A former champion from “Dancing with the Stars” is stepping away from a separate reality television gig she has had for the past few years.
Nicole Scherzinger, who won season 10 of DWTS with partner Derek Hough, has kept quite busy since winning the mirror-ball trophy in 2010. As her IMDb page details, she appeared on 130 episodes of “The X Factor UK,” and over the years also popped up on “Strictly Come Dancing,” “The Voice UK,” Australia’s Got Talent,” and “The X Factor: Celebrity.”
Scherzinger joined “The Masked Singer” as one of the panelists when it debuted in 2019, but she is embracing an opportunity to shift gears for a few months.
Here’s what you need to know:
Nicole Scherzinger Is Norma Desmond in London’s ‘Sunset Boulevard’
According to ET Online, Scherzinger will not be a panelist for season 11 of “The Masked Singer.” Taking her place, alongside existing panelists Jenny McCarthy, Robin Thicked, and Ken Jeong, will be singer Rita Ora.
Scherzinger’s departure is not a dramatic one, though. She will be focused on playing the role of Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard” in London while Ora and the other panelists film season 11 of “The Masked Singer.”
“Sunset Boulevard” will debut later in September at the Savoy Theatre in London’s West End. London Theatre details the limited-run production at the Savoy Theatre will run for 16 weeks, beginning on September 21 and wrapping up on January 6, 2024.
Scherzinger’s Departure Is Not Necessarily Permanent, Though
Season 10 of “The Masked Singer” has already been filmed, and Scherzinger taped the full season. Deadline details that season 10 premieres with its regular episodes on September 27, and season 11 with Ora will debut in 2024. If the show is renewed for season 12, at this point, it is expected that Scherzinger will return.
Ora has previously been a panelist on the UK version of the series. The is the first change in the panelist slate since “The Masked Singer” debuted in 2019.
Scherzinger made it clear her departure for season 11 comes with no drama. When Entertainment Weekly asked if she wanted to return for future seasons, should it continue to get renewed, she had no hesitation. The former “Dancing with the Stars” winner replied, “Oh my gosh, I would love to, are you kidding me?”
The former “Pussycat Dolls” member added, “I love my [‘Masked Singer’] family. And it’s such a great job. Are you kidding? I love it. Yes.”
After the news of Scherzinger’s “The Masked Singer” departure emerged, she shared a post on Instagram highlighting her excitement for her theater experience. “What an incredible journey with the most amazing people, I can’t [wait] for you all to see what we have been working on,” she gushed.
Scherzinger’s fans are thrilled to see her take on this role.
“I just LOVE your own glow up!!! Can’t wait to come and see you on opening night!! So excited,” one fan noted on Scherzinger’s Instagram post.
Another added, “Congratulations!!! You’re going to be amazing… you are amazing!!”
“I’m going to miss you as a panelist on @maskedsingerfox season 11 @nicolescherzinger,” someone else commented.
Rita Ora’s Addition Thrilled Some ‘Masked Singer’ Fans
Ora acknowledged her addition to “The Masked Singer” panel via her Instagram Stories. On September 13, she shared a shot of the announcement from the show’s Instagram page and added, “So happy the secret is finally out! Can’t wait to try and guess who’s behind the mask with the other panelists!”
“The Masked Singer” fans seemed ready to welcome Ora as Scherzinger tackles “Sunset Boulevard.”
One fan’s comment on the show’s Instagram announcement detailed, “We been knew! I hope Nicole is having a grand time in the UK but welcome in Rita!”
“Best news ever!!! Love me some @ritaora,” celebrated someone else.
“OMG YESSSSSS,” replied another supporter.