T-Pain Wins The Masked Singer, Drops Surprise Album

One of the big TV successes of 2019’s early days has been The Masked Singer, a truly bizarre cultural phenomenon that plays like a TV show that would be playing on screens in the background in a dystopian movie. So: Just right for 2019 America! The show, if you haven’t already experienced it, worked like this: Celebrities wore insane and elaborate costumes, and they sang pop songs. They were competing against each other, but they were also hiding their identities while dropping hints. And one by one, singers would be voted off and reveal their identities. The whole time, a strange array of guest judges would make truly inane guesses as to the singers’ identities. Last night, the Monster — the thing with the one eye — won the whole thing, and it turned out to be T-Pain.

Most of the quote-unquote celebrities on the show were not actual singers, and people like Terry Bradshaw and Tori Spelling were never really threats to win the competition. But the final three contestants, all of whom were revealed last night, all have #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 to their credit. The Peacock turned out to be Donny Osmond, and the Bee turned out to be Gladys Knight. But T-Pain, always a secretly great singer even without Auto-Tune, was the final victor. Here’s his final performance of Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” and his big unmasking moment.

Meanwhile, T-Pain was ready for this moment. Yesterday, before the big finale, T-Pain released a surprise album called 1UP, which isn’t a big departure. It’s all slick, effortless Auto-Tune R&B glide, with guest appearances from people like Lil Wayne, Boosie Badazz, O.T. Genasis, and Russ. Here’s the album stream:

Let the T-Painaissance begin?