On Wednesday, the second episode of Fox’s wacky and widely watched new reality show, “The Masked Singer,” introduced six more celebrities singing their hearts out behind thoughtfully chosen masks.
As with the premiere episode, we learned the identity of just one incognito crooner. The Pineapple — who was introduced as a 6′1 O.G. who shares the “fun, tropical” spirit of his avatar and had recently beaten a life-threatening illness — was revealed to be (spoiler alert!) Tommy Chong after being eliminated from the competition.
But who are the disguised celebrities who triumphed over the unmasked comedian? Here are our best guesses on the famous faces behind the Rabbit, Alien, Raven, Poodle and Bee masks.
What we know about them: The Rabbit confessed that he was in “a band” and strongly implied that it was a boy band. He said he’s quite familiar with “synchronized singing,” and ended his intro package with a promise that “the last man standing is gonna be me,” a pretty obvious reference to ‘N Sync’s 2000 chart-topper. Now, he says, he pops up “here and . . . there.” Oh, and he’s 5’11.
What the judges thought: Robin Thicke complimented the Rabbit’s personal spin on the Ricky Martin classic, “Livin' La Vida Loca.” “You’re obviously a seasoned performer,” the singer told him. He also saw a sense of humor, noting the Rabbit’s straightjacket-inspired costume and head twitch. Jenny McCarthy brought up boy bands — specifically Boyz II Men. Thicke didn’t hear Boyz II Men, but agreed the Rabbit may have boy band roots.
Nicole Scherzinger wasn’t sure the Rabbit is a professional singer. “I noticed the merry-go-round, it was all a bit dark, a bit twisted,” she explained before tossing out her guess: magician Criss Angel. Ken Jeong took the costume a bit more literally, suggesting Jake Gyllenhaal, who was haunted by an ominous presence wearing a rabbit costume in the cult-favorite sci-fi film “Donnie Darko.” But he also agreed the Rabbit could be a boy band alum — perhaps Lance Bass or Justin Timberlake.
Prevailing social media theories: Joey Fatone, JC Chasez.
Our guess: Fatone. The height narrows it down to him or JC Chasez, but Chasez’s voice is generally higher and slightly more distinctive than Fatone’s. And Fatone has certainly popped up here and there since 'N Sync disbanded in 2002 — from Broadway’s “Rent” and “Little Shop of Horrors” to appearing on “Dancing With the Stars” and hosting NBC’s “The Singing Bee.”
What we know about them: “I’m excited to be here because in my family, anonymity is an entirely alien concept,” the Alien told us, making references to “growing up in the public’s eye” and letting “others define” her. “Now, for the first time ever, the world gets to hear my voice on my terms,” she declared before delivering a wispy rendition of “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man. The 5′5” Alien also copped to having “many sisters.”
What the judges thought: McCarthy and Thicke got model vibes. Thicke threw out Bella Hadid’s name. Jeong was “kind of turned on” by the extraterrestrial disguise and jokingly offered to take her to IHOP. Scherzinger didn’t think the Alien was a professional singer, but said her costume evoked one: Britney Spears, who sported similar red latex in the music video for her 2000 hit “Oops! . . . I Did It Again.” “Could she be one of the Kardashians?” Scherzinger wondered.
Prevailing social media theories: LaToya Jackson, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner.
Our guess: Honestly, we’re stumped. We’ll admit we thought of Rashida Jones — who has several sisters, famous parents and a few musical projects under her belt — before quickly dismissing it. We certainly don’t think it’s Jenner (or her sister, Kylie, for that matter). Jackson also seems like a stretch.
What we know about them: The 5′4” Raven described a life spent listening to other people’s stories and said she’s never “had trouble attaining” an audience. She was forthright when McCarthy asked if she had ever hosted a talk show: “Yes,” she said. The Raven also mentioned that she recently “suffered a tragic loss” and seemed to dedicate her performance of Kesha’s “Rainbow” to a departed loved one. “Don’t cry, baby,” she said. “This one’s for you.”
What the judges thought: Thicke said the cage images in the Raven’s intro package made him think of an MMA fighter, but he switched gears after noting her “elegant” performance. McCarthy zeroed in on the talk show experience, guessing Sherri Shepherd. Jeong, who said he initially thought the Raven was a man, mentioned Sally Jessy Raphael and Star Jones before admitting he had “no idea” who the disguised star is.
Prevailing social media theories: Meghan McCain, Ricki Lake, radio host Delilah Rene.
Our guess: Ricki Lake. In addition to memorable acting roles in “Hairspray”and other films, she is well known for her long-running daytime talk show, which launched when she was just 24 (she debuted a shorter-lived talk show in 2012). The Raven’s tragic loss could refer to Lake’s ex-husband, Christian Evans, who died in 2017. And “don’t cry, baby” could have a double meaning since John Waters’s 1990 flick, “Cry-Baby” is among her film credits.
What we know about them: The Poodle, who said she chose her costume because she’s “sassy, smart and best in show,” packed many hints into her intro package. She has Bay Area roots and comes from a musical family. But, the Poodle said, she is known for a “different kind of talent.” She followed that up with “415, stand up,” which seemed to be more than just a nod to her hometown, and told us that her “whole career has been about exercising my right to free speech."
What the judges thought: “Wow, look at that body,” Scherzinger said as the 5′5 Poodle sashayed onto the stage ahead of singing Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker.” The former Pussycat Doll, who noted a rainbow in the Poodle’s intro, said she was “feeling the whole rainbow pride vibe” and concluded the Poodle is a member of the LGBTQ community.
McCarthy was kind of all over the place, tossing out RuPaul, San Francisco native Ali Wong (of “Baby Cobra” and “Hard Knock Wife” fame) and . . . Russell Simmons. When the panel asked for another hint, the Poodle offered this vague line: “I’m here for your honor.”
“Chief Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the house,” Jeong deadpanned. “Welcome to ‘The Masked Singer!’ ”
Prevailing social media theories: Jillian Michaels, Margaret Cho.
Our guess: Cho. We’re pretty confident about this one — Cho, a native of San Francisco, has been known to push buttons with her comedy. She identifies as bisexual and has been outspoken about LGBTQ issues. She has also released several songs throughout her career, though her music tends to intersect with her comedy.
What we know about them: This buzzworthy contestant dubbed herself a “worker bee” and said she has flown to “soaring heights” throughout her long career. “You can call me Queen Bee, but Empress also suits me,” she declared before noting that she was looking forward to “singing to a new generation” on the Fox show.
What the judges thought: “Ooh, someone came to sing,” McCarthy said, noting the difficulty of the Bee’s song choice: Sia’s “Chandelier.” Scherzinger said she got goose bumps. “You’ve obviously taken vocal training and sang for many years,” Thicke said, complimenting the Bee’s “perfect” pitch and vibrato. The panel threw out Diana Ross and Lil' Kim (“the original Queen Bee,” Thicke noted) before asking the Bee in which decade she began her singing career. “Fifties,” she said, shocking the judges. “Do we think Dionne Warwick?” Scherzinger asked.
Prevailing social media theories: Tina Turner, Gladys Knight.
Our guess: Knight. At first, the Rabbit’s raspy voice made us think of Turner, who has been in the singing game for a minute and (at least according to Google) is also 5′4”. But the Bee’s reference to being an empress convinced us we were listening to Knight, rightly dubbed the Empress of Soul.
Our other clue was the Bee’s confession that she’s been singing since the 1950s. A young Knight won Ted Mack’s “Original Amateur Hour” in 1952, and that’s also the decade that introduced us to the Pips.