After a short hiatus in the form of an inexplicable sing along episode, The Masked Singer is back with brand new performances. This time, the second group of four — which includes Banana, Frog, Kitty, and Rhino — took the stage. The contestants continued to deliver suitcases full of clues to help the audience and the judges. After the sing off went down, it was Banana who ended up taking off his mask. It was (as I guessed, but I’m not bragging), Poison lead singer Bret Michaels which panelist Jenny McCarthy sniffed out a couple weeks ago.
Despite the set of new clues this week, the biggest clue came weeks ago in one of Banana’s earlier packages. After forgetting the lyrics to "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus in his second performance, the Banana spoke in the following package about how he had trouble remembering the lyrics due to an accident he suffered. The judges weren’t able to pick up on this, so it is possible it went right over the audience’s head too. But the accident actually occured on a very public setting: on television.
At the 2009 Tony Awards, Michaels performed with his band Poison and the cast of Rock of Ages to open the show. After singing “Nothing But a Good Time," a moving set piece collided with Michaels' face. The incident was pretty noticeable. Even host Neil Patrick Harris joked at the time, “Gives a whole new meaning to headbanging.” As Rolling Stone reported the following morning, Michaels' injuries included a fractured nose and busted lip which required three stitches.
But the moment definitely wasn’t something to be laughed at. Michaels ended up filing a lawsuit with the organizers of the Tony Awards. He claimed that the injury to an almost life-ending brain hemorrhage. According to the Associated Press, Michaels also made claims against CBS Broadcasting for airing the collison. The lawsuit also included the claim that when Michaels was hospitalized in April 2010, doctors discovered he had a brain hemorrhage and later suffered a warning stroke. The case was settled in 2012, but the details weren’t disclosed.
Michaels has had neck problems and other injuries over the years, but the Tonys injury is likely the one Banana referenced in his clue package. Compared to his other revelations during his time on The Masked Singer, this was definitely the most dark. It also makes it super impressive that the Banana was able to deliver entertaining performances each week.
Ultimately, the clues that did help the panel figure out who the Banana was were a backstage crew luggage tag, another tag with lips with a tongue hanging out (that was pretty obvious), a bug spray can (essentially a Poison), a Nashville sheriff star, and a cat being scanned (a reference to his cat scan after the Tonys). It was all like a flashing neon sign pointing to Michaels.
He did do a solid job throughout his time on the show trying to throw the panel off with an over-the-top Southern twang. It kept them guessing and almost made me doubt my own theory. So, while I am sad to see him go, I’m glad the panel finally pieced all the clues together.