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‘The Masked Singer’ Recap: Anteater, Candelabra Revealed

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SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead if you have not watched Season 10, Episode 12 of “The Masked Singer,” “Soundtrack to My Life,” which aired Dec. 13 on Fox.

Oh, oh, here he comes. Watch out boy, he’ll chew you up! Oh, oh, here he comes. John Oates is an Anteater.

Say it isn’t so. John Oates, one half of the most successful rock duo of all time — Daryl Hall & John Oates — was revealed on Wednesday as the Anteater on “The Masked Singer.” Later, Keyshia Cole was also unmasked as the Candelabra.

The Oates appearance comes at quite a coincidental moment: He and Hall have been in the news recently after a falling out (and Hall’s lawsuit) over Oates’ plan to sell his share of their joint venture.

“I can’t really talk about it,” Oates told Variety last week. “I don’t really want to talk about it. It’s not why I’m here. I want to focus on the music and [‘The Masked Singer’]. Things will work itself out and time will tell.”

OK, we get it, he can’t go for that. So, let’s talk about “The Masked Singer” — dressing Oates up as an “Anteater” was obviously a nod to the famed Hall & Oates song “Maneater.” And yet, that obvious clue completely eluded the show’s panelists.

“They knocked me down and tied my hands behind my back and told me I was going to be the Anteater,” Oates quipped. “To be honest with you, when I saw the rendering of the costume, I didn’t really care for it much. But I kind of just went with the flow.  Then I realized Anteater/Maneater. It was interesting that no one else picked up on that on the show. At least they didn’t talk about it.”

For Anteater, no one got it right. Nicole Scherzinger thought it was John Mellencamp, while Robin Thicke named Jackson Browne. Ken Jeong picked Billy Joel. Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg guessed Steven Van Zandt.

“I was flattered by the comparisons they were making,” Oates said. “I really liked the fact that they were comparing me to some of my favorite singers. People like Mellencamp and Billy Joel, Bryan Adams, Bob Seger. They seemed to really like my vocal performance.”

Oates said he agreed to do “The Masked Singer” after he realized there was an opportunity to perform without any preconceived Hall & Oates notions from the audience. “Separating me from the image of who I am in Hall & Oates, the 80s, the pop hits, all that kind of stuff. What’s going to happen when I’m just singing?” he said. “What’s the reaction going to be? That intrigued me and I wanted to do it mainly for that reason. And also, I realized that it was a huge platform. It’s such a successful show. I’m doing a lot of charity work and things like that for some great organizations. And I thought, if I can get the word out, I can reach a lot of people.”

Still Oates said he wasn’t anticipating how difficult it would be to perform in that costume. “Singing and doing choreography in that crazy suit was really difficult,” he said. “You have the Men in Black lead you through a dark backstage corridor where you can’t see a thing. And they put you onto the stage and there’s strobe lights and confetti falling and flashing video screens. It’s crazy and the people screaming, the audience’s insane. I’m wearing these giant size 15 work boots that they had to literally strap my feet into. It was it was a challenge for sure.”

As for being voted off the show, Oates admitted he was disappointed — and blamed jet lag for his final performance. “It was a good experience until the very end,” he said. “When I had the very last episode, I was booked to do a one-off show at the Newport Folk Festival. I did a set and then rushed to the airport got on the redeye. I went to LA, had to get up early in the morning to go straight to the television studio to do Masked Singer. And so, I was really tired.”

As for Candelabra, Nicole Scherzinger got this one right in naming Keyshia Cole, and Robin Thicke named Cole as well. Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg said it was Brandy and Ken Jeong went with Kelly Rowland.

“They let me choose, as much as they could, the songs that I was going to sing,” Bach said. “Which made me happy because I got to do Elton John, “Magic” by Pilot and Lady Gaga. There was a couple other songs that I wanted to sing, but we couldn’t clear them in time. ‘The Final Countdown’ by Europe. I was going to slay you all with that one. I was asking to do some Journey and Led Zeppelin but those were pretty hard to clear.”

The singer with the evening’s least number of votes was Oates as Anteater. The remaining two contestants facing off in a battle royale (no longer a “smackdown”!) to determine who would move on to the finals, were Donut and Candelabra. The two contestants sang their own take on Hunter Hayes’ “Wanted.” (Hayes, who previously appeared on “The Masked Singer” as Astronaut, was also on hand to sing his song.)

Cole as Candelabra was voted out after that, which means Group C champ Donut will face off with Group B winner Sea Queen, Group A champion Cow and Group A “Ding Dong Keep It On” recipient Gazelle in next week’s finals.

John Oates as Anteater and Keysia Cole as Candelabra join Sebastian Bach as Tiki, Ginuwine as Husky, Ashley Parker Angel as S’more, Metta World Peace as Cuddle Monster, Luann de Lesseps as Hibiscus, Tyler Posey as Hawk, Billie Jean King as Royal Hen, Michael Rapaport as Pickle, Tom Sandoval as Diver, Anthony Anderson as Rubber Ducky and one-time special guest Demi Lovato as Anonymouse, as the Season 10 unmasked celebrities so far.

“The Masked Singer” features a new format this season, with three groups followed by Battle Royale semi-final episodes. The season also includes the return of Wild Card contestants, with one Wild Card introduced to each group, and the “Ding Dong Keep It On Bell” is back in the Battle Royale semi-final episodes, where the judges can choose to save one contestant from elimination and move them directly to the finale.

With sixteen total celebrity singers, Season 10 features new costumes including “Donut,” “Anteater,” “Hawk,” “Hibiscus,” “Diver,” “Gazelle,” “Royal Hen,” “Husky,” “Tiki,” “Pickle,” “Rubber Ducky,” “Candelabra,” “Cow,” “Sea Queen,” “Anonymouse” and a life-size “S’More.” Also returning to mark the show’s 10th are celebrities who have been previously unmasked since the show began. According to the show, Season 10 contestants “boast a combined 40 medals, 33 Grammy nominations, seven hall of fame awards, three lifetime achievement awards and over 50 tattoos.”

The season’s themed episodes included a tribute to Elton John; a “Trolls Night” tied to the November release of DreamWorks Animation’s “Trolls Band Together”; a “Harry Potter Night” airing the week of Halloween; “NFL Night”; “One Hit Wonders”; “Disco”; “2000s Night”; “I Wanna Rock”; and “Soundtrack of My Life.” Back for Season 10 are host Nick Cannon, alongside panelists Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg, Nicole Scherzinger, Ken Jeong and Robin Thicke.

Here were the other performances on this week’s episode:

Candelabra, “The Masked Singer” (Michael Becker / Fox)
Pete Dadds

Candelabra

Song: ‘I’m Going Down,’ by Mary J. Blige

Panel guesses: Tamar Braxton,Keyshia Cole, Rozonda “Chili” Thomas, Dawn Richard

Mix tape clue: “Party Jams.” “Nicole, I never forget the fun we had partying at an industry party.”

Package voiceover: “Continuing to set the stage ablaze in this competition feels amazing. And I’m pumped to have made it to the Group C finale. Tonight, I’m going to be singing ‘I’m Going Down,’ by Mary J. Blige. It’s a song about heartbreak, which I’ve definitely experienced. I was in a relationship for a long time with someone that I deeply loved. We had a child and built a life together. But he proved to me over and over again that I couldn’t trust him. I tried to stay for our child but ultimately staying wasn’t good for any of us. And I chose to walk away. I learned that in that moment that I had to love myself first. And since then, that’s what I‘ve been doing. So tonight, I’m sharing my whole heart on that stage. And hopefully that’s enough to get me to the finals.”

Previous songs: “1 Thing,” by Amerie; “All My Life,” by K-CI & Jojo

Previous clue: “Real tea.” “I want you to know that on and off the camera, I’m keeping 100% real.”

Previous panel guesses: Regina Hall, Brandy, Anika Noni Rose, Tamar Braxton, Monica, Fantasia, Keyshia Cole, Ashanti, Kelly Rowland

Anteater, “The Masked Singer” (Michael Becker / Fox)
Pete Dadds

Anteater

Song: “Johnny B. Goode,” by Chuck Berry

Panel guesses: Paul Stanley, Jackson Browne, Steven Van Zandt

Mixtape clue: “Deep Thoughts.” “I had the greatest conversation when I was talking to Jenny.”

Package voiceover: “Don’t underestimate a short king. Cuddle Monster might have a few inches on me but like David and Goliath, this Anteater came out on top. Tonight, I’m singing ‘Johnny B. Goode’ because I grew up listening to Chuck Berry on the radio and I collected all of his 45 RPM records. When my mom signed me up for guitar lessons at 5 years old, this is one of the first songs I learned to play on my right-handed guitar. And it’s not easy when you’re a lefty. Even after decades of creating my own unique sound and becoming an inspiration to others, I’m still influenced by those early musical pioneers. Now I can’t wait to get on stage and show that real rock n roll never dies. Hopefully it will get me to the finale.”

Previous songs: “Walking in Memphis,: by Mark Cohn; “I Want It That Way,” by Backstreet Boys

Previous clue: “Hall of fame.” “I think the Trolls might know something about the hall of fame.”

Previous panel guesses: Rick Springfield, John Mellencamp, Bryan Adams, Bob Seger, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon

Donut, “The Masked Singer” (Michael Becker / Fox)
Pete Dadds

Donut

Song: “Georgia on My Mind” by Ray Charles

Panel guesses: Tom Jones, John Schneider, Engelbert Humperdink

Mixtape clue: “Poker Night.” “Robin, this mix tape was on repeat every time I hung out with your dear, sweet dad.”

Package voiceover: “Singing my heart out on stage last time felt so fulfilling. I know my wife is watching every step of my journey and she would be so thrilled that I made it to the Group C finals. I’m singing ‘Georgia on My Mind’ by Ray Charles. This is a song I really relate to, because it’s about being far away from the one you love. When I was a young man, I had the opportunity to sing this song as a duet with Ray on a television special. Performing with Ray was magical Remember, he was not a big guy. But when he opened his mouth to sing, he could knock you over with his power. Watching videos of our performance now, I realize I was way out of my league. So tonight, I’m hoping to make Ray proud.”

Previous songs: “Hooked on a Feeling,” by Blue Suede; “I Do (Cherish You),” by 98 Degrees

Previous clue: Hair and seasoning. “I’m well-seasoned, and I have been enjoyed by several generations.”

Previous panel guesses: Sylvester Stallone, Jeff Bridges, Tom Jones, Stanley Tucci, Liam Neeson, Engelbert Humperdinck

“The Masked Singer” is produced by Fox Alternative Entertainment, with James Breen (who is also showrunner), Craig Plestis and Cannon as executive producers.

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