SPOILER ALERT: Don’t read ahead if you haven’t watched Season 9, Episode 3 of “The Masked Singer,” which airs March 1 on Fox.
“The Masked Singer” is like a jungle at times, it makes you wonder how you avoid sinking. In Wednesday’s episode, rap legend Grandmaster Flash was trying not to be pushed around because he was so close to the edge. But although he tried not to, he lost his mind.
Grandmaster Flash was the latest celebrity to be unmasked in ‘The Masked Singer’ season 9, revealed as Polar Bear. The hip-hop pioneer sang “Rapture,” by Blondie. And there’s a whole connection there.
“This song was written for me,” he told Variety. “I remember Fab Five Freddy bringing (Debbie Harry from Blondie) to one of my shows. It was a long time ago before I became famous. And she wrote this song about what she saw when I was on the decks at one of my amateur shows.
On “The Masked Singer”, Grandmaster Flash sang the chorus of “Rapture” rather than the rap part of the song. “I sang horribly, but I sang it the best I could and sat down with the musicians and vocal coaches to do my best with it,” he said. “But I had to do it with this 15-pound (suit) on me and do it in a cool way. I try not to laugh but it was so stupid, but it was so much fun.
He said the polar bear was recommended to him as a costume – but he had some notes first. “I said that wasn’t cool enough. They put on a gold chain. Still not cool enough. And he put the hat on backwards. So the polar bear started to get really, really cool. And then I signed up and decided to do it.
He also said he decided to do the show as an antidote to some of the bad headlines around the world. “‘The Masked Singer’ can make you forget some of those things,” he said. “I travel a lot and don’t get to watch a lot of TV, but my family and close friends watch this show. And I decided to go online and watch some of the episodes and how it all works. I’m like, ‘Wow, that’s really silly.’ Sometimes as adults we don’t know how to turn off being adults.
His appearance also comes shortly after hip-hop 50e anniversary tribute to the Grammys, which Grandmaster Flash launched. “To see all the people I’ve influenced, the list goes on and on. It was actually really wonderful,” he said.
Nicole Scherzinger correctly guessed Grandmaster Flash. Among other panelists’ guesses, Ken Jeong chose Diddy, Robin Thicke went with LL Cool J, and Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg said it was Flava Flav.
Like last season, “The Masked Singer” again adopted a “Champion of Masked Singer” format. Each episode, three costumed celebrities will perform, but only one will win and compete again the following week. After each round, three finalists will face off in the semi-finals.
This means that a contestant will be unmasked midway through the episode, with the top two singers going head-to-head in a “battle royale.” Grandmaster Flash was the first to be unmasked, leaving California Roll and Medusa to go head-to-head with Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl.”
But the novelty of this season is “Ding Dong Keep It On”. In the new twist on the competition, panelists will have the chance to save a singer from impending elimination, but the bell can only be rung three times in the first three rounds. These three singers will then face off in a special episode in a battle to join the competition.
On Wednesday, California Roll won and advanced to the quarterfinals, defeating Medusa. But Medusa was saved by the “Ding Dong Keep It On” bell and is moving towards this confrontation.
Among the panelists’ guesses, Ken Jeong picked Susan Boyle, Robin Thicke went with Kesha, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg said it was Halsey, Nicole Scherzinger guessed Lorde. We won’t know for a while yet.
It was “New York night”, hence the choice of songs.
‘The Masked Singer’ enters Season 9 with 21 contestants, including ‘Mustang’, ‘Axolotl’, ‘California Roll’, ‘Dandelion’, ‘Moose’, ‘Gargoyle’, ‘Jackalope’, ‘Doll’, Polar Bear “, “Night Owl”, “Rock Lobster”, “Gnome” and more to come. Tim Chappel is the costume designer for this season.
Grandmaster Flash as Polar Bear joins Debbie Gibson as Night Owl, Howie Mandel as Rock Lobster, Sara Evans as Mustang and Dick Van Dyke as Gnome as the celebs unmask this season.
Season 9 nominees “bring a total of 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 total of 95,231,000 records sold. Season nine will feature all-new themed episodes, including “ABBA,” “New York,” “DC Superheroes,” “Sesame Street,” “80s Night,” “Movie Night” and more.
Here are the competitors and their performances on the third night:
Polar Bear (GRANDMASTER FLASH)
Song: “Rapture”, by Blondie
Celebrity Index: (spoken by “Long Island Medium” Theresa Caputo): Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame acceptance speech.
Voice over package“So excited to drop some New York flava on the Masked Singer stage. Because this dream city where I come from is the source of everything that made me, me. My neighborhood has a bad reputation. It’s the kind of place most people wouldn’t dream of staying. It was in these streets that I developed my interest in electronics when I was a child. I used to take apart mom’s toaster, my sister’s hair dryers, just to see how they worked. All of this tinkering finally sparked another brilliant idea that helped me turn the tide on the entire music industry. This bad boy invented a sound that no one was making. My legendary status helped put my broken neighborhood on the map. Now I’m here to pay tribute to a fellow New Yorker who helped change the game just like me.
The panel guesses: DJ Jazzy Jeff, Diddy, Flava Flav, Grandmaster Flash
California Roll (WINNER OF WEEK 3)
Song: “Paparazzi”, by Lady Gaga
Celebrity Index: (delivered by the New York pizza rat): 5 billion. “5 billion and growing, but who’s counting.”
Voice over package“Wasabi, homies, I’m the California Roll!” You might be wondering what the California Roll is doing here on New York night. Well why not. I’ve been to Broadway before. And that wasn’t the only role I played. Oh no, this entry has many facets. Let me tell you five reasons why I’m the perfect dish. Just like New York City, this Cali never sleeps. I got used to it by DJing all night. You have to pay the rent. But eventually, California called. So I headed west on the 10 for the happy rays and silver screens. Once there, I rubbed shoulders with the older ones. From Dolly to Snoop. I even got married. The ride has been so busy; I barely have time for myself. But without each of these ingredients, I wouldn’t be the success I am today. Put it on me, guys! »
The panel guesses: Cast of “The Lion King”, Pentatonix, cast of “Pitch Perfect”, cast of “High School Musical”
Medusa (WINNER WEEKS 1 & 2; RECORDED WEEK 3)
Song: “New York, New York”, by Frank Sinatra
Celebrity Clue (delivered by Luann De Lesseps): Brooklyn Bridge in lights. “Luann, I love you, I can’t believe I’m on this stage with you. Sometimes you have to build a bridge to cross it. Hope this puts you in the right frame of mind.
Voice over package“I’m still recovering from the shock of beating a music industry legend last week. But now that I’ve won two titles in a row, I feel like I have a huge target behind me. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. But the snakes and I have a secret weapon. My dad’s favorite karaoke song. I grew up singing with him, so he’s the perfect choice to take me to the quarter-finals. But before I go, I have a treat for you. (A burrow.)”
The panel guesses: Lorde, Florence Welch, Shirley Manson, Susan Boyle, Kesha
Previous songs: Happier Than Ever, by Billie Eilish; “Dancing Queen”, by ABBA
Assumptions of the previous panel: Elle Goulding, Megan Markle, Jessie J, Charli XCX, Dua Lipa, Lorde, Tove Lo, Lorde, Apple Martin, Dakota Johnson