Watching the Fox network’s The Masked Singer over the last two nights (!!!) has been akin to having a front-row seat to the Battle of Little Big Horn; loud, bombastic, confusing, hectic and quite bloody, although the warm liquid drenching my Orville Redenbacher’s Melt On Caramel isn’t ichor but, rather, my own salty tears as I reluctantly wave a fond farewell to three masked celebrities.
The proceedings kicked off on Tuesday evening and ye olde scribbler of words and such missed the memo of there being an episode on this particular eve, necessitating a quick and harried shuffling of television programming that my better half and I would otherwise indulge our respective penchant for cheese on (Goodbye Tuesday night’s ritualistic – some may masochistic – viewing of Chopped and Ghost Adventures). An emergency run to the nearby liquor store scared up our usually customary Wednesday evening bottle of Vino and with wine glasses at the ready we prepared ourselves for Tuesday’s impromptu airing of the show that’s so bad that it’s circled around on itself and started all over again and actually become good (sorta).
Let’s just start this off by saying that December 10, 2019 was not a particularly good day to be a Tree, Christmas or otherwise. The remaining contestants – Tree, Fox, Thingamajig, Leopard, Rottweiler and Flamingo – did their level best to razzle and dazzle the judges and studio audience, but at the end of the day a desperate telephone call was made for one Paul Bunyan to come in and chop down Tree. We can presume George Washington was busy, perhaps planting more cherry trees even as we speak.
Cause and effect: How was Tree ultimately felled by the ax? It all began so promising with Fox and his rendition of – wait for it – Jamie Foxx’s (worth the slight wait, wouldn’t you agree?) signature tune, Blame It featuring T-Pain.
Moment of digression: Speaking of T-Pain, the venerable rapper (who also happened to win last season’s The Masked Singer) was on hand last night to serve as a judge, and his salient commentary on the proceedings were in keeping with the spirit of his fellow judges Ken Jeong, Robin Thicke, Nicole Scherzinger and Jenny McCarthy as they were egged on by the hostest with the mostest, Nick Cannon who is currently attempting to stay one step ahead of BFF Eminem in their ongoing Hallmark salutary war of words. T-Pain is alright, but he’s no Joel McHale who was at least missed by this viewer after two welcome episodes in a row of judging. Film, television, music, comics, whatever…Someone get this guy a project worthy of his talents ASAP!
Done diagraming the above paragraph, junior woodchucks? Good, because I’m itching to dive back into my Readers Digest abridged book version of a review. Leopard had a good showing on Tuesday night, putting a paw mark on fun.’s We Are Young. Thingamajig followed with John Legend’s Ordinary People and camped it up in the only way a costumed celeb could, at one point going out of the way to play the cheese loudly to Nicole Scherzinger while T-Pain looked on with childlike wonder. Enthusiasm such as this does my old cheese predilection proud.
Rounding out Tuesday’s Amateur Hour was Flamingo crooning Go Your Own Way (a song I’ll forever associate with Kevin smith’s directorial debut, Clerks), Tree’s take on The Edge of Glory and Rottweiler’s mournful howl-fest, Someone You Loved.
But it was Tree that was marked, chopped down and shipped out to the lumber yard, standing revealed upon unmasking as Ana Gasteyer of Saturday Night Live fame.
With Tree pulped and turned into a tablet of paper that no one under the age of forty knew what to do with (ah, generational humor, what a gas!) we now turn our attention to last night’s orgy of elimination on The Masked Singer as two – count them, ladies and gentleman, two! – E! Network staples put out their work resumes for the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars (I’m blunt, but I have a point).
Fox panted out his take on the ode to syrupy Christmas tunes everywhere, Donny Hathaway’s This Christmas while Rottweiler appropriately followed up with The Killers’ Mr. Brightside. Thingamajig, not to be bested for holiday themed, network mandated Christmas cheerfulness, leapt into the fray with old Uncle Bing’s (Crosby that is) Winter Wonderland. The real showstopper in the continuing parade of “Y’know, I’ve heard worse” emitted from the golden tonsils of Flamingo who brought us a dissection of Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah. There was nary a dry eye in the house as Flamingo, straight out of a John Waters film (guess which one) delivered the coup de gras to fellow competitors. Woe be unto Leopard, who followed this with Shirley Bassey’s Big Spender, which is sort of the equivalent of following up the Beatles with Henny Youngman.
When all was said and done, the two finalists who were sent packing was Thingamajig who stood revealed as Victor Oladipo, football player for the Indians Pacers. Not being too football inclined, my reaction was muted as I’d almost convinced myself the masked singer was actually Cate Blanchett who, we all know, can play anything.
Bringing us up to date, the second unfortunate figure to be given their walking papers was Leopard who turned out to be British pop singer Seal whom I’ve never forgiven for his 1994-’95 hit Kiss from a Rose which, of course, is better known as the song used in Joel Schumacher’s 1995 Batman wank-fest, Batman Forever (I’m sorry, but Val Kilkmer replacing Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader? I say thee nay!).
So there you have it, gentle readers. Tune in next week for another tongue firmly planted in cheek review of The Masked Singer!