The Masked Dancer revealed: Every unmasked celebrity on season 1
Dancing with the masked stars
The Masked Dancer is here and has already proven to be just as wild as sister series The Masked Singer. In the show's premiere, we met Group A dancers Hammerhead, Tulip, Cricket, Disco Ball, and Exotic Bird. The next episode introduced Group B contestants Sloth, Ice Cube, Zebra, Cotton Candy, and Moth. Click through to see who has been sent home and which celebrities were under the masks.
Disco Ball was the first to hang up his boogie shoes. To everyone's surprise, the mirrored mask came off to reveal Grammy-winning rapper and actor Ice-T. The Law & Order: SVU star told EW he had only two hours to learn his dance and was focused more on not toppling over in the heavy head once it was showtime. "I threw all the choreography out the window," he said. "I just don't want to bust my ass on national television like that. That would be the nightmare."
In a strange coincidence, Ice Cube was eliminated after Ice-T. But the rapper/actor of the same name wasn't under this icy mask. Instead, the cool contestant revealed himself to be another guy, Emmy-winning TV presenter and science enthusiast Bill Nye. Nye told EW the costume made perfect sense for him. "The melting ice head had a climate change vibe. The coat or whatever you'd call it, the jacket, was reminiscent of a lab coat. Then they blinged it up the way I do with all my clothes," he joked.
Ms. Moth has flown into the flame. The winged dancer was eliminated in episode 3 and revealed to be Elizabeth Smart, the bestselling author and child safety activist who gained national attention in 2002 after being abducted at age 14. Smart told EW she was inspired to do the show after the loss of her grandmother. "I was sitting there thinking about it at my grandma's funeral, I just thought, you know what, why not? Life is already hard enough. ... And I just thought, this has already been a hard year, so why not do something that's fun?"
Cricket was the next dancer to chirp off. The eliminee hopped out of his bug-eyed mask to reveal Grammy-nominated "Back at One" singer Brian McKnight. After his unmasking, McKnight explained to EW why he didn't compete on The Masked Singer instead. "I'm not sure it would be too difficult to hear me sing and figure out it's me. So that's the one thing. I think it was fun for me to go on a dance show, which is more uncharacteristic of who I am. I still got guessed anyway, so even though it didn't work out this way, I thought in my head that it would be easier for people not to know who I was on a dance show."
The Masked Dancer has officially jumped the shark. The Hammerhead was sent home from the Super Six and revealed to be a Jersey Shore star, just not the ones the panelists kept guessing. Instead of Pauly D or Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino, it was Vinny Guadagnino flexing beneath the muscle suit. After his elimination, Guadagnino admitted to EW he wasn't ready to leave the show. "I was distraught," he said. "When I first did this, I didn't think I was gonna make it past that first week. And then I fell in love with the whole process and the show, and I just wanted to keep going."
In a shocking elimination, Exotic Bird's wings were clipped much sooner than expected. The fancy-footed flyer was unmasked and revealed to be Grammy-nominated singer and American Idol's youngest winner Jordin Sparks. In an unfortunate twist, she was ousted after dancing to "Opposites Attract," by former Idol judge and current Masked Dancer panelist Paula Abdul, which led to the pair having a brief reunion before Sparks made like MC Skat Kat and faded away. Sparks told EW she was able to share an off-camera moment with her two-time judge. "She came down and I was able to talk to her and see her and I was just like, 'I can't believe you knew it was me, but at the same time, I felt like you were gonna know. I'm glad that you guessed me.' So it was really fun to be able to do that and to see her again."
The striped hoofer was stripped of his chances at the trophy during the TMD semifinals. Zebra punched off his mask to reveal boxer Oscar De La Hoya. After his elimination, De La Hoya told EW he was as stunned as anyone that he made it so far on the dancing competition. "I'm blown away. I swear I was gonna be knocked out in the first round. I had no clue whatsoever."
The flowery fiend was full petal to the metal all season on The Masked Dancer, but ultimately fell short in the finale, coming in third behind Sloth and Cotton Candy. Her mask was peeled off to reveal Dance Moms star and actress Mackenzie Ziegler.
And the winner is... Cotton Candy! The colorful confection flipped and spun and literally floated her way to the diamond mask trophy, and when it was all said and done, she was revealed to be Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas! Douglas told EW why she was so emotional during the reveal and what winning it all meant to her. "It was just such a fun experience for me, and just being able to develop very close relationships with everyone, and with the road ending and the journey coming to a stop… I didn't want this journey to end," she said. "I was very emotional that day. Words can't even express how much gratitude I have, and honestly, respect for all of the dancers. They're so amazing."