TV Recap: The Masked Singer – Love It Or Leave It?

The Masked Singer
Love It Or Leave It? Review

January 2, 2019

Readers of PopCultureReview know we don’t usually discuss reality shows, let alone cover or review them. However, we felt that the oddity that is Fox’s The Masked Singer deserved some attention.

THE MASKED SINGER Logo – Black © FOX 2018

A reality singing show with celebrities (“celebrities”?) dressed as animals? A panel of judges?, professional guessers?, which includes Jenny McCarthy and Ken Jeong among its number? Just typing that out, I am thinking, “what the fuck is this show?” Well, our newest PCR contributor drew the short straw, Sheila, volunteered to give The Masked Singer a watch and see what it is about and whether it’s worth the hype that it is receiving.

To give you some context, in its most recent week (Week 3), The Masked Singer was the most watched show the entire night in the key 18-49 demographic.  That is a night (Wednesday, January 16) which included brand new episodes of the NBC hits, Chicago’s Fire, PD and Med (these 3 shows did win the night for overall viewers).

This was the night that Peacock, Monster, Unicorn, Deer and Lion performed and Joel McHale joined as a guest panelist. There is a sentence I never thought I’d type.  Without further delay, let’s find out if Sheila wanted to Love It Or Leave It? BEWARE OF SPOILERS!

I’m three episodes into The Masked Singer and I have to admit, I’m hooked. In fact, I’m impatient for Wednesday nights now. I’m not usually one for contestant shows; I hung up my American Idol microphone years ago now (although David Cook from Season 8 … you’re still my ride or die). But this captivating who-sung-it draws you in with an air of mystery and complete spectacle.

The premise is simple and all the same, quite infuriating because one of our senses has essentially been cut off.  There are 10 celebrity contestants in all, each dressed from head to toe in the most outlandish costumes ranging from a painted ab-bedecked pineapple to a gilded lion. Their voices are disguised other than when they are singing. There is a short pre-recorded snippet giving clues as to who the masked performer could be.

We have the requisite host in Nick Cannon and a panel of judges: Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong, and Nicole Scherzinger. In the first two weeks of the show, we saw all 10 celebs perform, 5 each per week. Now in Week 3, the 5 celebrities from Week 1 performed again. The audience votes to see who’s in the lower ranks and the performer with the lowest number of votes is unmasked. In Week 1, Antonio Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers was the first to be unmasked and Tommy Chong was revealed in Week 2.

CR: Michael Becker / FOX.

Sometimes the judges dip into annoying territory as they brainstorm [Ed. Note: playing fast and loose with “brain” here, no?] to figure out the identity of the performer (I’m looking at you, Jenny McCarthy), but it’s more that they’re talking over the performances. That just might be me? That being said, Ken Jeong is just what a judges panel needs: wit and comedic timing. He’s energetic and adds to the engaging nature of the show.

In Week 3, Joel McHale was thrown into the mix as a guest judge. He added a great dynamic with funny banter and decent guesses. Him and Jeong cracked me up all night, loved their binoculars .

First up was the Lion, who gave us a knock-it-out-of-the-park rendition of “Feeling Good.” Then the Deer performed “Get Your Shine On.” Up next was the Peacock singing,“Counting Stars,” followed by Unicorn with “Oops I Did It Again.” Last up was the Monster with, “I Don’t Want To Be.” Beware! Spoilers ahead.

The Deer was unmasked in Week 3 and it was Terry Bradshaw, football commentator and former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback. [Ed. Note: Did the Steelers get a discount for handing over players to this show? Do they get a cut of the ad revenue?!?]

CR: Michael Becker / FOX.

Love It Or Leave It? Love it! Part of the fun is figuring out from the clues who it could be, listening to their voice and performance for additional information, and deciding if they’re a professional singer or not. While the Deer, who was unmasked tonight, was not a professional singer, I was blown away in his two performances at the strength of his voice. And what a fun character to be unmasked tonight!

Predictions. I’m going on the record: Donny Osmond is the Peacock.

The Masked Singer airs Wednesday nights at 9pm/8c on Fox.  Follow me on Twitter at @SheilsMcGangsta and let me know your guesses!

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