The best performances from every season of The Masked Singer
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 Suns (LeAnn Rimes), Turtles (Jesse McCartney), Monsters (T-Pain), and 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, a true performance is the whole package. Check out our picks below.
Yeti singing "Lonely" by Justin Bieber and Benny Blanco
Justice for Yeti, who poured his heart and soul into his performances week after week and kept things fresh, choosing a totally different style of music each time. All of his performances were great, but EW chose this particular one because he added the extra element of rollerblading, which had never been done on The Masked Singer stage before. His serene movements coupled with the icy-gloomy set design and Omarion's haunting vocals made for one heck of an emotional performance.
Piglet singing "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder
We're pretty sure "Superstition" has never been done quite like this before. Season 5 winner Nick Lachey pulled out all the stops for this performance by kicking things off with a small operatic aria (are you kidding us?!) before launching into the beloved funky beat. He even ended things with a bit of scatting, much to the delight of panelist Robin Thicke, who had to excuse himself from the judges' table afterwards.
Russian Dolls singing "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
There's a reason Fox showed this performance before season 5 even started — it's just that good. Guest panelist Chrissy Metz's reaction said it all. Those Hanson brother harmonies are hard to resist. And their falsetto was so good, for most of the season the judges were convinced a woman must be hiding in the Dolls, and this performance did nothing to dissuade them from that line of thinking.
Sun singing "When the Party's Over" by Billie Eilish
It's no surprise that Sun (Rimes) won season 4. After all, week after week she brought flawless vocals to the Masked Singer stage. Her vocals here, which she performed almost entirely a cappella(!), brought the panelists and EW staffers to tears and gave us full-body goosebumps. Not only was it the best performance of the Super Six, but it just might be one of the top performances in Masked Singer history. Although it would be another week of performances before she'd be crowned the winner, this was Sun's magnum opus. Dare we say she was positively glowing?
Crocodile singing "Toxic" by Britney Spears
After several weeks of tamer choreography and less theatrics overall in season 4, Crocodile (Nick Carter) kicked off week 4 with camp galore, fun choreography (was anyone else concerned about the back-up dancers meeting the wrong end of that tail?), and he managed to sound good while completely throwing his voice for a second week in a row. An effort like that deserves a shoutout, and we're always here for a falsetto performance. With his pop-rock sensibilities and spot-on impressions, Croc brought entertaining performances throughout the season, but his take on Britney was just irresistible.
Seahorse singing "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion
There's a reason Celine Dion songs don't often appear on The Masked Singer. It's hard to find someone with the raw talent, skillset, and powerful vocal strength needed to pull it off. The Seahorse (Tori Kelly) pulled it off and then some — she absolutely nailed it. It's a shame she didn't save this performance, which blew all the judges away, for the Super Six. A showdown between Sun and Seahorse in the finale would have been a fierce thing to behold.
Mushroom singing "I Wish" by Stevie Wonder
This fungi is so talented he pulled off a different voice every week! The man behind the stem, Aloe Blacc, told EW in his exit interview that his performance of "I Wish" is probably the performance that sounds most like him naturally, and we agree. He's completely in his groovy element here, and the staging and choreography all contribute to the high energy nature of this performance. He brought it week after week, but this performance was sporely his best.
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.
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?
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.
The Masked Singer
Celebs compete in this reality-singing TV show while wearing elaborate costumes to conceal their identities. Can you guess the celebrity behind the mask?