And the winner of 'The Masked Singer' Season 6 is…

It was A Very Special Episode on The Masked Singer Wednesday, when Season 6 wrapped with the most emotional finale in the series’ history. 

Sure, there were plenty of the wacky moments we’ve come to expect from this magical mystery celebrity show: Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg on disco rollerskates, various masquerade-ballin' backup dancers looking like extras from Eyes Wide Shut, and a silver-mylar-caped Ken Jeong looking like a bipedal baked potato, for instance. And of course, there was a bipedal Bull in a toreador uniform and a two-legged, one-eyed Queen of Hearts singing Hunter Hayes and Katy Perry songs.

But when the Bull and Queen of Hearts were respectively revealed at the night’s end to be YouTube sensation/“Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels” pop singer/LGBTQ+ icon Todrick Hall and multiplatinum, multiple-Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Jewel, tears mixed with the show’s usual laughter.

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In perhaps the closest Masked Singer race ever, and the only finale to feature just two finalists facing off, the Bull and Queen of Hearts each performed twice — one stripped-down acoustic tune, and one over-the-top showstopper. And both contestants chose personally meaningful, inspirational songs that touched the judges’ and viewers’ hearts. 

The Bull’s passionate covers of Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be” and former Masked Singer contestant Hunter “The Astronaut” Hayes’s “Invisible” left Robin Thicke and his fellow panelists “completely shocked and awed.” And the latter number had judge Nicole Scherzinger all choked up, as she weepily told Todrick, “Ooh, that song struck a couple chords. We've all felt maybe invisible sometimes, but what's so beautiful is when you have a gift like that, you make people feel seen. And because of that, we truly see you.”

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“When I was younger, I always felt like I was playing a character. Boys are supposed to play sports, and I tried. Boys aren't supposed to let their emotions show, so I tried that too. But secretly I always knew I was someone else, and when there's no role models like you, it can make you feel a little invisible. It took me a long time to find the people who saw me for who I truly am, and that changed everything. Now my focus is to help others who are looking for their place,” Todrick said of his decision to get into character as the Bull this season. “I would just say that we grow up and we believe in ourselves so much as little kids, and then somewhere along the line, the world starts to pick apart at you, and they start to make you realize the things about you that are different. So, I think that being inside this costume gave me courage.”

However, it was Queen of Hearts who reigned this season and ultimately won the Golden Mask trophy, after her stupendous renditions of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On” and Katy Perry’s outsider anthem “Firework” wowed the panel on finale night. “All season long you’ve made every song your own. Your humanity just really connects to us all, and you’re a legend in all of our hearts,” Ken gushed, while Jenny told Jewel, “You have the voice of an angel, the voice of a healer… and the voice of a Masked Singer winner!”

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“I just have to say, this show has been kind of magical,” Jewel, who has been open about her mental health struggles, said sweetly after her final performance. “I've found that it touched things in my own life from my history and bringing it in to today that's been real special. I just hope that I've been able to be a spark of inspiration for anybody right now that might be struggling in the darkness.”

After winning the Golden Mask, Jewel declared, “It really is an honor to be in the hall of costumes and with the other amazing winners. And everybody was so talented on this show. And it's just the privilege of a lifetime to get to be yourself. This show oddly really gets at your essence, and I find that really special about this show. It really reminded me of before I was famous, singing in a coffee shop, and to be able to just have people react to your voice not knowing anything else was really touching. I'm not a cool person, I never have been, but I have a lot of heart, and that's why I wanted to be the Heart.”

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As for which judge won the Golden Ear trophy for the most correct guesses this season, it wasn’t Jenny this time around. It was Nicole “Nic Tracy” Scherzinger, who surged to the top of the leaderboard after it was revealed by host Nick Cannon that she’d written down Todrick’s name as her Bull first-impression guess weeks ago. I’d always assumed that Nicole had been playing dumb regarding the Bull, because surely she recognized her longtime "bae, brother, and show-off partner-in-crime" Todrick’s vocals from when she co-starred in his musical film Straight Outta Oz

“As soon as I saw [the Bull] perform, I felt it in my nails, my hair, my hips, and my heels,” Nicole confessed Wednesday, explaining that she’d been strategically "keeping that guess under the pillow" all season, in order to throw off her rival judges. (Well played, Nic Tracy. Well played.)

And so, The Masked Singer Season 6 has come to an emotional end, but this show is still the holiday gift that keeps on giving. So, tune in next Wednesday, Dec. 22, for the holiday special Sing Along with The Masked Singer, which will feature festive, freaky performances from the show's contestants, as visions of Bulls, Queens, Ice Cream Splits, and other stirring creatures dance in our heads.

Think you know the Masked Singer? Test your at-home trivia chops in augmented reality with a round of 'Who's Behind the Mask?'


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