SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead if you have not watched Season 9, episode 12 of “The Masked Singer,” which aired on May 3 on Fox.
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Former Miss USA and Miss Universe Olivia Culpo was the next celebrity to be revealed on Fox’s “The Masked Singer.” Culpo was unmasked as UFO on Thursday’s show, which also doubled as the Season 9 quarterfinals.
Culpo, a model and Internet star, performed Amy Winehouse’s “Tears Dry On Their Own” on the episode, having previously sung “Yellow” by Coldplay. “I was really nervous when I sang my first song,” Culpo said in her pre-tape package. “But I’m really excited to have made it this far. This experience has exemplified going out of my comfort zone and being more vulnerable than I ever have before. So much of my career is based on the way I look physically, so adding value through my energy or my singing, it feels like there is more that I have to offer. And I’m getting older, so I have to hold on to something. Joking!”
Later, asked about her performance, Culpo-as-UFO added, “This is really freeing for me. Because my regular career is very rigid. And you feel like you have to be perfect, it’s all about your appearance. It’s kind of strange, but honestly, this feels like the most authentic I’ve ever been able to be.”
For UFO, no one guessed it right. Panelist Robin Thicke thought it was Molly Sims. Nicole Scherzinger went with Lily Collins. Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg named Gigi Hadid. Ken Jeong picked Rebecca Romijn. Not only was it the quarterfinals, but it was “British Invasion” night, as the final four — Macaw, California Roll, Medusa, and UFO — faced off to move on to the next week’s semi-finals. Macaw, California Roll, and Medusa move on to the semi-finals next week.
Like last season, “The Masked Singer” has once again adopted a “Champion of Masked Singer” format. Each episode, three costumed celebrities will perform, but only one will win and move on to compete again the following week. After each round, three finalists will compete in the semi-finals.
That means one contestant will be unmasked midway through the episode, with the top two singers facing off in a “battle royale.” After Phillips as Mantis was first to be unmasked, that left Gargoyle and Medusa to face off with “Centuries” by Fall Out Boy. Gargoyle received fewer votes and was unmasked as Allen; Medusa moves on.
New this season was “Ding Dong Keep It On.” In the new twist to the competition, panelists had the opportunity to save a singer from looming elimination, but the bell can only be rung three times during the first three rounds. Those three singers then faced off in a special episode in a battle to rejoin the competition — which wound up being Medusa.
Olivia Culpo as UFO joins Lou Diamond Phillips as Mantis, Keenan Allen as Gargoyle, Melissa Joan Hart as Lamp, Alicia Witt as Dandelion, Dee Snider as the Doll, Christine Quinn as Scorpio, George Wendt as Moose, Holly Robinson Peete as Fairy, Alexa Bliss as Axolotl, Lele Pons as Jackalope, Malin Akerman as Squirrel, Michael Bolton as the Wolf, Grandmaster Flash as Polar Bear, Debbie Gibson as Night Owl, Howie Mandel as Rock Lobster, Sara Evans as Mustang and Dick Van Dyke as Gnome as the celebrities unmasked this season.
“The Masked Singer” enters Season 9 with 21 contestants include “Mustang,” “Axolotl,” “California Roll,” “Dandelion,” “Moose,” “Gargoyle,” “Jackalope,” “Doll,” Polar Bear,” “Night Owl,” “Rock Lobster,” “Gnome,” “Macaw,” “Squirrel,” “Wolf” and more to be announced. Tim Chappel is this season’s costume designer.
The Season 9 contestants “boast a combined 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 combined 95,231,000 records sold.” Season nine will introduce all-new themed episodes, including “ABBA Night,” “New York Night,” “DC Superheroes Night,” “Sesame Street Night,” “80s Night,” “Movie Night” and more.
Here were the rest of the contestants and their performances on night twelve:
Song: “Someone Like You,” by Adele
Panel guesses: Ellie Goulding, Imogen Heap, Regina Spektor, Bishop Briggs, Amy Lee, Halsey, Ashlee Simpson
Clue: “Mom.” “Being an artist is my greatest passion. But being a mom is my favorite job.”
Package voiceover: “I definitely did not imagine I would make it this far. But, I did try to manifest it in the best way that I could. I lit a candle, rehearsed extra hard, talked to my therapist. And now, here I am, having literally clawed my way back into the competition. From the beginning, I’ve been very competitive with myself. And excited I get to compete with all the champions. Especially California Roll, for a rematch. There have been tears, laughter. It has been beautiful and crazy, and I just hope that I make it to the end.”
Previous songs: “Happier Than Ever,” by Billie Eilish; “Dancing Queen,” by ABBA; “New York, New York,” by Frank Sinatra; “Mercy,” by Shawn Mendes
Previous panel guesses: Elle Goulding, Megan Markle, Jessie J, Charli XCX, Dua Lipa, Lorde, Tove Lo, Lorde, Apple Martin, Dakota Johnson; Lorde, Florence Welch, Shirley Manson, Susan Boyle, Kesha. And when she was about to be voted off: Ken Jeong picked Susan Boyle, Robin Thicke went with Kesha, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg said it was Halsey, Nicole Scherzinger guessed Lorde.
Song: “Creep,” by Radiohead
Panel guesses: Pentatonix, “Hamilton” cast, Miami Sound Machine
Clue: “White House.” “We had such a good time performing at the White House, they even gave us a standing o.”
Package voiceover: “This is such a different experience than we have ever done. How many people can say they dressed up as sushi and sang Lady Gaga on television? It really is just about our voice and the singing. And trying to push ourselves where we can’t use the foundation of what we know. Which is exciting, because we get to expand into new territories, new sounds, new heights. So tonight, we’re taking it up a notch and hopefully it will take us to the semi-finals.”
Previous song: “Paparazzi,” by Lady Gaga
Previous panel guesses: Cast of “The Lion King”, Pentatonix, “Pitch Perfect” cast, “High School Musical” cast
Song: “Your Song,” by Elton John
Panel guesses: Macauley Culkin, Gavin McGraw, Ryan Cabrera, Darren Criss, David Archuleta
Clue: “Leader.” “Whether in the studio or the stage or on TV, I know how to lead.”
Package voiceover: “I can’t believe that I’m here. You also take it personally. If you make it, it’s not so much about, ‘oh I won.’ It’s more like, people are accepting me! They really like me! Acceptance is something I’ve struggled with both in my career and my personal life. So to be here on this stage and feel so celebrated and be myself feels great. Now I want to do a good enough job that it’s worthy going into the semi-finals.”
Previous song: “Live Like You’re Dying,” by Tim McGraw
Previous panel guesses: Elijah Wood, Zayn Malik, Doug Robb