SPOILER ALERT: Don’t read ahead if you haven’t watched Season 9 Episode 5 of “The Masked Singer,” which airs March 15 on Fox.
Two more celebrities were unmasked on Wednesday’s edition of “The Masked Singer”: actor/comedian Malin Akerman and social media star Lele Pons were revealed to be Squirrel and Jackalope, respectively.
For Squirrel, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg got it right, appointing Malin Akerman. Robin Thicke guessed Heather Graham. Ken Jeong thought it was Katherine Heigl. Nicole Scherzinger chose Kate Hudson. Guest panelist Jennifer Nettles said Anne Hathaway.
As for Jackalope, Scherzinger quickly realized it was Lele Pons, and Thicke agreed. McCarthy Wahlberg told Jenna Ortega. Jeong went with Selena Gomez. Nettles chose Camilla Cabello.
It was “Sesame Street” night, and the episode opened with Elmo singing “What’s The Name of that Song” (or in this case, “Show”) before switching to Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Grover, the Count, and other characters singing BTS’s “Dynamite.” Yeah, this show continues to be so weird! (I mean, Chryon’s intro host Nick Cannon identified him as “many Sesame Street fans’ father.” The fact that “The Masked Singer” leans heavily on Cannon’s authorship is still amazing.)
It was also the episode, teased earlier via news reports, that Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin dropped on set. Hamlin recorded the appearance just weeks after collapsing on the pitch during a game on January 2. In the episode, he is introduced by his little brother Damir.
“My brother, this is my world,” Hamlin said of why he made an appearance. “I put family first. And he loves ‘Sesame Street’ more than most things. So, we had to do that tonight.
Singer Jennifer Nettles, host of Fox’s “Farmer Wants a Wife,” which airs right after “The Masked Singer,” was also on hand as a guest panelist.
Like last season, “The Masked Singer” again adopted a “Champion of Masked Singer” format. Each episode, three costumed celebrities will perform, but only one will win and compete again the following week. After each round, three finalists will face off in the semi-finals.
This means that a contestant will be unmasked midway through the episode, with the top two singers going head-to-head in a “battle royale.” After Akerman as a squirrel was the first to be unmasked, it left Jackalope and Fairy to face off with “On Top of the World”, by Imagine Dragons. Jackalope received fewer votes and was unmasked as Pons. The fairy moves on to next week’s episode.
New this season is “Ding Dong Keep It On”. In the new twist on the competition, panelists will have the chance to save a singer from impending elimination, but the bell can only be rung three times in the first three rounds. These three singers will then face off in a special episode in a battle to join the competition. Wednesday, the bell did not ring.
‘The Masked Singer’ enters Season 9 with 21 contestants, including ‘Mustang’, ‘Axolotl’, ‘California Roll’, ‘Dandelion’, ‘Moose’, ‘Gargoyle’, ‘Jackalope’, ‘Doll’, Polar Bear “, “Night Owl”, “Rock Lobster”, “Gnome” and more to come. Tim Chappel is the costume designer for this season.
Lele Pons as Jackalope and Malin Akerman as Squirrel join Michael Bolton as Wolf, Grandmaster Flash as Polar Bear, Debbie Gibson as Night Owl, Howie Mandel as Rock Lobster, Sara Evans as as Mustang and Dick Van Dyke as Gnome as celebrities unmasked this season.
Season 9 nominees “bring a total of 28 Emmy nominations, six Grammy wins, 10 gold albums, four Golden Globe nominations, five medals, 26 books, two Tony Award nominations, five Lifetime Achievement Awards, four stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a total of 95,231,000 records sold. Season nine will feature all-new themed episodes, including “ABBA,” “New York,” “DC Superheroes,” “Sesame Street,” “80s Night,” “Movie Night” and more.
Here are the contestants and their performance on night five:
The Fairy (WINNER)
Song: “You are no good”, by Linda Ronstadt
The panel guesses: Tracee Ellis Ross, Angelina Jolie, Rashida Jones
Hint: Cookie Monster is holding a paper plate that says “Endless Love”
Voice over package“Making my ‘Sesame Street’ party debut feels like home. Because I grew up on these streets. Some might say I’m a bit of a nepo-fairy, I mean, while other kids had allowances, I earned my pocket money by charging neighborhood kids to come see my dad hang out at the house. I certainly could have taken a more direct path to fame, like some of the friends I grew up with. But I chose a more divergent path, privileging my studies and traveling the world. Eventually, my fate brought me back into the limelight of Tinseltown. Guess office work just wasn’t for me. I have to pursue two of my loves: singing and acting. Now it’s time for me to sing a song by my favorite “Sesame Street” resident. ‘Cause why maybe he’s grumpy, he’s an old friend.
Jackalope (LELE PONS)
Song“Anytime, Anywhere” by Shakira
Hint: The Count holds up a sign reading “30 Under 30”. “Donald Glover, Emma Stone and Michael B. Jordan. It’s an honor to be on the same list.
The panel guesses: Lele Pons, Jenna Ortega, Camilla Cabello
Voice over package“I’m so excited to get in the ring on ‘Sesame Street’ night because I also love to entertain audiences of all ages. Although I’m known to be a huge influencer, you’d be surprised if I didn’t not very sociable. Talking when I was a child was not my specialty. So, growing up, I discovered other ways to express myself through music and dance. Very quickly, people from the world people have started connecting with me and what i’m doing because this Jackalope doesn’t lie. Posting about your problems to millions of strangers may seem crazy, but being vulnerable gives me strength. I’ve created a family modern day of outcasts and together we’ve defined an industry. My kind of notoriety has its fair share of trolls. But I’ve learned to be tough in my arena. So my competitors better watch out because the moves of this bunny shine brightest on Wednesdays.
Squirrel (MALIN AKERMAN)
Song: “Just the Two of Us”, by Grover Washington Jr., feat. Bill Wither
The panel guesses: Katherine Heigl, Kate Hudson, Malin Akerman, Anne Hathaway
Hint: Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin pulls out a soccer ball with Jeong’s face on it. Squirrel said, “Ken, this isn’t the first time we’ve worked together. But this is the first time you have more lines.
Voice over package: “Coming out as a squirrel last week was crazy. I had a tough competition, but I knew that if I entered the battle royale, I could tap into my inner rock star and really show my stuff. I’m done. Now that I’m sitting in the champion’s seat, I feel a new fire. I’m working hard to make sure no one takes this title from me, especially not on ‘Sesame Street’ night. I dedicate my performance to the Count because my child is his number one fan. This guy has style. So does this new clue. [A wedding gown]. Say yes to the guess.
Previous song: “Try”, by Pink
Previous the panel guesses: Naomi Watts, Katie Holmes, Renee Zellweger, Margot Robbie, Uma Thurman