Ken Jeong's Mom Told Him 'The Masked Singer' Would Be Good for His Career
Ken Jeong had no idea 'The Masked Singer' would be such a hit
Welcome back to The Masked Singer!
The singing competition started up production in California last month — with a virtual audience — and returned Wednesday night for its fourth season, which will feature 16 new singers. Like season 3, the undercover celebrities will be divided into three different groups, and the top three singers from groups A, B and C will go on to compete for the Golden Mask trophy.
Season 4 also introduced a prize for judges Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke. The four panelists will lock in their first impression guesses for each singer after seeing their initial performance, and whoever makes the most correct guesses will win the Golden Ear trophy.
Wednesday's season premiere featured the first group of six singers: Sun, Giraffe, Popcorn, Dragon and Snow Owls, The Masked Singer's first duet costume.
Michael Becker/FOX. Nick Cannon with Popcorn
Sun kicked off the show with a cover of Lizzo's "Cuz I Love You," and then Giraffe came out in the series' tallest-ever costume. After each masked star showed their clue package and delivered their debut performance, Cannon asked them each a question to help the viewers and judges learn more about the person under the disguise.
Popcorn's potential identity confused the judges, who offered a range of suggestions that included Tiger King's Carole Baskin and Grammy winner Mary J. Blige. They felt certain about who Dragon could be, though, after he did a rendition of "Mama Said Knock You Out" by LL Cool J.
Snow Owls closed out the night with a soulful take on A Great Big World's "Say Something" and kept the panelists guessing whether the duo could be siblings, spouses or costars. They even thought Donny Osmond — season 1's Peacock — might be back with sister Marie.
Without an in-person audience this season, The Masked Singer will rely on the virtual audience and judges to decide which singer gets unmasked and eliminated by voting for their favorite performance of the night. The performer with the least amount of votes each week will have to say goodbye.
On Wednesday night, Dragon ended up at the bottom, making him the first celeb to go home — and reveal themselves. Jeong thought Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps could be under the fire-breathing getup, McCarthy guessed DMX, and Scherzinger and Thicke tossed out Busta Rhymes.
And they were right! When Dragon took off his mask, Grammy-nominated rapper Rhymes, 48, appeared underneath.
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty; Michael Becker/FOX Busta Rhymes; Dragon
"I definitely felt like I was in an oxygen tank," the father of six said of being in the Dragon costume.
Read on for the initial clues about Group A.
Michael Becker/FOX Sun
Song: "Cuz I Love You" by Lizzo
Clues: gold member; a jaguar; tennis rackets; shallow area; Mickey Mouse ears; frozen; falling into a deep depression; "extreme seasons"; "At first stardom was great, but it was a ton of pressure."; "The spotlight was scorching and I got burned out."; "Within the darkness of a quiet place I transformed into a ray of light."
How's it being the Sun? "When I put this mask on I felt like it was a reflection of who I am personally. And I like it."
Michael Becker/FOX Giraffe
Song: "Let's Get It Started " by Black Eyed Peas
Clues: $3; "drummed up towering success"; I've had a rollercoaster career, full of ups and downs."; "Music is in my blood, but when I stuck my neck out and took a gigantic risk I became the butt of everyone's jokes."; "I was in knots and felt so lonely, like the party was over."; "That crash and burn drove me to swing even higher."; "I'm in the driver's seat and I'm off to the races."
Did you ever imagine that you would be on stage singing as a giraffe? "No. Not at all. This has really been fun. It allows me to have a bit of anonymity which is nice. Plus it was a big deal for me to not have to focus on my vocals, plus it's super sexy."
Michael Becker/FOX Popcorn
Song: "What About Us" by Pink
Clues: New York City; meatloaf; a bitten apple; a snake; a goldfish wearing hoop earrings; a tiger; cutting pictures out of Vogue; Proud Merry-Go-Round; "jet setting to exotic places with royalty"; "straight-up"; "Hey all you cool corns and cornets!" "I built a career around love but that doesn't mean I'm soft."; "I worked long nights, rushing from one job to the next."
Judges' guesses: Carole Baskin, Mary J. Blige, Tina Turner
Why would you choose this costume? "Just like popcorn, I can be quite buttery at times, every salty, but also very sweet."
RELATED VIDEO: Nicole Scherzinger Explains Why Fans Love The Masked Singer — 'It's Nothing Like They've Ever Seen'
Nicole Scherzinger Explains Why Fans Love ‘The Masked Singer’: ‘It’s Nothing Like They’ve Ever Seen’
"The Masked Singer" airs Wednesdays 9pm ET on Fox
Michael Becker/FOX Dragon
Song: "Mama Said Knock You Out" by LL Cool J
Clues: gold coins and trophies; the Statue of Liberty; a stopwatch; an archery target with an X; a barbell; a dog bone; "Dressing up in funky, outrageous costumes isn't new to me."; "I've always been a fire-breathing beast on a quest to be the best."; "At first, my fire was dangerous." "I got a tip that helped me calm down and switch gears."
Judges' guesses: DMX, Snoop Dogg, Michael Phelps, Busta Rhymes
What has it been like becoming the Dragon? "It's been an incredible experience. This whole outfit looking like I really am one of the most powerful and dominant characters in existence."
Michael Becker/FOX Snow Owls
Song: "Say Something" by A Great Big World
Clues: Jam-A-Lot; a pearl in an oyster shell; Magnolia; Quarrel Canyon; "You haven't seen us together in a while but now it's time for a family reunion."; "Oh brother!"; "He's a prankster, a real wise guy."; "I was driving her home singing 'Let It Snow.'"; "We finally stopped at our nest."; "I just wanted to make Christmas extra magical."
Did you guys ever expect to grace the stage together in one giant egg? "I knew it would happen for me one day because I love wings. Buffalo, BBQ."
The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on Fox.