The Masked Singer is back baby! This year promises an amped-up competition, with four more costumes than last year (for a total of 16), higher caliber celebrities and harder-to-guess clues as to who's yodeling under those masks.
Season 2 kicked off as it should: with host Nick Cannon seducing eyeballs with his fashion-forward wardrobe. Actually, he was pretty demure in this episode, but his shoes were covered in rhinestones, as if Beyoncé herself sneezed on them and sent Nick to sashay out into the world, bedazzled for the gods. His hoofs were so exquisitely adorned it was almost easy to forget that he said the Season 2 contestants have a combined 42 Grammy nominations, 14o films, 35 No.1 hits, and 22 Broadway shows between them. The figures made a lot of sense once the signing got underway. Some of the cats on stage (and I mean cats in the jazz-talk way, there weren't any actual cat costumes) were really good but some of them weren't. Two got unmasked in the first episode — scroll to the bottom to find out who.
Matchup #1 Butterfly vs Egg
Butterfly: Man, these costumes are good! Butterfly came out — someone whom Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke thought was skinny and with long legs ,but might be young or old. (Jeez, can someone be in the middle?) Butterfly opened the season by howling out "Bang Bang" by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, and it's clear she's got pipes. She's got a soulful voice — one that's a bit high pitched — but she's "definitely a singer," as Jenny remarked. It was a great debut, and she's going to be in this competition for a minute. That is, if she doesn't fly away so she can stop hearing Jenny and Nicole argue over whether she's old or not.
Guesses: Names floated included Cara Delevingne, which is a good one. Jenny said Fantasia, but, no way. Someone said Mel B. but it was agreed she doesn't have the range. (Shade!) Nicole threw out Diana Ross and Diana Ross needs to tell her to stop in the name of love with that nonsense.
Egg: The package started with him on stage with a chair and a mic, like a stand up performer. Then we saw a snow globe, and a stuffed animal swan. Egg said he chose the egg because he's strong on the outside and vulnerable on the inside and though he's versatile, this is a leap for him, which lead everyone to believe he's not really a singer. We saw Egg hanging ornaments from a dream catcher, including a dress design and a skateboard. He mentioned being at the top of a pyramid and taking home the gold: a possible hint at the Olympics. He sang "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga, and if that wasn't a pretty strong hint this is a gay guy (no shade) then the vogue-inspired movements confirmed it. He can't sing that great but, he was serving it hot like an omelette at a buffet. Still, he got fried in this competition and headed to the Smackdown, where he was beaten by Skeleton.
Guesses: Johnny Weir, Adam Rippon were two names floated that made sense; Ken Jeong guessed J0nathan Van Ness of Queer Eye. Nicole guessed Christian Siriano — another good one.
Matchup #2 Thingamajig vs Skeleton
Thingamajig Wow! This dude came out singing "Easy" by The Commodores and sounded exceptional. This guy had it all: vocal runs, power, finesse and stamina. All the judges were impressed too. Whoever he is, he's really tall and probably a basketball player based on the big hightop sneakers in his package. Also, he referenced magic and "pace" in his story: both words that happen to be the name of NBA teams.
Guesses: Robin guessed Michael Strahan, which can't be right because his size; Nicole guessed Dennis Rodman and Ken thought it might be Steph Curry — all of which can't be right.
Skeleton I totally thought for a second this could be Charlie Sheen since Skelton said he's been around the block a few times, is far from dead and he has no fear of death and Lord knows that "Winning!" period made it seem like 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.
Guesses: Ken is convinced this is Martin Short. Jenny thinks it could be Nathan Lane, who can sing much better than this, or Jon Cryer; Robin threw out Dana Carvey but his teammates noted rightfully that Dana doesn't really play second fiddle to anyone as Skeleton said he did.
Matchup #3 Ladybug vs Rottweiler
Ladybug: This lady rocked "Holding Out for a Hero" by Bonnie Tyler. She may not be professional singer, but she had a mean voice! Whoever it is, she's got a strong Southern accent, and said she's been in the professional limelight for a long time. The spinning wheel in her package, along with the nod to a "family feud" hinted that she could be a game show host.
Guesses: Robin thought it could be Lily Collins, whose dad Phil is a singer. Willow Smith came out of Jenny's mouth because who knows why, while Ken guessed Lindsay Lohan. (Oh, come on Ken.) Nicole threw out Britney's sister Jamie Lynn Spears.
Rottweiler: Another shocker of the night came when Rottweiler absolutely slayed "Maneater" by Hall & Oates. Whoever is singing this is a blue-eyed soul star, and probably not the football player he hinted he could be with references to pigskin, and a championship ring. He killed it and pushed Ladybug into the next Smackdown.
Guesses: Robin thought it could be Backstreet Boy Brian Litrell, while Jenny wondered if it was Nick Lachey. Ken thought it could be JC Chasez while Nicole had the audacity to let Bruno Mars' name come out of her mouth.
Matchup #4 Ice Cream vs Tree
Tree: Singing "High Hopes" by Panic! At the Disco, Tree has a decent voice, but one perhaps not suited best for pop-rock tunes since she was panting a bit. Still, she nailed a portion of the song that required her to hold a long, strong note. Her clue-heavy package hinted that she loves getting dolled up, and spends time in exile from the TV screen. She's an old-school style entertainer, she hinted, and likes to cook and jazz it up.
Guesses: Jenny had really good guesses with Wendi McLendon-Covey of The Goldbergs, while Ken thought Rachael Ray could be in the tree, or Beverly D'Angelo since she's been in the National Lampoon's Vacation films.
Ice Cream: This player belted out "Old Town Road," because why not hear this one more time? He's not a singer, whoever it is, and likely young. We know that since he said that he caught flack for his chosen profession/hobby, but now has over a billion reasons why following his dream was a good idea. Whoever this is, he wears a mask at his day job. He lost to Tree though, forcing him to face off against Ladybug.
Guesses: Jenny guessed pro skateboarder Rob Dyrdek. Ken wisely thought it could be YouTube star PewDiePie, or, Jenny thought, it could be a DJ like Diplo or Calvin Harris. Robin noted he performs in front of people; Marshmello's name came up too.
The Reveal: Egg and Ice Cream got unmasked, revealing Johnny Weir and gaming hero Tyler "Ninja" Blevins. Did you see it coming?
The Masked Singer Season 2 premieres Wednesday Sept. 25 at 8/7c.