reality tv

The Masked Singer Introduces Even More Deranged New Contestants

Is Fox playing favorites? Photo: FOX

Egg, Flamingo, Leopard, Skeleton … I know these names better than I know my own grandmother’s. It’s hard to remember a time before the first trailer for season two of Fox’s zany vocal competition The Masked Singer, and how it disrupted television as we know it when it introduced the world to America’s Sweetheart, Egg. Audiences were, in a word, shell-shocked. But on Wednesday afternoon, Fox released a new trailer featuring the ten other pretenders to the throne. What does this mean for Egg? Will they crack under the pressure? Below, we size up the competition, starting with …

Asparagus? We think? At first glance it seems as though this divisive veggie is blatantly capitalizing on the popularity of beloved season-one winner Monster, albeit with a sort of Buddy Holly twist. His hands are bluer, his nails sharper, and his face fuzzier than you’d expect an Asparaguy’s to be. Why are his teeth so sharp? Is Asparagus a carnivore? Or does he eat other vegetables?

… Asparagus? Photo: FOX

Here’s Butterfly, who’s rocking a sort of outer-spacey, galaxy-ish, glow-in-the-dark indoor-mini-golf color palette. Respect for not going the basic pretty route and reminding us that butterflies are still insects and therefore terrifying if human size.

Butterfly. Photo: FOX

In that vein, there’s Spider, whose backup dancers look like speed skaters and whose bright-red winged eyeliner saves her from what could have been a deeply unfortunate look. We appreciate the appliqué red nails on top of the gloves and deeply relate to the cobwebs where her heart should be.

Spider. Photo: FOX

Eagle is one of the contestants who briefly appeared in the previous trailer and who may or may not be Sam Elliott. He’s giving us a hint of Willie Nelson, a whiff of Jackson Maine. The patriotism screams football player, but the turquoise touches suggest more nuance. Either way, this season better give us footage of Eagle on a motorcycle, wings flapping in the breeze.

Eagle. Photo: FOX

This is the Fox, soon to air on Fox, not to be confused with other Disney-owned vulpine entities like The Fox and the Hound or Robin Hood or the Jason Bateman one from Zootopia or the one from Pinocchio who wears a basically identical outfit. Fox looks like he’d beckon you into a circus tent on the outskirts of town. He looks like he’d swindle you of your tuppence in a shell game. Fox has fingerless gloves. We appreciate the scope of the narrative with this one and expect a Panic! at the Disco cover.

Mr. Fox. Photo: FOX

Next is the ruff-and-tumble Rottweiler. A quick Google search of “celebrity Rottweiler owners” revealed Will Smith, Hayden Panettiere, and a young Leo DiCaprio to be fans of the breed. All signs clearly point to Hayden Panettiere.

Rottweiler. Photo: FOX

This is Panda. Who doesn’t like pandas? Look at the big ol’ pom-pom on his big ol’ beanie on his big ol’ head! He’s a big panda in the big city. He’s not limiting himself to a black-and-white color palette. If Disney chose to replace Disneyland with Masked Singer–Land, we’d line up for half an hour to get a photo op with Panda.

Panda. Photo: FOX

Love the energy, Ice Cream. Love the attitude. Love the little Jackie O. cap with the cherry on top. But Ice Cream, what flavor are you supposed to be? Bubblegum? Cotton candy? Does anyone past age 12 eat any ice cream that’s this shade of blue? Does anyone still wear a cherry? Also: Was the audience told to wear dystopian shades of moss and grey? It looks like the Quarter Quell back there.

Ice Cream. Photo: FOX

Tree is kind of a lot. You know you’re a lot when you’re on The Masked Singer and you’re still somehow a lot. Still, Tree has hidden depths. She may seem all over the place, but there’s something fittingly postmodern about the decision not to represent an actual tree but one of those space-age, Googie, mid-century artificial tinsel trees. There are depths to Tree: a sneaky commentary on the layers of artifice that go into reality programming and the nostalgia for a bygone time when live prime-time family programming was central to the shared cultural experience. Or it’s a kooky tree! Shiny!

Tree. Photo: FOX

Flower doesn’t care if she’s loved. She’s here to be respected. She’s here to be feared.

Flower. Photo: FOX

The new season of The Masked Singer premieres September 25 on Fox.

The Masked Singer Introduces More Deranged New Contestants