Atlanta reality star and Xscape singer Kandi Burruss took home the third season crown Wednesday night on Fox’s “The Masked Singer” as the Night Angel.
The show, which originally featured 18 masked celebrities, was pre-taped before the pandemic began.
Burruss’ voice is distinctive and online sleuths quickly picked apart the clues and named her in March.
Her performances featured her ability to nimbly navigate a wide variety of genres. There was rock (Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name”), pop (Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons”) and Alannah Myles’ “Black Velvet”), classic R&B (the Isley Brothers’ “Shout!”), disco (Donna Summer’s “Last Dance”), hip hop (Lil Wayne’s “How to Love”), current soul (Andra Day’s “Rise Up”) and country (Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman.”)
On the finale show, Burruss said she came onto the show terrified of failure.
“I was convinced I wasn’t enough,” she narrated. “This experience allowed me to channel that fear into a confidence I never knew I had. When I didn’t find success as a solo artist, I developed other businesses behind the scenes. I did what I had to do because I am a mother... I’m here to win, not just for myself but for fellow women and for my little angels to show them it’s never too late to be the person you were meant to be.”
Her final performance of Tina and Ike Turner’s “River Deep Mountain High” sealed her victory deal. (The live audience voted.)
“Your voice has moved me week to week,” said judge Nicole Scherzinger.
“Your positive words make me feel so good,” said a tearful Burruss behind the mask.
Burruss is nothing if not busy. She appeared on “Celebrity Big Brother” last year. Over the past decade, she had not only been a star on Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” but several spin-off shows. She recently tackled acting, appearing on Showtime’s “The Chi.” She has an adult toy line, retail clothing shops and Old Lady Gang restaurants, among other endeavors.
Atlanta’s Bow Wow, another reality show veteran who stars in WE-TV’s “Growing up Hip Hop Atlanta,” came in third place. As the Frog, he brought hip-hop swagger and choreography to the mix.
Unlike Burruss, Bow Wow mostly stayed in his wheelhouse of rap with classics such as “Hip Hop Hooray,” “Bust a Move,” “In Da Club” and “Jump.” But he did tackle an Imagine Dragons song “Whatever It Takes” and the Gap Band’s “You Dropped a Bomb on Me.”
His final song was P. Diddy’s “Bad Boys For Life.”
The third finalist was pop singer Jesse McCartney, who portrayed the Turtle.
Judges Jenny McCarthy and Robin Thicke during the finale correctly picked Burruss. (Scherzinger incorrectly selected Taraji P. Henson while Ken Jeong thought the Night Angel was Tisha Campbell.) Thicke and Scherzinger both properly chose Bow Wow. McCarthy and Scherzinger were right with McCartney.
Other competitors this season include former Major League baseball player Barry Zito; former “America’s Got Talent” finalist and crossover classical artist Jackie Evancho; Poison lead singer Bret Michaels; politician Sarah Palin; skateboarder Tony Hawk; and country singer Hunter Hayes.
Rodney Ho writes about entertainment for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution including TV, radio, film, comedy and all things in between. A native New Yorker, he has covered education at The Virginian-Pilot, small business for The Wall Street Journal and a host of beats at the AJC over 20-plus years. He loves tennis, pop culture & seeing live events.