Paula Abdul ends ‘The Masked Dancer’ as judge with most correct guesses — how’d she do it?

The Masked Dancer” Season 1 came to end on Wednesday night with Gabby Douglas (Cotton Candy) winning the Diamond Mask trophy. However, there was another competition going on at the judges’ table all season long that also bears mentioning: which panelist was the best guesser? Heading into the finale, both Paula Abdul and Brian Austin Green were tied at two points apiece. But with three celebrities still left to unmask — Cotton Candy, Sloth and Tulip — it was still anybody’s game. Before the confetti fell on Fox’s reality TV show, Paula ended up as the judge with the most correct guesses. So how’d she do it?

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First things first, credit goes to Ashley Tisdale for being the only judge to correctly guess Mackenzie Ziegler (Tulip) was actually the third-place finisher. Ashley had a feeling the TikTok star was actually hiding inside the flowery costume because of all the “Dance Moms” clues and the hints about her bigger sister, Maddie Ziegler.

Following that reveal, both Paula and Brian savvily name-dropped Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Sloth) as the show’s runner-up. At first Brian thought the “Dancing with the Stars” pro dancer’s brother, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, might be disguising himself as the lazy mammal, but he eventually switched to Maksim because the clues hinted that the contestant had a child.

At that spot in the finale, both Paula and Brian were tied at three points apiece. However, Paula claimed victory when she was the only judge to proclaim Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas was actually the sugary treat. The clues that put Paula over the edge were Cotton Candy’s prayer hands and Alicia Keys‘ famous stage dedication to Gabby of “Girl on Fire.”

Here’s the final tally of the judges’ scores on “The Masked Dancer” Season 1:

Paula Abdul — 4 correct guesses
Brian McKnight as Cricket
Jordin Sparks as Exotic Bird
Maksim Chmerkovskiy as Sloth
Gabby Douglas as Cotton Candy

Brian Austin Green — 3 correct guesses
Elizabeth Smart as Moth
Oscar De La Hoya as Zebra
Maksim Chmerkovskiy as Sloth

Ashley Tisdale — 2 correct guesses
Jordin Sparks as Exotic Bird
Mackenzie Ziegler as Tulip

Ken Jeong — 1 correct guess
Bill Nye as Ice Cube

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