‘The Masked Singer’ three-headed Hydra is famous comic twosome

Hydra on ‘The Masked Singer’ Season 7. (Photo: Fox)

This seventh Masked Singer season, Team Bad’s Hydra rocked what host Nick Cannon declared the “most out-of-control costume” in the history of series: a triple-threat dragon emitting not just smoke and fire, but multiple goofy voices. So, of course, “Sharp Dressed Man” by famous rock trio ZZ Top was a perfect song choice this week, as the Group B bracket competition continued. However, after the Hydra lost in a western-style duel against the Armadillo on “Two Princes” and was unmasked, we found out that there weren’t three people inside that crazy costume—there were only two.

but… there was one singer!

The judges guessed that this was south park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Will Arnett and Zach Galifianakis, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, or even the Muppets’ Bert & Ernie or Statler & Waldorf. (Kermit the Frog did once compete on this show, so that wasn’t a bad guess.) But the Hydra turned out to be comedian/magician Penn Jillette — who obviously did all of the heavy lifting here, singing in different cartoon voices ranging from Spamalot-like dandyisms to Satchmo-style croaking — and his longtime silent partner, Teller.

Guest judge Nicole Byer was the only one who guessed right, on her first try; maybe she should become a regular cast member in Season 8. But until then, let’s assess this week’s other Season 7 Group B performances, and let the guessing game continue.

Ringmaster (Team Good), “Super Bass”

This mistress of ceremonies struggled a bit during Nicki Minaj’s lighting-speed verses, so we know she’s not a professional rapper. But she ultimately pulled it off and soared in the chorus. Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg was “so blown away,” raving, “This has to be one of the biggest singing sensations ever that we can’t quite place yet!”

Clues: This week’s “mega-clue” was an acoustic guitar, and the Ringmaster said she’s a “’90s chick.” Last week, we saw Miley Cyrus’s face on a Montana map, “Sweet Southern” whiskey, a tic-tac-toe X, and a Golden State driver’s license. The Ringmaster also told judge Nicole Scherzinger, “It’s nice to see you again!”

Judges’ guesses: Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, Alanis Morissette, Zara Larsson.

My guess: Last week I guessed (500) Days of Summer star Zooey Deschanel, because John Oates sent the Ringmaster a video message urging her to “make her dreams come true.” But the Ringmaster sounds nothing like the She & Him indie songbird. I realize now that it’s actress, “Strong, Sweet and Southern” country singer, and Oates pal Hayley Orrantia, who was born in 1994. The “Golden State” clue is a reference to her show The Goldbergs (on which Oates was once a guest star) and the “X” represents her time on The X Factor USA in 2011 — on which Nicole was a judge. Hayley also sang background vocals for Miley Cyrus on the Hannah Montana Forever soundtrack. Case closed.

Armadillo (Team Good), “I Fought the Law”

The hard-shelled himbo fell at the end of his song, but he handled it like a real action hero. “How d’ya like that fall? That was done on purpose,” he grumbled. “That’s rock ‘n’ roll, right there!” gasped Nick. This tough guy seems like he’s taken a lot of tumbles in his life, and he’s clearly a fighter — if not all that great a singer.

Clues: He “kicks butt for a living,” and this week’s mega-clue was a rhinestone keychain with his “keys to the wild hog” and a “dead” motorcycle. Last week, he said he was “born on mountain and raised in a cave,” and we saw rocks, hot dogs on a BBQ grill, sunglasses, a bow and arrow, and a beefcake (literally a cake made out of hamburger meat) .

Judges’ guesses: Gary Busey, Jay Leno, William H Macy.

My guess: Busey is a decent guess, in light of the deadly motorcycle clue, and he has acted in a lot of action movies. But Busey did all of his own singing in The Buddy Holly Story and actually sounded much better than the Armadillo. I actually think this could be the dreaded Rudy Giuliani reveal, based on two solos he has sung so far. (Last week, the Armadillo did “Secret Agent Man,” and Giuliani certainly seems to think he’s above the law.) I hope I am wrong, and that this really is Hulk Hogan like I guessed last week. But according to NewsweekGiuliani’s performance has not been cut from the show, despite the outrage that erupted — among the fandom other on the set — when news leaked of Rudy’s participation.

Miss Teddy (Team Cuddly), “Tell Me You Love Me”

This cuddly creature was a beast on the mic when she stupendously tackled Demi Lovato’s power ballad, earning a standing ovation from the judges. Robin Thicke called it “one of the most uplifting, electrifying performances we’ve ever had in seven seasons of this show.”

Clues: This week’s mega-clue was a Grammy Award. Then Miss Teddy confessed, “Once I was afraid, I was petrified,” but she “learned how to survive.” Last week, we saw beds and pillows, rainbows, a director’s chair, Santa Claus, gospel choir gowns, a laughing emoji, and a caterpillar morphing into a butterfly — the latter clue because Miss Teddy is known forconstantly reinventing” herself.

Judges’ guesses: Gloria Gaynor, Jennifer Hudson, CeCe Winans.

My guess: Nicole seemed convinced it was Loretta Devine last week — and so was I, because all of the clues added up. But… Loretta has never won a Grammy. Gloria seems like a good guess — she has a gospel background and has won two Grammys — but quoting the opening line from “I Will Survive” just seemed too obvious a move. So, I think this is Jennifer Holliday — who originated the role of Effie White in dream girls (hence the bed clues and the judges’ close-but-not-quite Hudson guess) and won a Grammy for it. The Santa clue could be a play on her last name, and the rainbows could signify her big LBGTQ+ fanbase.

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