Warning! The following contains spoilers for The Masked Singer episode that aired Wednesday, March 31. Read at your own risk!
The Masked Singer has introduced yet another wildcard competitor in Season 5, and much like The Orca as the previous entrant, The Crab left a great impression on the judges and audience in their debut. The new feature of the series is only a couple of weeks old, but the way it has improved the series was immediately clear after this latest episode.
The Crab slid into the Group B lineup in place of Grandpa Monster, who I got so close to guessing correctly but fell short of guessing YouTuber, fighter, and occasional troublemaker Logan Paul. The Crab was definitely a more talented singer than Paul, who couldn't wow the crowd with his rendition of Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation." He was clearly the weakest competitor in the mix, so his exit was justified, but it's hard to say who may go after that with Crab in the mix as a wildcard.
Which, I believe, has already changed The Masked Singer for the better. Outside of the occasional upset early on, it's been pretty easy to rank the competitors in The Masked Singer and figure out which one would be the next to go as the weeks pass. The wildcards don't only add new competitors to the mix, but they also shift the dynamic of who's the most talented competitor in respective groups week to week.
The other obvious benefit, which I'm guessing played a large factor in the wildcards being added to begin with, is a new competitor after the competition has begun. This means a fresh contestant for the internet to research on and may ultimately prevent The Masked Singer from running out of secrets come the mid-point of the season. Of course, it'll only stave off the inevitable, but definitely better to space out competitors than not.
One downside is that wildcards that will be added late will have an obvious advantage compared to others, having to sing less to potentially win The Masked Singer. With that said, I've talked a lot over the years about how The Masked Singer is a fairly low-stakes competition and that the Fox series has always been more about the mystery than a legitimate competition. I mean, Wayne Brady didn't even get his trophy for a good while after he won, so I can't really be mad about anyone having an unfair advantage unless it's related to singing ability.
Overall, I think wildcards are the greatest improvement to The Masked Singer in Season 5, and I'd love to see them stick around for future seasons. Now if the show would actually air live and audiences could vote off competitors from home in real-time, this show would really hit that next level of entertainment!