I have to hand this one to my fellow "Masketeer" and fellow Bleeding Cool "regulator" [Ed. Note: I added that] Leigh Kade: he nailed these guesses from the start! Well done, Sir! I was on the fence about which "boy bander" hid under the Rabbit's mischievous guise and had no clue about Lion's identity until my partner pointed her not-so-hidden-talent out. FOX's The Masked Singer fills a TV void we didn't know we had. Although nearing the end is bittersweet, I'm dying to discover Monster's identity.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Willis reflected on her decision to join the show:
"I just thought it was a crazy idea. I definitely had to think about it, because I had to think about, 'Is this right for me? Are they going to be able to do it? Obviously, the show worked [in Korea], but how is it going to work over here?' But at the end of the day, I just thought it was a fun opportunity to be able to sing without anyone's prior judgment."
She also believes the producers will get more secretive in Season 2:
"Everyone has been guessing so correctly! I feel like maybe for next season they're going to have to tone down the clues because people got everyone so fast."
Fatone also feels like Season 1 viewers had it easy with obvious clues, telling People Magazine:
"With the producers and with Fox, they really wanted to make it some of it a little bit hard, some of it easy. But when they came out of the gates with clues for me: "synchronized" and "my boys," I'm like, "ahhh! It's so easy!" If you were born or around sometime in the '90s, you would know at least some sort of boy bandish thing and then go from there."
He was even worried when the judges guessed his identity, but then he realized the nature of the show:
"…the whole idea of the show has nothing to do with who you are, and even if it is you, they're going to keep guessing. As long as they enjoy your performance, that's how you get saved."
Which leads me to the man of the hour. Leigh, you called these two from the start!
Leigh: In my mind, my wife is super impressed with me right now. In reality, having Joey Fatone pegged from that very first performance isn't the pinnacle of mental gymnastics that I keep making it out to be!
Tiffany: I feel bad for underestimating Joey Fatone's voice this whole time! I knew the Rabbit fit his sense of humor, I just didn't realize he was such a strong singer when he was part of NSYNC. I loved his "My Girl" performance dedicated to the female contestants – too cute!
Leigh: He's such a great sport! I'm really happy that the only Boy Band guy I know was actually the contestant. I'm really in trouble for next year, though…
Tiffany: The judges were clueless about Lion. You had Rumer Willis pegged from the start! I never even considered her as a possibility. Once you mentioned her, I was sold. You have very impressive skills of deduction. What does your gut say about Monster after his latest performance and clues? I'm still stumped.
Leigh: Rumer was just detective work, and I knew she was from Idaho from my halcyon days of writing trivia questions for a radio station. Monster, on the other hand, is proving to be very elusive! You mentioned Wayne Brady last week, and I've been caught up on that ever since. I really want it to be Brady! Whoever Monster is, he's very talented, and I guess we'll know soon!
Tiffany: The show is trying really hard to throw us off with Bee and Peacock. Even Keenan Thomson recognized Gladys Knight's voice. I wish Peacock was Neil Patrick Harris, but I think he's got better things to do. Donny Osmond's strutting his stuff under that glittery mask. Right???
Leigh: He had a song in the late '80s called "Soldier of Love", and I think that was his last charted hit. One of his hints in the clue package was not "letting my soldiers of affection down". There were also a couple of moments where I could hear his voice very clearly- if it's not Osmond, I'll be very surprised.
Tiffany: Do you think the right contestants made it to the final?
Leigh: If Bee is Gladys Knight (come on, Bee is Gladys Knight), then she needs to be in the finale. Monster has a great voice, and Peacock has been a crowd favorite since the very first episode. This is going to be a really entertaining finale, and I can't wait to see Bee win the whole thing.
I loved Keenan Thompson when he was asked about Bee: "Oh, that's Gladys Knight". If The Masked Singer gets more people listening to her music, the whole thing was worth doing. She's a living legend and deserves to be heard!
Tiffany: Willis delivered her weakest performance. Fatone did well, but Monster has so much heart. I'm dying to see who he is!
Catch The Masked Singer finale Wednesday, February 27 at 9 p.m. EST on FOX.