Part 1 of “American Horror Story: Double Feature” draws to a bloody close with a … moral message?
After a great start, a cohesive story, a straightforward narrative and decent performances from most of our players, “American Horror Story: Double Feature” went predictably off the rails with its bloody “Red Tide” finale.
The first half of this season’s two-story gimmick came to a screeching halt and it was as if we were suddenly dealing with a whole different story. Gone was the sinister and moody undertones of previous installments, and instead we get Alma delivering one of the worst groaners we could have imagined.
The humor was pushed heavily in the opening moments, with the Council of Provincetown mocking its own citizenry and ruthlessly shutting down petty requests like changing shingles or property easements. It’s all a power trip, but it was handled cartoonishly.
There’s always a bit of camp in horror, but this was the first season of “AHS” that didn’t feel like it was leaning too far into that territory — until now.
We got a little hopeful when “Glee” star Dot-Marie Jones showed up as a no-nonsense state trooper looking to investigate the brutal death of the town’s sheriff, uncovered by a fisherman in the ocean, as well as her ongoing investigation into all the other P-Town murders.
You remember the sheriff? A character that was set up like she was going to do something only to do nothing but die at Alma’s hands a few weeks ago? Sadly, as interesting as Jones was in this brief moment, where she vowed to get to the bottom of things after it was clear the haughty Council was hiding something, she clearly wasn’t important to the story as a character; instead she was just a plot device.
We never saw her again. The same proved true for Doris. She was mentioned by her daughter, who is still happy that she’s gone, but despite a random glimpse of someone around the house (another unresolved moment), she’s just gone, apparently.
Lark made a couple of appearances to sharpen teeth and dress pale people, but apparently these writers couldn’t be bothered to make her anything more than an extra in a show she was given opening credit billing in. Maybe they should consider a black pill.
At least we can speculate on some closure for Provincetown itself, though with a huge mess to clean up. And there was some heavy-handed closure for viewers as well, with Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk laying their allegory about talent and hard work and success on a little too thick.
Still, it wouldn’t be “AHS” without plenty of WTF and this final “Red Tide” hour had plenty of those moments. We’ll be pondering these all week as we await the premiere of “Death Valley” as “AHS” goes aliens and we speculate if these two chapters will connect at all — maybe the black pills origin?
Council Abuses Its Citizenry
We talked about this above, but it was absolutely surreal having this episode open with the city council tearing into its own citizens over such petty things. They were all drunk with power, and none so bitchy as real estate agent Holden (Denis O’Hare).
His performance throughout has been a little campy, but he took that to the next level with this one scene. They were all so blatantly and openly corrupt, it was comical. It also pulled us right out of the well-established dark mood of the previous episodes that had us respecting that “AHS” was finally putting the horror front and center, rather than the absurd.
Dot-Marie Jones Is a Badass
The “Glee” alum did her part to add some gravity to the situation, and the biggest takeaway for us is to again recognize what an incredible performer she is, and wonder why Murphy and company haven’t been using the hell out of her already on this show? She has such a commanding presence in any scene, and she’s such a unique presence, you’d think Murphy would be throwing parts at her on this series.
Here’s to hoping that this isn’t the first and last time we see her on “AHS.” In fact, she can become a regular part of the ensemble, so far as we’re concerned. She did more in this one scene for us than Billie Lourd did in her (admittedly few) moments.
Ursula Confronts Pale People
Can we take a moment to set up this WTF moment with some background that again points out how deep into satire this episode was going. With state troopers nosing around, the Council threatened Belle (Frances Conroy) and Austin (Evan Peters) with stricter zoning ordinances if they didn’t get this situation under control.
This was a serious threat delivered by Holden, and it appears to have been taken seriously. Is it that hard to come up with ways to end the show? Hell, we could have been satisfied with the ending of the last episode as it pretty much established where we were going anyway.
Back to the point, though, in response to the threat, Belle and Austin kidnapped Baby Eli in their attempt to lure Harry and Alma to their house so they could go ahead and kill them and be done with all the chaos. From there, Ursula came up with a master plan that proved she has the biggest balls on the whole show.
She’s also a sociopath, opportunistic, Hollywood agent monster stereotype, but that doesn’t take away from the badass moment she actually pitches to them the opportunity to kill the real enemy, those who’ve taken the pill and not turned pale.
It showed us that the pale people aren’t as lost as we thought. The could be negotiated with, they understood what they lost, and they wanted a chance to get their lives back with her promise/lie of a new pill. That makes the absence of Doris even more tragic/stupid. Missed opportunity there.
Oh, and we love the metaphor Ursula used to convince them that they could still have a second chance, sharing the story of Laurence Fishburne’s agent convincing him to turn down “Pulp Fiction” so he wouldn’t have to work with has-been John Travolta, not knowing this would revive Travolta’s career and become a classic.
Fishburne’s second chance came when he beat out Samuel L. Jackson, ironically enough, for the role in “The Matrix,” which was at least as big as “Pulp Fiction.” One mistake doesn’t have to define the rest of your career.
Belle Tries to Eat Baby Eli
Belle might think she’s magical and special, but there’s no way she could believe that Eli wouldn’t feel a thing when she ripped him open and started drinking his blood. She doesn’t have special powers, she just rips people open. That’s gotta hurt!
The scene was also an opportunity for her to address the old stereotype that screenwriting isn’t real writing, that Hollywood hacks aren’t real artists. Of course, the black pills working on Harry means that’s not true, but this must be a way to process all that insecurity.
Or maybe it’s a way for Murphy and Falchuk to slap the notion in the face and try to prove that it’s a ridiculous stereotype that has no basis in reality. It would have been a stronger argument if they’d have been able to make it in a better screenplay. But at least the message was so heavy-handed, we couldn’t miss it.
Pale People Attack
We saw it coming a mile away, but after Belle and Austin loomed menacingly at the camera (Harry and Alma) like we were in a 3-D monster movie from the 1960s, it was still exciting to see the pale people burst through the windows and attack the erotic author and playwright.
With Harry and Alma next on the menu, this would have been another opportunity for a poignant and tragic reunion between them and Doris, who could have easily been one of the pale people in the house, before Ursula burst in the door and blew them all away.
She killed all the pale people, but apparently she and Alma had set up their next kill ahead of time. Otherwise, why didn’t Ursula just take care of it in this moment?
Alma Rips Into Harry
Instead, in a seen set up so blatantly earlier in the episode we actually saw Alma looking knowingly into the camera, the little violinist told her father that only two of the family would be surviving this encounter before sinking her teeth into his neck.
Dismissing the fact he’s far stronger than her and could have ripped her off of him in that instant (we’ll assume she hit the artery and drained him in super-speed), we can’t dismiss the cringeworthy line she delivered when the Chemist and Ursula decide to frame Harry for everything that happened in Provincetown.
The camera actually cut to Alma, bloody and still sucking Harry’s neck. She turned to the women and said, “Do you mind? I don’t like people watching me while I eat.” There was no reason for this. Why did they have to hurt us like that with such a godawful line. We thought we’d have nightmares about the pale people, but it might be this line and delivery.
On top of that, we were only about halfway through the episode at this point. That means this tacked-on coda that took the story to Hollywood was so important, the writers weren’t worried about leaving P-Town’s future uncertain, Doris forgotten, Dot-Marie Jones criminally underused
Chemist Cleaning Up Dirty Cops
Instead, we got to see the Chemist using her black pills to systematically and carefully target racist cops in Los Angeles, slip them black pills and set them up to get killed by their fellow cops. We have to give credit where it’s due, it’s pretty ingenious.
It’s messy, sure, but we respect the consistency in her characterization to have a contained, controlled murderous situation once again in her new hometown. She’s proof that there are people without black pills who are still very intelligent and worthy. Apparently, science and discipline are not talents, though.
Alma Claws Her Way to Top
Sadly, by this point in the show we’d pretty much lost all interest in Alma. We thought she’d be an interesting exploration of the darkness the black pills can pull out of you. After all, she’s younger and doesn’t have as developed a moral compass (or even brain, for that matter). Instead, she became a predictable cartoon caricature of evil.
So when we saw her auditioning for a part in an orchestra, we knew exactly where it was going to go. We do respect the authenticity of the other guy she was competing against telling her they’d never choose her because they’re an orchestra, and she’d make them a novelty act at nine years old if she were the lead.
The message here is that the world isn’t black-and-white, it isn’t always fair. Sometimes being the best isn’t enough because there are other factors to consider, nuances in real life. That’s a concept that obviously would escape a caricature, which is why Alma preditably killed him.
How she was able to do so and have him die down the stairs and without getting any blood on her is a mystery. Did she lure him from the room? Gain superhuman strength? We also don’t learn if there were any consequences for this murder, if she got the part or was still rejected? Apparently, those answers weren’t interesting. Hearing the guy’s speech to her about why being the best isn’t enough was the point of this scene. In fact, we never see Alma again.
Ursula Sowing Seeds of Mediocrity
Ursula’s final scene is even more chaotic evil as she joins up with a screenwriting instructor to hawk the black pills to him and all of his students. Apparently, handing them out to anyone writing a screenplay at Starbucks wasn’t enough.
But here’s where we get a little confused. Ursula’s motivation seemed to be making money and being the best agent in Hollywood. But with these moves, she is instead orchestrating total anarchy onto the streets. How is that beneficial to her? What does she gain from this?
Even her closing monologue, delivered over the cacophony of death on the streets as new pale people were slaughtering everyone, offered no clarity. Instead, it was another thinly-veiled statement about success.
Apparently, the pale people represent those people who are envious of the successful people out there, unaware that it takes actual hard work to achieve success, pushing through failure. As a metaphor it’s a bit of a mess, but that went with the visuals.
“Spit or Swallow”
Perhaps the more compelling metaphor, and we can’t imagine it was a mistake, was when Ursula handed out all those pills in that screenwriting class and told the students that success is one swallow away. “Spit or swallow, the choice is yours.”
This couldn’t help but evoke #MeToo and all those decades that the casting couch dominated Hollywood. What price would you pay to have your dreams come true? How far would you go? What are you willing to do?
Harry made the comment that he wanted to try and get back her soul earlier in the hour, but Ursula told him it doesn’t work that way. She also tried to argue that being without a conscience or moral compass is a good thing. It makes those choices easier to make — and live with.
Certainly those seem to be personality traits that do very well in our cut-throat capitalist society, in Hollywood and beyond. So long as you believe as Alma does that the non-talented people don’t really matter, then you can achieve all of your dreams. If you instead try to have a conscience or do the right thing, well you’ll probably get devoured.
In the end, The Chemist appears to have abandoned both Ursula and Alma to their fates in Hollywood, heading off with Eli with the promise of a new city and a new pill. Will she keep Ursula and Alma supplied with black pills? Does she care? Do we? The story certainly doesn’t. It’s over.
“American Horror Story: Double Feature” continues next week with the premiere of Part 2, “Death Valley,” Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on FX.
There’s a surprising amount of attitude and tears in the House as panic starts to set in ahead of the final Veto competition of the season.
With the end so close, and a heightened prize of $750,000 on this season of “Big Brother,” the Final Four showed a lot of surprising emotion bouncing from paranoia to remorse to a whole lot of unnecessary attitude.
It gets very hard to keep your cool when the game is this close to the end — next Wednesday is the finale! — but it’s also absolutely essential. All of the power this week resides with the Veto holder.
Xavier is already Head of Household, so if he wins the Veto he gets to decide not only who is on the Block, but who gets to cast the vote. It’s actually the least powerful potential outcome because Xavier can’t necessarily control how that person will vote.
If anyone else wins Veto, they automatically secure their safety, put the other two non-Xavier Houseguests on the Block and get to decide which of them goes home. So for Xavier, it’s ultimate influence, for anyone else, it’s ultimate power.
As such, even though Azah and Kyland are both on the Block right now, it doesn’t really mean all that much as so much comes down to this final Veto competition of the season. You can never relax on the Block, but maybe don’t cop attitude with the person who might have all the power.
We’ve been seeing hints of it all season long, that Kyland has an arrogance about him in this game, and possibly more than that if you’ve been watching the Live Feeds. Anyone who watches “Big Brother” knows that you tell people in power what they need to hear.
At this point, Derek F has all the power. If nominations stay the same, he’ll be the one to decide who goes home. So why on earth would Kyland cop an attitude with Derek F when he comes to him for assurance of their Week 2 Final Two deal. Just tell him you’re good and be done with it.
Instead, in two different conversations, Kyland gets all pissy and refuses to give a straight answer and then dares to feel offended that Derek F is asking him this from a position of power. Uh yeah, that’s how this works. He has the power. You have to grovel or manipulate or do whatever you have to do.
Is this too much pride?
It’s honestly inexplicable behavior from Kyland, who’s played a pretty solid strategic game to this point. This is just one part of it, and yet he sits there and insults Derek’s part in the game — effectively telling him he’s had none — and won’t affirm their working relationship, even if we know it’s a lie.
Kyland wants to honor his Final 2 with Xavier, but boo, you gotta get there first!
Easily one of the most challenging competitions, this one required great memory, math under pressure and physical balance and care as the Houseguests had to transport balls back and forth to a giant paddle on the other end of a fulcrum.
This was do or die for everyone in the House, as all the power rested in this competition. It was also a lesson for future Houseguests. Don’t just memorize the competitions and game-related big moments. If you set the kitchen on fire, maybe remember that, too.
That was the only day they struggled with. Beyond that, it was just getting through it and balance. Based on the edit, it looked like Kyland was over-eager, as he was moving too quickly and knocking his balls loose, forcing him to start over.
If he’d have been a little more steady, he might have won. Instead, he shockingly went out first. He was followed by Azah, who’d come in first and second in the first three rounds, but came in third in the next two.
Once again, as we’ve seen in recent competitions, Derek F was so close on this one through most of it. Xavier was burning in the final round, but Derek F had another strong showing, proving that he’s so close to winning something this season — if there’s time.
Ultimately, though, Xavier gave himself the victory.
Then, in the ultimate irony, Kyland got all pissy with Xavier for not giving him the assurances about their Final Two that he was looking for. We’re pretty sure that he has no clue this is the exact scenario that played out between him and Derek F, only with the roles reversed.
Now, Xavier has secondary power to keep Kyland on the Block, but he won’t be the one casting the vote. And yet, Kyland is pleading his case to Xavier instead of Derek F or Azah. Has he dismissed them entirely?
Xavier has an interesting choice ahead of him. In order to honor his side of his Final Three deal with the guys, and his Final Two with Kyland, but also get Kyland out of the House, he needs Derek F to take the shot. The problem is, it’s not certain that he would.
Azah would certainly do it, but Xavier is thinking of Jury management with this decision. We didn’t get to see if he used the Power of Veto yet, so it’s going to be a lot of conversations with Derek F to see if Xavier can be confident he’ll take Kyland out of the game while allowing Xavier to save face.
Xavier Prather (27) just about has this game all tied up in a bow. He’s surging with comps at just the right time, and if he orchestrates the removal of Kyland — who’s rubbed a lot of people wrong — he’ll pretty much assure himself a victory if he can get to the end, and he’ll be setting himself up with the best chance of getting there at the same time. Grade: A+
Derek Frazier (29) is so close to making the right decision to give himself the best shot at making it to Final Two. Xavier would probably honor their deal if he cuts Kyland from the game, and he’s seen already what Kyland thinks of him in this game. He needs to make the bold decision to cut Kyland now. Yes, it’s a betrayal of the alliance, but it’s the only way to give himself the best chance to get to the end. Grade: B
Azah Awasum (30) will hopefully be safe this week, if Derek F can make the move he needs to make … or if Xavier decides to put Big D on the Block and let Azah take the shot. Beyond this, though, it’ll be up to her to carry herself into the Final Two. There is the slightest chance that Big D could take her if he wins final HOH as both are playing an emotional game and it would be better odds for both of them, but one of them has to win that final HOH first. Wouldn’t that be a shocking finale twist. Grade: C-
Kyland Young (30) is starting to realize the trouble he’s in. Xavier is in a position to not betray his alliance at all, but rather have someone else do it. If they take the shot, Kyland is done. If for some reason, they don’t, Xavier’s hands are still clean. It’s a masterful position. But we have a feeling Big D or Azah is about to take the shot. He needed to win, or at least be more gracious with his back against the wall, and he was capable of neither. Grade: D
- “It’s essentially win this veto, or lose this game.” –Kyland
- “Up until now, I made it the entire season without being nominated. And it’s sobering, because I might be going home.” –Azah
- “Do you have a Final Three with them?” –Azah (to Derek F)
- “No.” –Derek F
- “That’s essentially a Final Three with the guys, you know that, right?” –Azah (after Derek F tells her he has a Final 2 with both Xavier and Kyland)
- “I could have not sent Hannah home and sent a guy home. Would have probably set myself up better than I am now.” –Azah (truth too late)
- “We’re in the best position.” –Derek F
- “It’s not us anymore, boo. It’s you.” –Azah
- “I feel like right now you’re having a conversation with me about fears of making it to two. And rIght now, I’m just trying to get to three.” –Kyland (to Derek F)
- “What I’m getting at is to make sure that our deal that we made to the end sticks.” –Derek F
- “I recognize that. We’re in different positions. I’m more vulnerable than you. I don’t think it’s your intention to leverage it because I’m in a vulnerable spot. It is, like, a leveraged question.” –Kyland
- ‘You want Wonder Woman?” –Azah (after Xavier says Kyland is looking at a Batman/Superman Final 2 with him)
- “If I sit next to Azah or Big D, my chance of winning this game increases significantly.” –Xavier
- “The difference between me and you is that I have gotten to have an active role in those decisions. So it’s not that I would be willing to do it, I did it. You haven’t been able to.” –Kyland (to Derek F about decisions made to push Cookout to Final 6)
- “I’ve shown many times that I have been loyal to Derek, so now this feels ungrateful. It feels like at is very first opportunity, he’s asking what I can do for him.” –Kyland (planning to honor Final 2 with Xavier, not Derek)
- “I’m just going to say that our Final 2 deal is dead. We can revisit it after we see what happens [with Veto].” –Derek F (to Kyland)
- “I think I would do better if I leave this conversation right now.” –Kyland
- “Kyland has this habit of deep-sniffing everything. Why you putting the whole tortilla on your face, dog? That’s nasty.” –Xavier
- “After seeing that and thinking of all the meals he’s cooked for me, I have to win this Veto so we can get this sniffing band out of this house. His ass gotta go.” –Xavier
- “The fact that you were willing to save me, the fact that you were willing to be there for me just like I have been there for you, I need to respect that.” –Derek F (to Azah)
- “I’ll be back for you.” –Kyland (to Veto necklace heading into competition)
- “Being eliminated first feels like I’ve let down myself.” –Kyland (after Veto comp)
- “I don’t know why between you and I would have to be a conversation for tomorrow. It’s just vulnerable moments I think reassurances help. That’s why to not get them instantly has my worry amplifying.” –Kyland (he wouldn’t give Derek F any reassurances)
- “If Big D is having any doubts, then Xavier should use the Veto on me because I have no deals with Kyland and no problem sending him out that door. At all.” –Azah
Desperate Housewives alum Eva Longoria has been named this year’s McHappy Day Ambassador.”I am so proud to be the 2021 McHappy Day Ambassador and hope to inspire Aussies to support the invaluable work of Ronald McDonald House Charities,” Longoria says….
Supermodel Linda Evangelista claims she was “brutally disfigured” by a fat-freezing procedure she underwent more than five years ago.The 56-year-old Canadian shared an emotional Instagram post today, alleging the reason she hasn’t worked in a while is …
Tyra Banks always brings a refreshing energy to her random moments! That’s definitely the case in one of her latest videos where she’s discussing her glam. She shared with fans that the influence behind her laid and slayed edges is rapper Saweetie. As you may have already seen, Saweetie is one star that pops out […]
The post Tyra Banks Says She’s Channeling Saweetie With Her Laid Baby Hairs appeared first on The Shade Room.
Jennifer Aniston has opened up again about the dating rumours surrounding herself and Friends co-star David Schwimmer.Earlier this year, Aniston, 52, and Schwimmer, 54, admitted in the television special Friends: The Reuinion that they both had crushes…
One highly observed birthday tradition almost brought an unwelcome energy to Nicole Richie’s celebration. The longtime actress recently brought in her 40th birthday and decided to step out for a good time. However, Nicole’s fun time almost took a sharp left when her hair caught fire while blowing out her birthday candles. And we’re not […]
The post Nicole Richie’s Hair Catches Fire While Blowing Out Birthday Candles appeared first on The Shade Room.
Whew! Ari Fletcher sure did her part in making sure her bae MoneyBagg Yo was doing it for his b-day! And by it, we mean flexing his deserved blessings. The social media influencer and entrepreneur cashed all the way out on her present for the rapper’s 30th birthday. Ari purchased 28.8 acres of land for MoneyBagg Yo […]
The post Ari Fletcher Gifts MoneyBagg Yo 28.8 Acres Of Land For His 30th Birthday appeared first on The Shade Room.
Who else gets the boot in this first part of an epic two-night premiere?
Finally back in the studio with an actual live audience — no more crappy CGI — “The Masked Singer” kicked off its sixth season with a surprise double elimination!
The costuming is getting better and better with each passing year, though we have to say that Mother Nature is the stuff of nightmares. She seems sweet enough, but we already know we’re going to open our eyes to see that dead, wooden face staring down at us ready to suck our souls out.
Her royal horror-ness was joined in this first night of a two-night premiere by the diva-tastic Skunk, an energetic Bull, a sensual Puffer Fish and the tallest contestant we’ve ever seen … the Octopus.
Between all of this season’s 16 contestants — we’ve so many more to meet — we learned that they’ve picked up 85 Grammy nominations, 32 marriages, 20 divorces, multiple Oscar nominations, made out with everyone from Sean Penn to Will Smith to our own Jenny McCarthy!
The biggest surprise of the night, though, came when Nick Cannon revealed that after five performances, the season was kicking off with a double elimination! Five will become three, but really it’s 16 becoming 14, so we’re all gonna be okay.
But it also means absolutely zero time to impress the panel and studio audience. That said, by the end of the night, we were feeling pretty confident in who we thought should go home. We’ve been disappointed before, but they wouldn’t let us down already, would they? Not in the first episode?!
Let’s jump right in with this week’s masks. And don’t worry, before we get to the shocking unmasking, we’re going to make you power through the terrible (and occasionally good) guesses made by our illustrious panel of Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger first. We do this because we love … to torture you.
Skunk brought a confident and sensual vocal, a little raspy and lower in the register, making us think this a seasoned singer in her middle years or beyond. She definitely sings like someone who’s been on stages for a long time making this her living, but maybe doesn’t have the range she once did. A consummate professional, though, even if she did so with very little actual movement.
Guesses: Skunk is diva-licious, even had a D-vase in her premiere package. She said she chose the skunk as she could relate to that duality, the “yin and yang of it all,” suggesting there are perhaps two sides to her. Either an over-the-top public persona, or maybe two facets that have both lived in the public eye.
There was a newspaper headline reading that the Golden Ear Winner (Jenny) had lost her mind, making us wonder if Jenny maybe guessed her in a previous season and Skunk was not flattered by the comparison.
We also saw a ticket to Seoul, South Korea, a pink purse, lots of diamonds and she told us that she’d learned you don’t have to react when provoked (maybe that duality of personality as maybe she used to react) and she’d recently taken a break (from her career?) for family.
She told Nick she did the show to take a big leap and do something she hadn’t in a long time, and that’s what we heard in her vocals. This sounds like someone who used to maybe sing professionally all the time but hasn’t now for a while.
Robin was tossing out names like Gloria Gaynor and Faith Evans, while Ken rattled off a bunch of divas this isn’t like Janet Jackson, Erykah Badu and no it does not sound exactly like Anita Baker. Jenny’s Mary J. Blige wasn’t much better, because MJB still got it (no offense, Skunk) vocally as strong as she ever did. We’re not feeling Sade, either, which means the panel is completely stumped.
The internet, though, thinks Robin might be on to something, with Faith Evans quickly rising to their top pick (Brady being Fox on this show and “family” helped tie it together). Another popular guess was Kelis, though we didn’t hear any real arguments behind it other than some thought it sounded like her.
Octopus had a lot of gravel in his voice, and was clearly having fun out there, but this is not a guy who was ever a professional singer. We’re not even sure he wasn’t putting on this voice to try and hide his real one. He wasn’t comfortable moving around the stage, and didn’t try to do a lot of things, but he was confident in his voice, and stayed on pitch — so it was better than expected overall.
Guesses: With a story that reminded us of Howard Stern’s path a bit (but we’re pretty sure it’s not him), Octopus is a very tall man who found success at a young age. He seems to think he’s known for his smile and feels lucky that he was able to make a comeback.
He said he wasn’t taken seriously and people wanted him out. And they got their way, as he fell, and it wasn’t until he was able to let go of his ego that he got the chance to rise again. We saw blocks with A, B, and C on them (Big Bird, is that you?) and a gold phone.
He likes the supernatural (or the show “Supernatural”), can be overly defensive, eight is a lucky number and he feels like a lucky guy at this point. Did we mention that this dude is huge; he even referenced it in his package. His legs go on and on!
He spoke with a tremulous high-pitched voice that was definitely a put-on, saying he chose to do the show because it’s his mom’s favorite. Jenny went the most obvious route, wondering if this could be Dennis Rodman.
But Ken knows “exactly who this is,” but he doesn’t know. Ken’s actual guess was Dwight Howard, but Nicole wondered if it might not be “one of the great vocalists of our time,” Shaquille O’Neal. Jenny had to point out that Shaq is rocking a bit of a super-sized dad bod these days.
That left Dwight Howard, who’s larger than life personality definitely fits the on-stage antics of the Octopus, as Twitter’s most prominent guess, too. Could Ken get one right? Does he actually know exactly who this was?
Other names thrown about included Dennis Rodman, but also J.B. Smoove — he’s got the height and definitely gets wacky out there. It’s not a bad guess, though we don’t think he’d sound like that singing.
Puffer Fish came out with a whole lot of surprises, including two different rap vocals and a very sultry, whispery singing voice that brought every part of Doja Cat’s “Say So” to life. We could feel that she was in command of the stage before she broke into the rap, but at that point it was clear she’s a stage performer. She really brought a great energy to the stage, and a very cool sound.
Guesses: We’re not sure what she meant by saying she had a different voice that wasn’t well-received, leading even to ridicule, as we weren’t hearing that. Is this Iggy Azalea trying to shut down her haters? That would fit the boomerang image but we think she’s even curvier.
She said she’d always wanted to blend in coming up, but wasn’t able to. Instead, she was the kid blowing up the science lab. She said she learned how to stand up for herself, and credits that for her success. She also said she’s stood out her whole life.
Another image from her package, that saw her beamed up to an apparent spaceship before accidentally blowing up a volcano, was an electric guitar with GUIT ARRA written on it. Another clue was the fact that she went for Nick’s backside, and he said he knows exactly who it is.
She said she chose Puffer Fish because she is queen of the sea, and did so with a rasp in her voice even through the modulator … so maybe it’s her speaking voice that had people gritting their teeth, like Fran Drescher back in the day.
Nicole wandered through Minnie Ripperton and Maya Rudolph to find the petite Paula Abdul in the frame. Paula was not taken seriously as a vocalist, but can she rap like that? Ken’s terrible guess was Issa Rae, who is not as petite as Puffer Fish, but that didn’t stop him. “Nick is 4’6”” he explained, “And Issa feels very secure standing next to him.”
Robin tossed out Jessica Alba, who’s enjoyed dancing with her kids on TikTok, but no one’s ever talked about her voice. The internet wasn’t feeling super confident, either, with nods to Toni Braxton (minor thoughts about Tamar), Kylie Minogue
Mother Nature came out with a ton of swagger and attitude on that stage, but this was a karaoke performance at best. This is definitely not what she does. She’s a confident woman, but more confident walking with presence than she is moving around a stage and singing. And we don’t even know what to say about the multi-mallet game of Whac-A-Mole with background dancers — is that a clue?
Guesses: Perhaps the biggest clue for this strong woman, who we’d guess is in her middle years, is that she’s not a mother herself. But she is patriotic, she likes flowers and she changes with the seasons.
She had to come to terms with not having kids of her own, but she’s protective of the family she already had — which somehow relates to a picture of Wayne Brady (is she from “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”). We also saw a giant Lincoln penny and a sparkler while she talked about how protective she is of those she considers family.
Once again, based on the hug she gave him, Nick said, “When someone get up on you, you gotta know who it is.” That got a laugh out of Mother Nature, who asked Ken if he was ready to call her Mommy. She said she chose this persona because Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with, beautiful and scary.
Ken was convinced it was a comedian, thinning Aisha Tyler but is thinking more the “She Ready” vibe. Tiffany Haddish isn’t a bad guess, if we’re being honest, so how did Ken come up with it? Nicole also considered it could be Chelsea Handler, but Jenny wasn’t feeling that.
Robin was thinking the whole vibe could be Tracee Ellis Ross, another solid guess. “And just on principal, she would come out singing her mom’s song,” he concluded, before Mother Nature sashayed away. She’s easily the most fun personality so far on the show.
The internet is thinking, based in part on the Wayne Brady clue, that it’s Vivica A. Fox, though we also saw guesses for Kim Fields and even the panel’s Haddish and Ross guesses.
Bull was perhaps the biggest surprise of the night, as his intro package did not prepare us for the raw power and quality of his vocals. He commanded this song from the first note and had us more excited than anyone else tonight — and yet we’re still thinking he’s not a professional singer. His stage moves are rudimentary, but his vocals are stellar, so he’s a very good amateur if he’s not.
Guesses: Cooperstown featured heavily in his promo, which always makes you think of baseball. He said he came from a small town and traveled the world seeking to be the greatest of all time. But every door was closed to him, so after too many nos, he became his own boss.
From there, he got noticed by both Hollywood and Forbes (is this someone from “Shark Tank”?). Visually, we saw a portrait of him looking like Washington crossing the Delaware, though that could be the matador costume. He also featured a stuffed lion on the beach after he landed.
Bull revealed that he’s actually shy about singing, which was a shocker for Ken who was sure this was a “superstar.” With that talent, though, hopefully this journey will give him the confidence he should have in his abilities.
Jenny saw the Astronaut and wasn’t thinking former contestant Hunter Hayes, but rather Lance Bass — and his space dreams — taking her to boy bander Brian Littrell. But could any of those boy band boys really be shy about singing? How would that even work? Nicole thinks she knows who it is, but decided not to share so no one would steal it — but isn’t that her job?! NICOLE?!? What is you doing?!
Robin went on overall quality of performance to find Sisqó while Ken went over the deep end again to come up with the massive physique of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. We don’t care how big Nick is, Dwayne would look much more massive than that, though it would be awesome to find out he could sing that well.
The internet, when they weren’t tossing around horrible Jeong guesses like Kevin Hart, seemed to rally strongest around Todrick Hall as the likeliest to be under the horns. Another big guess, that we’d be surprised to see on this show, is Donald Glover (though we dig the lion-Simba connection they found).
Puffer Fish and The Bull brought the most exciting and surprising performances to the stage, while Skunk established herself as a diva and likely a legendary singer. We’re not ready to say goodbye to any of them. That leaves Octopus and Mother Nature out of these five.
If it weren’t a double, we’d love to see Octopus come back — and we could even see voters keeping him over Skunk because he was much more charismatic on stage, but Mother Nature was the clear weakest link for us. But would she go home first?
No, instead it was Octopus (so maybe she’s next). Was he really the lowest vote-getter? That doesn’t seem right. But as sad as it is to see him hit the road, we are definitely intrigued to find out who is under the tallest mask we’ve ever seen on this show.
- Robin Thicke: first impression (Joel Embiid), final guess (Joel Embiid)
- Jenny McCarthy: first impression (Dennis Rodman), final guess (Dennis Rodman)
- Ken Jeong: first impression (Dwight Howard), final guess (Dwight Howard)
- Nicole Scherzinger: first impression (Shaquille O’Neal), final guess (Shaquille O’Neal)
For the first time that we can remember, the panel all stuck with their original guesses, and none of them were too bad. Robin explained that Joel had gotten some grief for not taking himself seriously enough on the basketball court, so he regrouped and tried harder. So was it him?
Turns out, our resident NBA expert was right on the money, with Dwight Howard teasing and mocking him throughout the episode before being revealed as the man beneath the tentacles.
With Dwight Howard’s Octopus already unmasked and out of the competition — and what a hoot he was even unmasked — we were ready to say goodbye to Mother Nature. There is no way that she could outlast the others in this competition, is there?
“This is so anti-environment,” Robin joked after Nick revealed that it was Mother Nature while the panel pretended to be shocked and devastated. Like they really wanted her to outlast any of the other three? Come on, now!
- Robin Thicke: first impression (Tracee Ellis Ross), final guess (Tracee Ellis Ross)
- Jenny McCarthy: first impression (Tiffany Haddish), final guess (Tiffany Haddish)
- Ken Jeong: first impression (Tiffany Haddish), final guess (Tiffany Haddish)
- Nicole Scherzinger: first impression (Chelsea Handler), final guess (Tracee Ellis Ross)
In a totally rude and unnecessary move, the producers decided to try and ensure fans would tune in to Thursday night’s premiere continuation by holding off on this reveal until then. So … we’ve no idea who is under this mask, though we’re digging both of these guesses on the surface.
And another shocking development for this two-night premiere of “The Masked Singer” will see tonight’s three advancing contestants perform again tomorrow, squaring off against two new Wild Card contenders. So fans of any of them are in for a treat — and we have to admit, we’re excited to see Puffer Fish and The Bull again (sorry, Skunk, it just didn’t grab us as much).
“The Masked Singer” two-night Season 6 premiere continues Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.
Tory Lanez is being sued after a man claimed he was disfigured after a hit-and-run incident a car owned by the star. According to court documents obtained by Radar, a man named Barry Fine is suing Lanez and the insurance company AIG. Barry says he was driving his 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe Turbo …
Reports have surfaced that R. Kelly refused to testify in his sex trafficking trial. Before attorneys gave their closing arguments, Kelly told U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly that he wouldn’t take the witness stand. “You don’t want to testify, correct?” Donnelly asked Kelly. He responded: “Yes, …
Everybody Loves Raymond star Patricia Heaton has opened up about what made her decide to quit alcohol for good.Heaton, who marked the milestone of three years’ sobriety in July, spoke about drinking frequently when she was starring in the series, but g…