Warning: This article contains spoilers about The Masked Singer season 4 premiere.

Now that The Masked Singer officially returned on Wednesday (sorry, Kensday), your fall is about to get a lot more fun (and weird). Season 4 has introduced a slew of changes to the format, including at-home voting from fans and spaced-out seating for the panelists, due to COVID-19 safety protocols.

But the old gang is back together, with Robin Thicke (and his new hairdo, a.k.a. the fifth judge), Jenny McCarthyKen Jeong, and Nicole Scherzinger reuniting at the panelists' table, and Nick Cannon hosting (his return was finalized in July). This season, it's not only the contestants vying for a prize — the panelists will compete for the Golden Ear trophy, which goes to the person with the most correct first impression guesses of the singers.

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

If we (and McCarthy) had it our way, Cannon should absolutely write down his predictions too, to prove if he really knows who every revealed celebrity is, like the emcee always claims.

Like last season, the contestants are split up into three groups, although this time groups A and C have five singers, while B has six. Tonight, we met the five members of Group A: Sun, Giraffe, Popcorn, Dragon, and the two-headed Snow Owls, who bring up the headcount to six, technically. 

Sun got us started on a high note and shined with Lizzo's "Cuz I Love You," followed by Giraffe ("Let's Get It Started" by the Black Eyed Peas), Popcorn ("What About Us" by Pink), Dragon ("Mama Said Knock You Out" by LL Cool J), and Snow Owls closed things out with a duet of A Great Big World's "Say Something."

The panelists seemed to be impressed by every performer, with Thicke singling out Popcorn and Snow Owls as his favorites. Jeong, meanwhile, contributed his usual array of interesting predictions.

For Popcorn, the singer's vocal quality and hoop earring clue had the other panelists turning toward Tina Turner and Mary J. Blige, while the comedian named Carole Baskin as the celeb under the mask. Granted, there were a couple of Tiger King references thrown in the clue package, but we're not sure if we can handle the big cat enthusiast gracing our screens on both ABC and Fox.

Jeong turned it up a notch with Dragon, whose deep voice and rapping prowess led the panelist to speculate the contestant was .... Michael Phelps. The comedian previously told EW that his most embarrassing and "worst guess" was coming this season, but Jeong seemed to proudly stand by his assertion that the Olympic swimmer was Dragon.

Unfortunately, the ornately dressed Dragon was the first to be sent packing by the panelists, the studio audience, and the at-home fans.

He was revealed to be ... Busta Rhymes, which called back to rapper Lil Wayne's unmasking in season 3's premiere. Some fans picked out Busta's deep voice, while clues like the Statue of Liberty and a stopwatch referenced the MC's hometown of New York City and his lighting-fast rap style.

Busta Rhymes
Credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Rhymes told EW he'd love to return to The Masked Singer one day. "I'll make it that much more challenging for y'all to figure out who it is," he said.

The panelists then revealed their first-impression guesses, which they wrote down immediately following each contestant's performance. Both Thicke and Scherzinger prevailed with Busta, while McCarthy and Jeong guessed football players Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch, respectively.

Next week The Masked Singer is switching it up again, as the members of Group B will take the stage.

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Episode Recaps

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?

  • TV Show
  • 5
  • Wednesdays at 08:00 PM