The Masked Singer fans have been left shocked by the unveiling of the famous face behind the Panther costume.
Season 8 of the Fox show began on September 21, debuting the new format that sees the celebrities divided into groups and competing within their group to be crowned King or Queen.
Each week only the King or Queen makes it through to the next stage and all the other performers in that week’s group are unmasked, whereas in previous seasons only one contestant has been unmasked per week.
On the second episode of the season, which aired on September 28, Panther and Pi-Rat were introduced to the audience, judges and viewers at home, while Harp returned after being crowned the Queen of her group on episode one.
The trio battled it out on the stage but, ultimately, Harp was crowned Queen again, meaning Panther and Pi-Rat were the contestants to be unmasked.
Newsweek has everything you need to know about which celebrity was behind the Panther costume, and which other stars have been unmasked on The Masked Singer Season 8.
Who Is Panther on The Masked Singer 2022?
Panther, who performed a rendition of “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone, gave the clue that he is a “weekend warrior,” before the hints of a globe and “victory” were given.
“Panther believes that victory isn’t just about winning, victory means the world to me,” he said.
The voiceover continued: “It’s lucky that I’m here on Vegas night, because one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to always bet on yourself. Right from the jump, I was at the top of my game, and rubbing shoulders with Beyoncé. Until one day, people thought I was dead. Even my own family. I had the rare opportunity to attend my own funeral and see how others would remember me. It made me realize, I had more of a legacy to leave.
“So, I started back at one, to show that I was a scholar, a son, a lover and a leader. Tonight, I’m here to prove that nothing and no one has the power to define me.”
The celebrity panel, which is made up of Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke, guessed he could be Dwight Howard, Andre Drummond, Sam Richardson, Brian McKnight, Lamar Odom or Billy Porter.
In the end, host Nick Cannon revealed Panther was actually singer Montell Jordan.
The section of the voiceover that discusses the performer’s death is in reference to a 2012 internet hoax that claimed that Jordan, now 53, had died.
Fans were surprised by Panther’s unveiling, especially as none of the judges had managed to correctly identify him.
One fan shared their shock on Twitter, posting: “Panther was Montell Jordan?!….” alongside a “mind blown” emoji.
While another wrote: “Finding out that #TheMaskedSinger #PantherMask is singer Montell Jordan! His ‘victory’ clue referred to Victory World Church in Atlanta where he’s a pastor! @MaskedSingerFOX #MaskedSinger #MontellJordan,” alongside pictures of Scherzinger and McCarthy Wahlberg looking shocked.
Who Else Has Been Unmasked on The Masked Singer 2022?
During the September 28 episode, Pi-Rat was unmasked as comedian Jeff Dunham.
During the season premiere, on September 21, Harp, Hummingbird, Knight and Hedgehog each took to the stage to perform in their costumes.
Harp, who fans believe is Amber Riley, made it through to the next episode, meaning her identity was kept under wraps but Hummingbird, who was eliminated, was not unmasked until the beginning of the second episode.
Hummingbird was revealed to be NSYNC star Chris Kirkpatrick, which lots of fans had already predicted on social media.
The other costumes on Season 8 of The Masked Singer will be Avocado, Beetle, Bride, Fortune Teller, Gopher, Lambs, Maize, Milkshake, Mummies, Robo Girl, Scarecrow, Sir Bugaboo, Venus Fly Trap and Walrus.
The show’s executive producer, Craig Plestis, has revealed that this season the costumes are actually clues for the identities of the performers.
He told EW: “Especially for certain ones like Venus Fly Trap, that costume is a clue. This season, all these costumes, there’s a real reason why each celebrity is in each costume.”
The Masked Singer airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.
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