SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead, if you have not watched the episode of “The Masked Singer,” which aired on Dec. 10 on Fox.
“The Masked Singer” has sent home another character — and more importantly, has unmasked that contestant.
On Tuesday’s episode, titled “A Pain in the Mask,” the tree was revealed to be Ana Gasteyer, who left the competition one episode ahead of the semi-finals, which air tomorrow night.
“She’s confused the panel from day one,” showrunner and executive producer Izzie Pick Ibarra tells Variety. She believes Gasteyer’s identity was a huge shock for the judges.
Still remaining in the quest to become the Season 2 winner are The Leopard, The Fox, The Flamingo, The Thingamajig and The Rottweiler. The finale airs next Wednesday, but first, two more contestants will be unmasked and sent home on tomorrow’s episode, leaving just three finalists for the grand finale.
Gasteyer, as the Tree, performed Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” to the crowd and panel’s delight. She revealed that she had “shared a stage and a standing O” with one of the judges. Jenny McCarthy was correct with her guess, while Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke went with Amy Sedaris. Gasteyer was shocked Ken Jeong hadn’t guessed her identity since the pair did Fox’s live version of “A Christmas Story” together and he evidently said at one point, “I can’t believe you can sing!”
Guest judge T-Pain, who was a Season 1 champion, was a fan of the Fox’s singing and dancing skills. Wayne Brady, Jamie Foxx and Lenny Kravitz were all put forward as potential celebs that could be behind the mask. The Leopard performed Fun’s hit “We Are Young,” prompting McCarthy to suggest Eric Benet. Thicke was certain the Leopard is Seal, though, while Jeong suspected Enrique Inglesias.
The Thingamajig, who was in the bottom two last episode, brought it back, blowing everyone out of the water with a rendition of John Legend’s “Ordinary People.” T-Pain was so impressed he thought it might be Legend himself. Thicke stuck with his original prediction for Thingamajig, Montel Jordan.
The Flamingo sang Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way.” “It was sassy, it was sexy, it was seamless, it was super,” Jeong said of her performance, guessing Hilary Duff based off of the Flamingo revealing that she’d “shared some couch time” with one of the judges in 2013. Thicke guessed Fantasia Barino based on her strong voice and dancing abilities.
After giving some clues that included references to meditation, “My So-Called Life” and being an open book, the Rottweiler performed Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Love,” bringing McCarthy nearly to tears. Thicke decided to stick with his original guess of Darren Criss, while Scherzinger guessed Jared Leto based off a “30 seconds”-related clue.
As a “Saturday Night Live” alum, Gasteyer isn’t necessarily the type of celebrity you’d think would want to compete on a singing competition series. But Ibarra says the comic had a great sense of the character she wanted to embody from the very start.
“She really spearheaded the design of her costume. She had a very, very clear idea of who she wanted to be from the get-go,” Ibarra says. “A lot of people don’t come into the show knowing what they want to be, but she really did. Since she’s a physical comedian and she understands performing to an audience, she essentially wanted her costume to wiggle where it makes funny shapes when she was dancing. She had a really clear idea of how she wanted to present herself, and I think because of that, she really owned it.”
Although Gasteyer is an accomplished singer (she recently released a holiday album, “Sugar & Booze”), the producers were still blown away by her vocal ability.
“It’s a really experience different for her. As a performer, she’s fantastic. She’s incredibly hard-working. She brings to every performance a sense of humor,” says Ibarra. “And I think her voice was incredibly surprising. She has an incredible voice.”