You’ve heard the legend of the predator in sheep’s attire… But have you heard about the lion-haired adult-contemporary balladeer dressed as a wolf?
That’s the tale that unfurled on The Masked Singer’s DC Comics Night on Wednesday, when the Wolf was revealed to be none other than two-time Grammy winner Michael Bolton.
This “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” singer has attracted a whole new television audience in recent years, whether it’s by co-hosting Celebrity Dating Game, representing Connecticut in NBC’s American Song Contest, competing on Dancing With the Stars, or, most notably, wearing another fantasy-figure costume (along with Erin Brockovich drag!) in the Lonely Island’s SNL Digital Short “Jack Sparrow.” Indeed, according to Yahoo Entertainment, the latter popular, career-boosting performance was one of his “most pleasant, finest moments” and “one of the best things I ever did.”
I guess dressing up as a bird or a pirate this week would have been too apparent for Bolton. And it remains to be seen how high his appearance on The Masked Singer in fuzzy lupine finery will rate on his career resume.
But he seemed to have a great time sinking his teeth into his husky rendition of the Doors’ “Break on Through,” which had the judging panel’s two musical experts, fellow pop singers Robin Thicke and Nicole Scherzinger, immediately recognising his “velvety,” “sexy,” “iconic,” and “one-of-a-kind” vocals. (As an aside, I would have liked the Wolf to perform Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf,” X’s “Hungry Wolf,” Shakira’s “She Wolf,” or even TV on the Radio’s “Wolf Like Me,” but that’s just my opinion.)
“I could get used to being the Wolf,” acknowledged Bolton.
“It’s always a pleasure to hear you perform,” Nicole exclaimed after Michael was revealed. “No one does it like you, and you still do it with elegance and ease.”
We discovered that not all heroes don capes, but some do wear Gargoyle and Squirrel costumes, from the two other Group B finalists who acted on DC Comics Night. When the Squirrel finally beat out the competition, the judges chose to use their “Ding Dong Keep It on Ring” to save the Gargoyle from extinction.
The judges had already used the bell to retrieve the Gorgon (who is most likely Bishop Briggs, but could be Fergie), which means they can only use it once more this season — so I believe this choice was hasty. But what’s done is done, and the Gargoyle will have another opportunity to compete against the Gorgon (and a third competitor rescued by the Ding-Dong-Bell) later in Season 9.
Except for Ken Jeong, who believed it was “record-breaker” the Weeknd, the judges seemed persuaded that the Gargoyle was an L.A. player like Antonio Gates or Odell Beckham Jr. (Yes, the Gargoyle’s high-pitched vocal reminded me of Abel Tesfaye, who has broken numerous Spotify and chart marks, and yes, there was a reference of “blinding lights”… but I believe Abel is far too busy travelling the world and attempting to quell negative press for The Idol to do The Masked Singer.) I, too, am perplexed by the Gargoyle. But, in terms of the Squirrel, to paraphrase Ken, I know precisely who this is, and I mean it: it’s actor and self-described “girl-next-door who’s also hilarious” and “bombshell,” Malin Akerman.
All of the Squirrel hints aligned after a few fast Google and Wikipedia inquiries. The musician rat claimed to have been a kid figure skater, so here’s a #TBT from 1987 of a Lycra-leotarded, rinkside mini-Malin. Malin, like the Squirrel, aspired to be a child psychotherapist. The Raccoon also referenced “modelling for a big agency” and appearing in a “teen acne advertisement,” and Malin was found by Ford Models at the age of 16, leading to a deal with Noxzema.
A yellow happy-face icon, a palace, and a chimpanzee all referred to Malin’s efforts in Happythankyoumoreplease, Harold & Kumar. Go to White Castle and Love Monkey, while another hint, “hero time,” alluded to her part in the fantasy film The Watchmen. Malin’s hometown, Stockholm, was honoured with a platter of Swedish meatballs. Finally, the Squirrel admitted to having “made out with Tom Cruise,” which Malin’s geeky journo character Constance Sack had in Rock of Ages with Cruise’s hair-metal hero Stacee Jaxx.
And if that isn’t enough to persuade you, Malin can actually sing — she used to front alt-rock band the Petalstones — and her Pink performance had a rocker-chick feel to it.
So, will the Squirrel be able to blast her way through the next two weeks and make it to the quarterfinals against Group A’s current quintet winner, the California Roll (which is almost certainly Pentatonix)? We’ll find out shortly… But all I know is that Sesame Street Night is next Wednesday, so the Squirrel or one of next week’s two new Group B celebs had best perform Oscar the Grouch’s “I Adore Garbage” or Cookie Monster’s “Cookie Dance.” See you later.