Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Two Masked Singer judges actually guess correctly on the first try

Ken Jeong on The Masked Singer
Ken Jeong on The Masked Singer
Screenshot: Talent Recap

The Masked Singer judges aren’t known for their eagle-eared guesses. Sure, Ken Jeong intentionally(?) guesses celebrities that would never compete on this Fox reality singing competition even if they were allowed to keep the mask on after being eliminated, but Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger, and Robin Thicke aren’t much better—yet they somehow keep being asked back season after season. It’s almost as if the producers want them guessing Obama and Cher would do the show.


But this week—the second episode of season five—not just one, but two judges successfully named the singer under the mask of the eliminated contestant...

[Spoiler ahead.]

During the initial round of guessing following the Phoenix’s horrifying performance of Kesha’s “TiK ToK,” the entire panel picked up on the clues that indicated the singer was a member of the LGBTQ+ community. At the time, the judges secretly wrote down their “first impression guesses” before publicly discussing other options. Among the discussed guesses were RuPaul, Jane Lynch, and Caitlyn Jenner.

Later in the episode, viewers voted the Phoenix out and kept Black Swan (maybe Demi Lovato or tween pop sensation JoJo), Piglet (definitely Nick Lachey), Grandpa Monster (pooooossibly John Travolta but probably someone younger), and Chameleon (I honestly have no idea). Just before the Phoenix unmasked, guest host Niecy Nash—stepping in for COVID-positive Nick Cannon—revealed the judges’ written-down guesses:

Jenny McCarthy: Caitlyn Jenner
Nicole Scherzinger: Perez Hilton
Robin Thicke: Laverne Cox
Ken Jeong: Caitlyn Jenner

Jeong ultimately changed his guess to RuPaul and Scherzinger decided it was actually Jonathan Van Ness. Well, Jeong should have stuck to his guns. “You know, I like challenges,” Caitlyn Jenner told Nash after taking off the giant Pheonix head. “I’ve raced cars. I fly airplanes.... You can only work on the golf game for so long.”

Cheering Jenner on, McCarthy wanted to know what the Olympian thought her many kids will say when they learn she was on the show. “They’ve always known Dad’s a little crazy, they’ll try anything,” said Jenner. “Life’s short. You’ve gotta enjoy it.” As for anyone lamenting that Jenner was sent home first: “I’ll be on the golf course tomorrow. Don’t feel sorry for me.”


After watching that performance of “Tik ToK,” the only people to feel sorry for are viewers.

A.V. Club Editor in Chief...but really just a She-Ra, Schitt’s Creek, Grey’s Anatomy, Survivor, Big Brother, Top Chef, The Good Place superfan.