TV REVIEW: “The Masked Singer” Takes a Shocking Detour as the Bloom Falls off The Flower

I’ve given this season of The Masked Singer a lot of good natured grief in my weekly write-ups of the FOX phenomenon without ever really explaining what it is about this loveable and cheesy piñata that I actually like and enjoy. To be for sure, there is a built in kitschiness to the show that almost invites extended and good-natured satirical write-ups. But there’s also something innately comforting about the way the show is set up and the overall routineness of every episode with the inane quips from the judges and the over the top theatrics of the masked performers as they bravely sashay across the stage performing whichever piece of music that has been assigned to them. That takes guts in any profession, whether it’s a so-called Velveeta-fest such as The Masked Singer or a nuclear physicist working towards world peace (conundrum that last example, but you hopefully get my point). More to the point: I. Like. This. Show. And I like it because I can be having the single worst day since Jimmy Hoffa decided to take an ill-advised meeting at a restaurant called the Machus Red Fox, but once I turn on Singer the day’s bumps and bruises, while still there, are a little less painful.

 The above confession now a matter of public record, I can begin the process of taking a closer look at last night’s eighth episode of The Masked Singer.

 Almost everyone was in fine form and full bloom last night as most of the remaining mysterious contestants of Singer performed their hearts out to an appreciative audience and the usual panel of judges with the welcome addition of The Soup and Community alum Joel McHale. Flamingo kicked the proceedings off with a rip-roaring rendition of Patti LaBelle’s perennial song, Lady Marmalade. Confession time and slipping slightly back into my Movieline snarkiness (Damn your eyes, Stephen Rebello!), everytime I hear this specific song I am struck with an overriding urge to binge on the actual fruit preserve marmalade, or at least it’s slightly tastier cousin, jelly. This can be problematic when on Atkins and many-a diet has been effectively broken thanks to the devices of Mrs. LaBelle.

 Leopard was the sophomore performance of the night with a stirring version of the ditty September by Earth, Wind & Fire, followed by Flower’s powerful interpretation of Heart’s Alone. Rottweiler stole it though, in my humble opinion, with the explosive Grenade (sorry, was that too easy?) by Mr. Bruno Mars. This trifecta of awesome noise was a welcome respite for my family after having just endured the snooze-a-thon Democratic debates earlier in the evening and I couldn’t help but wonder just how much livelier that particular event might have been if Joel McHale and Jenny McCarthy had exchanged seats with Rachel Maddow (a dead ringer for Andy Dick’s sister, by the way) and Ashley Parker. As a firm believer in parallel universes and timelines, I believe that this actually happened somewhen and that reality is all the better for it.

 It was Leopard and Flower that were ultimately sent to the smackdown however to fight for the right to perform in next week’s all new extravaganza and, shockingly and sadly to this sad sack, it was Flower that was served with walking papers. This was poignant for me because I’ve actually given sworn testimony to Adam Schiff and company that in all the great wide world never was there a contestant that resounded for me like The Flower. Schiff, for his part, announced that he would hold televised hearings to look into my odd predilection.

 So, reveal time. Just who was that masked singer? In a case of life literally imitating art, Flower was none other than…Patti LaBelle?!? This revelation left me shocked and even more saddened and I suddenly had a new empathy for the whole Scooby-Doo Gang and their own unquestionable sadness upon unmasking their own villains of the week. This is real life going on here, kids.

 With Flower now gone the way of the telephone booth (we hardly knew ye!), seven masked contestants remain and I have a feeling that I’d better get a chilled bottle of Vino ready; it’s going to be a difficult and bumpy ride.

About Ryan Vandergriff

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