Raccoon Is Run Down on 'The Masked Singer'
A blast of Johnny Cash wasn't enough to stop Raccoon from being sent home, as the latest mystery celeb was revealed on Fox's The Masked Singer. There was a lot of fun and action during Wednesday night's third episode, as Russian Dolls (performing Shawn Mendes' 'Wonder'), Robopine (John Legend's 'All of Me'), Seashell (Demi Lovato's 'Confident'), and Raccoon ('Ring of Fire') did their best.
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Danny Trejo (‘The Masked Singer’) unmasked interview: ‘I was a cute Raccoon’
The panelists on “The Masked Singer” were stunned at the conclusion of Wednesday night’s episode when the Raccoon was unmasked and revealed to be movie star, activist and restaurateur Danny Trejo. None of them guessed the “Machete” star was the dumpster diving crooner belting out “Ring of Fire” off-key from the stage. But despite Danny’s lack of musical talents, he had a great time on the show.Read Full StoryRaccoonThe Masked SingerBoxingCelebritiesTrejo 's CoffeeGroup A Are RobopineSeashellGold DerbyCuteMovie StarRingMacheteRussian DollsPanelist Jenny McCarthyKermitDanny TrejoNiecy NashJenny MccarthyKen JeongNicole ScherzingerRobin ThickeGary BuseyDanny DevitoSylvester StalloneRobinTony DanzaCaitlyn Jenner
Ben Howard: ‘I played the sincere, miserable singer-songwriter’
A couple of summers ago, Ben Howard was in Portugal for a fasting retreat. The British singer-songwriter was struggling after “a few years of fatigue” and having problems with his stomach. “It was just a general malaise that I felt needed fixing,” he says. “So I went for this obscure thing of fasting.” Howard laughs. “It didn’t work.” But the trip to Portugal wasn’t a complete waste of time. It was there, driving across the River Tagus at sunset, with Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National on the stereo, that Howard decided to start thinking about making a fourth album. This was not, he stresses, some sort of “epiphany”. The 33-year-old, I quickly discover, is not fond of journalists reading too much into things. Still, epiphany or not, Howard did immediately message Aaron, who has produced records for Taylor Swift and Sharon Van Etten, to see if he would consider working together. “Maybe it was the trepidation of fasting,” says Howard. “Like, f***, I need to get out of here. I’ll text Aaron, maybe we can go to New York instead.” The result of this collaboration, Collections From the Whiteout , is a sprawling triumph. Building on Howard’s 2018 epic Noonday Dream , it completes his transformation from the earnest, shaggy-haired balladeer who was once lumped in alongside breathy songwriters like Damien Rice and Paolo Nutini, to a more forceful and unusual musician, prepared to take serious risks. Collections From the Whiteout is certainly a long way from Every Kingdom . Howard’s 2011 debut was a Made in Chelsea -friendly collection of folksy ballads, which reached number four in the charts, was nominated for the Mercury Prize, earned Howard two Brit Awards, and appeared to leave him frustrated and unhappy, drinking a lot to deal with the newfound attention and scrutiny. But his new music is eccentric and haunting, grounded in a similarly reverby introspection to his last album, but heavier on the blues, country and folk. It is customarily intense, as fans have come to expect of Howard’s work, but less so than his previous records, with prickly little vignettes, often very funny, puncturing the sober tone. Read more: First Aid Kit: ‘We’re not these innocent sisters holding hands – we’re angry feminist bitches’ Elvis Costello, The Anchoress and Frank Turner on the state of music in lockdown Tune-Yards interview: ‘I have to sing to survive. Even as a f***** up mess of a white American’ “There have definitely been times where I have found myself too serious,” says Howard. “Perhaps that’s the nagging thing in all my writing. You know, I play the sincere, miserable singer-songwriter, so almost all of my little in-jokes are generally missed because I haven’t presented them very well, and I always kick myself at those failings.” Howard describes the recording process as “cluttered”, a time when he was travelling between New York, Devon and Paris, gathering snippets of poems and news stories for inspiration. He also broke away from the small group of musicians with whom he has recorded his previous three albums. Instead, he “used Aaron’s phone book” to bring in new collaborators. You can really hear the different influences of the people who helped out, including jazz drummer Yussef Dayes, Kate Stables from folk act This Is The Kit, and James Krivchenia from Brooklyn’s indie group Big Thief. “As soon as you get into a record, you start trying to create some meaning or some sort of a cohesive force that exists within all of it,” says Howard. “With this record, it was kind of never there. There were a lot of different ideas boiling and bubbling away.” If there is a theme that unites Collections From the Whiteout , it is, oddly, darkness. “Crowhurst’s Meme” and “The Strange Last Flight of Richard Russell” tell the stories of doomed adventurers; “Finders Keepers” is about a man who discovers a body floating down the Thames in a suitcase; “Rookery” features the lines, “Birch tree lost its branch one day in violent winter/ I said it was grieving, you said it don’t feel nothing”. “We live in a macabre time,” says Howard. “There’s so much doom and gloom happening constantly. It’s more the way we engage with it that I’m interested in.” From reading or watching interviews with Howard, you might be forgiven for thinking that he is himself a bit “doom and gloom”. He is not always, shall we say, forthcoming, and his relationship with the media has occasionally been fractious. He walked out of an interview in 2015, told another journalist he “couldn’t give a f***” what people think about his music, and signed off one gig in 2014 by telling the audience: “We’re only playing one more song; you might think we’re a bunch of c*nts, but oh well.” There is some of this when he speaks to me via Zoom from Ibiza, where he has been living with his family during lockdown. “The thing that frustrates me most in interviews is the search for meaning,” he says, when I, um, search for meaning by asking why he feels Collections From the Whiteout has such morbid themes. “What does this mean? We haven’t really got the [answer] but I find that a difficult question because we’re always trying to get to reality and [then] trying to explain it and explain it.” The search for meaning called off, however, Howard is excellent company. He is obviously reserved and speaks cautiously – a question about Marilyn Manson and #MeToo is politely but firmly rebuffed – but you sense that he is, finally, comfortable in himself and with the music he is making. It wasn’t always like this. The quick rise to fame for the Devon boy after the success of Every Kingdom – and its followup, I Forget Where We Were , which went straight to number one – clearly made Howard uneasy. He never expected or wanted to be bunched together with twee folk acts, such as Mumford & Sons and Noah and the Whale. “The more attention I got, the less I wanted it and the more it would manifest in a physical way and I would be hunched over about it,” he explained in an interview in 2014. Despite his best efforts to move past that early sound, there is still a large section of Howard’s fanbase that wants to hear him play early songs, such as “Keep Your Head Up” and “Old Pine”, even as his style has deviated so sharply from them. It troubles him. “There was certainly a time when [my ambitions were] a little misunderstood and it was difficult and it felt like a battle,” says Howard of his career. “It felt like a struggle but I think now I’m more comfortable with it. I understand why I did it and, you know, I’m kind of more interested now in what the old music had to offer.” He says that he’s “well aware I always let people down” in not playing certain songs, “and I think you have to be comfortable with that. I’ve never wanted to be someone who plays the same thing over and over again, and destroy myself in the process. Some people can do it and some people like the entertainment aspect of it. That’s fair enough and that’s how they get their kicks. But I felt I was on a little quest for something else. Whether I’m right in that, I don’t know. It will always be a bone of contention.” So perhaps it’s no bad thing that Covid has scuppered the chance of Howard playing Collections From the Whiteout to a live audience any time soon. “Live music is brilliant but when it gets to a certain scale, there’s a lot of things to consider,” he says. “So the sort of peace and respite is alright, suits me well, I’m tinkering on a few other things.” And what about the after-parties and everything else that comes with touring? “I’ve just never really had the invite,” says Howard. You get the impression that’s exactly how he likes it. Collections From the Whiteout by Ben Howard is out on Friday (Island Records) Music GroupSinger-songwriterCelebritiesBlues MusicFolk MusicJazz MusicBritishThe NationalFirst Aid KitAnchoressAmericanBig ThiefMumford & SonsIsland RecordsJames KrivcheniaBen HowardAaronBryce DessnerTaylor SwiftSharon Van EttenDamien RicePaolo NutiniElvis CostelloFrank TurnerNoahMarilyn MansonLittle Richard
The Masked Singer Orca Is Definitely A ’90s Rocker
Spoilers are ahead. For the first time ever, The Masked Singer unveiled a wild card member who had to compete to earn a spot on the show. The Masked Singer's wild card Orca had some ground to make up, but his first performance instantly put him in dark horse territory. Robopine and Piglet should watch out because Orca could take the crown as the best male vocalist of season 5.Read Full StoryThe Masked SingerSugar RayRockerDad RockTwisted SisterLead VocalsGuest VocalsWild CardOrca ContestantsMcGrath 'sSmashing PumpkinsOrca OrcaWeekRaspy Rock VocalsSurfer Larry HamiltonMark McgrathBilly CorganKevin BaconGordon RamsayJoel MchaleIsaac Slade
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‘The Masked Singer': Raccoon Explains His Infatuation With Judge Jenny McCarthy
(Warning: This post contains spoilers for Wednesday’s episode of “The Masked Singer.”) “The Masked Singer” cut another contestant from its Season 5 lineup this week — and added a new one via the show’s new “Wildcard” round. Raccoon was the unlucky competitor who got ousted by the crashing singer, Orca, and was eliminated and unmasked to reveal actor Danny Trejo. But Trejo was lucky in that he at least got to perform twice in front of his idol Jenny McCarthy before he was booted. And he made sure to tell her — repeatedly — just how much he loved her while in character as the playful Raccoon.Read Full StoryRaccoonThe Masked SingerInfatuationCelebritiesTrue LoveFoxOrcaTheWrapRevealAnacondaSpoilers8/7cTonightJenny MccarthyDanny TrejoDonnie WahlbergGary BuseyDanny DevitoTony DanzaSylvester StalloneJon Voight
The Masked Singer
Ken Jeong wass convinced Raccoon was Danny DeVito. And while the Masked Singer judge had a moment of clarity earlier this season, it’s usually safe to bet against Ken Jeong. The fifth season’s third episode of the singing competition series (yes, somehow there have already been four complete seasons of this thing) included performances by Group A, the group of singers viewers first saw on the season five premiere: Seashell, Raccoon, Robopine, and the Russian Dolls. Though they outlasted Snail—who was really Kermit the Frog...we’re serious about that—Group A was no smaller this week, as they welcomed a Wild Card named Orca. The judges seemed to think Orca is some rock legend even though he sounded like anyone’s drunk uncle at a family birthday party, but that’s beside the point since he was not the raspy-voiced singer sent packing at the end of Wednesday’s episode.Read Full StoryThe Masked SingerCelebritiesSeries PremiereSeason PremiereGroup ASeashellSingingSingers ViewersMacheteRaccoonBirthday PartyKermit The FrogWild ThingRussianDanny DevitoKen JeongSylvester StalloneNiecy NashNick CannonJenny MccarthyNicole ScherzingerRobin ThickeDustin HoffmanTony DanzaMike TysonDanny TrejoGary Busey
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The Masked Singer: Why One Clue May Have Blown Seashell's Secret Identity
Warning! The following contains spoilers for The Masked Singer episode 'Group A Wildcard Round - Enter The Wildcards.' Read at your own risk!. When it comes to crafting clues for competitors, The Masked Singer has a lot going against it. While the judges aren't allowed their phones during the competition, viewers obviously are, and when a clue is a little too revealing, it can blow the identity of a contestant much sooner than the show probably would've liked. That certainly happened in Season 5, in which one key clue may have blown the lid off the mystery of The Seashell's identity.Read Full StorySecret IdentityThe Masked SingerSeashellJournalismCelebritiesOnline IdentityReality TelevisionMarvelHall Of FameMajor League BaseballFox WednesdaysCinemaBlendSpoilersTamera Mowry-HousleyPeopleDanny TrejoAdam Housley