by Matt Smith . . .
Who doesn’t love a big and brassy, razzle-dazzle finale? Well, that’s exactly what we got when Broadway’s Masked Singer wrapped up on its final night, tallying the total donation numbers and revealing each of the remaining costumed competitors… with a few creative and cleverly placed curveballs along the way.
“What a show we have planned — or not planned — for you tonight!” Michael Hull and Dylan Bustamante exclaim at the start of the episode. Armed with an up-in-the-air “anything goes” attitude, our indefatigable MCs introduce us to the final panel of Broadway supersleuths, a mashup of advisors from the previous two nights.
On board for the finale are MT Trivia quizmasters Christopher & Kevin Metzger-Timson, “the man with the golden voice” Marty Thomas, versatile actress — and expert Masked Singer guesser — Hayley Podschun, Skivvies’ singer Nick Cearley, programming producer Abby DePhillips, social media maven Felicia Fitzpatrick, musical director extraordinaire Drew Wutke & vocal coach to the stars Natalie Weiss.
In the first twist of the night, after teasing the typical unmasking of the person who garnered the least donations, our hosts revealed there would not, in fact, be a reveal at the top of the show. Therefore, all five contestants would sing at least one song (to level the playing field, as donation totals were initially too close to call); two contestants would be unmasked at the end of the first round, and the game would then continue on as it normally would.
So, who sang what song while hiding inside what costume? And what other twists and turns were in store for our panelists? All is revealed (no, seriously, all of it) in our recap below! Here we go:
Clue Starter Pack
As a reminder, ALL eight stars (including the three that have been unmasked and eliminated), have appeared in a collective 19 Broadway shows, 10 national tours and have over 100 Off-Broadway and regional credits.
The Elephant (Fifth Place)
Songs: “The Rainbow Connection” (The Muppet Movie)
Clues: “I know I’ve got to ‘Bring it on’ if I want to beat out the other singers.”
Guesses: “Who doesn’t love a singing elephant in a boat?” asks Hull, following Elephant’s opening performance. Podschun picks up on the Bring it On reference in the clue package and suggests Jason Gotay. Thomas, much like Marissa Rosen in the previous episode, is unwavering in that it’s the panel’s own Nick Cearley. (Hey… Nick Cannon did it on this season’s FOX show… it’s not that much of a wild guess). Cearley doubles down on Ethan Slater. Weiss mentions Rob McClure, Christopher Metzger-Timson mentions John Tartaglia (Muppets = Puppets = Avenue Q/Sesame Street?) and the comments mention Noah Galvin.
Previous Guesses: In addition to the above, panelists had previously guessed Telly Leung, Jarrod Spector, Rory O’Malley, JJ Niemann, and Kelvin Moon Loh.
It’s probably: Again, Ethan Slater is our best guess. As we said last episode, “Driver’s License” is a song for the TikTok generation, which Slater aligns with more than any of the other guesses, especially given his connection with The SpongeBob Musical. The voice is kinda similar, too. We’ll just have to see what happens.
The Big Reveal: Coming in fifth place was the Elephant, forced to unmask with a final donation total of $1,350. And he revealed himself to be….. Whaaaaaaaatttttt???!!!! In the second twist of the night, it is, in fact, the panelist’s own Nick Cearley!! OMG, Marty Thomas and Marissa Rosen were right all along!!! (“I told you jerks!” Thomas shouts from his square. “I knew it!”) Rosen, though absent from the panel that night, even sent in a video message to the naysayers: “You all laughed at me, but I know that voice like the back of your tushy. And the whole world knows the back of your tushy. NAILED IT!” Indeed you did, Rosen. Indeed you did.
The Potato (Fourth Place)
Songs: “1, 2 Step” (Ciara)
Clues: “My career has flown me all over the country. Being the only vegetable in the bunch, I’ve had to fry harder than ever to get to this point.”
Guesses: While applauding the Potato for being “very clever and very funny,” Thomas puts Laura Benanti on the table. Citing last episode’s clues about performing across the country and appearing in a historical show, Wutke offers Christy Altomare (the panel liked that one!). Podschun dittos, adding that Altomare played Wendla in the Spring Awakening tou, so the clue matches up. Fitzpatrick guesses Stephanie Styles, citing her work in the Newsies tour. Cearley suggests Caitlin Kinnunen or Isabelle McCalla, suggesting The Prom might be the historical show in reference here. DePhillips seconds McCalla. “Can I throw a wrench in here for one second?” asks Kevin Metzger-Timson, before throwing Christine Ebersole into the mix.
Previous Guesses: In addition to the above, panelists had previously guessed Jen Cody, Mia Gentile, Laura Bell Bundy, Jen Sánchez, Lauren Zakrin, Erika Henningsen, and Annaleigh Ashford.
It’s probably: The clues from last episode clearly point to Laura Bell Bundy, but before we double down on the country queen, we have to say Cearley’s onto something by mentioning the Prom ladies. DePhillips thinks Izzy, so we’ll go that route, too. Kinnunen hasn’t yet been “all over the country” in a show at this point, either.
The Big Reveal: With a respectable $1,566 in donation totals, the next singer asked to reveal herself was the spud-tacular Potato. And she unmasked to reveal…. Isabelle McCalla!! DePhillips hit the nail on the head! Of course the historical show in question is The Prom, whose performance at the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade made waves for featuring the first same-sex smooch in the history of the parade’s broadcast. References to “flying all over the country” allude to her time spent on a magic carpet touring with Aladdin. But at the end of the day, she just wanted to sing (and dance) with you… and thanks to your generous donations, she did!!
The Chicken (Third Place)
Songs: “Call It What You Want” (Taylor Swift); “Unconditionally” (Katy Perry)
Clues: In her first clue package, Chicken claims, “Victory is going to taste as sweet as pie.” In her second clue package, she references “It All Fades Away,” a song from The Bridges of Madison County.
Guesses: Using the “sweet as pie” clue as ammo to suggest Waitress, Thomas says he hears “hints of Alison Luff,” but also mentions strong suggestions of Eden Espinosa. The MTs second Alison Luff, throwing another former Jenna, Betsy Wolfe, into the mix. However, DePhillips sums it up: “Even if this package was muted, the dancing alone is Jessica Vosk.”
Previous Guesses: In addition to the above, panelists had previously guessed Eva Noblezada and Willemijn Verkaik. Previous comments had suggested either Shoshana Bean or Ashley Park.
It’s probably: No, it’s definitely Jessica Vosk. Full stop. Uncanny. (As if you need more proof, the two new clues reference Waitress, from which she often sings in concert, and The Bridges of Madison County, in which she made her debut).
The Big Reveal: With a total tally of $2,058 in donations, the Chicken was the next character to unmask and reveal herself. And being that she was who we all thought she was (read: Jessica Vosk) of course she took her mask off with a resounding “IT’S MEEEEEEEE!!!!” She’s flown the coop, but at least she’s flying free. And nobody is ever gonna bring her down.
The Bee (Runner-Up)
Songs: “Roll to Me” (Del Amitri), “Because You Loved Me” (Celine Dion)
Clues: “My plan is to best the competition and leave you searching every which way to figure out who I am.”
Guesses: Fitzpatrick points out how the Bee performed the Ain’t Too Proud choreography in both his song and clue package (“I think we’re going to be step-touching for a really long time after that!” Hull says in response), and guesses Jelani Remy, a name also mentioned in the previous episode. The entire panel agrees…. until the second song, when Thomas mentions the tone of a particular high note. “Jelani would’ve used a head voice there and that was a belt,” the judge explains. Therefore, he switches to Jeremy Pope. Riffing off of that observation, Wutke mentions Kevin Smith Kirkwood.
Previous Guesses: In addition to the above, panelists had previously guessed Tituss Burgess, J. Harrison Ghee, Nick Burroughs, Arbender Robinson, James Harkness, and Jason Gotay.
It’s probably: Jelani Remy is the best guess. We mentioned last episode that his voice sounded similar, and that still rings true here. The observation about the Ain’t Too Proud choreo is the clincher.
The Big Reveal: Raising what Hull deemed an “astounding” $2,559 for BC/EFA, the Bee flew away from the competition with the worthy distinction of Runner-Up. But before he did, he revealed himself to be… Jelani Remy! “This whole process was so awesome… and the judges are incredibly hilarious!” the Ain’t Too Proud star says in a post-reveal interview, admitting to having “too much fun” on the show while performing. Oh, Jelani! We just love the way you do the things you do!
The Whale (Winner)
Songs: “Something to Hold Onto” (Between the Lines); “You’ll Be Back” (Hamilton)
Clues: “I performed all over this country, abroad and across the high seas.” He also mentions making people proud and taking on a “whole, new adventure” by donning the whale costume.
Guesses: While swooning over the Whale’s performance, the two MTs use the clues about believing (from the previous episode) and making people proud to further back up their prediction of Mormon’s Nic Rouleau. Cearley agrees, but thinks a twist could be involved. Podschun throws out Stark Sands and James Snyder, the latter of which Cearley then agrees with. Fitzpatrick proposes Adam Jacobs, and Wutke suggests Jordan Fisher. Comments mention Jonathan Groff. But Kevin MT isn’t having any of it, shouting, “I’m so convinced it’s Nic Rouleau, if it’s not, I’ll retire from casting forever!” he shouts. Wow… what a bold statement! Good thing he believes!! Let’s just hope he’s right!
Previous Guesses: In addition to the above, panelists previously guessed Constantine Maroulis, Corey Cott, Aaron Tveit, Ryan McCartan, Derek Klena, and Grey Henson.
It’s probably: James Snyder is a valid guess, but his performances haven’t taken him all over the world, as was revealed in the first clue package. Nic Rouleau once again fits all the clues. He’s been in Mormon all over the world (and Hello, Dolly!, as we said last time, but we’re sticking with the Mormon clues here), and his character, Elder Price, constantly talks about making his family and Heavenly Father proud. Once again, we believe!!
The Big Reveal: With donation totals topping $3,000, the winner is the Whale!!! In the end, the panel is nearly unanimous on the Nic Rouleau guess, and he’s revealed to be… Nic Rouleau!! “It feels amazing!” Rouleau says, on the subject of his win, appearing in a post-reveal interview with the panel. “If anyone has stepped foot inside my apartment [they know] I’m obsessed with whales! There are whales everywhere!” He thanks all the fans for their support: “from my blowhole to my tailfin, I really felt the love tonight!” See what happens when you believe?!
But wait… after all that, there’s more?! Indeed there is. Kate Rockwell, a. k. a. The Flamingo (as in, the first character to be revealed following the initial set of performances), revealed what her Finale Night performance would have been had she made it. Check out the “Bonus Track” of Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” on the Broadway-Talk LIVE Network’s YouTube Channel… and expect more would-be finale performances from ousted contestants very soon.
The last of three episodes of Broadway’s Masked Singer, produced in part by the Broadway-Talk LIVE Network, was presented on the BC/EFA YouTube Channel on Friday, April 30th. To donate, check tallies, or learn more information, visit www.BroadwayCares.org/BroadwayMasked, or stay tuned to the Broadway-Talk LIVE Network’s YouTube Channel in the days to come.