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‘The Masked Singer’ Season 8 Finale Reveals Identities of the Harp and Lambs: Here’s Who The Winners Are

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SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead if you have not watched Season 8, episodes 11 and 12, of “The Masked Singer,” “Two-Hour Epic Finale,” which aired Nov. 30 on Fox.

“The Masked Singer” ended its eighth season on a “Glee”-ful note. Singer and actor Amber Riley, known for playing Mercedes Jones on Fox’s “Glee” and more recently for projects including “A Black Lady Sketch Show” and Lifetime’s “Single Black Female,” was revealed as this season’s winner on the Wednesday night finale.

Riley was unmasked as the Harp, beating out the Lambs — who were unmasked as 90s vocal group Wilson Phillips.

“It’s very validating as an artis,” Riley tells Variety about her win. “It can get very discouraging in this industry especially as a music artist. I’m pretty much a new artist, even though I’ve been in this industry a really long time… to hear all the amazing things that the judges had to say about me [has been validating]. Even seeing online the things that people had to say about me and how positive feedback has been. My voice has been my lifeline for my whole entire life. It’s saved me time and time again.

“This show is something that I didn’t know that I needed, to keep me growing,” she says. “It refueled me.”

For Harp, Nicole Scherzinger was correct with Amber Riley. Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg guessed Jordin Sparks. Robin Thicke thought it was Yvette Nicole Brown. Ken Jeong named Jennifer Hudson.

“I really did try to cover up my voice by singing heavier and lower, but I don’t know, they guessed me pretty early on,” Riley says. “Which was OK. It’s kind of flattering that your voice can be recognizable because it makes you feel like an original. And I knew that Nicole was going to guess me early on too. So, I wasn’t very surprised by that. But I was really flattered by the other guesses, like Jasmine Sullivan and Jennifer Hudson.”

For Lambs, Robin Thicke got it right with Wilson Phillips. Nicole Scherzinger agreed. Ken Jeong guessed the Kardashians, Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg thought it was The Chicks.

Amber Riley as the Harp and Wilson Phillips as Lambs join Nikki Glaser as Snowstorm, Ray Parker, Jr., as Sir Bugaboo, Linda Blair as Scarecrow, Chris Jericho as Bride, Adam Corolla as Avocado, George Foreman as Venus Flytrap, George Clinton as Gopher, Joey Lawrence as the Walrus, Le’Veon Bell as the Milkshake, Kat Graham as Robo Girl, Jerry Springer as Beetle, Gloria Gaynor as Mermaid, Mario Cantone as Maise, Daymond John as the Fortune Teller, Barry Williams/Christopher Knight/Mike Lookinland as the Mummies, Montell Jordan as Panther, Jeff Dunham as Pi-Rat, Chris Kirkpatrick as the Hummingbird, Eric Idle as the Hedgehog and William Shatner as the Knight as the celebrities revealed in “The Masked Singer” in Season 8.

This season, “The Masked Singer” adopted a new “King or Queen of Masked Singer” format. That meant three or four costumed celebrities performed each week, but only one moved on to compete against two or three more people the following week.

That led to the semi-finals, with the Harp surviving Round 1 and is the first to make it to the semi-finals, while Lambs won Round 2 and also joined the semis, with Snowstorm winning Round 3. Harp and Lambs moved on to tonight’s finale.

“The Masked Singer” Season 8 featured costumes including “Bride,” “Avocado,” “Venus Fly Trap,” “Sir Bugaboo,” “Scarecrow,” “Hedgehog,” “Mummies.” Themed episodes included “Vegas Night,” “Comedy Roast,” “Hall of Fame,” “Muppets Night,” “Andrew Lloyd Webber Night,” “TV Themes,” “’90s Night,” “Thanksgiving” and “Fright Night.” Guests this season included Donny Osmond, Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Muppets, Will Arnett, Leslie Jordan, Joel McHale, Tori Spelling, Jon Lovitz, Jodie Sweetin, Carrot Top, Blue Man Group, Lance Bass, Danielle Fishel, Sheila E. and Drew Carey.

The Season 8 contestants “boast a combined 32 Grammy nominations, 16 Emmy wins, 8 gold albums, 4 Golden Globe nominations, 42 books, 10 Teen Choice awards, and 5 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,” according to Fox.  

Here were the contestants and their performances on the finale:

Harp, “The Masked Singer” (Michael Becker / Fox)
Pete Dadds

Harp (Amber Riley)

Songs: “The Edge of Glory,” by Lady Gaga; “Gravity,” by John Mayer

Previous songs: “Perfect,” by Pink; “I Have Nothing,” by Whitney Houston; “Thank You for Being a Friend” (“The Golden Girls” theme song); “About Damn Time,” by Lizzo

Package voiceover: “Becoming the Harp has been unlike anything else I have experienced as an artist. When I step into this costume, I am transformed. I feel regal. Elegant. And totally weightless. Which is ironic because this thing is no joke to cart around. But really, it’s freeing. Being under the mask has allowed be to separate from former jobs, my name, what people expect from me, and prove myself with just my voice. I’ll always be the Harp.”

Journey voiceover: “When I started this journey, I had no idea just how much this competition would mean to me. I’ve spent years in an industry that doesn’t necessarily celebrate who I am all the time. In Hollywood, you can be overlooked based on a more shallow viewpoint. But being able to be the Harp and step out and show my talent alone has been absolutely amazing. This opportunity has allowed me to reintroduce myself to the world on my own terms. And hearing the panel’s words of encouragement week after week has reminded me that I am more than enough. I want to win it not just for myself, but for all the girls who have felt less than perfect. Do not underestimate us.”

Panel guesses: Jennifer Hudson, Yvette Nicole Brown, Fantasia, Amber Riley

Previous panel guesses: Amber Riley, Ashanti, Yvette Nicole Brown, Queen Latifah, Jordin Sparks, Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Fantasia, Ariana DeBose

Lambs, “The Masked Singer” (Michael Becker / Fox)
Pete Dadds

Lambs (Wilson Phillips)

Songs: “I’m Every Woman,” by Chaka Khan; “I Want to Know What Love Is,” by Foreigner

Previous songs: “Hot N Cold,” by Katy Perry; “Ironic,” by Alanis Morissette; “Need You Now,” by Lady A

Package voiceover: “Becoming the Lambs has been a transformative experience. And it’s kind of unbelievable how attached to them we’ve become. We fully embody these characters. We gave ourselves names. I am Rose, my sister is Lilac and my other sister is Blueberry. We’ve been on stages almost our entire lives. But this experience has pushed us as a group and as individuals. And I don’t think we would have made it this far without each other. It will be a part of our lives forever. It’s our rebranding. We’ll make an album with animals. Pet Sounds, Volume 2!”

Journey voiceover: “Coming into this competition, we didn’t know what to expect. But we invited this challenge, and we walked through fire. It’s reinvigorated a spark that we haven’t lit in a very long time. We spent 14 years apart and we went our own ways. We became mothers and carved out our own lives and careers. But there was always a missing piece. Our unique sound is something we discovered as little girls. And if those harmonies that have bonded us together and set us apart from the rest of the competition here. Music is in our blood, it’s the air we breathe, it’s our life force.”

Panel guesses:  Spice Girls, The Chicks, Wilson Phillips, The Corrs

Previous panel guesses: The Kardashians, Haim, The Chicks, The Corrs, Fifth Harmony, SWV, All Saints, Spice Girls, Wilson Phillips



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Jailed ‘Scrubs’ Writer Eric Weinberg Faces 12 More Sexual Assault Lawsuits

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Twelve more sexual assault lawsuits were filed Friday against jailed “Scrubs” writer and producer Eric Weinberg, who is accused of being a serial rapist.

Weinberg, 62, is also facing 18 criminal charges involving five women. Two women also filed lawsuits against him in November, alleging that he sexually assaulted them on separate occasions in 2019.

The new lawsuits accuse Weinberg of sexually assaulting 13 women from 1998 to 2017. The women ranged in age from 18 to 35 the the time of the assaults, and most of them allege a common pattern. According to the complaints, Weinberg would meet women in a public place, such as a cafe or a grocery store, tell them he was a photographer and invite them to participate in a photo shoot.

Weinberg would have them come to his home, where he would begin taking photos. He would then encourage them to undress, and would sexually assault them, according to the lawsuits. Several of the lawsuits state that the women were in fear of being killed or seriously injured if they refused Weinberg’s commands.

Some of the suits allege that he would take photos of the women during the assaults. Afterward, he would sometimes plead with them not to go to the police. One woman alleged that he threatened to harm her child.

The lawsuits identify the plaintiffs by pseudonymous initials. One of the complaints covers two accusers, who allege that they went together to Weinberg’s house in October 2013, and that he sexually assaulted both of them.

Some of the women allege that he would show them pictures of his kids to put them at ease.

One woman alleges that Weinberg sexually assaulted her when she was working as an actor on the MTV show “Death Valley,” where he was a writer and producer. The suit alleges that Weinberg called her repeatedly in the weeks leading up to the assault and would talk about his penis and sex acts while masturbating.

The suit also alleges that Weinberg cornered her in an isolated part of the set, pinned her against a wall and groped her breast, hip and thigh. She stopped working on the show after that, and refused his invitation to participate in a photo shoot, according to suit.

The woman alleges that Weinberg approached her on the street years later, apparently not recognizing her, and complimented her looks and asked if she was an actress. She told him to leave her alone, and he allegedly became angry and grabbed her wrist and tried to force her into her car. The suit alleges that Weinberg approached her two more times in public places in later years, and that she reported him to the police and had to have security cameras installed at her home.

Another woman alleged that Weinberg met her through OKCupid, and they agreed to get a drink at a bar. The woman alleges that Weinberg drugged her drink, took her to her home, and raped her.

Weinberg was arrested in July and released on $3.225 million bail. He was charged on Oct. 5 and his bail was increased to $5 million. He has pleaded not guilty.

A judge revoked his bail on Oct. 25, after finding that the allegations suggest that Weinberg “cannot stop and will not stop his sexual assaults on women, and therefore he poses a danger to the safety of women.”

At the time, prosecutors said that the LAPD had received more than 70 tips about Weinberg.

He is currently being held at the North County Correctional Facility in Castaic.

Weinberg was first arrested in 2014, but prosecutors declined to file charges.

The plaintiffs are all represented by attorneys Micha Star Liberty and Amy Zeman of Oakland. The suits name Weinberg and his company, Guitar and Pen Productions, as defendants.

Weinberg worked on “Scubs” from 2001 to 2006. He also worked on “Veronica’s Closet,” “Californication,” and “Anger Management.”



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Poker Face Art Teams Natasha Lyonne With Columbo

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Natasha Lyonne’s Charlie meets her TV inspiration, Peter Falk’s Columbo, in new fan art celebrating Rian Johnson’s hit show Poker Face.


Poker Face art teams Natasha Lyonne’s human lie detector Charlie with Peter Falk’s classic detective Columbo. Rian Johnson brought back the whodunit movie with his sly and comedic murder mystery films Knives Out and Glass Onion. Now the acclaimed writer-director is doing the same for the classic TV detective show, with his hit Peacock series Poker Face, starring Lyonne as a seemingly average person who possesses the superpower to always know when people are lying.

SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

In celebration of Johnson’s accomplishment with Poker Face, artist Readful Things has unleashed a new image that brings Lyonne’s Charlie together with her greatest TV inspiration, Lieutenant Columbo.

As can be seen above, Johnson himself took to Twitter to express his appreciation for the art, posting “Holy holy” in response to the image. Currently holding down a 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes while finally giving Peacock a buzzworthy original show, Poker Face is indeed well on its way to re-establishing the detective genre on the small screen as Johnson hoped. But back in the day, Columbo was the state-of-the-art when it came to TV detective stories, thanks in large part to its lead actor Falk.


How Columbo Inspired Poker Face

columbo peter falk poster

Poker Face creator Johnson has spoken extensively about his love of murder mystery writers like Agatha Christie, and how their works – and the films made from their works – inspired his own yarns like Knives Out and the recent sequel Glass Onion. While trying to bring back the classic TV detective story however, Johnson naturally turned to a small screen inspiration in Columbo. But it wasn’t so much the mystery side of Columbo that turned Johnson on. Rather, it was the idea of centering a mystery show on a charismatic lead performer whom the audience wants to root for. As Johnson told Screen Rant recently:

More than that though, the great characters like James Garner as Rockford or Tom Selleck as Magnum Pi or Falk as Columbo—those shows were more hangout shows than anything else. You didn’t really tune in for the mystery. You tuned in to hang out with Falk. And so when I became friends with Natasha and realized she could be that for a show, I got really, really excited. That’s where the whole thing started.

Shows like Columbo of course were mystery-of-the-week stories that did not concern themselves with ongoing arcs. Today however, the emphasis in prestige TV is on serialized stories. But Johnson chose to buck this big current-day trend by making each Poker Face episode self-contained, defying the binge model of TV releasing by encouraging viewers to not devour the entire season in one go. This approach received a lot of pushback from binge-model-fixated TV execs, but as Johnson explained to THR, he finally convinced Peacock to go with his old school storytelling style:

And I just kept coming back and hammering the notion that all the shows that I grew up watching were not about the cliffhanger at the end. They were about wanting to come back to hang out with this character that you love and see them win, and that’s equally addictive. And it’s also something I miss, and I bet a lot of people also miss.

Will Poker Face Get A Season 2

Natasha Lyonne as Charlie smiling in Poker Face Trailer

The widespread positive reception for Poker Face would seem to indicate that audiences and critics do indeed miss the old-fashioned episodic approach to TV as much as Johnson does. But will that translate into Poker Face receiving an order for season 2? Peacock has not yet asked for a second season, but it seems inevitable that the renewal will come. And if Poker Face season 2 does indeed happen, Johnson has already revealed his dream guest star, telling Screen Rant he’d love Jamie Lee Curtis to appear. Hopefully, Johnson will get a chance to unleash more Columbo-inspired mystery TV with Poker Face season 2.

Source: Readful Things/Twitter



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India’s Raveena Tandon to Headline Disney+ Hotstar Series (EXCLUSIVE)

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Indian actor Raveena Tandon will headline an upcoming series for streamer Disney+ Hotstar.

There are no further details at this stage from Disney+ Hotstar, which exclusively shared an image from the show with Variety.

Tandon said: “I’m extremely elated to be a part of the Disney+ Hotstar family. This show is going to be very special for me as I’ve always liked to challenge and reinvent myself with every character I’ve ever played and this show has given me just that, all I can say is, stay tuned for some fun.”

Gaurav Banerjee, head of content at Disney+ Hotstar, added: “It brings us immense happiness to announce our association with Raveena Tandon. She is and has been a superstar throughout her journey in the Indian Film Industry and together, Disney+ Hotstar and Raveena Tandon will soon bring some magic on the audience screens.”

Tandon, who was a top Bollywood star in the 1990s, is now known for her powerful performances. She headlined 2021 Netflix series “Aranyak” for which she won several awards in India. In 2022, she had a pivotal role in India’s biggest box office hit of the year, “K.G.F: Chapter 2.”

Disney+ Hotstar India has commissioned a slew of successful original series featuring A-list actors. Ajay Devgn starred in “Luther” Indian adaptation “Rudra: The Edge of Darkness,” Sushmita Sen starred in two seasons of “Aarya,” Abhay Deol headlined “1962: The War in the Hills,” R. Sarathkumar and Jagapathy Babu led “Parampara” and Tamannaah Bhatia starred in “November Story.”

“The Night Manager,” the Indian adaptation of the BBC series of the same name, is due in February. It stars Anil Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapur.



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