Fox’s fun new reality TV show “The Masked Singer” revealed its first celebrity contestant at the end of Wednesday’s season premiere. The series, which dresses up celebs in elaborate costumes and then makes them sing in front of a live audience and a panel of judges, debuted with six singers performing in three separate face-offs: Peacock vs. Hippo, Unicorn vs. Monster and Lion vs. Deer. Unfortunately, Hippo lost his face-off and was then voted out by the judges, so he was forced to unmask himself in dramatic fashion, revealing Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. Did YOU guess that it was Brown inside the Hippo costume singing Bobby Brown‘s “My Prerogative”?
After the studio audience named Peacock, Unicorn and Lion as the three winners of their separate match-ups, that meant that Hippo, Monster and Deer were all in danger of heading home. The four judges — Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke — voted for which singer they wanted to eliminate first, and they chose Hippo. Thus, Monster and Deer got to remain masked and they’ll return to sing another day.
Before Brown removed his costumed head, each judge guessed who they thought was underneath. Scherzinger chose basketball player Allen Iverson, Jeong and McCarthy opted for football player Deion Sanders, and Thicke predicted football player Odell Beckham Jr. Of course, they all ended up being incorrect.
After chants of “Take it off! Take it off!” from the crowd, everyone reacted in shock as the Hippo removed its mask and revealed Antonio Brown. “This was a challenge,” Brown told host Nick Cannon at the end of the episode. “You know, it was a challenge being able to stay on beat, but it was exciting. I was glad to be a part of and I had a good time today.”
In Brown’s exit interview (watch above), he said that he chose the Hippo because it fit his personality. “He had the chains. Super cool. Athletic. His head was a little bigger than mine.” Brown later added, “It was pretty amazing being a Hippo and being under the radar and being able to just do my thing.” Find out who’s underneath another costume when “The Masked Singer” returns next Wednesday on Fox.