Who would’ve thought we would get here with The Masked Singer? We’ll be honest and say that leading up to the premiere, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into with this show. We thought it’d be fun, but we completely and totally undersold the quality of the singing and the strong emotional connection we would make to some of the costumed performers.
Is this a show about a guessing game? Sure, but we’d argue that it’s also so much more than that. It’s a show about vulnerability, about the reason why people sing, and also a way to generate surprisingly strong emotional reactions out of viewers. It hits you when you least expect it, whether it be a smile or a tear.
Below, we’ve composed our list of the ten greatest The Masked Singer performances of the season — the vocals on these were beyond incredible, but beyond that they were genuine moments that really transcended a lighthearted “who sung it?” competition with a wide array of clues and funny moments.
Want more of The Masked Singer?: Then be sure to check out our video below discussing some of what we know about season 2 so far! Subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube so you don’t miss out on our videos all about the show and check out a full The Masked Singer playlist with discussions from the entire season to date.
10. Lion, “California Dreamin'” – If you think back to before the season, this is one of the performances that Fox was using to hype up the show … and for a good few weeks this season, we wondered when we were finally going to get it. There were a ton of big notes in here, and there’s also just something so appropriate about hearing a Hollywood staple like Rumer Willis take on this haunting (but still melodically beautiful) song.
9. Rabbit, “Poison” – Maybe not the best vocal from the Rabbit this season, but for sure the best dance break of any Masked Singer performance this season. You didn’t even need any clues to know that he was a former ‘NSYNC member (ultimately Joey Fatone); you just needed to watch this and the way the Rabbit got down.
8. Bee, “What’s Love Got to Do With It” – There have been a ton of supersized productions this season with ridiculous dancers or the costumed characters strutting down the stage. This performance had Bee standing center stage, performing on a platform a classic song that felt every bit as good as the original. Can you really be that surprised, given that there’s a legendary vocalist underneath this mask?
7. Peacock, “Counting Stars” – Probably the most theatrical performance from a very theatrical Peacock! Think about how he started suspended in the air before eventually coming down and shaking his tail-feathers across the stage! We’re not sure if the man behind this mask had ever performed a OneRepublic song in his life before donning this costume, but it worked!
6. Lion, “Feeling Good” – This is a singer’s song, meaning mostly that if you got pipes, you should always have this song in your arsenal. It’s the sort of thing you can just bust out at a party somewhere and have everyone clapping along. You don’t need any instrumentation even to prove it! We felt that this performance was Lion’s coming-out party as a serious contender.
5. Monster, “I Don’t Want to Be” – This was Monster’s attempt to show off a different side of himself early on in the show … and it’s also the performance that made the judges think that he was in it to win it. (Does anyone remember that Monster was hilariously in the bottom three in the first episode? How silly does that look now?) By the time he held that big note at the end of this song, the judges looked bumfuzzled and impressed perhaps more than at any other point this season.
4. Rabbit, “Wake Me Up” – There’s something about Joey Fatone’s voice and the late Avicii’s outstanding Aloe Blacc collaboration that worked wonders on this show. Maybe it’s our affection for the original performers, or maybe it’s that slight twang that Joey put on as the Rabbit rocked out this song. He likely did it to try and mask his identity, but it gave his version a really cool southern-dance flavor.
3. Bee, “Wrecking Ball” – The Bee’s spoken about the challenges of doing songs from a modern era when she’s used to doing numbers from many decades in the past. There was something totally cool to us about her adding so much SOUL to this Miley Cyrus ballad — she made it her own declaration of heartbreak, and her age and her experience made the lyrics resonate more than ever before.
2. Peacock, “All Of Me” – This became the Peacock’s dance ballad — meaningful lyrics, a driving techno beat, and also the judges singing along. The Peacock brings people together! He also can sing his beak off and he understands how to work the stage and how to completely take people away from the troubles of their world. So much fun, and some legitimately awesome vocals.
1. Monster, “Stay With Me” -The performance of the season, bar none. Like Lion’s “California Dreamin'” this had been hyped since before The Masked Singer even aired, and also like Lion’s song, this did not disappoint. Last week, we bore witness to a man in a Monster costume (wearing a prom tux, mind you) bring much of the panel to tears with a soulful, moving rendition of the Sam Smith classic. The best Masked Singer performances make you forget that this is a competition, and instead, that this is an art form in which performers use their anonymity to open up their soul and perhaps expose a side of themselves that, for one reason or another, we rarely ever see. This was special, and we just wish it was longer.
Now, your turn
What was your favorite The Masked Singer performance from season 1? Be sure to let us know in the comments and remember to check out our own video about the show below! (Photo: Fox.)