The Sloth may have gotten off to a sluggish start on Season 1 of “The Masked Dancer,” but he slowly clawed his way into the finale and will now compete to become the first winner of the Diamond Mask trophy. Initially going for laughs, the leisurely creature gradually unveiled hidden talents that have wowed panelists Paula Abdul, Brian Austin Green, Ken Jeong and Ashley Tisdale. With just one episode remaining, the Sloth now hopes to become the first winner of the Fox reality TV dancing competition.
The Sloth delivered his first performance in Episode 2, proving he had a fun sense of humor by dancing to “What I Like About You” by the Romantics on various pieces of exercise equipment. While portions of his routine weren’t exactly graceful, a trained eye like Paula’s saw enough precision between the laughs to pin him as a trained dancer. In episode 3 the Sloth maintained his comicality but showed off more range by using ribbons as props and executing skilled partner work to the ballad “Up Where We Belong” by Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes. Following that performance Ken called the Sloth his favorite dancer on the series.
The lollygagging fur ball lit up the stage in the Super Six, effortlessly gliding through his performance to “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” by Dean Martin. To keep the surprises coming, the Sloth energized viewers with a Bollywood number (with a little robot thrown in for good measure) to “Twist Remix” by Neeraj Shridhar. Then, determined to crawl into the finale, the Sloth danced a fine line between slapstick comedy and expertise, slaying a samba to “Dancing With a Stranger” by Sam Smith and Normani in the semifinals.
In his various clue packages we have gotten multiple hints as to who the Sloth truly is. When he was a kid he was in a bad accident and people would talk “down and dirty” to him, saying he was a Mickey Mouse operation. There have been multiple hints referring to the series “Glee” and the number 13. We also learned that when he was young he moved to a new place with a new language, eventually earning a reputation for being a bad boy. He also referenced “Broadway” in one of his spoken-word clues. The Sloth speaks three languages and was known for being a ladies man until dancing eventually led him to his wife.
With each passing performance the panelists seem to inch closer to guessing the Sloth’s identity. Based on his offbeat sense of humor, they were initially convinced he was a comedian, but now have a hard time believing he’s anything but a professional dancer. Some of the famous faces they have claimed the Sloth to be include actors Bradley Cooper, Sasha Baron Cohen, John C. Reillly, Hugh Jackman, Jack Black, Matthew Morrison, John Cusack, Jonathan Groff, Keegan Michael Key and Will Ferrell. They’ve also guessed the Sloth could be singer Jason Derulo or dancers Kevin Federline, Max Chmerkovskiy or Val Chmerkovskiy.
The celebrities that failed to keep up with the Sloth were Ice-T as the Disco Ball, Bill Nye as the Ice Cube, Elizabeth Smart as the Moth, Brian McKnight as the Cricket, Vinny Guadagnino as the Hammerhead, Jordin Sparks as the Exotic Bird and Oscar De La Hoya as the Zebra. He will face off against the Cotton Candy and the Tulip on Wednesday, February 17 for the Diamond Mask trophy. Are you betting on the Sloth to take home the title?
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