‘The Masked Singer’ Season 2, Episode 1 Recap: “Return of the Masks”

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Courtesy of 'The Masked Singer'
Courtesy of ‘The Masked Singer’

Are you a fan of using clues to solve mysteries? Are you also a fan of reality TV shows and singing celebrities? Then you might enjoy The Masked Singer! The second season of The Masked Singer is finally here! Each week a group of the masked celebrities will sing a song. Their intros include visual and verbal clues. Anytime they talk, their voice is disguised. Then, based on in-studio audience voting, the weakest performer is unmasked.

Nick Cannon, the host, mentions that the clues will be much harder this year, because the only other option was to shut down Google. The judges are Nicole Scherzinger (Grammy nominated Singer-Songwriter), Ken Jeong (Actor-Comedian), Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg (bestselling author and pop culture guru), and Robin Thicke (Grammy nominated musician).

Sixteen masked singers — including athletes, actors, politicians, and international recording stars — are ready to take over your television each week. The stars this season have 42 Grammy nods, 140 films, 35 number one hits, 21 platinum records, and 22 Broadway shows. They also have 29 children, 28 tattoos, and eight divorces. Eight masked singers will face off for the first episodes, in Group A and Group B. After each face-off the studio audience and panel will vote. The winner of the face-off will move on. The bottom four singers will go head-to-head in more smackdowns. Then the famous faces behind the bottom two masks will be revealed.

Here is a recap of this week’s performances:

Group A: Butterfly versus Egg

When the Butterfly came out, the judges were trying to tell if they are young or old based on their movements. Robin mentioned the legs are very slim. The butterfly has been waiting in its cocoon, waiting for metamorphosis for the past year. The clue package showed the Butterfly being a part of a photoshoot. The butterfly achieved success in many stages of life, but ended up terrified of the one place they used to call home. As they said this, there is a photo of Big Ben in London on the screen. Jenny throws out that it could be Posh. Butterfly is ready to be reborn, to admit they are powerless to take back their power. This flight will release the past and everyone who has clipped their wings. She’s ready to take you to church.
Song performed: “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Manaj
Judges’ Comments: Once Butterfly started singing, Jenny mentioned she does not think she’s old. Nicole says she’s a singer. She’s a natural. Nicole said what a way to open the show. She said the performance was electrifying, and that she thinks the Butterfly will be around for awhile. Ken says he’s already confused. Robin noted the clue that people were taking pictures in the package, and she may be a model. Nicole said maybe the Butterfly is Cara Delevingne. Jenny said her voice reminds her of Fantasia or Mel B. Another guess from Nicole is Diana Ross.
Question Time: What makes you the Butterfly? I love to float gracefully, and “I’ve got a lot of soul in these wings.” Nicole called the Butterfly out on doing a Southern accent and thinks that it’s an English person doing an accent. Jenny said, “or she’s Southern.” As the Butterfly left the stage, Nicole said she thinks it’s an older person.

When the Egg came out Nicole mentioned that it’s flashy and flamboyant. She said it’s like Michael Jackson and Prince but as an egg. The montage of the Egg starts with a sign that says “Intimate Evenings with Egg.” As the Egg holds up a snow globe, they say to “Please come into my Egg-cellent world.” Nicole notes that there is a swan stuffed animal as the Egg breaks out of the shell. They say they are the Egg because they are strong on the outside but vulnerable on the inside. For years, the Egg was on top of the pyramid. The montage then shows the Egg hanging different things up on strings near a dreamcatcher: a faceless doll with a crown, a fashion sketch of a model in a dress, a skateboard clipart, and another doll with an egghead. “No matter who you are, if you put in the work and are unapologetically yourself, anything is possible.” The Egg is going for the gold and guarantees they will be a tough one to crack. Before the Egg starts singing, Nicole mentions the pose and Ken says he thinks he may know who it is.
Song performed: “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga
Judges’ Comments: Jenny does not think the Egg is a professional singer, but they have a lot to offer. Robin threw out Tony Hawk, but Jenny said she thinks the skateboard may be a play on words and that the Egg is an ice skater. She suggested maybe Johnny Weir or Adam Rippon. The Egg laughed. Ken disagreed and said he thinks it is a TV personality, and thinks that it’s Jonathan Van Ness. Nicole is thinking more of the fashion designer route because of the Couture jacket and the wedding dress sketch. The Egg is possibly Christian Siriano.
Question Time: What makes you the Egg? “I’m always Egg-tra. And I do enjoy a good sparkle.”

After the two performances the studio audience and the judges voted to see who moves on from this showdown.

The Butterfly is the winner!

Group A: Thingamajig versus Skeleton

The Thingamajig is introduced with the song “Wild Thing.”
Strength: Can reach anything
Weakness: small spaces
The introduction package has the Thingamajig singing with a 90s inspired background. The Thingamajig says they are a gentle giant, the feathery kind. The Thingamajig is seen walking with a cartoon briefcase with wings, said to be a “magic case.” Then, on the next screen, he does a magic trick by pulling out a lot of handkerchiefs from another briefcase and blue and purple feather boas. Robin asks how tall is David Copperfield. The Thingamajig says they love to sing, though people may not think that’s his thing. He’s more than just fashion shoots and dreams. He holds up sneakers, then is made to look like he’s crossing a tightrope between two huge sneakers. He then blows out a glittery blue “4” candle on a cupcake that looks like it could be red velvet. He’s the “singing, dancing Thingamajig.” Before he starts singing, Ken yells out that he knows who it is.
Song performed: “Easy” by The Commodores
Judges’ Comments: Ken said the performance was amazing. He thought it was an athlete and didn’t think they would be able to carry a tune, but he really loved the performance. Nicole said the Thingamajig has a natural voice and tone. Robin said he felt like an athlete, too, with the swagger. He’s getting the vibe of a love child of Larry King and a muppet. The person he first thought was Michael Strahan. They said maybe it’s a leaner NBA player. Jenny mentioned she doesn’t get the briefcase with the wings. Nicole said she thinks the number four stands for four titles. Ken thinks it’s for four NBA rings. Nick Cannon mentioned “or four divorces.” Jenny thought of Steph Curry with the feathers. Then they started talking about height. Jenny asked Nick how tall he is. He is 6’1,” and the Thingamajig towers over him. Ken joked he’s actually 5”6’. Nicole mentioned maybe it’s Dennis Rodman.
Question Time: What in the world is a Thingamajig? “A thingamajig is a thing that likes to majig.”

While going to commercial break, Robin mentions the song choice with the lyrics “easy like Sunday morning,” possibly referencing Sunday morning Football games.

Strength: Bone density
Weakness: No guts
As the Skeleton comes out, the judges mention that they are little and are possibly a comedian. The Skeleton chose to be the Skeleton because they have no fear of death, and they don’t over eat. They’ve been around the block a few times but are far from dead. Many doors have opened for the Skeleton. It’s key to success is always say yes. Like a skeleton, the Skeleton always provides support but is tired of playing second fiddle. Jenny mentioned maybe that means a sitcom and suggests Jason Alexander. The Skeleton opens a door where a Christmas party is being celebrated and notes tonight is going to be a “wild and crazy” party. Party on, dudes. Ken mentions he thinks it’s a Steve Martin or Martin Short thing with the “wild and crazy” comment.
Song performed: “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang and “Good Times” by Chic mash-up.
Judges’ Comments: Nicole said the performance was fire. She’s getting Vegas or Broadway vibes and thinks the Skeleton is a seasoned performer with obvious comedy chops. Ken said it was the funniest performance of the evening with an old school vibe. The judges agree they get a comedian vibe. Jenny mentions the second fiddle clue and suggests that it could be Jon Cryer, but also says there is a Nathan Lane vibe. Robin suggests Dana Carvey (which could link to the “party on” comment).
Question Time: What makes you shake your bones as the Skeleton? “I have no booty to shake, so all I can do is shake, shake, shake.”

Ken joked that it’s his father, but then said he knows it’s Martin Short. He has his cadence, and Ken has studied Martin Short since he was a kid. After the two performances, the studio audience and the judges voted to see who moves on from this show-down.

Thingamajig is the winner.

The First Smackdown:
The Skeleton then has to battle against The Egg in the smackdown. The loser will be unmasked at the end of the show.

Egg starts off the showdown with “One Way or Another” by Blondie. Skeleton performs “Hard to Handle” by Otis Redding. Jenny said the Egg was on it vocally, but that the Skeleton brought it. Nicole says there is something about The Skeleton. She’s confused because she was on board with Ken’s conviction that the Skeleton is Martin Short, but said he has a lot of soul and grit in his voice.

Skeleton says he has a bone to pick with the Egg,. “The egg is a good choice, but you’re getting beaten.” The Egg replies that eggs are the breakfast of champions.

The winner of the smackdown is the Skeleton! The Egg will be unmasked at the end of the show.

Group B: Rottweiler versus Ladybug:

Ladybug entered to “Oh Snap.”
Strength: Good luck
Weakness: Windshields
Nicole can’t tell if she’s young or old. The clue clip starts with a photo showing a cameraman for KSOR TV, and then a shot of a television audience from another era. The Ladybug introduces everyone to “Spin Your Wheels.” The wheel includes a turkey leg, a pumpkin, a drawing of a bridge, a stuffed dog with mail in its mouth, a judge’s gavel, a crab, a skeleton head, a police car, and a baseball bat. She’s becoming a Ladybug, because after a lifetime of drama, she could really use a little love and a lot of luck. She was born into the limelight and had to stay up with every piece of gossip with family feud (this was said as the bridge was the result on the wheel). She said no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t win. Now, after years of spinning her wheels, being anonymous makes her feel like she’s already won a prize (this was said as the baseball bat was the result on the wheel). Then as the stuffed dog with the three pieces of mail is selected on the wheel, the Ladybug said she’s here to perform on her own terms without being judged. “Wish me luck!” Robin points out that she’s nervous.
Song performed: “Holding Out For a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler
Judges’ Comments: During the performance, Jenny comments that she can sing! Nicole said she feels like she knows the tone. Robin loved that she brought out a Footloose classic song. Nicole commented that she thinks this person may be a trained singer, and that she thought she may recognize the tone. Robin commented that it could be Lilly Collins, Phil Collin’s daughter. Biggest clue for Jenny was the famous family and said she was thinking Willow Smith. Ken suggests Lindsay Lohan. Nick comments that the Ladybug made hand movements to say Ken is crazy when he suggested that.
Question Time: What makes you the Ladybug? “I’ve been through so much in my life that I just feel so lucky to be here that I picked the ladybug.”

Nicole said she thinks it could be Jamie Lynn Spears because of the Southern accent.

Rottweiler entered to “Who Let the Dogs Out?”
Strength: Protective
Weakness: Ribeyes
Nicole mentioned he walked in like Prince. She said it’s obviously someone young and cool. Every top dog knows they have to look and perform their best. The Rottweiler comments about touching a pigskin under the Friday night lights, and learned that preparation is key. There is a shot of a bouquet of blue roses. He commented that he rose to fame overnight, and the screen shows a Fantasy Champion ring on his finger. He chose the Rottweiler because he was bitten by one as a kid. The screen shows a record player with a record that has “LIVE” on it. This is an opportunity to embody his fear and to show the doubters it’s not over. The Rottweiler is ready to “take a bite out of the competition.” Jenny and Ken comment that they don’t think he’s a trained singer based on the clue package.
Song performed: “Maneater” by Hall and Oates
Judges’ Comments: Once he started singing, they change their minds and don’t think it’s an athlete. Jenny throws out Nelly, and Nicole replies Bruno Mars. Nicole said it was probably the best vocal they’ve heard, and that the dog has so much swag. Ken agreed it was the best performance and that the Rottweiler is a star beneath the mask. Robin said he hears a real singer and thinks it someone that’s been on the radio. Nicole said she doesn’t think it’s a football player because of his height, but Robin suggests unless it’s Russell Wilson. Robin suggests, if they take out the football references, that he thinks it could be Brian Littrell from Backstreet Boys. Jenny said the voice sounded familiar, and that it may have been on tour with her husband (Donnie Wahlberg), and said she thinks it’s Nick Lachey from 98 Degrees. Robin comments that Nick is 6’2.” Ken said he thought JC Chasez from NSYNC when he first walked out. Nicole said his vocal style reminded her of Fall Out Boy or Incubus or Bruno Mars.
Question Time: What makes you the Rottweiler? “Loyal, fierce, and a bit of a wait and see attitude.”

After the two performances, the studio audience and the judges voted to see who moves on from this showdown.

The Rottweiler is the winner.

Group B: Tree versus Ice Cream

Tree came out to “Good as Hell”
Strength: Lights up a room
Weakness: Highly flammable
The Tree says she loves getting dolled up as the tree, but when the Christmas season is over, there’s no use for her, as they show a bin for “X- Mas Storage” next to the trees head in the trunk of a vehicle. The number outside the public storage is “30.” She wishes the world would realize she’s more than just the one thing we know her for. She said she spends so long in exile. She said she could dish out more talents to make the world smile, and there are pots shown on the screen. She’s more than an expert on delicious treats. She’s like an old school entertainer that could do it all. She’s here to jazz up her career and inspire everyone to think of her more than once a year. Nicole said it could be Martha Stewart. Ken suggests Rachel Ray as she’s performing.
Song performed: “High Hopes” by Panic! At the Disco
Judges’ Comments: Robin said she’s already one of his front runners and thought the performance was great. Ken said he thinks she’s an actor from a Christmas movie like Christmas Story or Christmas Vacation, possibly Beverly D’Angelo. Nicole said she was thinking Beverly also, or Zooey Deschanel. Jenny commented that Zooey has a more sultry voice. Nicole then also mentioned Rachel Ray. Jenny noticed that she was funny and mentioned there was a TV in the package and that she may be a television star. Combined with the domesticated clues, she thinks it could be a television mom, possibly Wendy McLendon-Covey from The Goldbergs.
Question Time: What makes you the Tree? “I’m festive and fun, and I like everyone to gather around and have a good time.”

Ken said she sounds older, to which the tree starts shaking her hips. Jenny said they are confused.

Ice Cream:
Ice Cream came out to an instrumental groove, with an ice cream truck song intro.
Strength: Super chill
Weakness: High Temperatures
The Ice Cream chose to be Ice Cream because for him, every day is cheat day, but life wasn’t always this chill. Growing up he got a lot of flack for doing the thing he loves the most. No one thought he would amount to much, and even his parents had doubts. He turned his fantasy into a reality and now has a billion reasons to be proud of his hard work and determination. The clip shows him karate chopping a piece of wood. He says he is used to performing for people, but this show is different because he’s behind a different mask. One thing he’s good at is exceeding expectations.
Song performed: “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas & Billy Cyrus
Judges’ Comments: Jenny comments that he sounds younger. Nicole said she loved the performance. Jenny said he started off like a wild child and now he’s rich, so it makes her think YouTube or someone from MTV, like Rob Dyrdek. Ken mentioned a gamer, but that he doesn’t know a lot of YouTubers outside of PewDiePie. Jenny said there were some headphones in the clue package, and that it could be a DJ like Diplo. Robin said Calvin Harris. Nicole said it’s none of them. She saw emojis in the package and it made her think of Evan Spiegal, who created Snapchat. Ken yells that they are old and asks the audience to help out. Some of the audience suggests it’s Marshmello.
Question Time: What makes you the Ice Cream? “I’m sweet and everybody loves me”

After the two performances the studio audience and the judges voted to see who moves on from this showdown.

The Tree is the winner.

The Second Smackdown:

The Ice Cream then has to battle against the Ladybug in the smackdown. The loser will be unmasked at the end of the show.

The Ice Cream starts the showdown with “Whip It” by Devo. The Ladybug performs “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar. Robin said he thinks the Ice Cream is Rob Dyrdek. Jenny said the Ladybug sounds like Jamie Lynn Spears. Nicole enjoyed both performances.

The winner of the smackdown is the Ladybug! The Ice Cream will be unmasked at the end of the show.

**Spoilers below for the unmasked singers**

The judges’ final guesses for The Egg: Robin thinks it’s Johnny Weir. Jenny agrees. Ken said the Egg’s charisma made him think it’s a reality show star, so he thinks it’s Jonathan Van Ness. Nicole said she’s sticking with designer Christian Siriano.

The Egg is revealed to be Olympic figure skater and fashion designer Johnny Weir.

Egg Clue Answers: The dress sketch in Egg’s package is a clue for Johnny’s work as a fashion designer. The skateboard in Egg’s package is a play on words, hinting to Johnny’s career as a figure skater.

The judges’ final guesses for The Ice Cream: Ken guesses PewDiePie. Nicole guesses Marshmello, and Robin jokes and asks how would he reveal his real face if none of them know what he looks like. Jenny thinks it’s Rob Dyrdek. Robin wanted to go with Dyrdek too, but is thrown by his height and some of the clues in the package. So he guesses Deadmau5.

The Ice Cream is revealed to be professional gamer, Twitch superstar, and YouTuber Tyler “Ninja” Blevins.

Ice Cream Clue Answers: Ice Cream’s mention of “a billion reasons” refers to the estimated 1.8 billion views Ninja’s videos have received. The karate chop in Ice Cream’s package is a nod to his gaming alias “Ninja.” The streamers were a nod to him being a streamer online. The handclap by the backup dancers at the end of his performance is something that he does when he wins a game.

Do you have any guesses for this season’s masked stars? Are there any other clues that you noticed during the show? Let us know in the comments!

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By Shannon
Shannon is a Florida girl who escapes the heat with TV, movies and music! On top of writing for Nerds & Beyond she has a full time job, does photography, and travels frequently to Disney, conventions or concerts. You can find her on social media as @reelnerdy!
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