It's finally here: the much-awaited unmasking of not only the finalists but also the reveal of The Masked Singer season 8 winner, with the winning performance leaving some fans in tears.
The format of season 8 was different than its predecessors, in that there would be three rounds in the blind singing competition, with the winner of each moving on to the semifinal round. Harp was an early favorite from the get-go, proving victorious in the first round with her renditions of Pink's "Perfect," Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing," and the Golden Girls' theme song, "Thank You For Being a Friend."
Her fellow semi-finalists, The Lambs, also courted favor from the crowds in the live audience and at home, standing out in the second round with their three-part harmonies during songs like Katy Perry’s "Hot N Cold," Blondie's "Call Me" and "Ironic" by Alanis Morissette.
After Snowstorm was eliminated during the semifinal round and revealed to be comedian Nikki Glaser, that left Harp and The Lambs in one last Battle Royal for the crown. Our wooly performers beautifully turned out “I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan and “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner, but Harp's covers of “The Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga and particularly “Gravity” by John Mayer gave her an edge over the group.
"That is hands down one of the best things we've ever heard on this stage, ever, ever," panelist Robin Thicke told her after her final performance. "You just took that into the stratosphere, to the church, over the moon. That was pure."
"You are truly one of the best that has ever graced our stage," fellow judge Nicole Scherzinger exclaimed.
It was no surprise then when Harp was crowned The Masked Singer season 8 winner. It was also not a surprise when her golden helmet was removed to reveal Glee star Amber Riley, whose identity both viewers and Scherzinger had correctly guessed.
As for second-placers The Lambs, judges Ken Jeong and Jenny McCarthy were incorrect with their guesses (being The Chicks and the Kardashians, respectively) but Robin and Nicole's hunches were correct: they were, in fact, Carnie Wilson, Wendy Wilson and Chynna Phillips of Wilson Phillips.
"Do you know how great it is to have the mask off and talk right now," Carnie Wilson joked post-reveal. "This thing was a trip!"
As for this season's victor, Riley said: "I hope everybody felt my soul because I bared it right here on stage."
Fans react to The Masked Singer season 8 winner
Amber Riley being the first to win both Dancing With The Stars and The Masked Singer is so iconic and feels so right #TheMaskedSinger pic.twitter.com/8H1zFwsiflDecember 1, 2022
As a certified gleek the harp is amber Riley and she better win #TheMaskedSinger pic.twitter.com/raPfNRtNMiDecember 1, 2022
Amber Riley has been making me cry when she sings since Glee! Her voice is just…#TheMaskedSinger pic.twitter.com/IABkiwOjcPDecember 1, 2022
Amber Riley gone take this all the way home I swear. Yes harp yo go girl sing the song#TheMaskedSinger 😩🖤🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽 my girl is a force to be reckoned with don’t okay with her pic.twitter.com/lSCyS6QiV0December 1, 2022
Amber Riley is unreal and deserves ALL of the flowers #TheMaskedSinger pic.twitter.com/xxFOb2DGlNDecember 1, 2022
yeah okay i've never even watched a full episode of this show before but any former glee(k) would know that belt. okay go off Ms. Riley 👀 #TheMaskedSingerDecember 1, 2022
Before tonight i had never heard the song “gravity”. But after that performance it doesn’t need to be sung any other way😩😭#TheMaskedSinger pic.twitter.com/pfO3d2b2bqDecember 1, 2022
no offense to The Lambs but that #1 spot BELONGS to Amber Riley #TheMaskedSinger pic.twitter.com/szxTLvu2KWDecember 1, 2022
They really got celebs on #TheMaskedSinger that can't sing. And some that can sing. And Amber Riley is legit breezing thru all of them. Because,vocally no one has given her a real challenge. Amber deserves to win!December 1, 2022
After this, people have GOT to realize that Amber Riley has a voice on the level of Whitney, Celine, Mariah, and even Aretha. She always has, but I can't imagine anyone would not realize that now more than ever. DANG, and double DANG! #TheMaskedSingerDecember 1, 2022
gleeks across the country right now #TheMaskedSinger pic.twitter.com/Ksqk1Vpq9lDecember 1, 2022
Best performance ever on this show. Put some respect on Ms. Riley's name... PERIOD. I'm over in tears that sooo good. #TheMaskedSingerDecember 1, 2022
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Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life. More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York.
When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.
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