The Masked Singer recap: Niecy Nash shocks panelists and 'changes the game completely' during elimination
Warning: This article contains spoilers about The Masked Singer season 5 episode 5.
Though the new Wildcard contestant promised to blow Orca and Crab out of the water tonight, he turned out to be all bark and no bite, and was eliminated during The Masked Singer Group B finals. Still, the big dog did shake up the competition and surprised our seasoned panelists with his big reveal.
Black Swan took the lead to perform the beloved Whitney Houston song "How Will I Know." And wow, her runs — the talent jumped out. Panelist Jenny McCarthy agreed that the sensational songbird was a frontrunner.
Because of the Montana clue in Black Swan's package, McCarthy guessed former Hannah Montana star Emily Osment. Robin Thicke named Victoria Justice, while Ken Jeong guessed his "dear friend" Brenda Song.
The on-stage clue this week was a meaningful object from each contestant's home, and Black Swan chose a unicorn figurine, which she said reminded her of a dear friend and fellow singer who passed away.
Not to be outdone by Black Swan, the Piglet came in swinging with a rousing performance of Lukas Graham's "7 Years." McCarthy, who got teary over the song's themes, declared that she hopes he wins the competition (Black Swan must be like "eff my drag, right?"). And on stage, the Piglet's meaningful object was a necklace of two dog tags.
Nicole Scherzinger guessed the Backstreet Boys' Kevin Richardson, who has two kids, while McCarthy named his bandmate AJ McLean. And once again, Jeong name dropped his way into a guess. Bradley Cooper portraying a soldier led the comic to come up with ... former One Direction member Zayn Malik?
Next up was Crab, who gave a great rendition of Rick James' "Give It to Me Baby" before nearly pulling a Mickey Rourke. The singer, who debuted as a Wildcard contestant last week, had to momentarily unmask backstage and catch his breath. "It's hot in that thing, I can't sit in it long," we heard him say behind the curtains. Props to him for returning and continuing on with the competition.
Getting back to the stage, Crab unveiled his meaningful object: a black bowler hat, which he said was inspired by Sammy Davis, Jr.
Both McCarthy and Jeong made the case for Crab being Bobby Brown, as the food clues match up with the singer's well-documented love of cooking. The comedian was especially inspired by the macaroni and cheese image, as Brown has a song called "Roni."
His fellow panelists roasted him for this logic, but hey, he's done worse! Credit where credit is due. Jeong also thought Crab could be a Boyz II Men member, while McCarthy named Martin Lawrence as another possibility.
The commanding Chameleon delivered a confident performance last week, but he topped himself with Dead Prez's classic track "Hip Hop," and got everybody groovin' to his sound tonight. And like Crab, Chameleon said he's a big foodie. "I'm always cooking something in the kitchen," he said, after revealing a plate of chicken wings as his meaningful object clue.
Tipped off by the Buffalo wings, Scherzinger guessed New York-born rapper, Waka Flocka Flame. Thicke zeroed in on Wiz Khalifa, citing Chameleon's voice, body type (the leggy lizard made 5'4" host Niecy Nash look even tinier), the black and yellow taxicab clue, and the reference to "a little chameleon." Wiz has one son with ex Amber Rose. Picking up on what resembled a Houston area code in Chameleon's clue package, McCarthy guessed Texas-born rapper Machine Gun Kelly.
This season's third Wildcard contestant, Bulldog, then roared into the competition. His ruff demeanor in the clue package made his performance all the more surprising, as he showed off a more delicate, high-pitched voice during his take on New Edition's "Candy Girl," which he dedicated to Nash.
It was the guest host who then decided to "change the game completely," a theme that the panelists have hammered in 1,000 times thus far in the season (I can never take "game changer" seriously ever again). She announced that Wednesday's votes would not count, and she would be the one to determine who went home.
"Say what, Niecy Nash," McCarthy dramatically exclaimed, in an apparent bid to win the first-ever Razzie Award for Worst Performance in a Masked-Based Reality Competition.
And before you decry "riggamoris" like I did, Bulldog was revealed to be ... long-time Masked Singer host Nick Cannon. Apparently his post-COVID diagnosis quarantine ended, and this was his way of reintroducing himself to the competition.
"I dedicated my whole performance to you and you're gonna kick me off?" he joked to Nash after he was unmasked.
So ... yeah. The episode was basically a way to get Cannon back into the show, and it seemed no one else was in danger of getting chopped. At least his unmasking put to bed the theory that he was Cluedle-Doo.
As for Bulldog's clues, he gave us a lot but the most significant were the B99 collar, for Cannon's recurring role on Brooklyn Nine-Nine; the lines "made moves on every green field" and "running fast," as he starred in a football movie and ran track in school; and the graffitied wall shown in the package was reminiscent of the aesthetics from Wild 'n Out, the popular show Cannon hosted. The fact that Bulldog dedicated his song to Nash made sense too, given that she took up the mantle when he was gone. Plus, if you've watched this show as much as we have at EW, you might've been able to recognize Cannon's voice and cadence under the Bulldog mask.
And unfortunately, this means that tonight's episode was Nash's last as host, EW has confirmed. Cannon will return as emcee next week and remain so for the rest of the season. The OG gang's back together again, but Nash did a fantastic job this season, and she better be back as a guest in the future!
Next week will be the Group A finals, which determines who rounds out the Super Eight. Meanwhile, another Wildcard enters the game to throw their competitors for a loop and vie for a final spot. EW also exclusively revealed this week that Rita Wilson will be a guest panelist in the special two-hour "Super 8" episode on April 21, and This Is Us star Chrissy Metz will join the panelists in the "Spicy 6" episode airing May 5.
Celebs compete in this reality-singing TV show while wearing elaborate costumes to conceal their identities. Can you guess the celebrity behind the mask?