The Masked Singer UK, Series 2: A Ranking Post

The Masked Singer UK really hit its stride this series with the Twitter account leaning into the absurdity of the whole situation, Ken Jeong had thankfully been binned and then of course the pandemic had forced a plethora of big names into signing up the show. This all came together to create an hour of television every week that was nothing short of a sweet release.
And what better way to see it out that ranking all the contestants based on a very scientific formula I call “My Trash Opinions”?

12. Blob / Lenny Henry

I cannot believe it took 4 whole performances before one of the panel eventually broke ranks and finally decided to guess that it was Lenny Henry under that suit after 3 weeks of trying to convince us that Greg Davies was a possibility. The only other remote possibility I had for the first two weeks was Mr. Motivator and then they brazenly gave a Premier Inn clue that really gave the game away – or should have but alas, they were really sticking to the fact they may have been able to convince Greg Davies to do this show.

11. Grandfather Clock / Glenn Hoddle

Grandfather Clock can at least take pride in being broadly dubbed The Most Terrifying of this year’s contestants (I disagree, more on that later) after he spent several VTs running around a stately home like someone had turned Beauty and the Beast into a horror film. And then as we all twigged onto the fact it was quite obviously Glenn Hoddle and his slew of problematic behaviour in that costume, it really turned the whole thing into a ticking timebomb.

10. Bush Baby / John Thomson

I will never get over the amount of people that thought this Australian accent was anything other than an uncle doing an Aussie accent whenever you have a barbecue. The accent is precisely why for a good couple of weeks I was convinced it was Matt Lucas after his Bad Accent Showcase on Bake Off – meanwhile the show was desperately trying to convince us that Blob was in fact Matt Lucas and not very obviously Lenny Henry.
I can’t say I ever really knew it was John Thomson because… well… I don’t know who that is and was instead convinced it was Brian Conley who will absolutely be under one of those masks within the next 2 years.

9. Robin / Aston Merrygold

THIS was actually the most terrifying costume of the lot, screw your dead eyed clock man, the humanoid bird with Freddie Kreuger (Birdie Kreuger if you will) nails attached to his gloves at all times was the real terror of the show. As was his continued presence all the way to the final despite everyone having rumbled his identity in the first week and then doing the same performance every week. YES THIS IS AN ASTON MERRYGOLD CALL OUT POST. But I did love that he covered a Ne-Yo song while Ne-Yo was in the back sweating in a badger costume.

8. Seahorse / Mel B

I mostly feel bad for Mel B in that people thought she might be Denise Welch and then you get to the fact she, one of the most high profile contestants they’ve had, was eliminated in her first round singing the go to karaoke song for people who can’t sing. They also had to give her a fairly simple song because she needed to be able to hide that thick Yorkshire accent when she sang because while she was talking the voice distortion was turned so far up that she was barely intelligible – which in many ways gave her away as much as her regular accent would have.

7. Alien / Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Once you work passed the whole problematic concept of creating an alien creature wearing dreadlocks, it took maybe half a note for everyone to realise that it was Sophie Ellis-Bextor under that mask because the only two pop singers that sound like a pair of lambs being driven over a cattle grid are her and Florence Welch, and the whole Masked Singer concept doesn’t really gel with Florence’s “Shouting in a Church” aesthetic whereas Sophie mysteriously put her Kitchen Discos on hold when the show went into recording.
I did enjoy the vague possibility that it was Joel Dommett’s wife under the mask though – they’re surely working on pulling that off, right?

6. Harlequin / Gabrielle

Harlequin very much felt like this year’s big ticket contestant – the grandiosity of the costume, the great set of songs she was given – which actually came to be the biggest clue as to who it was because they very quickly ran out of songs within Gabrielle’s range – I kind of wish they’d have pulled a Morten Harkett and just made her sing Dreams. She did manage to give us one of the series highlights though in Rita Ora constantly guessing it was Des’ree despite her sounding nothing like Des’ree, but each time Rita guessed it she would explain it as though it was the first time – it was very Groundhog Day.

5. Black Swan / Martine McCutcheon

Black Swan had all of the trappings of a good villainess – the dark colour scheme, the fact everyone thought she was one or all of the Pussycat Dolls and quite the vocal range! But alas the studio were on a mission to eliminate any singer they vaguely suspected of being a woman. Swan was also one of the only true mysteries on the show with a lot of red herring clues that pointed towards a Strictly contestant and everyone’s apparently disparaging opinion of Ashley Roberts led them to believe she was the most likely to turn to this show for an income shot. Then she was eliminated after singing only the second most bonkers version of Black Velvet after Jujubee’s drunken lipsync. Swan’s reveal was on hand, everyone on the panel had guessed some sort of iteration of a pop singer and OUT OF NOWHERE Jonathan Ross suddenly decided it was Martine McCutcheon and absolutely at no point did a producer hurriedly hand him a note with “MARTINE MCCUTCHEON. THE SWAN IS MARTINE MCCUTCHEON!” scrawled across it.

4. Badger / Ne-Yo

Within the context of this show Badger was this years thirst trap and Rita Ora edges ever closer to being asked to make a guest appearance at Furry Con – she’ll even do it in the midst of a pandemic guys! And how could she resist the allure of a smooth voice, leather clad, pot-bellied man-badger?
Badger’s identity was all over the place for a few weeks with popular guesses being Kevin Clifton and Gareth Gates – I love that Ne-Yo somehow managed to convince everyone he was two of the most vanilla men in existence, what a thespian. Then Badger threw everyone for a loop in the last two episode because he suddenly decided he couldn’t sing during his covers of Smells Like Teen Spirit and that one song Imagine Dragons keeps repackaging and calling a new single. It was still no match for the expert detective skills of Nicola Roberts who swooped into the final and guessed both Badger and Robin’s identities without so much as an “umm” or an “err”.

3. Viking / Morten Harkett

The wonderful, brazen trolling of having Morten Harkett sing his own song and no one on the panel even vaguely catching on to the fact it was him under that adorable Viking façade? Top tier television. But it was his angelic voice that on several occasions brought Rita or Davina to tears that was the true magic of Viking. Then they unmasked him to reveal that Morten Harkett has apparently aged into looking like the hottest geography teacher and it would have been rude for Rita Ora *not* to have shot her shot on national television. After all her thirsting over Chameleon all of last series because she was convinced it was Idris Elba was the best part.

2. Sausage / Joss Stone

I was convinced sausage was Sheridan Smith right up until she covered Good As Hell because while Sheridan can sing, there was a soulfulness to it that was distinctly un-Sheridan. And I don’t blame most people for not picking up that it was Joss Stone in that banger of a costume with such specific clues as “the dover sole on the chip shop menu is a reference to the fact Joss Stone was born in Dover” and the clues about vegetarianism as though that’s Joss Stone’s defining trait – although I did love that Leona Lewis was Rita’s first point of reference for vegetarianism (she was PETA’s Sexiest Vegetarian in 2008 after all). I was disappointed there was no clue to her baffling casting in Eragon – REMEMBER THAT? Was there a single role in that film that wasn’t miscast?
I may have been firmly routing for Dragon to win but seeing the utter joy that Joss Stone got out of getting to dress up as a giant frankfurter in a cone of chips makes her a very deserving winner, and on top of that she did the whole thing while quite heavily pregnant. We can only stan.

1. Dragon / Sue Perkins

I wholeheartedly apologise to Courtney Act for the fact everyone thought that she was the giant farting dragon which in retrospect was… how did any of us think it was her? And to everyone who thought it was Michelle Visage – WHO ARE YOU? But no it was Sue Perkins, who I had dismissed as an utterly absurd guess, not quite as absurd as Rita Ora’s Des’ree obsession but nonsense none the less. AND THEN, our delicately voiced draconic friend was revealed to be Sue Perkins herself! And I can only hope that there’s plans for a Christmas album so that I have something to buy for my great aunt this year.

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