6:08pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Masked Singer': Who Was Under the Panda Mask?
Following last week’s season-two premiere, Fox's The Masked Singer returned with four new masked celebrities competing against one another. As a refresher, last week introduced eight singers, and two were revealed at the end: professional ice skater Johnny Weir and YouTuber Tyler "Ninja" Blevins. Panelists Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Robin Thicke and Nicole Scherzinger were back to offer guesses and one singer unmasked at episode’s end.
The first matchup of the night featured Black Widow and the Leopard. Black Widow was up first. “I’m the Black Widow, because like me, they hide in plain sight," she teased in her clue package. “Welcome to my empire." The video also featured a peach, threads, a clapperboard and rolls of film, suggesting she could be an actress.
For her performance, the Black Widow sang Whitney Houston's “I Wanna Dance With Somebody," and despite some breath control issues, she seemingly had vocal experience. The panelists guessed Glee’s Amber Riley, Community’s Yvette Nicole Brown and The View’s Sherri Shepherd. “I like to hide until I feast,” Black Widow offered in one last clue. Another potential person who could be under the mask is Raven-Symoné.
The Leopard was up next. "I am the Leopard, because I am adaptable and can survive anywhere,” he said. "No one can catch me." His video featured a lot of newspapers and candles. The panelists immediately noticed how tall he is.
He sang "Somebody to Love" by Queen and put on a good show, ending on an impressive run. Scherzinger was particularly blown away by his voice. Panel guesses included Billy Porter, Robbie Williams and Jamie Foxx. “Leopards can be fierce and yet so divine,” he said as his final clue. Another possibility is RuPaul.
The audience and panelists voted for Black Widow to win, which meant the Leopard had to sing in the final Smackdown round later in the episode.
Next up were the Flamingo and the Panda. "What’s up, everyone, welcome to my ZooTube channel," the Flamingo announced, which seemed like an obvious clue that she’s an internet personality. “I know what it’s like to feel trapped in your career, so I left," she added. Her clue package also referenced beauty tutorials and fashion.
She sang "Sucker" by Jonas Brothers, and she seemed to have singing experience. Olivia Jade, Tia Mowry and Kandi Burruss were the panel’s guesses, and Scherzinger thought it was someone young, like a member of Fifth Harmony.
"Shyness is a virtue," the Panda said in her clue package. She also referenced singing experience and a famous family. “I’m taking a page out of your book,” she said, and a cookbook appeared. She also used the word “match,” leading the panelists to wonder if she is a tennis player.
The Panda sang “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson, and it was slightly out of her range, but she sang capably. Jeong guessed it could be Martha Stewart because of the cooking reference. Venus Williams and Ronda Rousey were other panel guesses, and Jeong changed his guess to Queen Latifah, which seemed unlikely because Panda didn’t sing as well as her.
Flamingo beat out the Panda in the voting, so the Leopard and Panda sang against each other in the Smackdown to determine who would have to unmask. Panda sang “All I Do Is Win,” and the Leopard sang “Respect.” They both were seasoned entertainers with good comedic timing.
The Leopard won, leaving Panda to unmask. It turned out to be professional athlete Laila Ali.