The Masked Dancer recap: Zebra eliminated, revealed as celebrated athlete
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Warning: This article contains spoilers about The Masked Dancer season 1, episode 7.
Zebra spotlighted "KO" in a few of his clue packages, but he was the one getting knocked out in Wednesday's Masked Dancer semifinals.
It wasn't a sad farewell though, as the competitors and panelists very much leaned into the chummy Valentines Day vibes (they love that word on TMD) tonight. Joining the lovefest was Lego Masters host Will Arnett, who sat alongside Ashley Tisdale, Paula Abdul, Brian Austin Green, and Ken Jeong as a guest.
Zebra, Tulip, Sloth, and Cotton Candy kicked off the show with a group number set to Walk the Moon's "Shut Up and Dance."
Then Cotton Candy went solo and took the stage, performing to 2 Unlimited's "Get Ready (2013 Version)" and then the classic "Hey Mickey." Last week she was the first contestant to utilize the backstage for her number, and now she's the first to perform to two different songs in one dance. And that cartwheel! I think Tisdale and Abdul are right in thinking Cotton Candy's a gymnast.
Cotton Candy then presented an on-stage clue in the form of a Valentine for Arnett, saying that he gave her love on The Masked Singer. As he had guessed T-Rex was Tara Lipinski when he appeared on the series (she turned out to be JoJo Siwa), Arnett once again went with the figure skater.
Sloth then brought up the energy to 100, with a partner dance set to Sam Smith and Normani's "Dancing With a Stranger." Never thought I'd say this, but that Sloth wearing the glittery tuxedo jacket and formal shorts really can dance.
Jeong made me cackle for the first time on this show, with his rebuttal to Green's point about Maksim Chmerkovkiy not being Sloth because he spotted the pro-dancer outside of filming.
"Just because you run into somebody doesn't disqualify them. Patrick Dempsey pushed me down at a Peet's Coffee. I still think it's him," the comedian said.
Sloth was followed by Zebra, who performed Bobby Darin's "Mack the Knife" as a tribute to a loved one that he lost, according to his clue package.
Next up was Tulip, who gave a modern twist to the polka with her performance. Jeong praised the contestant, whose clue package said she was the youngest in the competition, for her technical proficiency in all kinds of dance styles.
Host Craig Robinson had to be tonight's MVP, first for his "Final Countdown" introduction of Arnett, and for his Valentine's song to Jeong. As is tradition on TMS, Jeong is regularly excluded from contestants' on-stage clues due to his thirstiness (I say this with love).
"Ken, you make everything better, even though sometimes you talk forever," Robinson crooned, accompanied by Tulip dancing behind him and heart animations popping up on the screen.
I could listen to Robinson forever, but unfortunately things called "an elimination" and "the rules of TV competitions" got in the way.
Zebra was voted off and he was revealed to be ... boxer Oscar De La Hoya!
While all the panelists had named professional fighters for Zebra, only Green (and Arnett, hopping on the bandwagon) guessed the Mexican-American boxer.
The "KO" tipped Green off, as did the gold medals in Zebra's clue packages. De La Hoya won a gold medal for the U.S. at the Olympics in 1992, a year that was also featured in one of Zebra's past clue segments. And, as De La Hoya explained after he was unmasked, the loved one Zebra mentioned was his mother, who died in 1990. Plus, the visual clue of the letter E on a graham cracker was a nod to his 2000 Latin pop album that scored a Grammy nomination (Graham-E = Grammy ... took me longer to figure out than I'm proud to admit).
Tulip, Sloth, and Cotton Candy have officially made it to the finals. And more good news — The Masked Singer will return for season 5 on March 10.
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