By Lauren Huff
Updated September 16, 2020 at 03:20 PM EDT
Credit: Michael Becker/FOX (3)

The Masked Singer

  • TV Show
  • Fox

As much as The Masked Singer emphasizes the mystery of who's behind the costume, it can be easy to forget that the show is still, at its core, a singing competition — and usually a really good one.

Sure, you have your White Tigers and your Bears (Rob Gronkowski and Sarah Palin, respectively), the non-professional singers who seem to come on the show more for the fun of it all than to show off their vocal range. But you also have your Turtles (Jesse McCartney), your Monsters (T-Pain), and your Kitties (Jackie Evancho), who have some seriously impressive pipes.

To celebrate the best of the best of the wacky show, EW rounded up the best performances from each season so far. Vocal chops were a major consideration, but we also took into account the staging, arrangement, originality, and choreography. After all, performance is the whole package. Check out our picks below.

Season 3

Turtle singing "Fix You" by Coldplay

In this shell of a performance, Turtle (McCartney) gave his soulful take on the Coldplay song, which was complemented by unique set design and choreography from the backup dancers. Turtle nailed the melody, and his vocals were perfect to boot. Turtle had many incredible performances throughout season 3 — shoutout to "Kiss From a Rose" — but EW staffers had goosebumps throughout "Fix You," which featured a different side to his vocal range.

Kitty singing "Dangerous Woman" by Ariana Grande

Like Turtle, Kitty (Evancho) had many purrfect performances. But with "Dangerous Woman," she really came into her own. She embraced her sultry persona and the song choice really highlighted her stunning voice. Plus, there's something impressive about effectively using a yellow chair as your only prop.

Frog singing "Whatever It Takes" by Imagine Dragons

Frog (Bow Wow) hopped his way to the finale with consistently entertaining performances. With "Whatever It Takes," though, he took things up a notch by taking a non-rap song and turning it into one. He made the song his own and played it to his strengths. His incredible dance skills, which in this case he utilized without backup performers, also brought the house down.

Night Angel singing "Million Reasons" by Lady Gaga

Night Angel (Kandi Burruss) tackled just about every musical genre out there throughout her time on season 3, but she was best when she put her powerful voice to use in a ballad, such as this Lady Gaga hit. This emotional song gave a showcase for Burruss' distinct vibrato, and the resulting performance was — dare we say it? — quite angelic.

Astronaut singing "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley 

You didn't think we'd forget about the time a contestant Rickrolled us all on April Fool's Day, did you? (From one '90s baby to another: Hunter Hayes, we thank you.) Jokes aside, Astronaut's out of this world rendition of the classic pop hit starts off as a ballad, giving the song a new twist. The staging and choreography were also one of the more unique sets from Astronaut.

Season 2

Thingamajig singing "Rainbow" by Kacey Musgraves

Thingamajig (Victor Oladipo) was the king of the soulful slow song (just ask his No. 1 fan, Nicole Scherzinger), but his version of "Rainbow" was truly the crème de la crème. Who could resist that falsetto and that emotion? The fact that Oladipo is not a professional singer by trade — he's a basketball player for the Indiana Pacers — makes this performance all the more unbelievable.

Flamingo singing "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley

With nothing but stained glass windows adorning the stage behind her, Flamingo (Adrienne Bailon) took all of us to church with her version of "Hallelujah." Her through-line throughout the season was doubting the quality of her own voice, but with the notes she hits in this performance, she should never, ever doubt herself again. To quote panelist Jenny McCarthy, "You slayed, girlfriend!"

Rottweiler singing "Maneater" by Hall & Oates

The more obvious choice might be Rottweiler's (Chris Daughtry) rendition of Lewis Capaldi's "Someone You Loved," but we went with "Maneater" because he took a classic and messed with the arrangement to give it a new spin. The performance was pawsitively high energy, and the set design was super fun to boot. With "Maneater," the dog showed he did not come to play — he was there to compete.

Fox singing "Tennessee Whiskey" by Chris Stapleton

Fox's (Wayne Brady) smooth vocals were the perfect match for this song, and he brought so much passion and warmth to it. It wasn't one of the many high-energy performances that Fox gave over the course of the season, but when you've got a take on a song that's “warm as a glass of brandy,” you don't need all the extras.

Leopard singing "Big Spender" by Shirley Bassey

If there's one contestant on The Masked Singer who created a character and owned it, it was Leopard (or shall we say, Seal?). And this performance truly embodied the spirit of that character: It's flamboyant, and a bit garish. But it features classic Seal vocals and holiday decorations, so what's not to love?

Season 1

Monster singing "Stay With Me" by Sam Smith

The panelists cried. We cried. This is one of the show's best performances, period. T-Pain's rich tone accentuated the emotional highs and lows of Sam Smith's hit, and although he won after singing "This Is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan, this is the performance we'll always remember Monster by.

Bee singing "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus

Only the legendary Gladys Knight could come in [like a wrecking ball] and make an already great song greater. Just when you think she couldn't possibly push her incredible range further, she does. This performance gets bonus points for the backup dancers clad in full ballgowns and wigs cavorting about the stage.

Peacock singing "The Greatest Show" by Hugh Jackman

The costumes! The choreography! The vocals! Peacock (Donny Osmond) really strutted his stuff with this number, which felt like something out of a live Broadway show. As the first performance, the Peacock started The Masked Singer off on a high note — and the rest is history.

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The Masked Singer

Celebs compete in this crazy reality-singing TV show while wearing elaborate costumes to conceal their identities. Can you guess the celebrity behind the mask?
  • TV Show
  • 3
  • In Season
  • Fox