SPOILERS ALERT: Don’t read any further if you haven’t seen The Masked Singer Season 8 Part One premiere, which aired September 21 on Fox.
Two legends left The Masked Singer in week 1 of the show’s Season 8 — and both have a lot to say about it. Monty Python star Eric Idle, who was eliminated as a Hedgehog, shared that he recently survived pancreatic cancer and has teamed up with Stand Up to Cancer to spread the word about cancer research.
And then there’s 91-year-old William Shatner, who didn’t last long as a knight, but after a tough experience trying to sing in that costume, he’s more than happy to talk about the multitude of other projects he’s taking on instead running now.
“I worked really hard on the syncopation of the beautiful lyrics and everything,” said Shatner, who performed “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” “And then when I put this costume on, I couldn’t move my legs, they were leaden. I couldn’t see where the dancers were and I couldn’t hear the music. The moment I put on the wardrobe, everything went out the window.
“So all the work of learning that song … none of it mattered because everything in that damn wardrobe went to hell,” he added. “If I had to do it all over again, I would still choose this song. But I would choose a different wardrobe, a ballet costume. Just tights and ballet slippers are all I need.”
Shatner was still his cheeky self on the show — which even threw a hint at Nick Cannon’s baby-building skills into Shatner’s voiceover. “I can’t believe it took me eight seasons to be on The Masked Singer. I’ve been waiting for the hosting gig but Nick keeps having babies so I’m guessing he’s not going anywhere. Zing!
Shatner said he actually approved “Masked Singer” to promote new episodes of his History Channel show “The UnXplained,” which returns Oct. 7; his new book Boldly Go; his new autobiographical documentary with Legion M; the audio and video release of his April 2022 Kennedy Center performance with the National Symphony Orchestra and Ben Folds; his new space watch with Egard Watches; and the launch of William Shatner NFTs.
“I’m busy and I want you to know that,” Shatner said.
As for Idle, he decided to sing “Love Me Do” by The Beatles. And yes, he has ties to the songwriter.
“It’s beautiful and has a nice message,” Idle said. “So I asked a friend of mine at Apple because the Beatles are hard to get permission to do. And he said why don’t you ask Paul directly? Because it’s not a Beatles copyright. It’s his own copyright because he wrote it when he was 16. Which is pretty amazing.
“And I did. I wrote to [McCartney] and he was very, very sweet and wrote back straight away and said ‘yes you may do it.’ Of course, and he said, “But I just want one thing: I want you to tell me when it’s going to air so I’ll be sure to miss it!”
Idle said playing the hedgehog and being dressed up all week “was a very zen experience. It always made me giggle.”
But the real reason he did it was to see if he could still show up after recovering from pancreatic cancer. “This is a very good opportunity to see if you can still do it: sing and dance in front of an audience and be silly,” he said. “I recently survived pancreatic cancer which makes me one of the happiest people in life. I didn’t tell anyone, of course, but they were very helpful and helped me get through it. And it went well. I enjoyed it. And it was a wonderful experience.
“I thought this was a perfect opportunity to thank all the doctors who saved my life at Cedars,” he added. “I’ve partnered with Stand Up to Cancer, which is a big organization. And we started the Bright Side fund, “Always Look on the Bright Side” was my song. And to see if we can raise money and put it specifically into research and early testing for that. We have some good news on the cancer front. Well I’m the good news. That’s as good as it gets, isn’t it?”
Idle and Shatner were the first two celebrities to leave “The Masked Singer,” but a third – the “Hummingbird” – won’t be revealed until next week. Fox and “The Masked Singer” teased in the run-up to Season 8 that NFL superstar Tom Brady is on the show this time, and they’ll keep milking into next week that Brady could be unmasked next Wednesday.
The Knight was perhaps the most distinctive voice in The Masked Singer history, as Shatner is perhaps one of the most famous voices in the world. (He suggested the producers sing in a high falsetto to disguise his voice, but they scrapped that idea.) And yet for the Knight, only Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg got it right with Shatner. Nicole Scherzinger went with John Lithgow. Robin Thicke chose “Weird Al” Yankovic. Ken Jeong thought it was David Hasselhoff.
Hedgehog was Eric Idle, and Thicke got it right. McCarthy Wahlberg chose another member of Monty Python: John Cleese. Scherzinger thought it was Bill Nighy. Jeong named Elton John – seemingly for fun.
Multiple eliminations in a row? This will be the norm going forward as The Masked Singer adopts a new King or Queen of Masked Singer format. This season, there will be three or four costumed celebrities performing each week, but only one will win and compete against two or three others the following week.
In the coming weeks, a contestant will be revealed mid-episode, with the top two singers going head-to-head in a “battle royale.”
This will remain so throughout the season; For the first week, it was the harp – clearly the only one of the four with serious vocal chops – that moved forward. After each round, three finalists compete in the semi-finals.
The Masked Singer starts Season 8 with costumes like Bride, Avocado, Venus Flytrap, Sir Bugaboo, Scarecrow, Hedgehog, and Mummies. Themed episodes include Vegas Night, Comedy Roast, Hall Of Fame, Muppets Night, Andrew Lloyd Webber Night, TV Themes, 90s Night, Thanksgiving, and Fright Night . ” This season’s guests include Donny Osmond, Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Muppets, Will Arnett, Leslie Jordan, Joel McHale, Tori Spelling, Jon Lovitz, Jodie Sweetin, Carrot Top, Blue Man Group, Lance Bass, Danielle Fishel, Sheila E .and Drew Carey.
Season 8 contestants “have a total of 32 Grammy nominations, 16 Emmy wins, 8 gold albums, 4 Golden Globe nominations, 42 books, 10 Teen Choice Awards, and 5 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.”
Here were the participants and their performances on the first evening:
Harp (WEEK 1 WINNER)
song: “Perfect” by Pink
a notice: Fan of luxury cars
Note question: What achievement are you particularly proud of? “I think maybe the award I won for my acting. No, actually the one I won for my singing. No, it’s probably for my comedy because I have to share that with my best friends.”
Voiceover Pack: “I can’t believe I’m here on the premiere night. But I’m telling you, life has a weird way of getting you where you need to be. As a teenager, I auditioned for the greatest show on earth. it was my dream But I didn’t fit the picture and was turned away. I was devastated. But I knew I had to keep going. It was my uniqueness that later gave me the chance of a lifetime. And became an idol for everyone who felt like an outsider. The nos in my life have made me very strong. But I’m not taking no for an answer tonight.”
Panel advises: Queen Latifah, Jordin Sparks, Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson
Hedgehog (ERIC IDLE)
song: “Love Me Do” by The Beatles
Strength: To look good
a notice: Constant optimist
Note question: Which award means the most to you? “I won a Tony and a Grammy.”
Voiceover Pack: “It is very special to be here tonight, but this is not my first premiere. Some say the show is crazy. That’s probably one of the more normal things I’ve ever done. Let’s just say I was naked in Playboy. I’m part of one of the most famous bands of all time. We sold out the Hollywood Bowl, the Sydney Opera House and I was even a part of the Olympics. Not only do I have a cult following, I also have a celebrity following. Bradley Cooper, Jimmy Fallon, Kate Beckinsdale, Tina Fey, Elon Musk, they’re all fans. I’ll sing you a little song and make you laugh like I once did to the Queen. Cheers to Season 8.”
Panel advises: Ringo Starr, Eric Idle, Bill Nighy
song: “I Don’t Want to Be” by Gavin DeGraw
dislikes: Narrow corridors
a notice: Live in harmony
Note question: What do you value most in your gold trophy room? “My special awards that are out of this world. They’re not exactly gold, they’re silver. But that doesn’t mean second place.”
Voiceover Pack: “I’m excited for the start of Season 8 because I promise you this hummingbird knows a thing or two about competitions. It’s in my DNA. I started with Shaq’s help and formed a patriotic team that felt like family. Together we dominated the Super Bowl. My career has been a revelation. But I’m only human and I’m so nervous about stepping onto that stage tonight. But there you go, I think it’s all or nothing.”
Panel advises: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Deon Sanders, Rob Thomas, Chad Kroeger
Knight (WILLIAM SHATNER)
song: “Puttin’ on the Ritz” by Fred Astaire
a notice: Space Cadet
Note question: What do you value more, the big awards or the small ones? “I love all awards. the big ones The small. I have a tiny one from my homeland, I have it embedded in my chest.”
Voiceover Pack: “I can’t believe it took me eight seasons to be on The Masked Singer. I’ve been waiting for the hosting gig but Nick keeps having babies so I’m guessing he’s not going anywhere. Now I’m supposed to list why I’m so famous. Stuff like I’m Shakespearean trained, I’m on multiple paths to fame. That I’ve acted on stage, on TV, in films and worked with George Lucas. Even released albums. I’ve done a lot, but there are some things I’ve never done. Never have I ever knocked over a chair on national television. It was two chairs. What can I say, I’m a passionate man. Never have I ever sold a body part for a profit. It was a charitable donation. And I’ve never felt a golden goose while singing show tunes. But there is a first time for everything.”
Panel advises: David Hasselhoff, William Shatner, Jerry Springer, Weird Al Yankovic
https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/the-masked-singer-season-8-episode-1-recap-william-shatner-eric-idle-1235379989/ Season 8 of The Masked Singer reveals identity of two legends