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‘The Masked Singer’ Cuts 2 Contestants in Group A Semifinals: And Pepper and Jester Are…

Double elimination leaves just six competitors in the Season 6 game

(Warning: This post contains spoilers for Wednesday’s “The Masked Singer.”)

“The Masked Singer” Season 6 whittled Group A down to just two contestants with Wednesday’s semifinals episode, which ended in a double elimination. But before two competitors were cut from the Fox singing competition, the judges used the “Take It Off” buzzer for the first time. Unfortunately, the attempt was unsuccessful, but we’ll get to that.

The Group A semifinals episode of “The Masked Singer” included performances by returning contestants Skunk, Jester, Bull and Pepper. All four got the chance to sing once more for host Nick Cannon, “Masked Singer” judges Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger, Robin Thicke and Ken Jeong, and guest panelist will.i.am.

It was after Pepper’s performance that Jeong was so confident it was singer Sara Bareilles under that spicy mask that he decided to use the “Take If Off” buzzer, a newly added feature for Season 6, to guess right then and there. Unfortunately for Ken, he was wrong, and that means Pepper got to keep her head on and he gets the “significant punishment” of washing and detailing all of Cannon’s cars.

But Pepper’s win was short-lived. At the end of the episode, she and Jester were the two with the fewest number of votes, meaning both would be eliminated and Skunk and Bull would go on to duke it out for the Group A winner title.

Jester, who sang Soggy Bottom Boys’ “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow,” turned out to be legendary rocker Johnny Rotten (real name John Lydon), while Pepper was unmasked to reveal Natasha Bedingfield, who had earlier in the show performed Harry Styles’ “Sign of the Times.”

Bedingfield’s Pepper and Rotten’s Jester join this growing list of already unmasked “The Masked Singer” Season 6 contestants: Beach Ball (Honey Boo and Mama June), Hamster (Rob Schneider), Cupcake (Ruth Pointer), Octopus (Dwight Howard), Mother Nature (Vivica A. Fox), Pufferfish (Toni Braxton), Dalmatian (Tyga) and Baby (Larry the Cable Guy).

Still in the running for a “Masked Singer” win are Group A’s Skunk and Bull, along with Group B’s remaining lineup of Queen of Hearts, Banana Split, Mallard and Caterpillar.

Per Fox, “The Masked Singer” Season 6 contestants “boast a combined 85 Grammy Nominations and 27 wins, three Academy Award nominations, 12 Emmy Nominations, 12 Razzie Award Nominations, two Super Bowl appearances and two Lifetime Achievement Awards.”

“The Masked Singer” airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on Fox.