Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
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We get it. You’ve spent seasons avoiding The Masked Singer’s nightmare-fueling brand of eccentric creatures and their dead, unassuming eyes that penetrate your very essence with every stare. But after three seasons, the vitality of the fun phenomenon, which originated in South Korea with King Of Mask Singer, is undeniable. Each week the internet takes certain joy in dissecting the performances of the cloaked performers until it can narrow the clues down to a singular identity. The third season—which arrived less than two months after announcing Wayne Brady as the winner of season two—received the highly coveted post-Super Bowl bump, and the first major reveal gives us reason to believe that this go-round might just be a big one to follow. So The A.V. Club is going to succumb to the dulcet sounds of mystery, broad hints, and the judges refusing to side with the general public and list all of the revealed singers, weekly. Or, at least, until we figure out which brave soul decided to take on the identity of the The Taco With A Fatal Secret. Feel free to give us your best guesses in the comments.


Episode 1: The Robot

Kicking off the season is, arguably, The Masked Singer’s biggest contestant yet (if you don’t include time-tested legends like Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight). After performing a cover of Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” The Robot failed to attract enough votes to keep him around. After struggling with the clunky Robot head, a smiling Lil Wayne was revealed to be the masked artist. Judge Robin Thicke said that the reveal was the most surprising of the series’ history, which is hard to refute. Young Tune said that he chose The Robot costume because he knew his kids would enjoy it, which is just plain sweet. It’s very jarring to see one of the biggest-selling artists join the furry fray, but it does make us curious to see who remains.

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Episode 2: The Llama

After a riveting performance of Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual,” comedian and game show host Drew Carey soon found himself sans mask and sans hope of becoming season three’s champion. The clues referenced his co-ownership of semi-pro football team, the Seattle Sounders, the 233 episodes of The Drew Carey Show, and his accordion expertise. Per Variety, episodes one and two were taped back-to-back. Carey admitted that he had set the bar rather low for himself early on:

“I thought it was going to be a quick ride. After I got past the first round, everything else was gravy… I like to carry a tune. I knew I wasn’t going to win that contest. There’s no way to watch that show and take it seriously, really. When you have Wayne Brady and Seal and whomever else on there, I’m not going to win against those people on a singing show! But as far as having a goof and having fun, I can do that. And I’m pretty self-aware. I watched the show, and I know why they have somebody like me on the show. They always have a beloved old guy. I knew how long I’d last!”

If you’re following the detective work of our very own Angelica Cataldo and her equally astute father, you’ll find that her father guessed The Llama’s identity right under the buzzer.


Week 3: Miss Monster

Welcome to The Masked Singer, where vocal legends like 10-time Grammy-winning diva Chaka Khan take their final bow in Week damn Three. Was her performance of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” a touch shaky? Possibly. Are there seemingly more consistent performers this time around? We will admit to a slight, very modest sway as Turtle crooned and nothing more. But come on. CHAKA KHAN.

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The “Through The Fire” singer broke down her clues for Billboard in an interview after her departure just before stating that she’d never participate in something like this again:

The pizza meant Chicago, and the Bears and the [White] Sox. And 10 was my 10 Grammys. They weren’t that hard. A little girl told me, she’s about 12, said she was watching and she knew it was me. She said, “It sounds like it’s you, Auntie Chaka!”

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Week 4: The Elephant

What a perfectly pleasant performer skateboarding legend Tony Hawk turned out to be! His rendition of The Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love” wasn’t enough to keep him around, but it was a sweet ode to his wife. “We chose a Cure song for our wedding song,” Hawk informed judge Jenny McCarthy, who asked about the song’s significance. The athlete had a lot of people fooled, including our own team of sleuths who guessed that the masked crooner was Lance Armstrong. There’s always next season.

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