‘The Masked Singer’ Reveals Identities of the Pufferfish and Mother Nature: Here Are the Stars Under the Masks
SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead if you have not watched the Season 6 season premiere, part two, of “The Masked Singer,” which aired September 23 on Fox.
For the results of night one, including the unmasking of Octopus, go here.
“The Masked Singer” managed to wipe out two ‘90s icons in one episodic swoop. Thursday night’s episode, the second part of a two-night Season 6 premiere, opened with the unmasking of actor Vivica A. Fox as Mother Nature. Later, the episode ended with the exit of singer Toni Braxton as the Pufferfish.
Fox and Braxton joined Lakers star Dwight Howard as the first three celebrities to be unmasked on Season 6 of Fox’s “The Masked Season” — a week one triple elimination. With their exits came two new wildcards to the competition: Hamster and Baby,
Host Nick Cannon said Braxton’s quick exit “might be the biggest upset in ‘Masked Singer’ history. Ever. I think you guys are going to be upset that you decided to keep the wildcards over this performer.”
Braxton as Pufferfish sang “Levitating,” by Dua Lipa feat. Da Baby (and yes, she did the rap). On night one she sang “Say So,” by Doja Cat.
“When I was in school, I was sheltered. My household was very religious,” Braxton said in her “Masked Singer” video package. “While the other kids were off going to movies and listening to music, all of that was off-limits to me, and I had to keep my dreams to myself. When I first rose to fame I definitely turned heads. Some of the things I wore got people talking back at church. I didn’t care, it felt good to express myself. I’m leaning into that sexy side here. I feel like I’m at the Met Gala. And even though this gown is so me, I’m loving throwing off the panel by changing my voice. And I gotta say, I’m hoping to make their heads spin again tonight. I guess I’ve always loved getting people talking.”
Braxton wore a mask under the mask, for extra COVID-19 protection, which may have also disguised her voice a bit more.
No one got it right. Ken Jeong named Zoe Saldana as his pick. Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg guessed Nelly Furtado and Nicole Scherzinger thought it was Monica. Robin Thicke thought it was Jessica Alba.
For Mother Nature, Jeong and McCarthy Wahlberg both guessed Tiffany Haddish. Scherzinger went with Chelsea Handler for her first impression but switched to Tracee Ellis Ross for her pick. Thicke’s first impression was Ross, and he stuck with her for his pick. None of them got it right.
“The Masked Singer” enters Season 6 with 16 contestants, and the return of a studio audience for the first time since the pandemic began. This season’s costumes include Baby, Banana Split, Beach Ball, Bull, Caterpillar, Cupcake, Dalmatian, Hamster, Mallard, Mother Nature, Octopus, Pepper, Pufferfish, Queen of Hearts and Skunk.
The Season 6 contestants boast a combined 85 Grammy Nominations and 27 wins, three Academy Award nominations, 12 Emmy Nominations, 12 Razzie Award Nominations, two Super Bowl appearances and two Lifetime Achievement Awards.
The show’s panelists will once again compete for a “Golden Ear” trophy based on their first impressions of each masked performer (which McCarthy has won the last two times) — and in week one, all of the panelists’ final guesses were also their first impressions. Jeong went into episode two with a point, having guessed Howard; no one received a point for Vivica A. Fox.
As for Pufferfish, Thicke’s first impression was Jessica Alba. McCarthy Wahlberg chose Jennifer Lopez. Jeong at first picked Issa Rae. Scherzinger named Paula Abdul for her first impression. No one gained a point.
Also new this season, a “Take It Off” buzzer will allow the show’s panelists to prematurely demand a celebrity remove their mask, if they’re convinced they know who it is. They’ll get two extra points toward the Golden Ear tally if they’re right. If they’re wrong, they’ll be “severely punished,” whatever that means.
Here were the other contestants and their performances on night two:
Song: “Oh, Pretty Woman,” by Roy Orbison
Locker clue: Baseball bat. “It’s sunny and I like to play baseball.”
Voice-over: “I wanted to become the Hamster because my body, unfortunately, is very much shaped like a hamster. And also, I felt stuck in a bit of a wheel, going round and round. I mean who hasn’t felt a little cooped up the last year or so? But it has been difficult because I’m a guy who’s always jumping from one project to the next with my famous friends. I’m used to being in all kinds of arenas, and this last year has been tricky keeping the momentum going. But now, I’m breaking routine, so I can release all that pent-up energy. As the wildcard, I promise I’ll be the teacher’s pet.”
Panel guesses: Bill Murray, Brendan Fraser, Albert Brooks, Tim Allen, Kelsey Grammer, Andy Richter, Jack Black
Song: “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World,” by James Brown
Previous song: “Diamonds,” by Sam Smith
Locker clue: “Because of miseducation, I’m always ready for the action.”
Voice-over: “I feel like I’m forever a student. But you know, the biggest thing I’ve learned is that life happens. School was always easy for me. I had a full ride scholarship when I got some unexpected news that changed everything. I was forced to take a different course. But I learned life lessons I’d never get in the classroom. Success isn’t measured in diploma. And it turns out, that pivot in life was the greatest degree I could ever get.”
Panel guesses: Lauryn Hill, Yolanda Adams, Jill Scott, Fantasia Barrino, Janelle Monae
Previous panel guesses: Faith Evans, Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, Janet Jackson, Sade
Song: “What Hurts the Most,” by Rascal Flatts
Previous song: “Drops of Jupiter,” by Train
Locker clue: Cheerleaders. “I’ve always been a fan of school spirit. Nothing makes me happier than the cheer of the crowd.”
Voice-over: “When I was in school, I marched to the beat of my own drummer. There was one place that I felt the most free to be myself: My garage. In that dusty space, I created my own world. I put on shows, I gave the best performances, and my shows were always sold out. At least in my head, they were sold out. I lived on my own planet, and tonight I’m singing a song that reminds me of that time. And my very first crush, which inevitably also means my first heartbreak. And I think it’s true what they say, the first one hurts the most.”
Panel guesses: Darren Criss, Justin Timberlake, Brandon Flowers, Rufus Wainwright, Kevin Jonas, Zac Efron
Previous panel guesses: Hunter Hayes, Lance Bass, Brian Littrell, Sisqo, Dwayne Johnson
Song: “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything,” by Barry White
Locker clue: Report card, failed driver’s education. “Sometimes when I don’t get a nap, I get the need for feed.”
Voice-over: “I might be just a newborn in a diaper, but I’m larger than life. I was part of a baby rat pack and we was famous for throwing punches, getting my hands dirty in the action. I got blockbuster hits, an award-winning album, radio play. I’ve even replaced Schwarzenegger in a film. And now I’m here as a wildcard to make the world a giant playpen.”
Panel guesses: Will Smith, Hugh Jackman, Vin Diesel, Chuck Norris