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‘Masked Singer': Ken Jeong Is So Sure Pepper Is Sara Bareilles That He Might Hit ‘Take It Off’ Buzzer (Exclusive Video)


The competition is about to heat up on Wednesday’s “The Masked Singer,” as judge Ken Jeong throws a spicy twist into the mix: He’s so sure he knows the identity of Pepper that he might actually hit the “Take It Off” buzzer this time.

“This is not a joke!” Jeong says at the top of TheWrap’s exclusive sneak peek at tonight’s Group A semifinals episode of “The Masked Singer.” In the clip, which you can view above, Jeong is hovering dangerously close to Season 6’s yet-to-be-used mega feature, the “Take It Off” buzzer, which allows a judge who is 100% certain to make a guess that could cut the competitor from “The Masked Singer” stage right then if the judge is right — or cause the panelist to be “significantly punished,” and allow the contestant to remain, if they are wrong.

“I honestly believe the Pepper is Sara Bareilles,” Jeong says, as smoking billows from the “Take It Off” buzzer that’s beckoning to him from the judges’ table. “She was a guest star on ‘Community’ in a scene with me and I’ve been a fan ever since. ‘Gravity,’ that’s an amazing Sara Bareilles song. Also, if you look at the clue package right now, ‘storyteller’ — she wrote the entire Broadway adaptation of ‘Waitress.'”

That’s when tonight’s “Masked Singer” guest panelist, will.i.am, jumps in to ask about what we assume is a new clue tonight, as the word “Train” is written on a golden bean bag held by Ken. “But what about the train?”

“Let me tell you about the train, will.i.am! Ken.i.will!” Jeong shouts. “I am good friends with the lead singer of Train, Pat Monahan, he’s one of my best friends. And Sara Bareilles has a song with Common called ‘The Train.'”

Jeong’s colleague Jenny McCarthy is on board, saying, “He’s kind of selling it,” and it looks like fellow “Masked Singer” judges Robin Thicke and Nicole Scherzinger might agree.

So will Ken hit the buzzer? The sneak peek ends there, so we’ll find out tonight, when two of the remaining contestants — Pepper, Bull, Jester and Skunk — are cut from the competition by the end of the Group A semifinals episode.

Here’s the official description for Wednesday’s “The Masked Singer,” courtesy of Fox:

The final four “Group A” singers will compete in the semifinals and two will be eliminated from the competition. “Alter Ego” judge will.i.am brings his expertise to the panelists’ desk and assists Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke breaking down all the clues on America’s favorite guessing game. The Season Six contestants boast a combined 85 Grammy Nominations and 27 wins, three Academy Award nominations, 12 Emmy Nominations, 12 Razzie Award Nominations, two Super Bowl appearances and two Lifetime Achievement Awards. Find out which TWO characters will be unmasked in the all-new “Group A Semi-Final” episode of “The Masked Singer.”

“The Masked Singer” airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on Fox.