The Masked Singer finale recap: Crocodile, Mushroom, Sun unmasked, season 4 winner revealed
Warning: This article contains spoilers about The Masked Singer season 4 finale.
Happy Masked Singer season 4 finale! What a season it's been, and boy was it a fun distraction. Did we need TMS during a pandemic? Maybe not. Are we glad we got it? Totally. It gave us Mickey Rourke's surprise self-elimination, Wendy Williams' hilariously chaotic performance (which became a hit on TikTok), the mildly cursed Masked Dancer teasers, and so much more.
Plus, viewers got to catch up with celebrities they haven't thought about in a few years. Your favorite TV dad from childhood? Yeah, he's wearing a furry suit singing CCR on stage. And the football star who fumbled on his butt? He's controlling an intergalactic puppet doing an Eastern European accent. In a year of uncertainties, it was weirdly comforting to see these faces on our screens.
But enough masking poetic, onto the show! The first of the two-hour TMS block was a Road to the Finals special, featuring interviews with this season's contestants and a few new clues for our finalists. Then, it was time to get to the last showdown between Crocodile, Mushroom, and Sun.
Croc gave us one of his best performances with Journey's "Open Arms." And in the spirit of the holidays, he gifted his clue, an angel figurine, to Jenny McCarthy. The panelist joked it was fitting for her as it was "just as plastic," which made us cackle.
Then it was Mushroom's turn, and he sang Stevie Wonder's "I Wish," which he said was his daughter's favorite song. His onstage clue, a mushroom cookie dough ice cream, was for Nicole Scherzinger.
Last, but definitely not least, was Sun with Brandi Carlile's "The Story." Her gift was a mistletoe to Robin Thicke.
"You can kiss yourself for hours," Ken Jeong joked (Don't listen to him Robin, Ken's just jealous he was left in the cold, as is tradition on this show).
Host Nick Cannon then announced the third place winner, as voted on by the panelists, studio audience, and super fans at home. Bronze went to Crocodile!
He may not have put on as many show-stopping performances as Sun and wasn't as vocally versatile as Mushroom, but Croc still delivered some memorable performances. And he hit Cannon with his tail once, so we salute him for that too.
The emcee then revealed what the panelists wrote down back in episode 2, for their Croc first impression guesses. Jeong had Bradley Cooper, but he changed his mind to Nick Lachey, who coincidentally was Scherzinger's first thought. Her final prediction, Jordan Knight, was Thicke's initial pick. He ultimately went with Backstreet Boy Howie Dorough. McCarthy, the panelist to beat with three correct guesses so far, stuck with her first guess, Howie D's bandmate Nick Carter.
Crocodile was revealed to be ... Nick Carter!
As EW explained in our prediction post, there were lots of boy bander clues, plus specific nods to Carter. The pirate flag in Croc's second clue package referenced the singer's die-hard love for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (he has a tattoo of the team's logo, a pirate flag) and the contestant's story about his father not believing in him corresponded to a passage in Carter's autobiography.
The blue and black heart-shaped cookies in the Road to the Finals tonight were of course a reference to the Backstreet Boys song "Shape of My Heart" from the album Black & Blue.
Next, Cannon crowned the winner of season 4. It's been her crown to lose this fall, with stunning performance after stunning performance, so it shouldn't shock fans that Sun won the Golden Mask Trophy!
This meant that Mushroom came in second and was unmasked next. The fierce competitor never missed a chance to enchant and transform every week, and even in the last episode, the panelists couldn't agree on who he was.
McCarthy originally wrote Maxwell but changed to Ne-Yo, Jeong flipped from Justin Timberlake to Pharrell (there were a lot of hat clues), and Scherzinger replaced Donald Glover with Aloe Blacc, leading Thicke to piggyback off her answer after initially picking Billy Porter.
Well, spore-ler alert — Scherzinger was right. Mushroom was singer Aloe Blacc!
It took EW a while to settle on Blacc, but once we did, all the clues fell into place. "Wake Me Up" with Avicii and "I Need a Dollar," two of the singer's hits, were referenced in Mushroom's clue packages, with the alarm clock and the picture of a buck, respectively. And as Scherzinger said, the "dough" in cookie dough ice cream led to "I Need a Dollar" as well. Additionally, Mushroom previously said on stage that he had a different name when he first "sprouted," and Blacc was born Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III.
Blacc also has a daughter with his wife Maya Jupiter, who was referenced with Mushroom's "5-0" cookies clue in the first hour tonight. May is the fifth month of the year, and the solar system-themed "0" cookie was also about Jupiter.Before Sun's crowning, McCarthy claimed the Golden Ear Trophy for the most amount of correct first impression guesses. Although the other panelists claimed a fair amount of final answers, McCarthy impressively got Rourke as Gremlin, Williams as Lips, Bob Saget as Squiggly Monster, and Carter on the first try.
McCarthy then revealed she initially wrote down Demi Lovato as Sun, before she locked down LeAnn Rimes. Scherzinger agreed with her final answer, after originally putting down Katharine McPhee. Following in her footsteps was Thicke, who settled on McPhee after Natasha Bedingfield. Following in no one's footsteps was Jeong, who crossed off Gwyneth Paltrow for Mandy Moore.
Sun was revealed to be ... LeAnn Rimes!
As McCarthy and EW noted, Sun had a lot of clues about rising to fame at an early age. At 14, Rimes became the youngest person to win a Grammy for Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance for Blue (the color blue was also featured prominently in Sun's second clue package). EW is three for three with the finalists!
"This has been an overwhelming experience. I didn't expect this to be this much work, I have to say. I was thinking, 'I'll come on, this will be easy, this will be fun.' And it was a blast!" Rimes said.The country star now joins Kandi Burruss, Wayne Brady, and T-Pain in the Masked Singer hall of fame. And good news — a fifth season is premiering in the spring, Cannon announced tonight.
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Celebs compete in this reality-singing TV show while wearing elaborate costumes to conceal their identities. Can you guess the celebrity behind the mask?