Fox’s The Masked Singer premiered on January 2 and was an immediate success. The show asks celebrities to face off in a singing competition while completely disguised in head to toe costuming as an animal or character of their choice. Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong, and Nicole Scherzinger offer input and commentary as the show’s judges and Nick Cannon hosts.
Throughout the season, while the masked Bee competes, clues will be given and guesses will be made until her identity is revealed. Since the show allows its masked celebrities to give vague and confusing clues to try and throw off viewers and judges, some of those clues are open to interpretation or need to be used in conjunction with earlier ones.
Here is what we know for certain about the Bee on The Masked Singer:
1. She Has Been Working as a Professional Singer Since the 50s
In the clue package before her first performance, much of her dialogue focused on her long career. She said “In my long career, I’ve flown to soaring heights and I’ve never wanted to stop doing what I love” and “Being a worker bee keeps me young.”
Her clue package also informed the viewers and judges that she is a professional singer, as she revealed: “Coming on this show I am looking forward to singing to a new generation.” After her performance, she told the judges that she has been singing since the 50s.
2. She ‘Uses Her Buddah to Get Zen’
On the show’s official website, they offer the clue “Uses her Buddah to get zen.” This clue has not been elaborated on yet within the show clues or the Bee’s performance, but since Fox included this hint themselves in association with the Bee, it should be taken as a strong indication that the celebrity behind the Bee mask is Buddhist.
3. She Sang ‘Chandelier’ by Sia for Her First Performance
The judges and live audience were visibly impressed by the Bee’s performance of Sia’s hit song “Chandelier.” She commanded the stage and made the song her own for the whole performance, and received thunderous applause at the song’s conclusion.
During her incredible performance, judge Robin Thicke noted that she had a great vibrato and must be a seasoned singer, saying “You’ve obviously taken vocal training and sang for many years.” The judges’ guesses included Beyonce, Tina Turner, Mary J. Blige, Diana Ross, Lil Kim, and Dionne Warwick.
4. She Says You Can Call her ‘Queen Bee’ or ‘Empress’
In her clue package, the Bee said “You can call me queen bee, but empress also suits me.” Some fans think this means that the celebrity behind the mask is Gladys Knight, who is known as the “Empress of Soul.” Patti LaBelle, another popular guess, told Entertainment Tonight “Yes, some people thought it was me. I think it’s Gladys… She’s a queen bee!”
5. Costume Designer Marina Toybina Brought the ‘Bee’ Look to Life
Emmy-award winning costume designer Marina Toybina created the elaborate costumes this season. In an interview with Variety, Toybina shared that she took into account the technical ability to see, hear, breathe and sing, but also the performer’s ability to dance and move around based on their personal stage presence and stature. The Bee’s freedom to move and the clarity of her powerhouse vocals are all credited to Toybina’s careful designing.
Later in the interview, she revealed “there were a few gender mixes within the costumes. I had such creative freedom from my network and the producers that we were able to play around … and the cast was so open-minded as to who would go into a female costume or who would go into a male and how we’d adjust the build based on that.” This could mean that the Bee is actually a male celebrity; however, Fox and the show have referred to the Bee as “her.”