It was Thanksgiving night, but every day is Halloween at costume competition The masked singer. And the performance was certainly still in the Halloween spirit Wednesday, with its (presumably delayed due to the World Series) Fright Night episode – which climaxed with two so-talented-it’s-scary horror icons being exposed by the witching hour. But this very rocky horror movie show had a twist at the end, when one of the contestants, the Scarecrow — who turned out to be one of the ultimate horror movie icons — practiced a self-exorcism by unmasking himself.
Only one other celebrity in Masked singer history had done this once before (although oblivious host Nick Cannon, who clearly has a lot on his mind these days, claimed that this was a series first): when Season 4’s Mickey “The Gremlin” Rourke got violently ripped off his hat and suddenly stopped. This week, the Scarecrow volunteered to remove her own pumpkin head and forfeit the match – though she did it less terrifyingly than Mickey, and she actually had a much better chance than Mickey had of advancing to the next round. In fact, judge Ken Jeong had just declared her raspy rendition of Steve Miller’s “Abracadabra” the most magical performance of the night.
“Wait, wait, wait, wait!” the Scarecrow intervened just as Nick was about to announce the episode’s first elimination. “I have to tell you something! I love this show so much. I came to tell you how much I love you and what you all have done for the world and for family entertainment. But I would like to officially bow and expose, and keep these two incredible competitors going,” she continued, gesturing generously to her rivals, the Snowstorm and Sir Bug-a-Boo. “These competitors are the real thing. … I have a very special reason to be here and I want they enjoy the podium and all the accolades they so deserve.”
The shocked jurors’ mouths were open so wide they looked like living, breathing rubber scream masks. But before this amazing pumpkin self-destructed, the judges had one last chance to discover her identity. They focused on her clues to a scary movie and a specific clue to a witch, and guessed it might be Hocus Pocus‘s Bette Midler, The Witches of Eastwick‘s Susan Sarandon, The witchesAngelica Huston, Fatal attraction‘s Glenn Close, Halloween‘s Jamie Lee Curtis, or scream‘s Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Drew Barrymore or Parker Posey.
But if they had focused on the rainbow roller skate from the Scarecrow’s clues pack, they would have made it to the 1979 movie classic. Roller Boogie and to Golden Globe-winning actress Linda Blair. (Linda won that Globe for The exorcistnot for Role boogiejust to be clear.) The “turn heads” clue was another obvious clue that the jurors somehow overlooked.
The judges were so stunned when Linda unscrewed her head that it seemed their own heads were about to spin and spew pea soup. “There’s a legend in the building!” exclaimed Nick. “My mind is blown! I have never been more shocked by this series than I am right now,” said Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg.
Linda’s performance was unexpectedly sultry and funky, which may be why the panel failed to guess that this was the 63-year-old performer formerly known as Regan MacNeil. But Linda had clearly picked up some rock star swag from her many past musical pals, including Rick Springfield, Deep Purple’s Glenn Hughes, Neil Giraldo, Styx’s Tommy Shaw, and most importantly, Rick James. This, really used to be the kind of girl you read about in new wave magazines! LA power pop band Redd Kross even wrote one song about her.
But Linda went no further The masked singer to show off her pop chops or her rock reputation. The founder of animal welfare organization de Linda Blair World Heart Foundation, she was a woman on a mission to make it known, and she felt that mission was accomplished. ‘Let me tell you something [The Masked Singer does] for me and what you do for the world: you take us one hour a week out of the hardest time in history,” she began, thanking the jury. “I deal with animals that are abused and thrown on the street. I have a foundation. … I travel the world and do what I can to make it a better place. You all have no idea, you kindness and your love. And if you can heal me, in as much pain as I do, to try and save those who don’t deserve what’s happening, we can do better. And I feel you are my family.”
“Thank you, Linda, for making the most of this platform,” said Ken, calling this his favorite reveal ever. “We love you!”
So last week’s reigning queen, the Snowstorm, and this week’s other new contender, the Seuss-esque, four-legged Sir Bug-a-Boo. But while Sir Bug-a-Boo’s soulful, rousing take on “Devil With the Blue Dress On” got Jenny (who for some reason appeared to be wearing a Terri Nunn-of-Berlin Halloween costume) excited about his “beautiful show,” after battling the blizzard in Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me,” his Masked singer dreams were ghosted or busted. (Personally, I thought he did better in combat, with a raspy rap that suited the song better.) And we learned—as Jenny had guessed almost immediately—that this was Ray Parker Jr.
Well, from Class it was Ray! Not only did this colorful crooner sound just like the “Ghostbusters” theme singer and Motown legend, but three of his main clues were green slimea old-fashioned landline phone with three question marks on iteven a real ghost! I swear, the show’s producers weren’t even trying to be opaque when they whipped up Sir Bug-a-Boo’s clue pack this week; they might as well have strapped a proton suit onto Ray’s back while they were at it. I have no idea why the other three judges even bothered to suggest that this could be Jordan Peele, Randy Jackson, Lil Rel Howery, or one of the Wayans brothers… or why Jenny changed her guess at the last minute in Ghostbusters actor Ernie Hudson.
“Man, you’re such an accomplished musician and wrote some of the biggest hits in the world as a guitarist from the Motown era – everyone from Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye – and you’ve actually been a fixture in this industry for so long, Nick said excitedly, to which Ray joked, “And I thought I was going to be a regular this one show! … But I want to say, if you all need someone else to come on this show and you need someone extra, who are you going to call?”
So this meant the Snowstorm held on to her crown for a second week, following her cool-as-ice solo performance of Ava Max’s “Sweet But Psycho”, so she’s now moving into the Season 8 semifinals against previous reigning queens the Harp and the lambs. It is already abundantly clear that the Harp is Amber Riley and the lambs are Wilson Phillips (The Masked singer producers not made their clues too difficult too), but who is the blizzard?
I’m a little less sure about this, and the jurors’ guesses were all over the place; last week they thought the blizzard could be Anna Kendrick, Heather Graham, Katherine Hahn, Iliza Shlesinger, Aubrey Plaza, Whitney Cummings or Zooey Deschanel, and this week they threw random names around like Olivia Rodrigo, Sabrina Carpenter and several Real Housewives. But I stand by the guess I made last week: I believe this is comedian Nikki Glaser. It sounds like her.
But the clues (admittedly a bit trickier in this case) are also correct. The Snowstorm said she has to be “cold-blooded” to survive in her male-dominated work, and women have historically struggled in the comedy circuit. She said she shared the stage with Rob Lowe, and she absolutely beat that Comedy Central Rob Lowe roast. (One of her visual cues was roasted chestnuts too.) She mentioned “speed dating,” which is Nikki did on Instagram Live during the pandemic, and of course Nikki is the current host of Blind dates. We saw a house and a welcome mat, references to Nikki’s Welcome home Nikki Glaser? reality series, and heard the phrase “pitch perfect,” most likely a nod to her Perfect television special. And finally, we saw a “Masked Universe” comic book… and, well, Nikki is a stand-up funny.
The masked singer will leave Halloween behind and get into the current holiday spirit Thursday — yes, the 24th, Thanksgiving — with a special semifinal episode that will determine which two contestants will advance to the Season 8 Grand Finale. So, if you’d rather go to the Lambs vs. snow storm vs. the Harp then watches the Bills vs. Lions or Patriots vs. Vikings, then Fox has this Tofurkey day for you. See you then.
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