The Masked Singer returns with season 2 on Wednesday, September 25 at 8/7c on Fox. Nicole Scherzinger, Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, and Robin Thicke return to the judges’ panel, and Nick Cannon returns as the show’s host.
Before the season 2 premiere, Fox is airing a “Super Sneak Peek” of what’s to come on Sunday, September 15. The hour-long preview was hosted by Ken Jeong and last year’s winner, T-Pain, and includes promo footage for the season ahead of its official start date.
Here’s what you need to know about the Masked Singer judges:
1. Season 2 Guest Judges Include Anthony Anderson & Triumph
While the celebrities behind the masks could be almost anyone, the judges’ and guest judges’ names can be crossed off the list of the undercover performers’ potential identities. According to Entertainment Weekly, the judges will be joined by guest celebrity judges throughout season 2, including Anthony Anderson, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and Joel McHale (who served as a guest judge during season 1).
During season 1, JB Smoove and Kenan Thompson were also guest judges, but no announcement has been made that they are returning to the show in any capacity for the second season.
2. Jenny McCarthy Almost Passed on the Offer to Judge the Show
Although it seems clear that Jenny McCarthy is having a great time judging on the Masked Singer panel (she liked it enough season 1 to return for season 2!) McCarthy told Page Six that her agents thought she would pass on the offer when it first came in. She said “They were like, ‘Listen, there’s a couple shows you have offers for, but this one is a definite pass.’ And I said, ‘Well let me see it!’ And they’re like, ‘You’re going to hate it.’”
She added that while many were skeptical of the show’s potential for success on American television, ” I said, ‘This checks all the boxes, this is going to work.’ I thought, ‘It’s weird enough and different that it gets people’s attention. It’s got celebrities, which people f–king love. And it’s got the mystery, so [your] brain’s trying to figure out who the people are. And you can watch it with your kids.’”
3. Ken Jeong Appeared on Korea’s ‘King of Masked Singer’
The idea behind The Masked Singer came from a very popular television show in Korea, King of Masked Singer. The original show revealed different celebrities to its audience each episode, and one of those famous performers turned out to be Ken Jeong.
Before making his big reveal as the “Golden Pig,” he performed “Creep” by Radiohead.
4. Robin Thicke Says the Judges ‘Hit a Stride’ at the End of Season 1
In an interview with Extra, Thicke said “We feel we hit a stride at the end of the season, then seeing it back it all makes sense to us. Now we’ll be able to go in there with big smiles and a little competitive spirit to be the one who tries to up the other panelists.”
Jeong doubled down on those sentiments, telling Entertainment Tonight that he had more fun filming season 2 “Because I knew the show now. We really, you know, we were kinda operating it in a bit of a vacuum for the first season. We shot it months in advance not knowing how it would look in the edit… so we went in this season with a bit more confidence.”
5. The Show Was Filmed Months Ago & the Judges Have to Keep the Masked Celebrities’ Identities Secret While Season 2 Airs
The show’s success relies on the celebrity identities being kept secret, so it is not surprising that production is going above and beyond to maintain their masked celebrities’ anonymity. During filming for season 2, McCarthy told Entertainment Tonight “They were more strict behind the scenes [when it came to] wanting to keep it confidential. There were a couple of times where I needed to go to the bathroom, and one of the contestants was coming in but they had full-on hoods and [signs] that say, ‘Don’t talk to me.'”
Although each week’s celebrity reveal will come as a surprise to the millions watching at home, the season was filmed months ago so the judges already know the identities of each masked character. Jeong joked to ET that though the judges might be worried about accidentally leaking spoilers, “I’ve been pretty good about that because I have no friends. You need to have friends and you need to get out and be social in order to spoil stuff. But, you know, that’s great about being socially awkward! No one wants to talk to me, so I leak nothing.”