‘The Masked Singer’ episode 8 recap: Which 2 celebs were eliminated prior to next week’s finale? [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

It seems like just yesterday Fox’s wild new reality TV show “The Masked Singer” burst onto the scene, but now we’re already down to the Top 5 contestants: PeacockMonster, Lion, Rabbit and Bee. As this week was the semi-finals, that meant two costumed characters were eliminated after the studio audience and judges — Nicole Scherzinger, Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Robin Thicke and guest panelist Kenan Thompson — cast their votes. So which two were sent packing and which three advanced to next week’s season finale?

Below, check out our minute-by-minute “The Masked Singer” recap of Season 1, Episode 8, titled “Semi Finals: Double Unmasking,” to find out what happened Wednesday, February 20 at 9/8c. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite costumed celebs on Fox’s reality TV show, who impresses you the most, and who you think will ultimately win. Keep refreshing/reloading this live blog for the most recent updates.

9:00 p.m. — “Previously, on ‘The Masked Singer’!” In last week’s seventh episode America was forced to say goodbye to Alien, who unmasked to reveal none other than La Toya Jackson. “Thank you so much for supporting me [and] supporting the Alien,” La Toya told viewers after her dramatic elimination. With only five costumed celebs still in the competition, things are about to get serious as two go home tonight. Let’s get this thing started!

9:05 p.m. – We are getting right into it with the all-around showman, Peacock! During the clue reel we see more hints at magic, which I believe is just a diversion to a hobby or Las Vegas residency. Last week he wasn’t happy with his feedback from Robin and he hates to “let his little soldiers of affection” down. He prides himself on being the most well-rounded performer of his flock and we all know Donny is the most celebrated Osmonds (sorry Marie!). He mentions being an idol and singing “It Had to Be You” which sends the panel into “American Idol” alums like Clay Aiken or perhaps former judge Harry Connick, Jr.

9:10 p.m. – Singing “Let’s Go” by Calvin Harris featuring Ne-Yo, Peacock is showing off his take on a modern, uptempo dance number. Peacock is bringing the energy tonight, jumping up and down and pandering to the ladies in the audience. What as showman! The crowd is loving his performance and Robin called it his best of the series. Jenny said of all the performers tonight, she’s certain Peacock is going to make it to the end. He reveals to the panel, “I have dedicated my life to show business. This mask transforms me into another character. It’s funny because at home my partner would look at me, and I’d be walking through the house like this (prancing like a bird) and my partner would say, ‘Let it go! You’re not a peacock at home!'” He also says he used “Blurred Lines” as inspiration on one of his albums. Robin is shocked and instantly thinks it’s Weird Al Yankovic. Nicole is certain she knows the Peacock and he confirms they are friends. She says it’s Neil Patrick Harris. Jenny still says Donny Osmond. What we know for sure is that Peacock gave an amazing performance! Will he make it to the finale?

9:20 p.m. – It’s time to hear more from the lovable Monster. He keeps referencing “games” and we see a board game with a football on it. People think this could be an athlete, but I believe that’s another diversion. He says he’s been vilified and persecuted, but he’s sick of “putting on a front.” Having his identity stripped has brought him the comeback he’s been in search of for a decade. Sean Penn or Russel Crowe are thrown around by the panel, which are hilarious guesses.

9:25 p.m. – Singing “Stay with Me” by Sam Smith, Monster is out to prove he’s one of the most formidable vocalists in the competition. You could hear a pin drop throughout this performance and the audience is completely wrapped up in the simplicity of this song. Nicole is literally in tears and Jenny is about to melt. Simmer down now. Nicole called it one of her favorite performance we’ve seen on the show. Ken was getting choked up watching Nicole get choked up. Ken actually thought it was Kenan the whole time, but Kenan is now on the panel so he’s confused. Robin called it a Grammy-worthy performance. The Monster reveals that deep down he’s “a father, a husband, as son, a brother and more than anything, I’m a person.” Now everyone’s choked up! Ken is convinced that Monster has an acting or comedy background, not just a Grammy-winning voice. For that reason he guesses Jamie Foxx. Jenny guesses Calvin Harris, which the panel quickly shuts down. Robin wonders if it could be Darius Rucker. Kenan considered CeeLo Green when he was speaking, but not necessarily when he was singing. Tough call for the panel!

9:30 p.m. – Let’s look for some helpful hints about the true identity of this sultry Lion! Every time she puts on the mask, she transforms in a way she never expected. For the first time, she’s judged only as a singer. She’s just a lion who wants to be heard, not the child of her parents or the empire she was born into. She was always expected to act the part, but she’s multi-dimensional.

9:35 p.m. – Singing “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” by Stevie Wonder, Lion is expanding her appeal with a nice little throwback! I love the jazzy vocals, she sounds fantastic! She’s scaling through notes like they’re nothing! Kenan asks, “Is that Kelly Rowland?” and I’m astounded that I know so much more about singers than this panel. I can tell you that is absolutely NOT the voice of Kelly Rowland. Her approach to singing is more along the lines of Christina Aguilera, although I don’t believe it’s actually her. Upon further listening, Kenan and Nicole agree it’s not Kelly either. Lion came to SANG tonight and Jenny believes it’s a huge star. The Lion says deep down, “I’m an advocate, not a victim even though I’ve been bullied for a lot of my life. I’m a daughter, a sister and have moments of insecurity. Singing in a mask changes everything you thought you know. You just have to believe in yourself.” Jenny guesses someone from Destiny’s Child. Robin guesses Michelle Williams. En Vogue and Wilson Phillips are mentioned, but Nicole thinks she’s just an actress who’s just a really good singer, like Hailee Steinfeld.

9:40 p.m. – It’s time to hear more about Rabbit, who has been singing songs from as many different genres as possible to throw the panel off his scent and prove that he’s a versatile performer. He also came to win. Whenever he is under pressure, he packs up the family and heads to the mountains going “Step by Step.” This makes Jenny question if it is a member of New Kids on the Block. He loves fishing with his father and mentions Chicken of the Sea, which hints at being Nick Lachey.

9:45 p.m. – Keeping it old-school with “My Girl” by The Temptations, Rabbit sounds fantastic, but this is definitely not Nick Lachey. What we know for sure is that this creature can blow. He’s also got a fantastic performance quality. That was a cute performance, but not as electric as some of his others. Deep down, Rabbit reveals “I’m very optimistic. When I put my mind to something it’s always 110 percent. Believe it or not, I have done some other work in a costume before, in other places. I’m used to being in it, but never singing.” So, has the panel figured out who’s behind the mask? Jenny’s starting to wonder if it’s her own husband, Donnie Wahlberg. Kenan guesses Nick Lachey, Nicole guesses Joey Fatone, and Ken guesses Kevin Richardson.

9:50 p.m. – Let’s look for clues about this beautiful Bee. She says some of the panel is convinced that she’s the queen of the Pips (Gladys Knight) but what if she’s been giving mixed messages all this time? Nobody makes a peach cobbler quite like Bee (a hint at Patti LaBelle), and she has become very competitive as an insect. She wants to make it to the end so she’s serving up a powerful song by her good friend, Aretha Franklin.

9:55 p.m. – Singing “Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin, Bee is serving up serious lessons in soul singing that has the panel on its feet. There’s not even a question in Kenan’s mind this is Gladys Knight that they are watching. Whoever it is, they know they’re in the presence of a legend right now. Kenan says it’s 1000% Gladys Knight and asks who in their right mind couldn’t recognize it? Ken thinks it’s Anita Baker, but Bee reveals that “Behind this mask, it’s difficult because I’m cut off from you. I need to see, touch and feel you whether I’m performing or just walking down the street.”

9:57 p.m. – It’s time to reveal which two masked singers will be un-masked! The first un-masked singer tonight is Lion. Wow! That’s a shocker. For their final guesses, Jenny says Kelly Rowland from Destiny’s Child, Nicole says Hailee Steinfeld, Ken says Dawn Robinson from En Vogue, Kenan hops on the Kelly Rowland train and Robin sticks with Michelle Williams from Destiny’s Child. The Lion finally reveals herself to be…Rumer Willis! None of the panel was even close to guessing this one.

9:59 p.m. – Going home in fourth place tonight is Rabbit. For their final guesses, Kenan says Nick Lachey, Ken guesses Kevin Richardson from Backstreet Boys, Robin and Nicole think it’s Joey Fatone from *NSync and Jenny says it’s probably her husband Donnie Wahlberg from New Kids on the Block. When Rabbit is finally unmasked, we learn it is in fact Joey Fatone! I’m actually impressed that it’s Joey because he is a better singer than I gave him credit for before this. Robin and Nicole were right! Next week, tune in to see if Bee, Monster or Peacock are crowned the champion of “The Masked Singer.”

Here are the answers to Gold Derby’s contest questions for “The Masked Singer” Season 1, Top 5 week:

Who will be eliminated in 5th place? Lion

Who will be eliminated in 4th place? Rabbit

Will Ken correctly guess one of the unmasked singers’ identities? No

Will Jenny correctly guess one of the unmasked singers’ identities? No

Will Nicole correctly guess one of the unmasked singers’ identities? Yes

Will Robin correctly guess one of the unmasked singers’ identities? Yes

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