There’s no getting around it, America: We have made The Masked Singer a hit. The premiere of Fox’s latest reality fever-dream — an adaptation of a Korean format in which famous people wear freakish costumes and sing for votes — pulled in 15.3 million viewers in live-plus-seven-day rankings, beating the season premieres of less terrifying talent shows including The Voice and American Idol.
And in the above exclusive preview of episode 3 (airing Jan. 16 at 9 p.m.), it looks like even more celebrities are getting into the act: Guest star Joel McHale joins his one-time Community cohort Ken Jeong on the judging panel, and their banter is typically barbed. (“You’re way more talented than Ken Jeong,” McHale tells the Lion, after her performance of “At Last” by Nina Simone.)
With two of the 12 celebrity singers already unmasked (the Hippo, a.k.a. NFL player Antonio Brown, and the Pineapple, a.k.a. Tommy Chong), there will be no more matchups. This week, five finalists — Lion, Deer, Peacock, Unicorn, and Monster — will perform, and at the end of the episode the judges (with help from the audience) will determine which singer should be unmasked. We’ll also get a brand-new intro package for each singer, featuring all-new clues to help fuel our wild theories about who’s who. Eventually, all of the singers will be revealed and one winner will be awarded glory and a golden crown.
If you haven’t already season-passed this on your DVR, just do it. There is no escape.
The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.