‘The Masked Singer’ Sends Home an Icon: And Miss Cleocatra Is…

No one was surprised, and Cleocatra knew that would be the case


“The Masked Singer” eliminated a true icon on Wednesday night, sending home Miss Cleocatra. But the truth is, she was ready to be eliminated sooner.

It was Girl Group night on the Fox competition, and Cleocatra went first, kicking off the individual performances with her rendition of En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind.” The performance led to guesses including Roberta Flack and Loretta Devine.

But, in the end, fans knew — and Ken knew — that the diva under Miss Cleocatra’s mask was… Jenifer Lewis (“Black-ish”). And for what it’s worth, Lewis knew her voice would get clocked immediately.

“Nobody on Earth didn’t know that was me, with this voice,” Lewis told TheWrap with a laugh. “My voice is more famous than me.”

That doesn’t bother the singer and actress one bit, though. In fact, she’s “honored” to be so recognizable — she’s also a prolific voice actress, including being heard in Disney films like “Cars” and “The Princess and the Frog.”

But, in the same vein, Lewis wasn’t upset she didn’t win it all. That’s mostly because she was fighting through some serious pain to perform.

Back in 2022, the actress and singer fell 10 feet off a balcony while on vacation in Africa and had to be evacuated by Doctors Without Borders. What followed was a nine-hour surgery and six days in the ICU. Today, Lewis notes she’s just shy of feeling back to 100%, but she was still in bed recovering when “The Masked Singer” called her.

The show promised to work with her and help her through, but it was her friends pushing her to do the show “to lift your spirit” that made her say yes. Still, it was hard work. So no, she was never focused on winning the whole competition.

A Black woman stands with her arms outstretched in front of a blue background. It is actress Jenifer Lewis.
File: Actress and author Jenifer Lewis attends the Multicultural Media Correspondents Dinner on Oct. 6, 2022 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images)

“I was in so much pain, I wish they had voted me off in the first place,” Lewis joked. “No — I didn’t care anything about that, honey. I’ll tell you one thing. I bet if I wasn’t in that mask, wouldn’t nobody have voted me off anything! And if Jenifer Lewis was in full form, girl, I would have won every season. They would have brought me back every season.”

The now former Cleocatra continued, more seriously, “But no, I’ve got to tell you — I was in too much pain to give you guys 100%. But I did the best I could, and I had a blast. The important thing is that I had fun, because that’s what my friends wanted. They wanted me to get out of bed and go have fun, and I did.”

“The Masked Singer” airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.


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