(Warning: This post contains spoilers for the premiere of Fox’s “The Masked Singer”)
Fox’s new Nick Cannon-hosted celebrity singing game show “The Masked Singer” premiered Wednesday, revealing at the end of its very first episode that the identity of one of its famous contestants — who performed disguised from head to toe in an elaborate hip hop-style hippo costume — was none other than NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown.
Yes, the Pittsburgh Steelers player was the one who sang Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” earlier in the episode, while dressed as “Hippo” and going up against “Peacock,” another masked celeb, who belted out Hugh Jackman’s “The Greatest Show.” Stay with us here.
After three rounds of sing-offs in which studio audience members voted to decide Hippo lost to Peacock, Deer lost to Lion, and Monster lost to Unicorn, it was time for panelists Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger, Ken Jeong and Robin Thicke to choose which member of the losing trio was the “weakest performer,” who would then be eliminated and unmasked. And that ended up being poor Hippo.
Then came the fun part: the reveal of Hippo’s true identity. Everyone predicted this particular masked singer was an athlete, with McCarthy and Jeong both guessing Deion Sanders, Scherzinger thinking it was Allen Iverson and Thicke choosing Odell Beckham Jr.
After much debate among the panelists, Cannon revealed the answer to their “first whosungit mystery” (his pun, not ours), by having Brown remove his mask, shocking the panelists, as none of them got it right.
Earlier in the episode, a short segment set in a diner gave us a few clues as to who Hippo really was, including 1) “breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a competitor like” him, 2) he is “used to performing in a mask in front of thousands of screaming fans,” 3) “every time [he wins, he’s] just gotta dance — even if it gets [him] in trouble,” and 4) he’s apparently loaded, as he racked up a (fake) $10,000 bill for his pancakes.
Now, we still don’t know the identities of Peacock, Deer, Lion, Monster and Unicorn — and there will be more masked singers joining the party in the weeks to come, with a total of 12 celebrities competing throughout the season. So tune in next week if you’re already hooked on this thing, which is based on the South Korean format created by Mun Hwa Broadcasting Corp.
According to Fox, between all of the celebrity competitors on “The Masked Singer,” they’ve amassed 65 Grammy nominations, 16 multi-Platinum albums, 16 Emmy nominations, nine Broadway shows, four stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and four Super Bowl titles.
Watch the reveal above.
“The Masked Singer” airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Fox.