‘The Masked Singer’: The Russian Dolls Get Smashed in Season 5 Quarterfinals — See Who Was Under the Costumes

EW

The Russian Dolls on The Masked Singer

The Masked Singer returned for the season’s quarterfinals on Wednesday, and the so-called “feisty five” faced off. It was a musical battle for the ages, but fans still had to bid farewell to one of the remaining hopefuls.

During Wednesday’s show, fans got to see performances from all five of the costumed celebs still in the competition — The Piglet, The Black Swan, The Russian Dolls, The Chameleon and The Yeti.

Despite a fun, high-energy cover of Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” that kicked the show off on a high note, it was The Russian Dolls who ended up getting the boot.

Their performance saw them donning the music icon’s famous feather boas and giant glasses over their outfits, and flying the Union Jack flag all over the stage. It even got a round of praise from the panel. But someone had to go home, and when you get this far in the competition, the eliminations are always gonna hurt.

Bop till you drop: Eliminated ‘Masked Singer’ Russian Dolls are ’90s pop idols

Yahoo! 

The Russian Dolls made Masked Singer history this season as the first band to ever compete on the show. The judging panel played dumb and guessed that it might be Sugarland, Boyz II Men, Barenaked Ladies, Savage Garden, or even Devo inside those wide-eyed wooden vessels… but surely Golden Ear-winning judge Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg recognized those beautiful brotherly harmonies from when the doll-faced former teen idols played unplugged on her MTV variety show in 1997.

Those instantly identifiable voices hadn’t gone through any Peter Brady-style transformation in the years since, and the trio’s diehard fans — or “Fansons,” as they are fondly known — recognized them straight away, when producers made the massive mistake of leaking one of the Russian Dolls’ performances early March. And on Wednesday’s top five episode, after host Nick Cannon struggled to unscrew the domed head off probably the heaviest and most cumbersome costume in Masked Singer history, out hatched Isaac, Taylor, and Zac Hanson, looking as adorable as they did in their TRL heyday.

Hanson were never a matchy-matchy “boy band” per se — they wrote their own songs and played instruments — but youngest brother Zac joked, “You know, we have never taken to the stage wearing matching outfits before, but I think this might become a thing, you know?” Quipped middle brother Taylor, “You want more of us in spandex, is that what you’re trying to say?” (Well, I’m sure the Fansons wouldn’t mind.)

I really think the Dolls should have made it to the finale. They were arguably Season 5’s most eclectic contestants — one week getting funky-fresh on a Bruno Mars or Jason Derulo banger (the latter of which sounded uncannily like Hanson’s 2020 soul-pop single “Nothing But a Love Song”), the next week channeling Ally and Jackson Maine on “Shallow,” and this week bopping around with Beefeaters in Elton spectacles and feather boas to “I’m Still Standing,” a splashy number that wouldn’t have been out of place at this week’s Brit Awards.

I’m disappointed that the Russian Dolls are no longer standing and won’t be moving on to next week’s top four semifinals, but at least their Masked Singer run proved that there’s more to the Hanson (who’ve actually been in the business for an incredible 29 years!) than just “MMMBop.” Said Taylor, “You’re always seen as a certain thing. People think they know what you are. And [it’s nice] to be able to just start with music and focus on singing, and say, ‘Hey, you don’t know what’s behind this.’”

Perhaps not coincidentally, on the same day as their Masked Singer reveal, Hanson announced their forthcoming seventh studio album, Against the World, which will roll out as seven consecutive monthly singles throughout the year, starting with “Annalie.”

Did Hanson Just Spoil ‘The Masked Singer’ Elimination Ahead of Tonight’s Show?

Talent Recap

Hanson-Masked-Singer-Hanson-The-Masked-Singer-The-Russian-Dolls-who-are-the-russian-dolls

Fans of The Masked Singer are always one step ahead of the competition. After the group Hanson who *spoiler alert* are The Russian Dolls on the show posted about their new song, our wheels were turning. Will The Russian Dolls be unmasked during tonight’s episode?

Hanson Potentially Spoils Elimination From ‘The Masked Singer’

Just hours before The Russian Dolls are set to take the stage during tonight’s episode of The Masked Singer, Hanson premiered their new music video for the song “Annalie.” Isaac, Taylor, and Zac Hanson all posted behind-the-scenes photos ahead of the video’s release.

Typically when a contestant is eliminated from The Masked Singer, they release new music right away. This tactic has proven to be effective for many celebrities looking to re-launch their careers. Their names are still hot search topics and generating buzz weeks after the show airs.

Normally, the singers wait until right after their eliminations to put out music. After winning the first season of The Masked SingerT-Pain released 1UP the same day that the finale aired. He was able to turn his career around establishing himself as an incredible singer. Hanson could be getting ahead of the game.

Fans seem to think that because Hanson put out music immediately before the show airs tonight, it means they will be unmasked at the end of the episode. Nicole Scherzinger was the first judge to crack the code a few weeks ago. She guessed early on that Hanson is underneath the multiple Russian Dolls masks.

“I’m worried this was released today because they are voted off masked singer today!?” one fan wrote on Hanson’s Instagram announcement about their new song.

The Group Announced a Big Project is in the Works

Isaac also posted that the group will be coming out with new music each month for the rest of the year. All leading up to the release of their album Against the World. This would be the perfect time to start putting out music, just before viewers of the show begin Googling the group’s accolades and history once they are revealed.

The trailer for the Feisty Five episode mentions an “unexpected reveal.” The Russian Dolls are the frontrunners of the competition, so their elimination before the finale would come as a total shock. If Hanson is unmasked tonight, this would crack the door wide open for The Black Swan to bring home the win. We have a pretty good idea about who is under the mask.

 

The Masked Singer Episode 11

Song: I’m Still Standing

It’s insane to think we’ve fallen in love with a wooden, rosy cheeked, Russian babushka. It sort of feels like home.
Ok here we are inside… what do we call this thing?
Big Bertha is what I’m going with
Here’s what we actually see while we’re on stage
Yeah, nothing, it’s dark.
The advantage is that the panel has no idea how many of us are in here.
But the disadvantage is it’s like walking around with a sandbag and the sandbag is 4 feet around. Yet somehow, thanks to all our shakes, spins and wrist choreography, we’re still standing.
And it would mean so much more to us to go even further.
Hey, we didn’t come here not to win.
But first, the star who’s inspired us is our other friend Weird Al Yankovic. He’s literally given us great direction in our lives.

 

Masked Singer Shocker as Front-Runner And Fan-Favorite Somehow Gets Voted Out

TooFab

Hanson Brothers Reveal If They’ll Be Having More Children

Just Jared

The Hanson brothers are done having kids.

ZacIsaac and Taylor Hanson revealed that they’ve capped out at collectively welcoming 15 children with their wives.

“I might be all finished,” Zac, 35, shared in a press interview. “I have a 2-month-old, Taylor has a 5-month-old. Isaac, are you having any more?”

Isaac, 40, added, “I think that ship has sailed for me. I don’t think I’ll be having any more kids.”

While they’re done having kids, the three did praise their kids talents, but aren’t really encouraging them to start a band like they did when they were younger.

“We keep trying to discourage them against starting a band and warning them of all the possible pitfalls, but there’s a few guitar players and a couple keyboard players, so we’ll see!” Isaac shared. “More than that, I think you want to encourage your kids to be the best that they can be and chase their skill sets and do something they feel good about in their life. If that passion is music, then we want them to go for it. If it’s performing surgery, then that’s fine too!”

Isaac and wife Nicole have three kids: Clarke, 14, James, 12, and Nina, 7. Zac and wife Kathryn have five kids: John, 12, Junia, 10, George, 7, Mary, 4, and Quincy, 2 months.

Meanwhile, Taylor and wife Natalie have welcomed seven children together: Jordan, 18, Penelope, 16, River, 14, Viggo, 12, Wilhelmina, 8, Claude, 2, and Maybellene, 5 months.

If you missed it, Hanson just made an appearance on this reality show!

Russian Dolls Talk ‘Masked Singer’ Exit: ‘I’m Pretty Sure We’re Not Sugarland’

[Spoiler alert: This story contains the identity of the eliminated contestant on Wednesday night’s (May 12The Masked Singer.] 

Are three voices better than one? That was the quandary facing The Masked Singer trifecta of perfect pitch known as Russian Dolls on Wednesday night. The trio inside the gigantic wooden costumes had survived the quarterfinals round and made it into the top five, but after showing their final bit of flair with a cover of Elton John‘s “I’m Still Standing” in their last performance, it was time to set aside the bedazzled heads and boas.

The end came after the singers made it pop with Bruno Mars‘ “24K Magic,” crushed an emotional take on Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born hit “Shallow,” flexed their perfect falsettos on Jason DeRulo‘s “Want to Want Me” and blew the roof off with Michael Jackson‘s “Man in the Mirror” to start their deep run on the show.

After talking about being ridiculed for trying to do their thing earlier in their career and laughing their way through guesses that ranged from Menudo to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Boyz II Men and the Jonas Brothers, when push came to shove, it could only be one family band under those massive heads: Hanson. The trio of Taylor, Isaac and Zac had the panel stumped for most of this season, but if you’ve followed the Tulsa-bred band’s 25-plus-year career at all, those harmonies were unmistakable.

On Wednesday, the Grammy-winning “MmmBop” trio also announced their seventh studio album, Against the World, which will premiere in seven consecutive monthly singles throughout the rest of the year, beginning with lead single “Annalie,” out now. The brothers have also planned a concert series from July-October at the Cains Ballroom in their Oklahoma hometown, with each show spotlighting a different part of their career, followed by a world tour in 2022.

Billboard spoke to the Hansons before Wednesday night’s elimination to find out how they ended up on the show, why they picked the totally awkward Minion-like Dolls costumes, and what fans can expect from their new collection.

You’ve explored so many different musical avenues over your career that a reality singing show seems like the last stone unturned.

Taylor: The show was a really unique in that it gave us a different opportunity to highlight our strengths and the things we admire about different artists and songs with melody. It was a cool opportunity in that you’re presented with these Russian Dolls and you had to see if you could woo people as a singer [in the costumes]. That was fun and it was an interesting challenge to put to the test what it is that makes us unique. In this case, it was leaning into our harmonies and Zac doing his ridiculous Bee Gees falsetto and Isaac with his baritone and I’m doing that kind of MJ thing on “Man in the Mirror.”

Were you in agreement on the costumes? They seemed super cumbersome.

Zac: They were like giant avocados. [Laughs] The main driving force for our costume was accentuating the idea: How many people are onstage? When you look at a Russian doll you have no idea how many are in there, and we knew it wouldn’t last the whole show, but if we could go three to four episodes and make people wonder, “Is one more going to show up?” But yeah, it was very cumbersome and hard to see out of and difficult to walk in, but also it allowed you to become someone that wasn’t yourself. … It was like trying to be a cartoon instead of a drummer.

How did you decide who got to be in the biggest one? Was it by age? Height? Were there fights over them?

Isaac: We actually swapped it up a bunch. Whether it was the size of the dolls or being in the largest doll. When the large doll was onstage, there were two of us in there in order to move it and do the articulation of the mouth, which was impossible to do as one person. We are brothers, but I would prefer never to be that close to Taylor or Zac like that again. We tried to change up the sizes so people wouldn’t know what to expect. Sometimes I was in the middle doll.

You all have kids, so is it safe to assume you were already watching the show with your families?

Isaac: Our kids had actually never seen the show, so I don’t know what that says about me. But they know about the show and it was a fun experience for them to see it with fresh eyes.

Zac: I did not know how many of my friends watched this show! After a week or two, I started getting all these winky emojis from so many people! “I know what you did,” wink. “What did I do?!” It’s only becoming clear now how many of my friends and their wives and kids watch the show.

Did you tell your kids?

Isaac: I had to keep it secret from my daughter because she can’t keep a secret from anyone. But my older boys knew.

Zac: I told all my kids because it was very hard to explain why I was leaving their eight-months-pregnant mother to go to California. “Dad, why are you leaving now? You’re not on tour. What’s going on?!”

Taylor: We all balanced it differently, but I had my whole posse [Taylor has seven children with wife Natalie Bryant] with me the whole time and they were curious about it and into it. They would comment on the songs and costumes, and the main point from my crew was that it needs to be cute; scary costumes never win. The Dolls costume definitely had a comical flair to it, they were so round and jolly … “Here comes the Masked Singer Minions!”

A lot of your clue packages were about how people have underestimated you and even pushed you aside after your initial success. Did Masked Singer feel like a good way to show off your chops without having people judge you?

Isaac: Twenty-five years in, we’re at the point in our career where you don’t often get an opportunity to make a first impression, so that was the most exciting thing for us. We could lean into this and give people a unique, fresh look at who we are as singers.

Zac: There was something subconscious in us about telling our story and look at our music career and see the overriding themes… that idea of taking every opportunity be what you want to be and overcome what you’re going through.

The guesses were pretty spot-on but also bonkers, from the Jonas Brothers and Brady Bunch to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Boyz II Men. Were you surprised by any of the guesses?

Isaac: At some point, the judges were definitely fishing a little bit and maybe trying to throw each other off the scent. It was interesting and fun to see who guessed us first, but Jenny [McCarthy-Wahlberg] leaned into it pretty hard. That was nice because we have a longstanding relationship with her. … We did our first-ever television performance on her show in 1997, an acoustic performance of “MMMBop.”

Zac: There were some super cool ones — Boyz II Men, the Jacksons, these are people who are legends — but some you really couldn’t understand. “Do I really sound like a woman? They keep saying they’re hearing a woman’s voice!” I’m pretty sure we’re not Sugarland.

It sounds like you have a pretty ambitious 2021-22 planned with the new album, residency and next year’s tour. Have you been itching to get out of the house after lockdown?

Isaac: We’ve been itching to get on the road and that kept getting pushed back, so we’re just excited that we’ve got a bunch of stuff on the docket… For seven straight months there will be a single every month culminating with the Against the World album and an ambitious touring plan next year that we will announce [at a later date].

Taylor: One of the things about the show that we loved was that it was something you could do at a time when the things typically available to you weren’t. It arrived at a unique time and it was such a positive thing and a great escape for a lot of people that lifted them up. And now we’re going into this time when we’re going to get back together with fans all over the world and we’ll be everywhere next year.

The Masked Singer’s Russian Dolls reveal the secrets to their deceptive costumes

EW

Warning: This article contains spoilers about Wednesday’s episode of The Masked Singer.

The Russian Dolls have said Do svidaniya to The Masked Singer.

The harmonizing babushkas were unmasked to reveal three-time Grammy nominated pop-rock band Hanson, which consists of brothers IsaacZac, and Taylor Hanson.

Below, the trio answers EW’s burning questions about their stint on the show, and discussed the unique approach to their new album, Against the World, which is made up entirely of singles (the first, “Annalie,” is out today).

THE MASKED SINGER
CREDIT: MICHAEL BECKER/FOX

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off, how did the costume work? Were all of you technically on stage for all the performances? Was there ever another person on stage in addition to you three?

ISAAC HANSON: We were always on stage in some capacity, the three of us. When there were two dolls — one being the larger doll — there were two people in it. We were just doing our best to kind of make it interesting as often as we could, and try and throw people off the scent, as well, trying to kind of utilize our abilities as singers to keep people guessing. One song we’d lean more on Zac, or more on Taylor, or more on me, depending on what the arrangement called for, and we were just trying to have fun with it and be the Russian Doll.

Was it always the same two of you in the big doll or did it depend on what you were doing that day?

TAYLOR HANSON: Throughout the performance, we really worked with the team to make it interesting without abusing our power to pivot people and kind of misdirect. We were thinking about what would make this interesting, what would keep people guessing? And so almost every song, we had a different configuration. With the largest doll there were two of us in the largest doll, and then we were all performing onstage so there was never a time where one of us was not on stage. But we did have a couple where the choreography utilized a doll just as a prop. So when you watch that performance you’re like, “Oh there is a fourth doll, who is that one?” Mostly we just tried to use the sound of the song and the arrangements, and tried to not be too dishonest with the presentation because there is three of us, we need to all be out there performing. We needed to be involved —

ISAAC: — Much to my chagrin. I’m not very coordinated. [Laughs]

ZAC HANSON: I think it would have been really fun if they had some great dancers in the dolls and we just sang from offstage. People would be hearing our voices going, “Wow those guys can dance way too well to be Hanson!”

How did you guys feel about that costume overall?

ZAC: It is super impressive to see how quickly and how well they put together all the costumes. In our case, it was definitely a little bit of an unknown going in, because you see the sort of artistic renderings first, and then you see some in construction. And you’re headed there to the show, and you’re like, “All I’ve seen is under construction. What’s this gonna end up looking and feeling like?”

ISAAC: Shout out to Marina [Toybina], who’s the head of the costume team. Shout out to her and the whole crew of people that are building those costumes. That is an impressive operation.

ZAC: So when we were doing “24K Magic,” it was only maybe 24 hours, maybe 48 hours before the performance that we were like, “Hey, can we get chains and like a hat?” I wish somebody would get a close-up of the bling that’s on the big babushka dolls because it’s amazing. They really focus on the detail.

The excitement of doing the show for us was that we really get to feature something that is a strength. Because doing what we do, oftentimes people will reach out about reality TV show-related content, do this or do that. And most of the time you choose not to do things that don’t really reflect what you’re about, because it’s never been just about celebrity for us, it’s not to be famous for something, you want to be famous for something you do well, or hopefully. And so we love the idea that with this particular opportunity, you really do get to focus on something that is part of who you are, which is just being singers harmonizing together. But it helped us, I think, to feel good about the show, to see just how much respect every single person on the team is giving to their role, the costume design and music arrangement, even just kind of having fun with the clues, but not having it be disparaging of us or our history. The show really does put together a very comprehensive experience for the guests and for us that really made the difference in being able to successfully give it our own thing.

Since you have been performing together for so long now, was there any part of The Masked Singer that was really difficult for you?

TAYLOR: First of all, not falling off the stage. [Laughs] I came within inches of stepping off.

ZAC: I almost fell off — we were shooting a green screen scene and I almost fell off.

ISAAC: Your sightlines are really limited. And also because those dolls are as big as they are, I teased about not being coordinated, but no, no, seriously, I’m not very coordinated. There was probably an advantage on some level or other because it made it limiting as far as what we were really capable of doing on stage. It was mostly walk here or walk there. But the challenge with those dolls being the size that they are is you really do have to be very hyper aware of the possibility of tripping, falling off stage, or colliding with each other, which we did do a couple times in rehearsal.

ZAC: And then in most all these cases, we had never performed these songs ever. They weren’t songs we would sit around and sing on the tour bus or something. So you’re learning a song. Maybe it’s a song you think you know, then you’re like, “Wait, that’s the lyric?”

ISAAC: There’s a difference between thinking you know it, and actually performing it.

ZAC: And then also, remember, these aren’t the album arrangements of the songs, they’re all cut down for the show. So you might be used to singing it a certain way, and now it’s only half the verse or it goes straight into the chorus or goes straight into a modulation. So it was just probably the volume of choices, and things that you had to deal with at any given moment or any day to get through it all, and really keep the focus on your performance and doing your best when in that moment you had 90 seconds to play the song.

ISAAC: Let’s just put it this way — I’m glad we’ve been singing together as long as we have because if we hadn’t been having all these years of practice, it would have been especially hard because you’re turning all that around quick.

Tell me about your new album that was just announced today, Against the World.

TAYLOR: Today, the album began being released, but we’re doing it in a very different way, which is releasing the music in monthly installments. So essentially, every song is a single, every song has a video, and is being discovered kind of with its own window of time where people just get to take in that one song basically from now until the end of the year.

ISAAC: This is something we’ve been wanting to do for a really long time. And the way that social media and the way that digital platforms now work, really gives us an opportunity to do this in a way that we’ve kind of dreamed up for a lot of years. And for us too, it’s about focusing on the uniqueness of each song. You always have songs on records that a touring audience, for example, loved, that might as well have been a single based on their reaction to it. And it’s an opportunity for us to just lean into that reality of, hey, these are seven songs that we’re very, very proud of. And these seven songs all can be singles, so why not make them?

ZAC: One thing I would say about these songs that is interesting is they all have very interestingly different influences. It wasn’t intended that way. But it’s almost like as we created the album, and wrote the album, each song would push the next song to go further and become a more full version of that sound. So you have a song like “One” which almost sounds like it’s a Smashing Pumpkins song, and you have a song “Don’t Ever Change,” which is our second single, which sounds like a power pop-garage rock, Cheap Trick kind of song, and then you have the song like “Only Love,” which is very gospel influenced. And then you have a song like “Stronger,” which is very Queen-like and rock and huge vocals.

ISAAC: And the very groovy “Annalie.”

ZAC: Yes. It brings forward, for us, the fact that we have all these wide number of influences. We’ve been a band for almost 30 years, there’s so many different styles that we love to play, and this lets us really put the spotlight on each of those songs for longer than we ever have on an album.

What did you guys take away from The Masked Singer experience?

TAYLOR: I stole a headband.

ISAAC: He literally took that away.

ZAC: He didn’t mean that. [All laugh]

TAYLOR: First of all, it was great to be a part of something that was really quality from top to bottom. It was a great opportunity to really almost get a restart, where you’re only being judged by your music, and singing and, of course, yes, your costume. I think that was one of the big takeaways for me was what a refreshing experience it was to really be sort of almost a new artist. You get to go into this environment where people just hear you and they respond to what they hear regardless of, “Oh, I know Hanson! I know you from this or from that.” And so that was a great experience. And it was great to be part of something that was honestly just so positive. For the whole world it’s been an intense year and it’s been great to do something that’s just a great escape for everybody.

ISAAC: Yeah, the anonymity of being masked gives you an opportunity to in some sense be very creative about reinventing yourself almost. You’re playing a character. I think what’s cool about the show, and all these different styles of music that we were singing throughout the season, in some ways is not dissimilar to the kind of diversity and uniqueness of these singles on this latest record. So in a lot of ways the creativity of different sounds and different songs is very much our homecourt.

Sign up for Entertainment Weekly‘s free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.

Against The World – Sand Springs Power Plant

Hanson’s seventh studio release, Against the World, is the first that doesn’t feature a photo of the band on its cover.  While the band initially tried to have just headphones on the cover of their 2004 independent release “Underneath”, many retailers would not carry it in stores without the band’s photo, so a slip cover was added with a photo of the band.  Now that we are living in a more digital world, the band has chosen to showcase the Sand Springs Power Plant located just outside the band’s hometown of Tulsa, OK.  Each of the music videos that correspond with the 7 singles being released monthly from Against the World were also filmed inside this Historic location.

The original portion of the building was built in 1911 with additions in 1919, 1925 and 1935.  The town of Sand Springs land was purchased by industrialist and philanthropist Charles Page who bought the land to provide a home for the many widows and orphans in need. The power plant was the source of electricity for industrial facilities, residences, businesses and power for the electric railway in the town. The revenue sustained the Sand Springs Home and Widows Colony.  The building was placed on the National Register in 1998.

Cain’s Ballroom announces 2021 concert series featuring Hanson

2 News Oklahoma

items.[0].image.alt

Photo by: Courtesy of Big Hassle Media

TULSA, Okla. — Calling all Hanson fans! Cain’s Ballroom announced on Facebook this morning that fans have the opportunity to see the Tulsa-native band live later this year.

Brothers Isaac, Taylor, and Zac Hanson make up the popular pop-rock band. The brothers have been making music for nearly three decades together. They are best known for the 1997 hit song “MMMBop” from their debut album.

Last year the band played a concert series at Cain’s Ballroom in-person with options for people to watch the concerts online safely from their home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Facebook post says that Hanson will play the monthly concert series featuring brand new music and unique setlists each night filled with their favorite songs from their previous albums.

To order tickets, fans can go to the Cain’s Ballroom website for more information.