‘The Masked Singer’ season 6 episode 1 recap: Bull, Mother Nature, Octopus, Pufferfish, Skunk face double elimination [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

The sixth season of “The Masked Singer” has finally arrived, with all of the judges (Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger) and the host (Nick Cannon) back for another cycle of wild and wacky fun. This year features a roster of 16 secret celebrities wearing extravagant costumes who’ve been divided into two groups. Up first is Group A, which consists of Bull, Mother Nature, Octopus, Pufferfish and Skunk. Each of them took the stage on Wednesday night, with the lowest two vote-getters being unmasked in front of America. That’s right, it was a shocking double elimination!

SEE See all ‘The Masked Singer’ costumes and celebrity reveals through the years

Below, read our minute-by-minute “The Masked Singer” recap of Season 6, Episode 1, titled “2 Night Season Premiere, Part 1: Group A Premiere,” to find out what happened Wednesday, September 22 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite costumed characters on Fox’s reality TV show and who you think has what it takes to win the entire competition.

Keep refreshing/reloading this “The Masked Singer” live blog for the most recent updates.

8:00 p.m. — “Previously on ‘The Masked Singer’!” In the Season 5 finale, Piglet won the Golden Mask trophy and removed his mask to reveal boy band singer Nick Lachey. As for the other finalists, Black Swan (JoJo) was the runner-up and Chameleon (Wiz Khalifa) came in third place. Jenny was then named the winner (for the second year in a row) of the Golden Ear trophy. But enough about last year — let’s get started with the first performance of Season 6!

8:05 p.m. — The first five singers of Group A will hit the stage tonight, singing their hearts out in a groundbreaking double elimination. Nick emerges from a mysterious fog tunnel to introduce the panel of detectives and the first masked creature tonight. Pinch your noses for the stinky but glamorous Skunk! She sashays out like a true diva, covered in diamonds, before we get our first set of clues. She chose to be the skunk because she relates to the duality, the yin and yang of it all. While life’s not always black and white, there are always certainly two sides to every story. Skunk walks through a train with some men in black reading a newspaper featuring Jenny on the cover, asking, “Has the Golden Ear winner lost her mind?” Over the years, Skunk has seen it all (her ticket reads “Skunk Express” and says she is departing from Seoul, Korea). There might be misconceptions that the striped mammal is quick to get into a fight, but honey that couldn’t be further from the truth. She says you don’t always have to react when provoked. She snaps her tail at the men in black while walking past a vase with the letter “D” on it. Skunk took a break for a minute to focus on family, but she’s ready to get back out there and “make it do what it do, boo.” But not before spraying the men in black with some hater spray!

8:10 p.m. — Skunk takes the stage performing “Diamonds” by Sam Smith. She has a gorgeous, rich and soulful voice and my guess that this stinker is not actually from Korea, but known as a soul singer. A true R&B fan might notice she sounds similar to Faith Evans or Mary J. Blige. Nicole says, “Season 6 is in the big leagues, y’all!” before calling her “royalty.” The panel then submits their secret first impression guesses before debating over who this diva is. Skunk says she felt like it was time for her to take a big leap and do something that she hadn’t done in a long time. Robin can tell that she has been singing her whole life and mentions Gloria Gaynor and Faith Evans (she was my first thought!). Ken goes off the rails, screaming out random divas including Janet Jackson, Erykah Badu, Alicia Keys and Anita Baker. I can tell you, Skunk sounds nothing like any of Ken’s guesses, lol. Jenny throws Mary J. Blige into the mix before Robin adds Toni Braxton and Ken says Sade. Nick exclaims, “You just named every Black woman who can sing!” All we know for sure at this point is that Skunk is a diva who can saaaang!

8:12 p.m. — The next Group A contender is Octopus, a purple and funky invertebrate who struts out while Jenny shouts, “That’s the tallest contestant we’ve ever had!” This guy towers over Nick before we get into some clues. He wanted to become the octopus because eight is a lucky number and he thinks he’s a lucky guy. Octopus reached success at a very young age and felt like he had it all. All he could do was smile (we see a couple gold teeth before he answers a golden telephone). He says everyone took his smiling as him not being serious. There are some cards laid out on a table with an eight of clubs on top. People wanted him “out” and he fell. A cinder block tied to the octopus sinks him down into the ocean with the sharks while he says, “When you’re this big, you fall pretty hard.” In order to get a fresh start, Octopus had to learn to let go of his ego. We see “ABC” blocks as he says, “I told you, I’m a lucky guy.”

8:15 p.m. — Octopus is singing “Tutti Frutti” by Little Richard and this is not at all what I was expecting him to sound like. He’s got a gravelly voice, but he can definitely carry a tune. Octopus works the stage like a pro and sings with soul and passion. He’s definitely a showman! Jenny says Octopus brought the same charisma that Wiz Khalifa brought last season and she wants to party with him. After submitting their first impression guesses, the panel is ready to discuss this sea creature. Octopus reveals that “The Masked Singer” is his mom’s favorite show and he’s a mama’s boy. Jenny guesses he is Dennis Rodman, but Ken chimes in saying he knows exactly who this is! Ken agrees this is probably someone from the NBA like Chris Webber, Anthony Davis or Dwight Howard. Nicole thinks this is “one of the great vocalists of our time,” Shaquille O’Neal.

8:25 p.m. — Grab your nets because you’re about to meet Pufferfish! She is a gorgeous and sassy swimmer who walks onto the stage like it’s her own personal runway. Jenny mentions how petite she is before we launch into the clues. She is excited to become the Pufferfish and we see her sucked up into a UFO that contains two men in black sitting at a table while conducting some sort of science experiment. A glitterball hangs above while she mentions that for most of her life, Pufferfish wanted to blend in but she just couldn’t. She was that weird kid in science class who messed up all the experiments. As Pufferfish drops a tablet into some water, a volcano explodes in the background. “And don’t get me started about singing,” she says while we see a man in black clutching a boomerang. “My voice was always different and not necessarily in a good way.” We see an electric guitar that has “Guitarra” spelled across it. Pufferfish was ridiculed a lot, so she had to learn to stand up for herself. That is what made her so successful and tonight Pufferfish is hoping to stand out like she’s done her whole life.

8:30 p.m. — Pufferfish is singing “Say So” by Doja Cat and she has a light, airy voice but can definitely carry a tune. I can completely understand why she considers herself a unique vocalist. I recognize this voice, but at the same time I have no idea who it is. She almost sounds like one of the Spice Girls. In some parts it sounds like Toni Braxton disguising her voice in a higher register. She shocks the panel when she begins rapping the chorus, taking the song in a completely new direction. When she gets to this speaking part, I’m almost even more convinced it could be Toni Braxton with a fake singing style. Her voice is so distinct, she would have to fake it. But when she raps it becomes harder to disguise. Nick says, “Pufferfish, you’re not fooling me. I know who that is!” She swats his butt with her fin before the panel makes their first impression guesses. Pufferfish says she chose this costume because she is “Queen of the Sea.” Nicole mentions Maya Rudolph before deciding on Paula Abdul because of the body type. The panel also thinks it could be someone familiar with standup comedy and Ken guesses Issa Rae. Robin says Pufferfish of Jessica Alba because of the way he’s seen her dance with her kids on TikTok.

8:35 p.m. — Get ready to confront Mother Nature! This creature emerges on the stage like a swamp monster, a moss-covered tree with attitude. She says she’s excited to be Mother Nature because she’s done it all. As seasons changed, so did she, but there’s one thing she’s never had the chance to do, be a mother. As Mother Nature walks through a rainforest she mentions it took her a while to come to terms with it until she realized the family that she already has is enough. She lifts up a giant penny and then we see a photograph of Wayne Brady. Even though she’s not a mother, she’s very protective of the ones she loves. If you come after them all “cray cray,” she won’t play. Tonight she’s going to blossom, “because darling, life is good.”

8:40 p.m. — Mother Nature sings “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross on a beautiful set featuring a game of whack-a-mole. She’s not the strongest singer, but she can carry a tune and she’s putting on a show. I’m completely stumped on this one, but Nick says he totally knows who she is. She asks Ken, “Are you ready to call me mommy?” Could it be last year’s guest host, Niecy Nash? She chose Mother Nature because she’s a “force to be reckoned with.” She’s beautiful and scary at the same time. Ken is convinced it’s a comedian like Aisha Tyler, but something about her screams Tiffany Haddish. Nicole guesses Chelsea Handler, but Jenny says Chelsea is a good friend of hers and it doesn’t seem like Chelsea. Robin says the swag and the dance moves remind him of Tracee Ellis Ross.

8:45 p.m. — The final singer of the night is the Bull! He walks out with urgency and confidence, looking royal in red. This Bull has swag! The Bull grew up in a small town that was surrounded by cows. We see a portrait of the Bull standing in a canoe. Most people in his town didn’t go anywhere, but he always had bigger dreams. Bull has traveled around the entire world looking for his destiny, to be the greatest of all time. The Bull pulls out a map with Cooperstown on it, which Robins mentions is where the Baseball Hall of Fame is located. The doors the Bull knocked on simply didn’t open and he heard “no” again and again. He didn’t give up and the Bull became his own boss. Eventually Hollywood and even “Forbes” took notice. As the Bull sails in his canoe, an astronaut appears above him. Next we see him walk across the beach with a stuffed lion on it as he mentions, “There’s so much left for me to prove and I want to do that here.”

8:50 p.m. — The Bull is singing “Drops of Jupiter” by Train and I am immediately surprised by this voice. I actually got chills from the opening notes as he starts off behind the panelists and then walks back onto the stage. He blends rock and soul into his vocals and this is probably my favorite performance of the night. I love this Bull! Nicole says he “took no prisoners” with his opening performance. She looks very confident with her first impression guess. The Bull says he joined “The Masked Singer” because he’s actually quite shy about singing. Jenny thinks this could be someone from a boy band like Brian Littrell of Backstreet Boys. Robin can’t place that voice, but the only person that quickly comes to mind that can sing and dance that well is Sisqo. Ken goes way off base once again, declaring the Bull is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Nicole is certain she knows who the Bull is, but she’s keeping her cards close to the vest this season.

8:55 p.m. — It’s a double elimination tonight on “The Masked Singer” and two of these singers are about to go home. The first singer of Season 6 to be eliminated is Octopus. Aww! That is a little surprising, I would have probably booted Mother Nature first. The panel must reveal their first impression guesses and if they are correct they get one point towards the Golden Ear trophy. Nicole guesses Shaquille O’Neal, Ken picks Dwight Howard, Jenny says Dennis Rodman and Robin thinks it’s Joel Embiid. The Octopus pulls off his mask to reveal himself as Dwight Howard! Ken takes the early lead in this year’s Golden Ear contest.

8:59 p.m. — The second singer unmasking tonight is Mother Nature. That means the Bull, Pufferfish and Skunk are advancing to tomorrow night’s episode where two new wildcards will enter the race. Before Mother Nature reveals her true identity, the panelists unwrap their first impression guesses. Ken guesses Tiffany Haddish, Nicole thinks it’s Chelsea Handler (but switches to Tracee Ellis Ross), Robin picks Tracee Ellis Ross and Jenny says Mother Nature is Tiffany Haddish as well. The time comes for Mother Nature to reveal herself and she pulls off the mask to unveil….aww, we have to wait until tomorrow night to find out. Cliffhanger! Tune in on Thursday to find out who Mother Nature is before five singers take the stage, including two all new wildcards.

SEE exclusive predictions: Who will win ‘The Masked Singer’?

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