‘Masked Singer Australia’ Recap: The Horror (Redux)! The Horror (Redux)!
If S1 of 'Masked Singer Australia''s main flavour was chaotic desperation, S2 is chaotic depression.
We’re going to need a bigger therapy couch: Masked Singer Australia is back for S2, and the judges couldn’t stop referencing how obliquely awful this year is.
Dannii Minogue may have bypassed hotel quarantine and self-isolate on her country property, but she clearly hasn’t had it easy.
All episode long, she mentions her bad dreams — and the Masked Singer is leaning into its nightmarish vibes this season, using the COVID-19 restrictions to re-create a furry-friendly version of Eyes Wide Shut‘s masked ball.
Unable to host a proper live audience, they’ve added in a few costumed extras and creepy props to play with the show’s weirdness, such as clown statues and teddy bears. Nothing can quite match the sheer raw eccentricity of Lindsay Lohan, who could not film S2 as she’s “stuck” in Dubai, but it comes close.
I, for one, look forward to seeing Dannii slowly lose her mind each episode, pushed closer and closer to insanity any time Puppet comes out on-stage — or when Target sends electric shocks through her chair, reminding her to get to work on their latest exclusive clothing range.
If S1 of Masked Singer Australia‘s main flavour was chaotic desperation, S2 is chaotic depression. In that first season, each contestant took a huge gamble to be on the show.
Half were on for a laugh, but the singers and actors among them were there for redemption and to rebuild an audience after irrelevance (Cody Simpson) or rumours of bad behaviour (Deni Hines).
With S1 a smash-hit, the show can, theoretically, get bigger names this time around. It’s much less of a risk to be a contestant; it won’t necessarily push your career forward, but it doesn’t hurt it. No publicity, etc.
But with the 2020 of it all, there’s another element: it simply doesn’t matter. The judges keep pointing out that celebrities are just like us (!!) and stuck at home too, meaning they might agree to do the show out of boredom.
That’s probably not true, but the show’s contestants certainly aren’t debasing themselves any more than most celebrities and influencers who have lost their mind from experiencing a lack of constant affirmation.
If the show gets the Masked Singers to do a group performance of ‘Imagine’, pop culture is over forever: it has simply reached its logical conclusion.
Nothing matters, baby! We’re all losing our minds and just need content to pass the time: Masked Singer Australia is like a 60-minute nang high, in that it’s probably the apex of reality tv and postmodernism (celebrity masked is more interesting than celebrity revealed), but literally who cares, I want another nang.
Thankfully, the show’s two nights a week. This is how we measure time now.
COVID-19 Can’t Keep A Masked Singer Down
Before we crack into proceedings, the show has some housekeeping. Osher introduces Urzula, who is taking LiLo’s place, then makes a remark about how the show was a trend-setter for wearing masks, which is genuinely a really good attempt at making light of COVID-19 but I just… I just want this all to be over, I’m sorry Osher, it’s nothing to do with you.
The judges are spaced apart and have plastic panels between them, which means we’ll have no shots of Jackie O and Dannii whispering about their guesses this season. That’s genuinely disappointing.
The show had a really great dynamic going last season with those two trying their hardest to guess against the utterly lost Lindsay and the couldn’t care less energy of Dave.
I’m also not completely sold on Urzula Carlson, who takes LiLo’s spot on the panel. Her humour feels a little dry, which is a role already filled by Dave — and guessing Kim K is really low-hanging fruit as far as jokes go, but also I write recaps, which is essentially an exercise in low-hanging fruit. Given Nazeem Hussain was an excellent guest panellist last year, it’s a shame he’s not back. Whatever!
Anyway, Osher asks how the judges have been going during COVID-19, and Dannii mentions ‘Netflix and Chill’, assumedly not realising that means that she’s been fucking hard and often. Or maybe she does know, in which case, good for her!
Let’s do some guessing!
It’s unclear who Goldfish is, but either way, Hughsey wants to fuck the costume — sorry, I meant to say he wants to “build a pond” to put her in. Much better.
Goldfish was seemingly involved in the 2000 Olympics, which leads me to think they have cast Nikki Webster again.
Twitter, meanwhile, seems to suggest it’s Susie O’Neill, aka Madame Butterfly, or The Biggest Loser trainer Tiffany Hall, who has Taekwondo experience, which would connect with the clues.
Others (but far from absolutely everybody) reckon it’s Vanessa Amorosi, given her Olympics performances. The singing is certainly at an Amorosi level, and her music has gone ‘gold’ before — she’s also married to a martial arts trainer. It’s all there.
Anyway, they potentially made Vanessa Fucking Amorosi sing a song called ‘Post Malone’ by a Dutch DJ written in homage to the rapper.
Puppet, Master Of Darkness
Tonight, Puppet cursed us all. What a fucking nightmare of a costume. We learn from the clues that he wears ties and has some connection to the law — the year 1964 is also key to his “career”, which makes things a little difficult.
Puppet croons his way through Elvis’ ‘Burning Love’, and has a natural stage presence, even with Puppet’s incredibly eerie hand movements. The judges play with Mark Holden, which isn’t a bad guess, but Shaun Micallef works too — he studied law before finding his feet in comedy. Micallef was born in ’62, but ’64 is the cut-off for Boomer, and he was the host of Talking ‘Bout Your Generation — he also has that C10 connection.
I’m leaning towards Micallef, save for one important factor: Micallef is hot, but Puppet is the least sexual thing I’ve ever seen.
Queen, Also A Nightmare
Queen is given a giant face and the singer’s head is actually within her neck underneath — you can almost make her out through the mesh drape, but not quite.
When it comes to clues, we’re given Tasmania in tinsel, perfume, a reference to Celebrity Apprentice and being bridesmaid 13 times. My guess was Real Housewives of Melbourne‘s Gina Liano — featured on Celeb Apprentice, has had a perfume, is a queen — but the show nips that in the bud with Urzula’s question directly asking whether she was on the show resulting in a cryptic no.
Lmao not the judges saying “maybe the Queen has a perfume” as if every d-grade Aussie celeb doesn’t have a $20 perfume in chemist warehouse 💀💀 #MaskedSingerAU
— Michelle Rennex (@michellerennex) August 10, 2020
She certainly has a particular voice: at first, I thought it was someone who couldn’t sing at all, but it was just a very dramatic, controlled, weird performance.
That’s real Kate Miller-Heidke hours, and she’s also ‘ruled the world’ via Eurovision, wrote songs for Muriel’s Wedding: The Musical (‘always the bridesmaid…’), and has worked in Tasmania, too.
Dragonfly has many talents, describing herself as a quintupple+ threat — though she’s also not here to hurt anyone.
This has me thinking she’s a kindness punk, aka a ‘fan of Chromatica‘, but Frillneck gets the pride flags. What else do we learn?
She has a voice that has to strain to be heard above crowds; she’s had a tumble in public life, and a Titanic reference is thrown into the mix too. She’s also really tall.
Dragonfly sings Cyndi Lauper’s ‘True Colours’, and has a really good voice. Instantly, I think Dami Im, but it’s hard to connect her to any clues: Jen Hawkins fits better, given her famous runway trip, but if she had this voice, we’d probably know by now.
Courtney Act works. Like Jen, she had a wardrobe ‘malfunction’ on BBUK; she can sing, act, do drag and dance, which makes her a many pronged-threat, and she centres kindness in her public persona.
But Dannii might’ve nailed it with Sophie Monk. It all connects — the Titanic love-stumble could be a Bachelorette reference — though there’s an interesting moment when Jackie O, Sophie’s ‘close friend’, says that Sophie would simply ‘never sing or perform ever again’.
Now that’s the lingering, unresolved sadness of fame that I expect from this show!
Plus, as further evidence, Bardot’s arguable #1 stan Nick Bond feels certain it’s Monk. Judge, I rest my case.
You don't stan Bardot for 20 years and not instantly recognise Sophie Monk's singing voice #themaskedsingerau
— Nick Bond (@bondnickbond) August 10, 2020
Frillneck Said Gay Rights!
Frillneck is South African-born and stands for gay rights, loves drama and enjoys sport.
For all these reasons, I am led to believe it is SBS anchor Anton Enus, who was involved in Australia’s first involvement in the Gay Games. Twitter thinks it could be Eddie Perfect, who is much more ‘theatrical’, and wrote Shane Warne: The Musical, also explaining the sports references.
Both men have my heart, and I will be content either way.
First out, never forgotten: hot man, terrible singer and tennis player Mark Philippoussis was ousted tonight.
Warning for the recap: the sports-stars are never going to get much of the word-count. I’m glad he had a nice time?
Although the reveal was a little anti-climatic (Echidna was the easiest to crack by the clues), there truly is no greater high than watching a Masked Singer fake-struggle with taking off their costume to reveal their identity.
With the slightly eerie air of 2020 in the background, the calls of “TAKE IT OFF!’ took on a The Purge energy. It’s bloodlust by another name, and I’m thirsty, baby.
Tomorrow, we continue on our journey and meet the other six masked singers. But do we ever really meet the man behind the mask? Wow.
In the meantime, please join me in sending good energy to Dannii Minogue. She hasn’t had a full nights sleep in seven months.
Masked Singer Australia is on Channel 10 each Monday and Tuesday at 7.30pm AEST, and available to stream on 10Play.
Jared Richards is a staff writer at Junkee, and on Twitter.