw a knight’s armor and a compass pointing instead of West to “MW.” His on-stage clue was a magazine cover for Masked magazine. It shows “11 Million Eyes on Diver!” which could be a clue to how many people watched him on something, as well as “Diver Opens Another Business.”
“The more people talk about my business, the more I want them out of it,” Diver said in response. Nicole wondered about Adam Levine making headlines, while Ken Jeong quickly picked up on what we were hearing and suspecting with Sandoval, who does front his own band.
Jenny struggled with the knight connection, so instead worked her way over to “Lord” Scott Disick instead. Social media was thinking Sandoval, as well, even bringing the receipts to match some of the moves he offered up on this stage.
(“Slow Hands,” Niall Horan) S’More serenaded Nicole with this one and it was such a beautifully confident vocal. He’s definitely someone who knows his way around a lyric and a stage. This is someone who’s got plenty of experience performing music to live audiences. He had a smoothness about everything he was doing which matched perfectly with the smooth tone of his voice.
Guesses: S’More had it all and now wants some more, so to speak. In his clue package he talks about being cheered on my millions, being a household name, making headlines with his “fellow adventures and idols.” He said he became a hearththrob in a matter of weeks from virtual obscurity.
All of that make us think reality show fame, and of course you can’t hear the word “idol” without thinking about American Idol. There are a number of guys who blew up like that, but we found ourselves thinking about Season 1 runner-up Justin Guarini. Images included a deep dish pizza and soda, and he has been Lil’ Sweet, the spokesperson for Diet Dr. Pepper, in recent years.
He said his life has always been about blazing his own trail and he’s hoping to recapture some of that here. Other images included a Christmas tree with silver ornaments on it and an angel on top. His clue was a film reel that read, “Starring S’More.” He said not-so-humbly,” As you can tell I’m very talented on and off stage.”
We can still tie to this to Guarini because From Justin to Kelly may have been a trainwreck, but it was also kind of fun in a really stupid way. Nicole thought of the “step by step” line from the package, which immediately leads you back to New Kids on the Block, thinking maybe this is Joey McIntyre.
Jenny, though, was right there with us thinking that maybe it was Justin, but Robin was wondering about Backstreet Boys’ Kevin Richardson … oddly associating the marshmallow’s face with Kevin’s actual face. We’re not quite sure it works that way, but then again, maybe it does?
The internet was actually leaning toward Robin’s guess, even as they were laughing at the visual similarities between Kevin and the S’More mask. Could it be this on the nose?
(“Come On Eileen,” Dexys Midnight Runner) Rubber Ducky had to wrangle one of the most obnoxious costume designs for someone who still has to be able to stand and move around. Vocally this was a bit of a mess as he didn’t even know the lyrics of the opening verses. He’s definitely not a singer, but clearly loves the cadence of the song and had some fun in the chorus. We’ve heard much worse, but this was just okay at best. That said, the guy is a born entertainer and a lot of fun.
Guesses: It seems pretty clear he’s achieved his fame in something related to comedy, though he admitted that standup didn’t work for him. Nevertheless, he said he became a household name after coming up from nothing. A VHS tape labeled, “The Horror! 3-4” suggested he might have been part of a horror/comedy franchise like Scary Movie or something.
He very pointedly said he made his way “solitarily” while also saying that behind everything he does is his family. Throughout the package, he was doing odd crowd work saying things like, “Let’s get it!” Images, aside from the grand theater he was in, included a gold turtle statue and a framed photo of Leonardo DiCaprio.
His on-stage clue was a picture of a family of rubber duckys (“The Duckys) with a father in a blue hat, a mother(?), another full-sized ducky with glasses and three pint-sized ones. There were five autographs scrawled across it in various places. “My family is full of stars,” said Rubber Ducky. “Check out the headshot.” That suggested his whole family is famous.
Robin thought perhaps of Scream star David Arquette, while Jenny considered the Wayans brothers (of Scary Movie fame). Ken didn’t like that as they’ve had a lot of success as standups, but that’s not all of them? Regardless, he went with Anthony Anderson and social media was again thinking he was on the right track.
(“Bones,” Imagine Dragons) Cow had just the right amount of drama in his (we’re speculating) tone. There’s a lot of nuance and different elements vocally to this track and Cow was a master of all of them, attacking it with incredible confidence. He’s definitely someone who’s done plenty of singing. Even if he hadn’t told us about all the Grammys, we’d know it.
Guesses: Cow didn’t know fame was in his future, believing he was instead destined for a pretty simple life at home. This was despite his dreams of standing out and being a big star. The problem, he said, was that he struggled with his emotions. But everything changed when he learned he could write.
This, based on everything else, has us thinking he’s referring to songwriting, infusing his music with his passion, as he said he’s since gone on to win multiple Grammys and traveled the world with “hit after hit after hit.” This is someone who took on the world and conquered it.
Images included the date July 4, a Classic Culinary Cuisine for Cows cookbook and the recipe “Classic Cow Cake,” which he proceeded to mix and bake through the clue package. HIs clue came in a popcorn bucket with a “Blockbuster Movie” ticket. He explained, “One of the better things known about me all started with a moo-vie.”
Jenny thought about the upcoming biopic of Boyz II Men with all their Grammys and Las Vegas residency and wondered if it could be Shawn Stockman under those udders. She also threw out Usher, but he’s got a Super Bowl to put together. Nicole and Robin were both thinking about Leslie Odom Jr., with Nicole tying the 4th of July to Hamilton.
The internet was actually thinking about Usher, but they were probably a little more in the realm of possibility with a lot of support thrown behind Ne-Yo. We definitely could see that vibe and energy in the way Cow was moving around the stage, and the general playfulness.
We hope this means we’re back to a format when this show was a journey we could get behind and get excited about, but promos are saying the Smackdown returns for Week 2 of each group, along with wild card contestants. So as with every other season, we’re not entirely sure how it’s going to break down, but we’re happy this week that it’s not a bloodbath of unmasked celebs, and hope it stays like that.
With only one person going home this week, it’s a little easier to try and figure out who had the weakest night. Of these five, we’d say two of them were definitely outclassed by the competition. Diver and Rubber Ducky had some fun out there, but if we’re going based on quality of vocals and overall performance, they were both beat by Gazelle, S’More and Cow, with the latter two battling for best of the night.
On the bottom end, we’d argue that Rubber Ducky had the weakest vocals, but he was also a whole lot of fun to watch as a performer. For that reason, we’d give him the slightest edge for overall entertainment quality, which would mean the end of the road for Diver.
But what did the studio audience and panel do? They apparently focused more on the voice and sent Rubber Ducky home. We can’t be too mad about it, as he was not that great, but we loved the costume and how funny he was out there. Alas, it wasn’t enough.
- Robin Thicke: David Arquette
- Jenny McCarthy: Marlon Wayans
- Ken Jeong: Anthony Anderson
- Nicole Scherzinger: Jaleel White
Well, we didn’t think of famous families being television families, but it certainly expands the possibilities. But we were kind of feeling Jenny’s guess of Marlon Wayans, or perhaps another Wayans brother. As it turns out, the TV family angle was more correct, as was Ken Jeong! Anderson starred with DiCaprio in The Departed and was in Scary Movie 3 and 4, which matches the VHS tape, so good guess, Ken!
What is happening right now?
He was right, though, as it was Anthony Anderson under there, and we can’t tell if we’re more shocked at who it was, or the fact that Ken was right! Anthony told Nick this was “the most bizarre thing” he’s ever done before quipping, “I’m naked up here under these bubbles right now.”
The Masked Singer continues next Wednesday with NFL Night at 8pm ET on Fox.