It's time to play the music. It's time to light the lights!
Yes, if you’ve been dreaming of another Muppet Show-Masked Singer crossover since Kermit the Frog played the Snail in Season 5 and was declared the “most famous guest ever” to compete on the show, that wish was granted this week — with <wildly flailing Kermit arms> an amazing all-Muppets The Masked Singer episode.
On Wednesday, Kermit returned to the Masked Singer stage, this time with his trusty banjo in tow, to cold-open the show with a feel-good “Rainbow Connection” group number — and later, he even played piano on a Queen classic! Apparently both Rowlf and Dr. Teeth were unavailable to tickle the ivories this week, but there were plenty of other famous felt friends on board. Fozzy the Bear was stationed backstage as the night’s behind-the-scenes roving reporter, the Snowths showed up for a “Mah Na Mah Na” singalong, and there was even a drummmmm soloooo by Animal himself.
Really, all that was missing was Scooter with his clipboard in hand, overseeing the proceedings. But we did have Miss Piggy as a guest judge, ruthlessly interrogating the night’s mystery contestants. (Her direct line of questioning: “What are your names?” and “What are your Instagram handles?”)
Of course, Miss Piggy didn’t have to wait long to learn the answers to her tough queries, because by the end of the hour-long episode, two of this week’s three contestants had already been unmasked. (Last week, I posted a lengthy rant complaining about how this season’s new format, which features an almost immediate double-elimination every week, has sucked a lot of the fun and suspense out of this series' guessing game.)
The first to go home Wednesday was crooner the Beetle, who showed up in a mop-top wig and Cavern Club suit, but unlike this season’s Eric “The Hedgehog” Idle apparently didn’t have the connections to secure Paul McCartney’s permission to cover an actual Beatles song. Instead, he serenaded Kermit with “The Way You Look Tonight” — and honestly, that moment was absolutely adorable. The Beetle had a passable voice, but he clearly wasn’t a professional singer, so it wasn’t surprising when he received the fewest votes of the night. What was surprising was it turned out be “Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!” — yes, the one-and-only Jerry Springer, as guessed correctly by judge Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg — inside that natty insect outfit.
"I gotta tell you, first of all, you're an amazing singer and dancer. Let me put that out there. You're very, very good," Jenny assured Jerry, while judge Nicole Scherzinger concurred: "Honestly, Jerry, you really are a natural crooner."
"I don't know what to say, but all my life I've been looking for a woman with no taste," Jerry joked self-deprecatingly. More seriously, when host Nick Cannon asked him why he'd signed up for this show, Jerry answered, "There's so many serious things going on in the world, to be able to do something that's just fun and silly and whatever— I appreciate it."
Wednesday’s second castoff was last week’s reigning queen, the Robo Girl, who — unlike semifinalist the Harp from this season’s previous bracket, who defended her crown for three consecutive episodes — was unable to hold onto her title. The fierce fembot turned out to be singer, dancer, and Vampire Diaries actress Kat Graham, as I’d suspected last week. But even though Kat didn’t make it to the semifinals, she got to belt “Bohemian Rhapsody” in neon-pink-eyed Transformers armor while Kermit the Frog accompanied her on a grand piano — so as far as I’m concerned, she has won at life.
"This was an amazing opportunity," gushed Kat. This was unreal. And the Muppets!" Yep, if Kat couldn't go the distance, at least she stuck around long enough to rub green felt elbows with an icon.
So, this meant that there was a new reigning queen, or queens, for Season 8’s second bracket: a fluffy flock named the Lambs. These pop-starlets-in-sheep’s-clothing looked so cute and cuddly in their matching Little-Bo-Beep pinafores (Nick’s favorite costume of Season 8 so far), I imagine Miss Piggy was a bit jealous — even though the Lambs actually cited Piggy as their style icon. The Lambs sweetly bleated on Katy Perry’s “Hot ‘n’ Cold” and then successfully battled the Robo Girl on Blondie’s “Call Me,” and both vivacious performances had Jenny shouting, “I frickin’ love you!” Nicole told them, “I feel like y’all are professionals. … That was natural; it feels like something you do in big stadiums and arenas.”
So now, it’s finally time to actually play this show’s guessing game. Who are the Lambs?
Perusing their clues package, we know these curly girls are “besties” who grew up together. We also saw references to SoCal cities Beverly Hills and Venice, a giant diamond ring, and the word “FAMOUS” emblazoned on a pair of designer jeans. And we know they’ve worked with Paul McCartney, even if they also didn’t phone Macca to get clearance for a Beatles tune.
So, the judges guessed HAIM or the Chicks, but based on these clues, I feel very confident that these musical muttons-with-chops are California girl group Wilson Phillips. Chynna Phillips, Carnie Wilson, and Wendy Wilson have fame in their genes (get it?) as the offspring of the Mamas and the Papas’ John and Michelle Phillips and the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson; the diamond ring could be a reference to Bridesmaids, which featured a memorable Wilson Phillips cameo; and the group contributed backup vocals to McCartney’s hit “FourFiveSeconds” in 2015.
Can the Lambs trio hold on for just one more day — or will they only last one episode, like the newly dethroned Robo Girl? Find out next week, when they compete against two more new contestants.
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