These celebrity unmaskings really blew our minds.

By Rachel Yang
Updated March 10, 2021 at 10:15 PM EST
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One of the best of watching The Masked Singer is deciphering each contestant's clue packages to figure out their true celebrity identity. While there have been plenty of easy calls (Gronk, who were you trying to fool?) other times the show successfully pulls one over us.

Whether it was due to tough hints or disbelief that a particular star would grace the stage, we totally didn't expect some reveals, like Mickey Rourke as Gremlin, Jackie Evancho as Kitty, and our No. 1 spot that blew us away. Read on for our picks of the reveals that left us stunned.

the masked singer
Credit: Michael Becker/FOX (2)

12. Jackie Evancho as Kitty (season 3)

Fans threw out all types of guesses for Kitty, from Vanessa Hudgens to Sarah Hyland to Kate Bosworth (due to the costumed feline's heterochromia). While talented, America's Got Talent alum Jackie Evancho may not be as well known as her competitors that season, so her unmasking as Kitty had plenty of surprised theorists going, "Wait? Who?!"

Funny enough, TMS producer Craig Plestis told EW that Kitty's differently colored eyes were never meant to fake anyone out and his team was surprised fans even picked up on the feature.

"We didn't really think about that in advance," Plestis said. "That was always two different colored eyes when we were designing the costume, and we didn't even think about that in the early stage until it was actually built and it was like, 'Wait a second...'"

The Masked SInger Unveiled
Credit: Michael Becker/Fox (2)

11. Dr. Elvis Francois as Serpent (season 4)

In the same vein as Kitty's unmasking, Serpent slithering out of his costume to reveal that he was Dr. Elvis Francois, a.k.a. the Singing Surgeon, had us shook. Many fans thought Serpent was for sure Leslie Odom Jr., given his vocal qualities and various Hamilton clues. And since some viewers had only recently discovered Francois' stirring YouTube covers, his reveal threw plenty of audiences for a loop.

Even if you didn't know who the internet star was prior to The Masked Singer, you have to admit his reveal and panelist Ken Jeong's reaction were pretty moving.

"Your version of 'Imagine' got us through the pandemic, man," Jeong told Francois. "I'm crying because I'm jealous than you're more talented than me, but I just want you to know that you just got us through a very difficult time."

the masked Singer
Credit: Michael Becker/Fox (2)

10. Mark Sanchez as Baby Alien (season 4)

Former NFL player Mark Sanchez had us all fooled. Fans were guessing comedians and actors like Seth Green and Neil Patrick Harris for the quirky contestant, who cracked jokes in an Eastern European accent. There was also the whole thing of Baby Alien being cloaked in a bulky costume so we couldn't accurately gauge his size. But maybe the most important reason people couldn't clock Sanchez? Baby Alien's clue packages made no reference to the athlete's famous butt fumble, which would've made even non-sports fans guess Sanchez in a heartbeat.

After his elimination in episode 4, Sanchez told EW that he wasn't surprised panelists failed to guess him.

"I thought the clue package was so hard. I obviously know it's me, but I still second-guessed it a couple times when I watched the clue package," he said. "I was like, 'Wait, what?' Yeah, that was tough. And I think the accent totally threw everybody for a loop. They thought maybe [I was] Sacha Baron Cohen or something like that. I knew they wouldn't guess me."

THE MASKED SINGER
Credit: Michael Becker/FOX (2)

9. Ninja as Ice Cream (season 2)

Streamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins might be a God to every Fortnite-playing kid out there, but for non-gamers (and/or people over 19), his reveal likely came as a total surprise. Ninja even admitted to EW that he knew only his dedicated fans would be able to figure out his identity.

"I think that they have never had someone like me on the show so they needed to make the clues more obvious," he said after his elimination. "I knew the kids would figure it out. If anyone knew of me or any of my quirky dances, they would know immediately it was me, which is cool."

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Credit: Greg Gayne/FOX

8. Drew Carey as Llama (season 3)

While many of Llama's pretty specific clues (e.g. the radio DJ and Seattle hints) were about comedian Drew Carey, they also rang true for celebrities like Kelsey Grammer and Danny Bonaduce. Thus, a number of fans were astonished to see the Price Is Right host under the costume.

thingamajig
Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

7. Victor Oladipo as Thingamajig (season 2)

Like Evancho, Indiana Pacers player Victor Oladipo wasn't a household name during his stint. Plus, Thingamajig was so good on the show (his rendition of "Rainbow" made EW's best TMS performances list), and given the spotty record of season 1's pro-athlete competitors, many audiences were slow to accept Oladipo — who has actually released numerous albums — as Thing. The baller even told EW, "Coming on the show, I think I surprised a few people."

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Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

6. Gladys Knight as Bee (season 1)

It wasn't exactly a shock when Gladys Knight popped up from the Bee costume, but the legendary singer's participation in the first season falls into the "I can't believe she would do this show" category. With so many hits and accolades under her belt, Knight didn't have to take a chance on The Masked Singer, which had never been done before in the U.S. Her presence brought legitimacy — and plenty of amazing performances — to the series, and set the stage for fellow famous divas like Dionne Warwick, Chaka Khan, and Patti LaBelle to join the show in future installments.

The Elephant; Tony Hawk
Credit: Greg Gayne/FOX (2)

5. Tony Hawk as Elephant (season 3)

We have a feeling that Tony Hawk is such a household name that TMS producers really wanted fans to jump through hoops to guess the skateboarding legend. The clues we got about Elephant were so hard, deciphering them was no easy tusk. Playing the drums, the White House, a 10 cent ice cream? We were lost! Plus, the contestant was the first from Group B to get sent home, so viewers were out of luck on getting more clues. When Elephant finally removed his mask, fans were blown away that it was Hawk in front of them.

sarah-palin-bear-2

4. Sarah Palin as Bear (season 3)

There have certainly been unexpected celebrities to appear on The Masked Singer, but we never expected a politician to go on the show. And we certainly didn't think the first elected official to compete on TMS would be former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin. There were clues pointing to noted Palin impersonator Tina Fey, with Saturday Night Live among the hints, and Bear's spirited performance of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" was the last track we'd expect the former VP hopeful to showcase (not that we've heard her perform any other song). So when Bear took off the mask, we were all moose caught in the headlights.

The Masked Singer
Credit: Michael Becker/FOX (2)

3. Mickey Rourke as Gremlin (season 4)

Gremlin's vocals in his first and only performance were tough to place, but we never saw it coming that he was Oscar-nominated actor Mickey Rourke. What made the reveal even more startling was the fact that he was the first contestant to ever self-eliminate. The show likes to throw in "surprises" from time to time that the panelists are clearly in on, but when Gremlin unmasked himself after complaining about his hot costume, they genuinely looked taken aback (or they took more acting lessons).

The whole thing was pretty chaotic and strange, but Rourke had a sweet reason for singing Ben E. King's "Stand By Me," as a tribute to his late friend Willy DeVille.

In a post-unmasking interview, the actor said he wanted to go on the show as Gremlin to do "something different." Well, he certainly accomplished that!

THE MASKED SINGER
Credit: Michael Becker / FOX; FOX

2. Lil Wayne as Robot (season 3)

There was a lot of hype leading up to TMS's season 3 premiere after the Super Bowl, and we have to say the first episode delivered with the biggest celebrity competitor in its history. When Robot performed, we heard some of Lil Wayne's signature gravelly sound, but we never thought the series could actually get the influential rapper to come on the show. But boy were we wrong, and judging by the reactions from the panelists, audiences, and fans on social media, nobody else expected Wayne to grace the stage either. "This is the most shocked I've ever been on this show," panelist Robin Thicke announced. Same.

After his elimination, the superstar rapper disclosed that if it were up to him, the show could've had another huge A-lister — his protege and frequent collaborator Nicki Minaj.

"I've been watching since the first episode, because the first episode, when it came on I knew it was T-Pain," Lil Wayne said. "Because of that I told [Young Money President Mack Maine] to call them. I told him, 'Let 'em know I'm a huge fan' and I wanted to get Nicki on there. I was like, 'Tell 'em I would love to get Nicki on there.' And it came back like, 'Man they want you on there.

THE MASKED SINGER
Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

1. Kermit the Frog as Snail (season 5)

Season 5 started off with a bang when Snail was revealed as Kermit the Frog! No one saw it coming, as the show has never unveiled a non-human celebrity before, let alone one as iconic as the beloved Muppet character. Funny enough, Jenny McCarthy offhandedly said Snail was altering his voice to sound like Kermit, but everyone was off with their final guesses. Instead, the panelists guessed stars like Adam Sandler, Seth MacFarlane, and Billy Crystal, and Kermit was more than happy with that.

"It was fun being mistaken for those amazing iconic comic actors, and refreshing, too. Being green, I'm usually mistaken for Yoda or the Hulk's little brother," he said in an interview with EW (yup, you read that right).

Guest host Niecy Nash and the judges were stunned and overjoyed when Kermit's head popped out of Snail's body. Jeong even dubbed the famous frog "the most famous guest on The Masked Singer ever."

And McCarthy said it best: Kermit was "the first to go home, but the one we'll never forget."

— Lauren Huff also contributed to this report

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Episode Recaps

THE MASKED SINGER

The Masked Singer

Celebs compete in this reality-singing TV show while wearing elaborate costumes to conceal their identities. Can you guess the celebrity behind the mask?

type
  • TV Show
seasons
  • 3
rating
genre
airs
  • Wednesdays at 08:00 PM
status
  • In Season
network
  • Fox

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