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The Masked Singer NZ episode 9: Pavlova cracks and ‘Queen Elizabeth’ cameos

Just don’t do it. Please don’t do it mate, I whisper to host Clinton Randell as we start the show with our classic judge’s banter.

Please make this the episode that you don’t introduce judge Sharon Casey as an “Instagram browser” a “celebrity stalker” or some other truly offensive version of what you imply every episode. Let’s instead stop and give this woman a round of applause. Not only is she a full-time mum, with a radio show and a host of other successful gigs, but she’s also managed to fit in this truly shambolic show.

Randell opens his mouth and I brace myself, like someone with aerophobia during takeoff. “Is our pop culture queen going to figure out, who is behind the mask tonight? It’s judge Sharon Casey!” Look, it’s not great, but I’ll take it.

We start our top 4 evening with Medusa, who belts out Queen’s “Don’t stop me now”, and of course she nails it because she is a professional singer and we want to scream it at the judges. Somehow we are most impressed with Darby’s guess of Queen Elizabeth because it seems about as likely as the other guesses.

Of course, Ladi6 does what she always does and guesses someone from L.A.B. This time it’s Lisa Tomlins. Yeah, it’s not her.

Next up is Tuatara, who echos my soul as he belts out the lyrics “wake me up when it’s all over” during a cover of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up”. If you don’t know who this Kiwi singer is by now then please hand in your passport and jandals immediately.

The judges of course refuse to submit a good guess, as we assume this contestant has a top 3 clause in his contract, and instead go for singer Mitch James, Goodshirt’s Rodney Fisher and Olympian Nick Willis.

Sheep is next to take the stage and I pour myself another glass of wine as he unleashes Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”. He’s wonderful, his rendition is equally so and this glass of red is as smooth as that mysterious voice.

Casey guesses Matiu Walters, Darby is over it but eventually goes for Dwayne Johnson then swaps to Jason Momoa, James Roque picks All Black, Richie Mo’unga.

No guess from Ladi you ask? No, she absolutely guessed Joel Shadbolt from, of course, L.A.B. But I am just done with the shameless promotion for what one can assume is an upcoming album she will be receiving royalties from.

How many people are in this band?!

Next up it’s our cheeky Pavlova, “And they could never tear us apart” she belts out, and I whisper to my Pinot Noir.

Casey guesses legendary chef Alison Holst (girl, pick up a paper), Darby goes for chef Sue Fleischl, Ladi6 goes for L.A.B’s stagehand Janice – while I joke, I honestly wouldn’t put it past her – and Roque picks Chris Warner’s longest-suffering wife, actress Angela Bloomfield.

But tonight it was a bittersweet ending as we said goodbye to our sweet Pavlova, and Medusa made it through to the finals.

Underneath that strawberry drizzle, was actress and singer, Stephanie Tauevihi. While Gen Z was crying who? Gen X was crying “OMG it’s Donna Heka!”

I adore her as she calls her costume a “gracious lady” and a “joy to wear”. And I will now only refer to my clothing in this manner.

And then the clue breakdown. “Just like Pavlova, she’s most popular at Christmas”.

Go on.

“Just like Shortland Street’s special Christmas cliffhanger.”

Nope.

“Why am I looking clueless. I was questioning myself, that’s weird, declares Tauevihi.”

If only you had seen what we have these last nine episodes.

• The Masked Singer NZ screens on Three on Sundays from 7pm and Mondays from 7.30pm

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