Miss Television is Crystal Kay on The Masked Singer, and she's giving what her cover album didn't

Miss Television is Crystal Kay on The Masked Singer, and she's giving what her cover album didn't | Random J Pop

The title of this post says it all.

Miss Television is Crystal Kay on The Masked Singer Japan.

This might be a spoiler for those of you who are watching the show, but it shouldn't be. If it is, then it goes to show how few know of Crystal Kay in Japan, but this should (hopefully) be about to change. Because every week Miss Television pulls up, she sings the competition under kōsoku buses.

Miss Television has such a reputation, that the judges perk up when she's announced to be hitting the stage and the crowd adjust their wigs, because they know they're going to get professional vocals, stage presence, some slow whines and a snatching.

And for those who weren't overly in love with Crystal's selection of covers on her cover album I Sing, rejoice. Because we get some good ones here.

Miss Television performs Ayumi Hamasaki's "Evolution" | Episode 1

Crystal rode that first verse like her career depended on it. Which it probabaly does. Even Miyavi had to turn to Kashiyuka like 'BIIIIIIIIIIITCH, CAN YOU BELIEVE!?'.

Ayumi Hamasaki isn't an artist I ever figured Crystal would cover, but here we are. She sounded great. But this cover revealed something to me. Ayu's uptempo songs are never arranged or produced to showcase Ayu's vocals in a flattering light, which is something I've always had taken issue with when it comes to her music. But this performance makes me realise that her songs aren't really arranged to showcase any type of vocal in its best light. The focus is just loudness and punching the chorus. So often the choruses on Ayu's songs go up a step, forcing Ayu to sing in a range which she isn't suited to, and then we end up with her screeching. Crystal sounded nowhere near as bad as Ayu sometimes sounds, but you could hear that she was comfy as fuck in that verse in a way she wasn't during the chorus, where the cool factor kinda waned. Regardless, I'mma need Crystal to release this. "Evolution" is still a good-ass song. And Crystal ain't ever had a stage production like this before; it even had a-chan gagged.

Miss Television performs Ryoko Shinohara's "Itoshisa to Setsunasa to Kokoro Zuyosa to" | Episode 4

This one was for the gays. Crystal and the stage team knew exactly what they were doing here.

I want to hear more of Crystal on these old school, Eurobeat-esque songs, because a voice like hers isn't common on songs like them, which is what adds a cool twist and makes it work. Crystal approaches Eurobeat differently to artists of the time. Where many artists tried to just go for volume, and disregard pitch or pretty much anything in order to just be heard over wall of sound that was the music, Crystal sits into her voice far more and commands the music. She understands her voice so well, and it's clear from this performance that the control and knowledge of her voice she possesses is something that would only come from a professional singer - something the judges noted very early on when Miss Television first hit the stage.

Miss Television performs Miyuki Nakajima's "Gin No Ryuu No Se Ni Notte" | Episode 6

This performance right here? The tone. The poise. The elegance.

Kiko was stanning. Miyavi was gagged. Kashiyuka could not believe. a-chan was ready to cry. Nocchi was wondering where she was.

"Gin No Ryuu No Se Ni Notte" is a popular song which has been covered numerous times over the years. Every cover I've heard of this song has been good and unique in its own way, because of how each singer emotes it and the moments of the song in which they choose to lean into. Japanese Rastafarian artist Misia had also covered the song on a singing talent show and did an stand-up job of it.

Miss Television performs Rebecca's "Friends" | Episode 7

Crystal hasn't given us much in the way of 80s pop rock since the likes of "Namida No Saki Ni" from 2008, which wasn't a bad song. But it was so derivative of songs like the Sugababes' "About You Now" (which I think spurred Sony's decision to have Crystal do a song like it, given how popular Dr. Puke had made that sound was at the time), and Janet Jackson's "Just a Little While", with no effort to tailor the sound to better suit Crystal. But now Crystal is in a place where she knows her voice better, and she can find pockets in songs to add vocal flourishes here and there, and almost bend the songs to fit her; which she does masterfully here. I really do not understand why there was a mandate on Crystal not doing songs like this for her cover album, when she sounds so good doing them and Japan loves them.

Miss Television performs Yumi Matsutoya's "Manatsu no Yo no Yume"  | Episode 8

These Latin-vibe type songs suit Crystal down to the ground, because they have her tap into her lower register and serve sensuality. It's why I fucks with "Dream World", "Girl Move On" and why her cover of Porno Grafitti's "Saudade" was my album highlight from I Sing. And you can see from her performance that it brings something out of her. Miss Television was feeling every corner of her cardboard box.

Miss Television is Crystal Kay on The Masked Singer, and she's giving what her cover album didn't | Random J Pop
The Masked Singer Japan (ザ・マスクド・シンガー) | 2021 Amazon Prime Video

When we all saw the tracklisting for I Sing, we knew it was some bullshit. And Crystal's decision to cover songs mostly by men because she felt it difficult to bring anything new to songs by women, was also some bullshit. I Sing absolutely shoulda had more songs by women, more songs from the 80s and 90s AND more uptempos'. Crystal sounds so good on these Ayu, Anego and Rebecca joints. CK's R&B fans woulda hated an album that leans so heavy into pop, but pop is Crystal's bag now and has been for a while.

The fact that Crystal Kay is on The Masked Singer as an actual masked singer is great. When I first heard Japan was getting this series, my initial thought was 'Crystal Kay deserves to be on this shit'. I always foresaw her as a judge, but never thought she'd be a contestant, which of course is even better.

As an artist who hasn't been able to do much performing over the past year and half, whose few performances never get much in the way of reach, being able to perform on the stage of The Masked Singer and what comes with that, must feel like a huge form of release for her.

If there's one thing Crystal deserves, it's affirmation that she's a great singer, and she seems to be getting it. Every week she impresses the judges, and they knew from the start that she was a different type of bitch.

Miss Television is Crystal Kay on The Masked Singer, and she's giving what her cover album didn't | Random J Pop
The Masked Singer Japan (ザ・マスクド・シンガー) | 2021 Amazon Prime Video

The Masked Singer is a huge platform for Crystal, of which there will be benefits to be reaped. However, my concern already is that her garbage team won't do enough to capitalise off of her run on the show. Had they either released I Sing WAY back when it was supposed to or had they held it back for longer, they could have rolled the album out once The Masked Singer finished airing, because Crystal Kay was always going to make it to the damn finale. But given that I Sing is already out, and with LDH being LDH, there probabaly won't be any single or anything to spring board off of Crystal Kay's amazing run on this show.

What I should be seeing heading into Christmas is news of a new single or EP, and news of a fax that went out announcing that Crystal Kay is going to be the face of a new range of Panasonic 4K TV's. Becuase how trash would you have to be to not hook up a TV product tie in for your client who was on a popular ass Amazon Prime show as Miss Television!?

We gon' see soon enough.

Also, fellow Masked Singer Bird is widely speculated to be Anna Tsuchiya, who is also a singer by profession, has also flown under many a radar as a pop star despite having a long-ass career and also featured on a song with the Queen of Okinawa that is Namie Amuro.

I'm not sure if Crystal Kay will win the whole thing, but it would be amazing if she did.

🎧 CK Playlists: This is Crystal Kay | Crystal Kay: Ballads
📀 CK Special Edition: Euphoria, a Crystal Kay dance album

💿 CK album reviews: C.L.L. ~Crystal Lover Light | 637 -Always & Forever- | Almost Seventeen | 4Real | Crystal Style | Call Me Miss... | All Yours | Color Change! | Spin the Music | Vivid | Shine | For You | I Sing