On “The Masked Dancer” finale on February 17, the last three celebrities in the competition will perform one last time as Cotton Candy, Sloth and Tulip. At the end of the hour, one of them will be named the winner of season 1 of this hit reality series. We’ve rewatched every one of the seven episodes that led up to this final one and are absolutely convinced that we know who is hiding inside these costumes. Keep reading if you dare for all of “The Masked Dancer” spoilers for the season 1 finale, including the real name of the Tulip.
Of the three finalists, the stand-out talent is the Tulip. She made it to the final three after wowing the four judges (Paula Abdul, Brian Austin Green, Ken Jeong and Ashley Tisdale) with her take on the traditional polka on the semi-final. That wasn’t a surprise given how well she had done in her previous appearances. She has tackled a variety of genres and always impressed us with her dancing abilities. She first kicked up her heels to “Fergalicious” by Fergie, and followed that with routines set to “Fields of Gold” by Eva Cassidy, “Thank U, Next” by Ariana Grande and “My Boyfriend’s Back” by The Chiffons.
SEE ‘The Masked Dancer’ spoilers: Cotton Candy is …
We are sure that the Tulip is Mackenzie Ziegler, the teenage sensation on TikTok who first came to fame as a child on the hit reality show “Dance Moms.” During her run on that series, Mackenzie made no secret of her love of all things “High School Musical.” The Tulip admitted to being obsessed with that Disney franchise in her most recent appearance on the February 10 episode.
The week before, the word clue for Tulip was “Lifetime.” That just happens to be the name of the cable network that carried “Dance Moms,” starting in 2011. We had seen the number “11” on a box in Tulip’s first clues video and an alarm clock set at 11:00 in the third one.
The other words she has spoken also fit in with the Tulip being Mackenzie. She first said “triple” and Ziegler can dance, sing and act. Then she said “princess,” which put us in mind of the 2018 animated film “Ice Princess Lily,” in which Mackenzie gave voice to the title character.
Mackenzie and her sister Maddie Ziegler were the stand-out students on “Dance Moms.” Tulip has told us that dancing runs in her family and she has a friendly sibling rivalry with her “best bud.” We had thought that the Tulip might be Maddie but ruled her out of the running as the clues kept coming.
SEE ‘The Masked Dancer’ spoilers: The Sloth is …
Mackenzie starred onstage in the musical version “The Wizard of Oz,” which was referenced by Tulip’s ruby shoes that she clicked three times. She has millions of followers on TikTok, which was hinted at in the first two clues videos and at the end of one of her routines. The eclipse in the second clues video is a shout-out to the teen drama “Total Eclipse” that starred Mackenzie. There was a reference to “Day and Night”; in 2016, Ziegler recorded a song by that name with Johnny Orlando. And to top it all off, Mackenzie goes by the nickname “Mack,” as in the dish of mac and cheese that we saw in the first clues video.
Another of the visual clues was a ticket for travel from AL to DC. We had thought this referred to a trip from Alabama to the nation’s capital but soon realized that those are the initials of the Abby Lee Dance Company, which was the studio featured in “Dance Moms.” And the image of the pyramid is well-known to fans of this reality show.
We will only find for sure that Tulip is Mackenzie Ziegler when she is unmasked. That will only happen if she loses a match-up or wins the show. Do you think we are correct about the real name of Tulip? Sound off in the comments section with your best guesses.