Lions and tigers, bears and banana splits, oh my! After debuting in the United States in January 2019, FOX's "The Masked Singer" quickly became a smash hit. Fans were completely drawn in by the outlandish costumes (lions, tigers and bears were some of the tamer disguises) and the mystery of who's actually behind the masks. To celebrate the newest season of the wild singing competition series — which premieres on Sept. 22, 2021 — Wonderwall.com is reliving the most surprising "The Masked Singer" reveals to date. Let's start with the season 5 winner…
Keep reading to see the most shocking unmaskings…
One of the clues about season 5 winner Piglet — seen here performing on the finale episode of FOX's "The Masked Singer" that aired on May 26, 2021 — wasn't too hard to solve for boy band fans: "Piglet knows how to stay cool, even in the heat." Who was it?
Yup, 98 Degrees frontman Nick Lachey was revealed as Piglet — the season 5 winner — on the finale of "The Masked Singer" that aired on FOX on May 26, 2021.
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Perhaps the single most shocking reveal came in season 3. When a cute tie-dyed bear hit the stage and started rapping "Baby Got Back," the panel seemed to think that a comedian was under the mask… or maybe a figure skater, since this person apparently had a thing for ice… Who was she?
When the time came for the big reveal, Sarah Palin appeared. Yes, politician Sarah Palin — who was once a vice presidential candidate and the governor of Alaska — rapped Sir Mix-A-Lot, and she did it flawlessly. The judges — and most of the country — were speechless. Host Nick Cannon said it's the "most shocked" he's ever been on the show.
While he was introduced as "Porcupine," this masked singer quickly revealed his preferred name to the judges: Robopine! The panel struggled to identify who this celebrity was, with guesses ranging from Idris Elba to Jason Derulo…
It was "Fast & Furious" franchise star Tyrese Gibson! The actor was eliminated during the eighth week of the show's fifth season. "When you have two daughters, you look for those moments to sit in front of the TV and do something fun as a family, so here I am now with a Robopine outfit on," Tyrese said. "I just want to say thank y'all for the love."
At the midway point of season 2, the Ladybug's identity was revealed. What did we know about her? Well, she came from a famous family and she seemed to have a Southern accent. But then she took off the mask…
What? Kelly Osbourne? She's hardly someone from the South, as nearly everyone assumed! Kelly said she intentionally threw her voice to trick everyone, and it worked. She was not on anyone's radar. After the unveiling, panelist Ken Jeong said, "We've been played." Robin Thicke added, "She threw her Britishness from day one." For Kelly's part, she said, "This accent just came out and I had to do it the whole time. Every single time inside this mask I've been laughing."
When the Lion took the stage during season 1, the woman behind the mask said she was "Hollywood royalty." Still, the panel couldn't figure out who it was. In fact, there was some thought that the mystery person could be a big-name singer. The panel's guesses included Kelly Rowland, Hailee Steinfeld, Dawn Robinson and Michelle Williams.
Surprise, surprise: It was Rumer Willis. When detailing the clues regarding her then-hidden identity, it seemed so obvious.
On the debut episode of "The Masked Singer," the Monster nearly went home, as the creature was in the bottom three. He made it through, and as the weeks progressed, no one could pinpoint who the singer in disguise was. In the end, the Monster won the first season of the show and finally removed the mask…
It was T-Pain! The panel was shocked, especially since none of the judges ever guessed his name during the entire competition. T-Pain has always been closely associated with Auto-Tune, the audio processor used for pitch correction and vocal effect, but he showed that he can really sing.
The Seashell sure has some pipes! On season 5, the sequin-clad shell told the panel that she previously took up singing but left it behind to explore different careers. Guesses for this celebrity ranged from Hilary Duff and Jessica Simpson to Sarah Silverman and Vanessa Hudgens… but who actually was it?
"The Real" co-host Tamera Mowry! "To have made it just like, this far means a lot because I have heard those voices back there. It was like, what the hell? But I had so much fun!" she said after revealing her identity.
On season 3, which premiered after the 2020 Super Bowl, the Robot channeled his inner Lenny Kravitz. Who was he? The judges guessed that it might be Shaun White, Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Flavor Flav or Floyd Mayweather. No dice.
It was Lil Wayne! The most shocking thing about Wayne's time as the Robot was that he didn't even make it to the second show. This is a five-time Grammy winner who has more Billboard Hot 100 songs than Elvis… and he couldn't make it out of the first round?
From the moment the Bee got on stage during season 1, fans knew it was someone major. And everywhere seemed to know exactly who it was buzzing around the stage.
The Bee was seven-time Grammy winner Gladys Knight! (Most of the judges guessed correctly — after all, she is Gladys Knight.) But this was the first season of "The Masked Singer," so nobody knew if it would be a hit or a flop when the singing legend agreed to do it. The show was given immediate credibility given that someone of Gladys' stature participated. What was surprising about it, though, was that she didn't win. Gladys came in third, behind the Monster (T-Pain) and the Peacock (Donny Osmond).
It was pretty apparent that the Mouse was a big deal. However, on season 3 of "The Masked Singer," the adorable little rodent was eliminated during the second week. Three of the four judges thought it was five-time Grammy winner Dionne Warwick. Were they right?
They were right! But the fact that Dionne Warwick didn't last long was unsettling for many following the show on social media. Heck, a guy in a taco outfit lasted longer (more on him later). Dionne had no hard feelings afterward. "I had the best time," she said after she was eliminated. "It was a ball!"
We're a fan of this getup! The Raccoon hit the stage during season 5 to perform a rendition of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire." Guesses for this masked celeb included Sylvester Stallone, Jon Voight, Joe Pesce and Tony Danza.
It was Danny Trejo! "I feel like a winner," the character actor, who frequently collaborates with filmmaker cousin Robert Rodriguez, said after taking off his mask. Not only was he a great sport but he took the time to praise "The Masked Singer" judge Jenny McCarthy. "I love the work that you do," said Danny. "And I mean that from the bottom of my heart." Aw!
It was clear from the beginning that the Llama likes to have fun, and it was clear that he wasn't a professional singer. He didn't last long on season 3: His elimination came during the second week. But who was he? Nicole Scherzinger thought it was Woody Harrelson; Robin Thicke leaned toward Adam Carolla; Ken Jeong, who's almost always wrong, predicted Joel McHale; Jenny McCarthy centered on Kelsey Grammer. They were all wrong.
Drew Carey was the Llama! "I like having a goof and a lot of laughs," the comedian and "The Price is Right" host told Nick Cannon in his end-of-show interview. "This is a great show. I had a blast!"
On season 1, the Poodle lasted four weeks. Who was behind the mask? Panelist Robin Thicke said Judge Judy; Nicole Scherzinger guessed Jane Fonda. A few other guesses were way off base too.
It was comedian Margaret Cho. This is one mystery contestant judge Ken Jeong should have nailed, considering they starred on the sitcom "Dr. Ken" together for two years. "I'm so dumb," Ken said, calling Margaret his "sister" (she actually played his sister on "Dr. Ken"). Ken was even Margaret's opening act during many of her comedy shows in the late '90s. With Ken not knowing who was behind the mask, how were the rest of us supposed to know?
It didn't take long for the majority of the panel to figure out who Miss Monster was during season 3. The voice under that oversized pink costume was too familiar…
It was 10-time Grammy winner Chaka Khan. You know, the Queen of Funk. While the unveiling wasn't totally shocking, the fact that someone so accomplished did the crazy show was surprising to many… and the fact that she got eliminated before NFL legend and always-out-of-tune contestant Rob Gronkowski angered many fans. Chaka later told Billboard that it was "the weirdest" gig she's ever done, adding, "I'll never do anything like that again."
The Leopard seemed regal from the get-go. The judges were all convinced that the person behind the mask was a major star. The person's voice, though, was tricky. Early on, the judges weren't even sure if the person behind the mask was a man or a woman.
It was four-time Grammy winner Seal! Afterward, Seal said he held his secret Leopard identity so tightly that he didn't even tell his kids. In fact, they didn't even know he was on the show until the episode reveal aired on TV. Why was he so hard to pin down despite having such a distinguishable voice? He said he changed it to throw everyone off.
The Taco was funny. He had to be a comedian, right? That's what the judges seem to lean toward during season 3. Wrong.
It was former "Dancing With The Stars" host Tom Bergeron, a name nobody guessed during the entirety of the season. Keep in mind that Tom is friends with judges Robin Thicke and Jenny McCarthy. On top of that, judge Nicole Scherzinger won season 10 of "DWTS."
The Astronaut continued to baffle the judges during season 2. Was it Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Was it Jonathan Taylor Thomas? This was someone who said his career got a boost from "someone from an organized crime family." For weeks, the mystery remained, but Nicole Scherzinger ended up guessing country singer Hunter Hayes, seemingly out of nowhere.
Nailed it. It was, indeed, Hunter Hayes. What's surprising about Hunter's participation on the show? He's experienced mild panic attacks due to being claustrophobic, and there's not a lot of room in those costumes. Oh, and that mobster clue? Robert Duvall, who starred in "The Godfather," gave him his very first guitar.
On season 4, the Seahorse showed off some seriously impressive vocals but ultimately ended up saying her goodbyes in the 10th week. Who was beneath the eccentric costume?
None other than Tori Kelly! The "Nobody Love" hitmaker, who's known for her powerhouse voice, explained, "I thought it'd just be fun to come out here and show a whole other side of myself, be a little more sassy, show some choreo."
There were a lot of Kardashian-esque hints in the Kangaroo's clue package, but judges struggled to guess the marsupial's identity for most of season 3 (social media thought they had it pegged). One thing we knew was that this person wasn't a singer, since the 'Roo said she had never sung professionally. In the end, Jenny McCarthy got it right.
When Jordyn Woods was revealed as the Kangaroo, a lot of people were surprised. After all, who knew Kylie Jenner's former BFF could sing? "Jenny [McCarthy] is good," Jordyn said afterward. "I was shook! You guys were really off every week, but this time you got it." Just a year prior, Jordyn was public enemy No. 1 as far as the Kardashian-Jenner family was concerned after it emerged that she'd kissed Tristan Thompson, the father of Khloe's Kardashian's baby. "I felt like this was an opportunity for people to see a different side of me that not even I knew existed," Jordyn said. "It's been so much fun."