‘The Masked Singer’ Recap: Ladybug Gets Squashed

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At the top of Wednesday (November 13) night’s airing, Nick Cannon gives the sobering announcement that we’re a mere four episodes away from the Masked Singer semi-finals. What a long, cold, lonely winter it will be when this all goes away. To ease the blow, the producers treat us to another mega-A-lister as guest panelist this week: Triumph The Insult Comic Dog. No, for real.

The cigar-toting puppet takes a seat between familiar faces Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger, and, as per usual, they attempt to guess who’s behind the masks of the five latest performers left from the remaining ten.

Fox

Ginger-furred Fox is hoping everyone’s in the mood for some breakbeats, as he busts out Bobby Brown’s “Every Little Step.” Ahead of that, he drops a few more clues about his true identity, including the fact that he’s had a 30-year career and is used to being packaged with a pack of other guys. No matter what age he is, Fox is pretty damn adept at dancing. He even drops into a split as his 45 seconds of performance are up. I feel like I threw my back out just watching.

Robin is still convinced Fox is AJ McLean from Backstreet Boys. Nicole is thinking Emmy-winning This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown, because why not? Triumph throws out that Fox could be Lou Dobbs, and immediately becomes my favorite guest panelist ever.

Ladybug

Black-dotted diva Ladybug clearly has seized upon the previous assumption from the panelists that she might be Ashlee Simpson, because she drops an “L.O.V.E.” reference and once more hints at her famous family in her latest clues package. I’m 100 percent here for a junior Simpson revival.

Ladybug’s performance of 5 Seconds Of Summer’s “Youngblood” has Jenny praising her confidence and thinking she’s Paris Jackson. Ken is stuck on Lindsay Lohan, while Triumph considers Ladybug’s “big booty” and guesses Nicki Minaj. 

Flower

I’m a Flower fan, so any time we get to hear her soulful voice is a reminder that this show can occasionally lure in true talent. Her big clue this week is this statement: “Being on stage was always my dream, girls.” Triumph blurts out, “It’s Eddie Murphy!”, and that seals his status as best panelist this show has ever seen, guest or otherwise.

Flower lends her pipes to Lonestar’s country crossover smash “Amazed.” It seems an odd choice, but she does her vocal magic. Robin is locked in on Flower being Patti LaBelle, and so am I — though I’m also secretly hoping for a Chaka Khan reveal. Work with me on this one, kids.

Tree

Out of all the costumes this season, Tree has my favorite, because it’s so over-the-top. She’s truly owning the ridiculousness of this trash. Tree tosses out a Strangers With Candy reference as a clue (along with a Broadway playbill), and if this ends up being Amy Sedaris, who is all about celebrating humanity’s silly side, it will be the most meta thing to have ever happened on Fox. And this is a statement coming from someone who has seen every episode of The X Files, Melrose Place and Glee.

After Tree belts out Meghan Trainor’s “No Excuses,” Triumph says she looks like “the last thing Elton John sees before the Ambien kicks in.” I need Triumph in my life daily from here on out. For one last hint, Tree offers up a bowl of soup as her “revealing item,” and says, “If it wasn’t for soup, I’m not sure I would be where I’m at today."

Rottweiler

The night’s final disguised performer, Rottweiler, admits he didn’t take the conventional route to stardom. A North Carolina flag and images of police tape flutter by in his clues package, before he croons a decent rendition of Ed Sheeran’s schmaltzy “Castle on the Hill.”

Jenny is on her feet through her entire critique. She declares this being the “best performance of the entire show, or the entire season.” Ken actually seems to make an intelligent guess for once when he suggests Rottweiler might be Gavin DeGraw, who, like himself, he says is from North Carolina. Alas, a quick glance at Wikipedia reveals DeGraw was born and raised in New York, and attended Boston’s Berklee College Of Music. So Ken, as usual, is just being Ken.

Eliminated: I figured it would be Ladybug’s time to go this week, and I’m pretty excited about seeing Ashlee Simpson’s head pop out from under the mask. Except it’s actually Kelly Osbourne — something no one saw coming, since she’s been adopting a fake Southern accent to cover her British tongue. Triumph spits his cigar out in response.

Kelly’s parting words? “Oh my god, I literally shit myself every week!”

Fantastic.