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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Nick Cannon returning as Masked Singer host, show gives up on pretending America's vote matters

Ken Jeong, Nicole Scherzinger, Nick Cannon, Jenny McCarthy, and Robin Thicke
Ken Jeong, Nicole Scherzinger, Nick Cannon, Jenny McCarthy, and Robin Thicke
Photo: Michael Becker/Fox

The Masked Singer has been doing without Nick Cannon for a while now. Shortly before the launch of season five, it was announced that the former Mr. Mariah Carey had tested positive for COVID-19 and Niecy Nash would step in to host the Fox reality competition until he could safely return to work. (Cannon’s hate speech scandal didn’t keep him from the stage, but at least public health concerns did.) Well, Cannon apparently got a clean bill of health and will return as host on next week’s episode. Nash was a welcomed change for fans of the very expensive guessing game, but it will be nice to not hear judge Ken Jeong call her “mommy” every 30 seconds moving forward.


[Details of the April 7 episode of The Masked Singer discussed below.]

On tonight’s episode, Bulldog entered the competition as one of the “wild card” contestants being added into the mix periodically, one of this seasons many “game-changing twists.” Bulldog’s nasally rendition of New Editon’s “Candy Girl” closed out a night that also saw performances by Black Swan (probably “Leave (Get Out)” singer JoJo), Chamelon (probably Wiz Khalifa), and Piglet (definitely Nick Lachey); as well as last week’s wild card entry, King Crab, who had a mild panic attack after overheating in his costume.

The unfortunate panic attack actually provided an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the set as the cameras followed the poor Crab back to their holding area where they unmasked behind a curtain. But that drama aside, the main event was the scheduled reveal of “America’s vote,” which was to dictate which contestant was to be eliminated and unmasked. On pre-COVID seasons, The Masked Singer asked its live studio audience to vote along with the judges. To prove the voting was totally happening, they’d show footage of audience members and the judges looking at their phones, fretting over which warbler to send packing. Because this season the live audience is actually just footage from old seasons, we’ve been told a small group of superfans have been given the ability to vote from home—but it’s never been explained how these superfans are watching these episodes in real time, so how are we to trust it? (As with Dancing With The Stars, producers have never revealed how much the judges’ votes are weighted compared to the audience vote, so there were likely always shenanigans anyway.)

But, this week, Niecy Nash was tired of the charade. With the five remaining Group B contestants standing before her waiting to hear the results of the vote, Nash—channeling Georgia republicans—revealed that she was changing the game, throwing out the votes, and deciding the loser herself. The judges were shocked (or at least feigned shock) as Nash named Bulldog her choice to unmask, but it all made sense once it was revealed that it was none other than Nick Cannon under the golden dog mask.

So now we have Nick Cannon back, everyone. Yay...?

A.V. Club Editor in Chief...but really just a She-Ra, Schitt’s Creek, Grey’s Anatomy, Survivor, Big Brother, Top Chef, The Good Place superfan.