It’s hard to believe that just over a year ago Americans didn’t watch Ken Jeong on their television screens every Wednesday night as a panelist on The Masked Singer. What could we survive without hearing him throw out hilariously wrong guesses after watching Grammy award winning singers, superstar athletes, and adored comedians sing behind giant masks each week?
After just 13 months, The Masked Singer is already on its third season and has unmasked a whopping 32 contestants in total. That means there have been 32 intricately crafted costumes created to hide celebrities' identities on The Masked Singer. By the end of the current season, which started with 18 contestants competing (the most of any season so far), 46 people will have willingly signed up for this show. The amount of absurd theories panelists Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger, and Jeong have thrown out there, however, are countless. This show is truly a national treasure.
Since there have been so many reveals (and awful guesses) already, you probably forgot some of the bigger names, like La Toya Jackson and Joey Fatone, who have been on this show. To refresh your memory, here is a list of all the celebrities who have appeared on this wacky show so far.
Tommy Chong (The Pineapple)
This was the first time that a panelist figured out the clues and correctly guessed a contestant. Jenny McCarthy realized comedian and actor Tommy Chong was the chill Pineapple after his “I Will Survive” performance. Well, kind of. She also thought it could be fellow funnyman Cheech Marin.
Looking back, the clues — which referenced the Chong’s films with Marin — were much easier to decipher during the first season.
Terry Bradshaw (The Deer)
Most of the clue packages and random responses the contestants give before and after their performances aren’t very helpful. So, sometimes it is better just to observe the mannerisms of the celeb to crack the code.
This was how panelist Robin Thicke determined with the Deer was before he revealed himself as former NFL quarterback and sports analyst Terry Bradshaw. Thicke noticed that the Deer, and Bradshaw, raise their shoulders every time they chuckle. Florida Georgia Line’s “Get Your Shine On” was Bradshaw’s last performance before the Deer was voted off.
Margaret Cho (The Poodle)
The unmasking of the Poodle would usher in a running gag on the show of panelist Ken Jeong not being able to guess his own friends.
The panel had narrowed down Poodle’s identity to be a comedian who supported LGBTQ+ rights, but they were way off with their guesses. When comedian and actress Margaret Cho
took off her mask and confirmed the Poodle to be alter ego, Jeong was shocked, considering Cho played Jeong’s sister on his sitcom Dr. Ken
. Ever since, Jeong’s theories have rarely been rational.
Tori Spelling (The Unicorn)The Masked Singer
can be used as a platform to give a celebrity who has had to deal with quite a few unflattering headlines a chance to redefine their reputation. Former 90201 actress Tori Spelling
, aka the Unicorn, proved that reinvention is possible on this show.
The Unicorn’s backstory and clues focused on someone who was misunderstood and who doubted their talents. The panel struggled to guess Spelling, but the tough competition in her group caused her to be kicked off the show.
Ricki Lake (The Raven)
Who knew that a show where a bunch of celebrities perform while wearing giant masks could make people so emotional? Ricki Lake as the Raven proved that The Masked Singer can help contestants tap into a vulnerable side they have been hiding recently or throughout their careers.
Lake’s emotional ballads were dedicated to her late husband and the panel was sad to see her go. Some of the clues stumped a few of the panelists, but by week 6 it was obvious the packages were pointing to the Hairspray star.
La Toya Jackson (The Alien)
In the first season, the panel was getting used to explaining their theories and would accidentally insult some of the contestants with their commentary. They were total newbies. But the most awkward moments of season 1 were watching the panel claim that the Alien wasn’t known for singing only to find that professional singer La Toya Jackson was behind the mask.
Jackson did seem very nervous during her first few performances. But her voice is pretty distinguishable, so it is hard to believe it took Scherzinger multiple episodes to guess Jackson as the Alien. Hopefully Jackson doesn’t have any hard feelings.
Rumer Willis (The Lion)
The Masked Singer is the most fun when you're putting the clever clues together to guess each celeb's identity — correctly — while listening to the ridiculous guesses that the panel comes up with. But the show also delivers something else, on occasion: The realization that an unexpected celeb has some serious vocal talent, like actress Rumer Willis (daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore) who was the Lion.
From her first performance of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good" to her final song “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” by Stevie Wonder, Willis nailed all her notes and impressed the audience and the panel. Her elimination was also the first indication that the audience on this show sometimes values stage presence over vocal performance.
Joey Fatone (The Rabbit)
Another example of a panelist not being to recognize one of their close friends was McCarthy originally thinking there was no way Joey Fatone was inside the Rabbit costume. Eventually, she came around and all the panelists began to suggest the former 'NSYNC singer was showing off his vocals and dance moves on stage.
With his stellar performances, Fatone should’ve definitely been in the finale that season. But there will be many other stars on this list who also should’ve stayed on the show longer...
Gladys Knight (The Bee)
It’s hard to believe the amount of legendary musicians The Masked Singer has been able to land in only three seasons. Gladys Knight kicked off this trend with her run as the Bee.
Knight would undoubtedly win any singing competition, but on this wacky show she ended up getting third place. She did make it to the finale episode, though, so we can’t complain too much.
Donny Osmond (The Peacock)
With clues like a wig and performing with Michael Jackson, it was kind of surprising the panel took as long as they did to initially guess singer, actor, and dancer Donny Osmond was the Peacock. He was able to wow the panel and the audience long enough to land a spot as runner-up.
Osmond kicked off the trend of the masked celebrities pulling off elaborate dance routines to stay longer in the competition. He also attempted to disguise his voice early on, which is a strategy other contestants have used throughout the show's run.
T-Pain (The Monster)
The honor of being the first winner of the American version of The Masked Singer went to rapper, singer, and producer T-Pain as the Monster. Similar to Willis, T-Pain shocked viewers with him impressive vocals, especially with his rendition of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me.”
To be honest, T-Pain has such a distinct singing style and speaking pattern that even his auto-tuned voice in his clue package made it obvious he was in the monster costume. Still, the panel never suggested his name throughout the entire season which made his win even better.
Johnny Weir (The Egg)
Season 2 definitely had the most overt clues and obvious contestants. It’s likely the reason the hints have become much more cryptic in season 3.
I’m going to be honest. I have practically zero knowledge when it comes to Winter Olympics sports and even I could tell based on the clue package that Johnny Weir was the Egg. The panel was able to easily guess too which made this first episode reveal a little anticlimactic.
Ninja (The Ice Cream)
The second season premiere featured two unveilings, but they were the most lackluster reveals of the season. YouTube personality and professional gamer Ninja (real name Tyler Blevins) saw his chances of winning melt away when Ice Cream was voted off the show.
Unlike Egg’s unmasking, the panel was surprised because no one was close to guessing Ninja was behind the Ice Cream mask. It also seemed like it took the audience a minute to figure out who Ice Cream was... even without his mask.
Laila Ali (The Panda)
Laila Ali and her adorable Panda costume definitely should’ve lasted longer this season. Like Monster outfit, the Panda costume was large enough to disguise Ali’s physique, making it difficult for the panel to determine who she was.
Despite clues that clearly pointed to someone related to legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, the panel didn’t know Laila Ali was the Panda. Choosing a costume that hides your shape is definitely a worthy strategy.
Dr. Drew Pinksy (The Eagle)
Another great aspect of The Masked Singer is seeing the celebrities let loose and have fun under the blanket of anonymity. As the Eagle, celebrity doctor (yep, the former host of Loveline is a real internist) and media personality Dr. Drew Pinsky definitely took advantage of this opportunity which threw the panelists off.
Dr. Drew’s reveal was the first time the panel was truly amazed this season. The Eagle’s carefree attitude caused most of the panelists to think a comedian was sauntering around the stage.
Paul Shaffer (The Skeleton)
Paul Shaffer, composer and former band leader of the Late Night with David Letterman, was one of two contestants this season whose strategy was to mimic movements of another celebrity. The Skeleton’s body language convinced the panel that comedian Martin Short was in the bony costume almost until up until the moment he was kicked off.
Sometimes she falls for blatant misdirects, but this time panelist McCarthy could not be fooled. She picked up on the musical clues and Shaffer’s voice and correctly guessed him before he was sent home.
Sherri Shepherd (The Penguin)
There are a few celebrities that the panel tend to continually guess week in and week out (see: Jamie Foxx, for one
). Usually, they are wrong. But after thinking actress and comedian Sherri Shepherd was on season 1, the panels were finally right in season 2 when they figured out that she was the Penguin.
Sometimes Nick Cannon gets in on the guessing game and offers his feedback on the panel’s thinking. This was one of the rare cases in which Cannon agreed with the panelists and said he knew it was Shepherd standing next to him all along.
Raven-Symoné (The Black Widow)
Any person who has heard the theme song of That’s So Raven or watched The Cheetah Girls would be able to recognize Raven-Symone’s voice as the Black Widow. But, similar to Terry Bradshaw’s uncontrollably bouncy shoulders in the first season, the actress had a tell that gave away her identity.
Raven-Symoné’s funny dance moves during her performances were already a sign. She made her identity more apparent when she started doing drop squats during the panel’s feedback. Who else could effortlessly rock back and forth in drop squat other than Raven Baxter herself?
Kelly Osbourne (The Ladybug)
As the Ladybug, television personality Kelly Osbourne employed a clever strategy that no other contestant (so far) has successfully used. Osbourne faked a southern accent because she knew that her British accent would cause the panel to instantly recognize her.
The panel was convinced Osbourne was a southern belle like Jessica Simpson. Ladybug’s strategy worked so well that she made it halfway through the season and the panel never guessed who she was.
Patti LaBelle (The Flower)
Following the path Gladys Knight created on this show for female powerhouse vocalists, Godmother of Soul Patti LaBelle graced the stage as the Flower. She wowed the panel from the start and should’ve definitely lasted longer.
Let’s be honest, it was obvious from the beginning that Labelle was the Flower. Even LaBelle admitted when she was unmasked that she didn’t try to disguise her voice at all. That should have made the panelists who didn’t correctly guess her identity (ahem, Ken Jeong) feel a little awkward.
Michelle Williams (The Butterfly)Destiny’s Child star Michelle Williams
has a very recognizable, soulful voice. But, she didn’t show off her full range during her first performance of “Bang Bang” which made the panel and audience question who she was. However, as the season wore on, it was undeniable that she was the Butterfly.
This show is taped, rather than airing live, so the panel doesn’t have the help of social media sleuths. The panelists (specifically Thicke) were so confused by the British references in the Butterfly's clue package that they threw out incorrect guesses like Leona Lewis and for some reason Fantasia Barrino. Finally, they realized the Butterfly’s identity before she was sent home.
Ana Gasteyer (The Tree)
Actress, singer, and comedian Ana Gasteyer’s run on the show as the Tree
was surprising. For starters, it was hard to guess her identity because the Saturday Night Live
alum isn’t widely known as a singer (though she does have two jazz albums
). Plus, her clue packages heavily focused on cooking clues, which confused the panel.
The best part about Gasteyer’s stint on the show was that it was another example of Jeong failing to correctly recognize someone he had recently worked with. Jeong and Gasteyer both starred in A Christmas Story Live!
on Fox and Gasteyer sang
in the production. There’s no excuse for this one, Ken!
Victor Oladipo (The Thingamajig)
Thingamajig captured America’s and Scherzinger’s heart as he crooned ballads like John Legend’s “Ordinary People.” Sadly, Thingamajig was robbed of making it to the finale and was revealed to be Indiana Pacers star player Victor Oladipo.
Compared to everyone else on the show this season, Oladipo was the hardest person to guess because he isn’t widely known to have an amazing singing voice. Plus, anyone who isn’t an NBA basketball fan wouldn’t be very familiar with him. That’s why it was absolutely shocking that Jeong was the only panelist to correctly guess Oladipo was behind the giant Thingamajig mask.
Seal (The Leopard)
Slightly similar to Osbourne, British musician and songwriter Seal tried to trick the panel by talking in a vocal pattern different from his usual speaking voice. As the Leopard, Seal was also very animated and grand, which made the panel think he was Broadway star and Emmy winner, Billy Porter.
But, Seal’s unique tone prevented the panel from being deceived for long. Fellow musician Scherzinger was the first to suggest the “Kiss From a Rose” singer and soon the others jumped onboard. Leopard narrowly missed the finale before being kicked off.
Adrienne Bailon (The Flamingo)
The second season blessed us with a Cheetah Girls reunion. Well, almost. Raven-Symoné and Adrienne Bailon weren't’ aware they were both on the same season and rarely sang during the same episode because they were in separate groups. Still, it was great to see half the girl group (kind of) back together.
Bailon began her career as a singer before becoming a talk show host, so her voice is pretty recognizable. McCarthy realized the Flamingo’s identity early on and stuck with it until Bailon took off her mask when she landed the third place spot.
Chris Daughtry (The Rottweiler)
Chris Daughtry is another musician with such a distinct voice who was on the second season. Shockingly, no one ever guessed the former American Idol contestant’s identity the entire season. Thicke, for some inexplicable reason, was convinced Darren Criss was behind the mask despite the Rottweiler’s clues indicating he was a father.
Daughtry gave impressive performances every week as the Rottweiler and some would argue his final rendition of Sia’s “Alive” should’ve given him the win. Sadly, Daughtry lost and came in second place.
Wayne Brady (The Fox)
The winner of the second season of The Masked Singer was Wayne Brady as the Fox. Despite the panel wrongly thinking the Fox was Jamie Foxx for most of the season, the Let’s Make a Deal host took home the top prize.
It’s almost understandable that the panel didn’t realize Brady was behind the mask at first because the clues strangely focused on superheroes. Brady’s strong voice and elaborate choreography every episode convinced the panel and the audience that he deserved to be the winner.
Lil Wayne (The Robot)
Did anyone who was watching the season three premiere of The Masked Singer not know Lil Wayne was in the Robot costume? Seriously, even Lil Wayne’s auto tuned talking voice couldn’t hide his unique vocal pattern.
His performance of “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz practically confirmed the rapper’s identity. I’m still amazed that none of the panelists, including guest Foxx, guessed Lil Wayne’s identity before he was kicked off.
Drew Carey (The Llama)
For some reason that was never explained, the Llama costume has six legs. The Llama’s identity wasn’t clear at first, but it was obvious that whoever was in the costume was someone hilarious who didn’t take himself too seriously.
The panel never figured out who the Llama was, leaving them confused for two weeks in a row. And after his performance of “It’s Not Unusual” by Tom Jones, comedian and Price Is Right host Carey took off his Llama head.
Chaka Khan (Miss Monster)
Considering how far Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle made it on this show, it was downright unacceptable that Queen of Funk Chaka Khan was eliminated so early. No offense to the White Tiger
, but Chaka Khan is a queen and she deserved better.Chaka Khan’s Miss Monster costume
, similar to T-Pain’s monster outfit, hid her body type which made it a little difficult for the panel to guess who she was. By the third episode, though, there was no denying Chaka Khan’s iconic voice. Scherzinger and Thicke correctly guessed her identity before she was booted off.
Tony Hawk (The Elephant)
Despite having a hard, metal exterior as the Elephant, skateboarder Tony Hawk’s performance of The Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love” was so sweet. It was pretty apparent that the Elephant wasn’t known for singing, but Hawk’s commitment to the song made it even better.
Compared to Group A, Group B seems to be filled with people who have experience singing. So it was disappointing, but not surprising, that Hawk was the first to be knocked out.
Tom Bergeron (The Taco)
While this snack food's clues pointed to tons of other comedic actors, like Bob Saget and Tim Allen, it turned out the Dancing With The Stars host was under the mask the whole time.
Sarah Palin (The Bear)
In a move that rocked an already shaken country, the former Alaska Governor was revealed as The Bear. Adding insult to injury, the polarizing former politician also rapped along to "I Like Big Butts." No, I am not making this up.
Bella Thorne (The Swan)
This singer had the judges, and her own friend Ken Jeong, totally stumped. But it turned out that her costume being a swan was a reference to Bella Swan, as they assumed. She just hoped they'd connect it to her first name, rather than K.Stew.
Jojo Siwa (The T-Rex)The judges were stumped until week 3, when the clue package made it clear that the singer was young, a perfectionist, and had something to do with boomerangs. Siwa's hit song is "Boomerang," which Jenny caught. Nicole and Robin followed suit, and shortly thereafter, Siwa took off the mask.