masked singer

T-Pain's revealed to be the Monster in "The Masked Singer."

On Jan. 2, Fox introduced America to a mysterious new competition called “The Masked Singer.” The show is based off the South Korean hit show “King of Masked Singer,” in which celebrities of different talents perform on stage in front of a studio audience and a panel of judges. The only catch is they do their performances in costume as a disguise. Each week, one celebrity gets voted off by the studio audience, takes off their mask and reveals their identity.

Season 1 contained many famous faces, including Tori Spelling, La Toya Jackson, Joey Fatone and others. The costumed performers were dressed as either a Rabbit, Monster, Lion, Raven, Pineapple, Bee, Peacock or Alien. The panel of judges is equally as famous as the singers, and include Robin Thicke, Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy and Nicole Scherzinger. They also had several celebrity guest judges from week to week to try and help them guess who was behind the masks.

“The Masked Singer” is the type of show that draws viewers in. The contestants give the audience a variety of clues as to their identity. These clues can be as obvious as re-enacting something like the Rabbit (Joey Fatone) doing a dance on puppet strings to reference NSYNC’s “Bye, Bye, Bye” music video, but it can also be something small like a state on a license plate with the celebrity’s birthday on it. The performances were entertaining to watch, and some of the clues were incorporated in their routine.

This first season, there were many funny moments that kept fans guessing and watching each week. When the Poodle was voted off, the judges made all their final guesses. The poodle turned out to be comedian Margaret Cho, who none of the judges guessed. The humorous part was she played Ken Jeong’s sister on his sitcom “Dr. Ken” and even he didn’t realize it was her behind the mask. Another laugh-out-loud moment happened the week after Jeong guessed correctly: He wore a crown for the entire next show and wanted to be called “The Reigning Champ.”

There were many articles and polls all over the internet about who was who and trying to figure out all of the clues the performers provided. Multiple fans believed the Bee was Gladys Knight, the Peacock was debated to be either Donnie Osman or Neil Patrick Harris and signs pointed toward T-Pain or Jamie Foxx as the Monster. These guesses came from the multiple hints given as well as recognition of their vocals.

The season finale aired on Wednesday with the final three competitors left: the Peacock, Monster and Bee. After many weeks of clues, viewers were anxious to see who was behind the masks. The final episode started out by explaining the many clues given for all 12 masked singers and doing a recap of who had already been unmasked. Then, the three finalist performed one more time.

The Peacock sang “Shake A Tail Feather” by Ray Charles as his final performance, which showed his enthusiasm evident throughout the season. “I Can’t Make You Love Me” was portrayed perfectly by the Bee. She showed the judges, audience and viewers at home that she came to win with her powerful vocals. The Monster got the crowd pumped with a cover of “This Is How We Do It.” He showed his skills of dancing as well as singing.

After many weeks of this competition, being judged on their performance and the audience voting for them to stay, the three finalists were revealed. In third place, the Bee turned out to be the legendary Knight. The crowd was amazed to see her and was honored to be in the presence of a music industry icon. The Peacock received second place and was revealed to be Donnie Osmond. His outgoing personality and love for performing was the reason he made it all the way to second place. Finally, the Monster was crowned as the first winner of “The Masked Singer.” The Monster was actually T-Pain, who’ll coincidentally be performing at JMU on April 16.

Although he’s known to use autotune in a majority of his songs, his natural voice helped earn him first place. Season 1 of “The Masked Singer” was incredible. It had amazing performances as well as notable guests in a fun environment. Fans will be very excited to see who participates in Season 2. People who have a love of mysteries, love music or just wants singing competitions should tune in to this show.

Contact Gracie Brogowski at brogowsx@dukes.jmu.edu. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.