3 January 2019 | atlasmb
A Hippo Walks Into A Karaoke Bar...
The first episode of "The Masked Singer" was all that it promised to be. Part mystery, part talent show, it is good, clean fun of a schlocky nature. Maybe not as good as "The Gong Show", but also not as schlocky.
The celebrity vocalists--whose identities are obscured by elaborate costumes--are pitted against each other in twosomes. Audience members vote for their favorites. At the end of the show, the panelists decide which of the three episode losers is eliminated. And that performer's identity is revealed.
The panelists are the funny Jenny McCarthy, the mostly unfunny Ken Jeong, and the beautiful and musical Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke. Robin seems the most insightful. Nick Cannon handles the limited duties of host.
Along the way, clues are given as to the singers' identities--- in a video package and by the singers themselves. These clues can be cleverly ambiguous. The First performer to leave was "The Hippo", who I had pegged as Chris Paul, but I was wrong.
Some of the singing is quite good, making the mysteries more intriguing. Also on the first episode was "The Peacock", whose poster used to be on your mother's wall; "The Monster", who had fallen from grace, but was coming back into the public eye; "The Unicorn", who is from a wealthy family and is nicknamed "Bird"; "The Deer", whose clues mention ravens and his love of horses (can it be anyone but Terry Bradshaw?); and "The Lion", who is kind of Hollywood royalty and who I understand to be re-emerging from her absence dedicated to mothering her daughters.
Other celebrities will be added in later episodes. I am hoping that one is Ariana Grande, whose is a master of impersonation.
Don't get sidetracked by the red herrings. And just enjoy the show for what it is: an entertaining diversion.
Update 1/11/19. The net is rife with guesses about the masked identities. Many guesses by the show's panel ignore the biggest clue---the singer's voice. This show is a blast. My guess for the poodle is Diana Agron.
Update 2/8/19: Surprisingly, Ken Jeong is funny in this show. So much the better.
Update 8/9/19: As the next season approaches, I find myself eagerly anticipating. More than other shows. That is worth an upgrade of 1 point...for a total of 8.
Update 10/17/19: Surprisingly, the best moments are when a masked singer touches the heart of the judges and audience. Who expected sentimentality?