The Masked Singer has featured some polarizing contestants in the past — most infamously Sarah Palin, whose shocking reveal as the twerking, Sir Mix-a-Lot-singing Bear in Season 3 drew backlash from irate viewers two years ago.
But according to Deadline and TMZ, the recent casting and unmasking of another conservative politician, Rudy Giuliani, drew backlash from the judges — actually prompting Robin Thicke and Ken Jeong to storm off the set in protest.
The Masked Singer Season 7 premiere was taped in Los Angeles last week; when Donald Trump's notorious former attorney and adviser (who has been accused of encouraging a coup against the elected U.S. president on Jan. 6, 2021) turned out to be the season’s first eliminee, everyone in the room was reportedly stunned.
According to Deadline, judges Nicole Scherzinger and Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg played along and engaged in the usual post-reveal banter with Giuliani, but the other two regular panelists, Thicke and Jeong, exited the stage in disgust. Deadline reports that Thicke and Jeong did eventually return to the judging desk, although it is unclear if they returned during or after the episode's taping.
Representatives for Fox declined to comment to Yahoo Entertainment for this story; the network has been historically extremely vigilant about keeping the identities of the wildly popular reality show’s contestants under wraps. Deadline did not divulge the costume Giuliani wore nor the song he sang, leading some bloggers to wonder if this casting was a publicity stunt that backfired.
As of now, The Masked Singer Season 7 — the theme of which is perhaps fittingly “The Good, the Bad, and the Cuddly” — is slated to premiere on Fox on March 9. However, it remains to be seen if Giuliani’s controversial reveal, and the judges’ outraged reaction, will make that episode’s final cut.
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