Money can’t buy you class… and apparently it can’t buy you a long run on The Masked Singer, either.
Wednesday was One-Hit Wonders Night on the show, and the episode introduced a new Season 10 bracket of mystery celebrities, Group C. But one of those contestants, Hibiscus — aka the artist formerly known as Countess Luann, Luann de Lesseps — was a one-and-done warbler. The Real Housewife of New York quickly exited the competition after her performance of the Weather Girls’ disco hit “It’s Raining Men” wilted.
As far as singing reality stars go, Luann, who you might remember scored a viral hit in 2010 with “Money Can’t Buy You Class” and still regularly performs in her own cabaret show, didn’t sound terrible. She certainly did a much better job than Janice Dickinson (judge Robin Thicke’s guess) would’ve done — staying mostly in tune, serving plenty of attitude and sex appeal, batting her big Barbie-eyes, and doing her best when she sang against the Anteater in a Smackdown of Toni Basil’s “Mickey.” (Side note: Toni is far from a one-hit wonder. Learn more about her here.) And she didn’t seem to have any hard feelings about her early elimination, flirting with host Nick Cannon and saying she’d had “so much fun” and “the best time!”
But Luann could not compete with Group C’s other celebrity cosplayers, the Donut, Anteater, and Candelabra, who I believe are all real-deal veteran recording artists. And on that note… let the guessing games begin anew, with Group C!
The Donut, “Hooked on a Feeling”
This puff-chested pastry had a big, booming tone that was just like butter. “Your voice sounds like a classic record,” raved judge Nicole Scherzinger. “They just don’t make voices like that anymore.”
The clues: This “country boy” was “part of a megahit” that “catapulted him to No. 1,” but then he got pigeonholed because of that “rough and tumble” performance. He’s actually a longtime “connoisseur of the theater” who’s had “hit after hit after hit,” and he sees The Masked Singer as a chance to get back to his roots and have some fun after the “toughest year of his life.” Visual clues included cowboy boots, a Cupid’s bow and arrow, and a police badge.
Judges’ guess: Sylvester Stallone, Jeff Bridges, Tom Jones.
My guess: This is John Schneider, who’s best known for playing Bo Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard but has also appeared in theater productions like Chicago, 42nd Street, and Grand Hotel and has charted 18 country music hits, including four No. 1’s. He also lost his wife Alicia to breast cancer earlier this year. The Donut is good ole boy Schneider, for sure. I know Bo.
Anteater, “Walking in Memphis”
This little Antman with the big voice delivered a robustly soulful cover of Marc Cohn’s Grammy-winning hit that made judge Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg “fall in love” and reduced Nicole to tears. “This is a voice that reminds me of my childhood,” gushed Nicole. “It just felt like home.”
The clues: He’s had a long career, but he “learned the hard way that fame isn’t everything.” After he got tangled up in some “bad business deals,” was careless with his spending, and lost everything, he traded the “fancy life for a chicken coop” and a pet donkey named Jasper. Visual clues included a yacht, an eye, a cougar, and an angel. He mentioned that he once performed for 40% of the global population — and Robin noted the only televised event that drew that many viewers was the Live Aid concert, in 1985.
Judges’ guesses: Rick Springfield, John Cougar Mellencamp, Bryan Adams.
My guess: Whoa-oh, here he comes! I have little doubt that the Anteater is one half of the duo that sang “Maneater,” Hall & Oates. It sounded like yacht-rocker John Oates on both “Walking in Memphis” and “Mickey,” plus Hall & Oates had a cougar in their “Maneater” video, scored a hit called “Private Eyes,” and played at Live Aid. But on top of all that, John famously went bankrupt in 1987, after which he sold his possessions and started over, living a quieter life in Colorado. You don’t have to be a private eye to figure this one out.
Candelabra, “One Thing”
This diva lit up the stage with her fiery Amerie cover. “That is a professional recording artist, no doubt in my mind,” proclaimed an impressed Robin. Jenny called this glowing show-woman a “frickin’ star.”
The clues: She “always had a fire burning inside” since she was “sitting up in her room” hoping to achieve her dreams, and she got her first break at age 12. Other clues included a phone call from Kevin Hart, a butterfly, a map of California, the word “princess,” and a Christmas present labeled “Santa’s Naughty List.”
Judges’ guesses: Mariah Carey, Regina Hall, Brandy, Anika Noni Rose.
My guess: I think this is Oakland, Calif.-born R&B star Keyshia Cole, who recorded with MC Hammer at age 12; is known as the “Princess of Hip-Hop Soul”; has a single, “Forever Is a Thing,” that mentions butterflies; is pals with Kevin Hart; and does have a bit of a naughty-girl image. And the Candelabra sure does sound like “professional recording artist” Keyshia.
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