Football season may be over, but a new round of The Masked Singer has just begun. The Fox competition returned after the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers during Super Bowl LIV on Sunday night, with six of the 18 new singers taking the stage in costume for the first time.
Panelists Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke returned to guess which stars might be under the intricate disguises, and singer-actor Jamie Foxx joined them as a guest judge for the season 3 premiere.
Host Nick Cannon revealed that Sunday night’s six performers — Kangaroo, White Tiger, Llama, Miss Monster, Robot and Turtle — boast a total of nine Super Bowl appearances between them. The entire pool of 18 competitors played in 11 Super Bowls. They also possess a total of 69 Grammy Award nominations, 88 gold records, three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, more than 160 tattoos and one title in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Sunday night’s six singers make up Group A, as this season the 18 masked celebrity singers will be divided into three groups of six. Group A kicked off the premiere and will continue through the next two episodes as the audience whittles the batch down to three performers who will be unmasked along the way. Group B will then perform in the same format, followed by Group C.
The remaining nine masked contestants from all three groups will then come together to compete for the Golden Mask Trophy.
White Tiger opened the show with a fun version of “Ice Ice Baby,” Llama debuted the show’s first-ever strap-on booty, Miss Monster reunited on stage with season 1’s Monster, and Kangaroo ended the night with an emotional performance that nearly brought Foxx to tears. After each singer made their debut, Cannon asked costumed stars how they felt in their disguises and the panelists tossed out their best guesses for who might be under each ensemble.
Jeong already guessed that the rock n’ roll Turtle would be a “frontrunner for this show,” and Scherzinger hypothesized Robot is a “massive star.”
It wouldn’t be long until everyone found out who was under the mechanical getup, because the audience voted Robot as their least favorite performance of the night. Then it came time for the first unmasking of the season, which proved Scherzinger’s theory right when Lil Wayne was revealed under the Robot mask. The studio audience and panelists alike were in shock.
“He just made this show so much cooler, right?” Cannon said following the reveal.
Jeong bowed down to the rapper, 37, and then Wayne got a chance to explain why he picked the robot costume.
“My kids, man, my kids,” the father of four — who released his 13th album, Funeral, on Friday — said of his choice. “My kids watch the show with me and [I] know they’re going to like the robot costume.”
Scroll down for your introduction to the first batch of singers and start making your initial guesses.
Clues: a school hallway with lockers; a library; a trophy for Ultimate Champion for Clam Shucking; taking a selfie; a Four Score and Seven Years Ago… poster; the date 5/3; “a giant career”; “Ready to meet your next champion?”; “My entire life I’ve sought out perfection.”; “It’s been a while since I did something that scared me.”; “I’m ready to get in that ring and smash the competition.”; “Let’s party!”
Song: “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice
Panelists’ guesses: John Cena, Rob Gronkowski, Jason Momoa, Tyler Perry, Michael Strahan
How they feel under the mask: “It’s the most powerful I’ve ever felt. Like I could conquer anything. I never want to take it off.”
Clues: running a race on a track; grilling hamburgers; a gold medal; a surfboard; “At the starting line of my career, I was surrounded by other hungry newcomers.”; “It felt like everyone around me was fighting to the nail for the dream.”; “I’m the turtle because I’ve always taken it step by step.”; “Now I feel like I’m ready to break out of my shell.”; “After years of preparation, I would love to make a big splash.”
Song: “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal
Panelists’ guesses: Zac Efron, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg
How they feel under the mask: “It’s hot. It’s really hot and it’s heavy.”
Clues: radio station 23.3 The Wool; a Buddha statue; ace and jack of spades cards; Sounds of Seattle record; doing poetry with a romantic partner; “I’m here for one reason only: to have a laugh.”
Song: “She Bangs” by Ricky Martin
Panelists’ guesses: Joel McHale, David Spade, Howard Stern
How they feel under the mask: “This whole costume just spoke to me, the whole vibe. I wear digs like this in real life.”
Clues: lockers with numbers 10 and 11; a connection to season 1’s monster, T-Pain; hairspray; “When you become famous, people want you to look or act a certain way.”; “started off as just as shy little monster”; “It didn’t take long for me to be misunderstood.”; “Will you still love me without knowing my name?”
Song: “Something to Talk About” by Bonnie Raitt
Panelists’ guesses: Mary J. Blige, Dolly Parton, Dionne Warwick
Clues: the Periodic Table of Elements, pointing to Pt, a toy skateboard crashing into a toy firetruck; a science lab; “I’ve always felt the need to put on a tough outer shell. I think that makes me come across as inhuman and it stunted my potential.”; “I’ve had my fair share of fame in certain circles but I’m here to tip the scales and show that I’m relatable to everyone.”
Song: “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz
Panelists’ guesses: Johnny Knoxville, Floyd Mayweather, Steve-O
How they feel under the mask: “I’ve never done anything like this before so I’m having the most fun I’ve ever had in my career.”
Clues: the outback; a punching bag; a gramophone; a jumprope made of flowers; paparazzi; “I recently lost a person who held my family’s heart together. Then by my own admission, I found myself in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.”; “I have to fight for my family and show them that bullies never win.”; “I’ve never done anything like this before.”; “a dream I’ve always had”; “I’m a survivor.”
Song: “Dancing on My Own” by Robyn
Panelists’ guesses: Iggy Azalea, Kelly Rowland, Jordin Sparks
How they feel under the mask: “One of my greatest fears is being vulnerable and this year I’ve had no other option than to be vulnerable. But with this kangaroo costume, I feel like I can get my superhero powers back.”
The Masked Singer will return to its regular time slot on Wednesday, airing at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.
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