Social media was abuzz with the certainty that Poodle is Gary Barlow, after he sang the Clean Bandit hit Symphony and managed to keep his mask on, with the judges deciding that it was time for Bagpipes to “take it off!”
While Bagpipes turned out to be former Wimbledon tennis champion, Pat Cash, viewers on Twitter were certain that his rival was the former Take That star.
One wrote: “It’s 100% Gary Barlow. When he was singing whats new pussy cat he wa singing in his lower tone which you can hear more in the older tt albums.”
Another tweeted: “Screw it!! I’m jumping on the bandwagon…poodle is Gary Barlow!!”
Screw it!! I’m jumping on the bandwagon…poodle is Gary Barlow!! #maskedsinger #maskedsingeruk pic.twitter.com/wsfaLAimlIJanuary 15, 2022
But how can that be? Gary is a modest 1.75m tall (5ft 8in) and Poodle is clearly a tall man, standing head and shoulders above The Masked Singer host Joel Dommett, who is almost 6ft tall.
A fan joked: “We have just spent the past 2 minutes googling Gary Barlow’s legs to see how they compare to Poodle’s.”
Another summed up many people’s thoughts, writing: “I think poodle sounds like Gary Barlow, but the clues don't fit.”
Meanwhile, other personalities thrown into the hat include Paul O’Grady, Adam Lambert, John Barrowman and, a curveball concept, the Reverend Richard Coles, especially after a clue stated he “was no stranger to a dog collar”.
However, What to Watch tend to agree with Davina McCall about Poodle’s ID, that the canine celebrity is actually Rylan Clark, who is 1.93m (6ft 3in), who can hold a note and, coincidentally, was once in a Take That tribute band called 4Bidden.
Whoever it is, they sang a masterful version of the Tom Jones hit What’s New Pussycat?.
The idea has a lot of support from The Masked Singer fans: “Poodle is the amazing Rylan Clark-Neal I'm so sure of it. The notes are just there”
The judges on the other hand convinced themselves that Poodle is in fact pop singer Mika. The colour clue appeared to allude to Mika’s hit “Grace Kelly”.
Fans were quick to sign on to that theory: “I've changed my mind... Poodle is defo Mika.... I think”.
We may have some time to wait to find out – Poodle’s talent could see him going the distance in The Masked Singer, which continues next Saturday on ITV.
Poodle is the amazing Rylan Clark-Neal I'm so sure of it. The notes are just there #TheMaskedSingerJanuary 15, 2022
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.