Celebrity Entertaiment

The Flower is Patti LaBelle

Warning: Spoilers for Wednesday’s episode of “The Masked Singer” follow.

In its latest episode, “The Masked Singer” revealed one of its most high-profile — and apparently least surprising — competitors yet.

R&B legend Patti LaBelle, 75 — whose distinctive voice made her the judges’ hands-down favorite pick for the Flower — was unveiled as the blossoming purple-and-green performer on the series, which features stars hiding behind costumes and masks as they perform covers of famous songs. Her soaring vocals kept her in the game until the end of Season 2’s eighth episode.

Before her unveiling, judges Nicole Scherzinger, Robin Thicke and Jenny McCarthy all agreed the masked musician had to be LaBelle. And across the internet, consensus had pointed to the “New Attitude” songstress, too, with prior clue-drops being labeled “an exact match” and her voice rendered unmistakable.

Not everyone agreed, though. Loudmouth judge and comic Ken Jeong, 50, was strangely convinced she was Icelandic singer Björk, 53. And guest judge Joel McHale — who turned 48 Wednesday — settled on a more realistic, if erroneous, Dionne Warwick, 78.

“My mom played your music when I was just a little boy. I’ve been hearing your voice ever since I was a child,” Thicke, 42, told LaBelle after her reveal. “I’ve learned so much from you. It’s such an honor to have you on this show; I think we’re all very blessed.”

McCarthy, 47, wondered if LaBelle tried to alter her voice — just like last week’s castoff, Kelly Osbourne, who shocked the panel by hiding her accent — and “trick” them so they wouldn’t guess her right away.

“I didn’t change my voice. This is it. This is what God gave me,” LaBelle replied.

“No one will ever have another voice like you, ever, to come,” added ex-Pussycat Doll Scherzinger, 41. “And I continue to be inspired by you.”

In a clue-filled first round video before she performed a cover of Heart’s “Alone,” LaBelle shared that she is “always changing.” In voiceover she said, “Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and try something new” as a hunky guy was shown swimming to the bottom of a pool to retrieve a bottle of perfume — a nod to her self-titled eau de toilette. Two men were also depicted playing “patty cake” — a seeming reference to both her first name and her baking prowess, which is evident in her cookbooks and her line of pies, cakes and other food.

Another biggie: the poolside hunks also held up dominoes showing the numbers 1-9-4-4, which is LaBelle’s birth year.

Patti LaBelle
Patti LaBelleGetty Images

LaBelle went on to lose the first round to the Rottweiler’s rendition of Bruno Mars’ “Grenade.” Interestingly, another contestant — the Flamingo — performed a version of her 1974 hit “Lady Marmalade” in that round — beating out the Leopard’s husky version of Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September.” The feline wound up battling LaBelle in the episode’s “Do or Die Smackdown,” in which his cover of the Pussycat Dolls’ “Don’t Cha” brought ex-Doll Scherzinger to her feet and was favored over LaBelle’s take on Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.”

Recently, LaBelle publicly tried to quash the theory that she was the Flower. On Andy Cohen’s “Radio Andy” SiriusXM show, she said, “I ain’t got time for being under no mask and suffocating. No way — the way it looks? It’s spooky. It looks like it’s hard to breathe and stuff.”

“You heard it here first: Miss Patti says she’s not the Flower,” responded Cohen.

“I am not the Flower,” she said. (Cohen then added that even if she were, “she would not be able to tell us” because, of course, it would be a spoiler.)

After her loss Wednesday, LaBelle — who will co-star with Holly Robinson Peete and Dion Johnstone in the Hallmark holiday movie “A Family Christmas Gift” next month — was asked about her experience on the show by 39-year-old host Nick Cannon.

“It feels awesome. It feels like I did win,” she said. “I loved it. I loved it.”

LaBelle closed out the episode with a few more bars of “Alone” as Cannon bowed down to her.

The next episode of “The Masked Singer” airs at 8 p.m. on Dec. 4.

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