WARNING: This article contains multiple spoilers for last night’s premiere of The Masked Singer.
Fox’s The Masked Singer is an opportunity for a variety of celebrities to step out of their comfort zones and sing. For one well-known streamer, it was an opportunity to test the waters for yet another skill.
Indeed, during last night’s premiere of the second season of The Masked Singer, we saw the visage of Tyler Blevins, better known as “Ninja,” as he was revealed as the Ice Cream performer.
There were plenty of tip-offs, which the show gives to keep the fans guessing. His costume was namely blue, with pink whipped cream, to hint at his recognizable hair. In his introductory video, he chopped a piece of wood, which is a pretty on-the-nose hint at his name. He also said he has a unique career, saying he carried out a “ridiculous” dream.
For his first song, Ninja performed the famous hip-hop cowboy anthem “Old Town Road.” He was accompanied by plenty of attractive cowboys and cowgirls. But they weren’t without purpose — after his reveal, he pointed out that they did Ninja’s iconic “Pon Pon” dance during the routine.
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Fans of the show (and streamer) quickly jumped to guess the singer’s identity, especially after he started singing. (He also performed “Whip It” as a pre-elimination bop to try to stay in.) While his wasn’t the best in the world, it sure as heck made for a good karaoke event.
In a post-elimination interview on the show’s channel, he admitted he didn’t exactly like singing, hence his choice for the show. He called singing a “crazy fear,” admitting he doesn’t even sing in front of himself.
In The Masked Singer, anonymous celebrities dress up in elaborate costumes to hide their identities. Accompanied by backup dancers and a massive setup, they perform their choices of songs in front of a live audience and a panel of celebrity judges. They also give a list of “clues” as to who they are, revealing minor tidbits about their life. The best singers move on; the ones with the least votes are eliminated. Upon their elimination, their identity is revealed.
The original show in Korea, called King of Mask Singer, is a little bit different and a little bit less extravagant. Two masked singers are asked to sing the same song, then compete with two more respectively of their own. The singer with the least audience and judge votes is revealed and eliminated. Finally, they must defeat the previous “Mask King” — sorta like king of the hill. (Hence the title, we guess?) However, the show more frequently features current and former pop and entertainment celebrities. There are plenty of “idols” and pop group members, too, many of whom stay as King for weeks at a time.
Ninja is in interesting company with this show. Last season’s first elimination is almost-ex-NFL player Antonio Brown, who’s been through some interesting times lately. The winner ended up being T-Pain, who wanted his voice to shine outside his Auto-Tune career (and it did!). Now, in the first episode of this season, Ninja was eliminated alongside Olympic skater Johnny Weir, who was the Egg.
Maybe the elimination was for the best. One mini-documentary about the Ice Cream character notes that his “mask” head was the heaviest of all. Wouldn’t want to ruin that posture for the streams.