Wednesday marked the return of one of the more bizarre reality competitions to have found success on American television, and that’s saying a lot. The Masked Singer season five kicked off with guest host Niecy Nash stepping in for COVID-positive Nick Cannon, a secret-keeping rooster hiding clues from the judges, and a crop of new masked crooners.
If you’re unfamiliar with the premise of the Fox series, it’s basically a singing competition where celebrities (or “celebrities”) sing elaborate karaoke routines while judges Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger, and Robin Thicke scour video clue packages for hints of who may be underneath the masks.
Wednesday’s premiere featured performances by five of the season’s ten contestants: Raccoon, Snail, Seashell, Russian Doll, and Robopine (that’s a robot porcupine, in case it wasn’t clear). Guesses for who was under the masks Wednesday ranged from Jamie Foxx to Jessica Simpson to Ginuwine. But only the singer with the lowest number of votes from the judges and the audience at home (in this case a limited number of people that supposedly watched live feeds when the show was recorded weeks ago, we guess?) gets revealed at the end of the episode and this week it was....
Snail. The judges’ guesses for who performed Hall & Oats’ “Make My Dreams” with a put-on country twang included Adam Carolla, Billy Crystal, and Jay Leno. But when the Snail’s top hat was removed, there was no celebrity head to be seen. Instead, it was Kermit the Frog who emerged from the snail shell. Yep, that’s right. While the judges were guessing real life human beings like chumps, it was a Muppet all along. Or at least puppeteer Matt Vogel.
Based on the costumes it’s evident that there are real humans behind at least some of the voices this season, but it’s still unclear if the Russian Doll is one person, two persons, a whole family of people? Or, if tonight was any indication, maybe it’s just the whole treefull of Keebler elves.