‘The Masked Singer’: Nick Cannon out, Niecy Nash in as Covid scare rocks TV’s biggest show

The Masked Singer” Season 5 will look a lot different, and it’s all thanks to Covid-19. As our sister site Variety reports, longtime host Nick Cannon has tested positive for the coronavirus, so he will be replaced by Niecy Nash. Cannon is expected to return to Fox’s reality TV show when he recovers, but Nash will have the reigns for at least few episodes. The fifth season of television’s biggest show is set to debut on March 10, with production beginning Thursday, February 4.

Cannon is “currently in quarantine and resting,” his publicist has reportedly confirmed. The actor/dancer/rapper has been with the show since day one, alongside panelists Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger. This core foursome will be back when Season 5 resumes production.

Nash is no stranger to the “Masked Singer” family, having sat on the panel as a guest judge. She appeared in the seventh episode of Season 4 when Clint Black & Lisa Hartman Black were revealed to be the Snow Owls. Nash incorrectly guessed Harry Hamlin & Lisa Rinna as the masked couple, but the pressure’s off when she returns to the “TMS” stage as the hosts don’t make official guesses.

Last September, Nash also appeared on Fox’s spiritual cousin series “I Can See Your Voice” as a panelist. That’s the game show hosted by Jeong that tasks contestants with guessing whether singers are good or bad based simply on their looks. Nash is a three-time Emmy nominee for “Getting On” (2015-16) and “When They See Us” (2019).

SEE See all 62 ‘The Masked Singer’ costumes and celebrity reveals through the years

Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in early 2020, Hollywood productions have had to change the way they handle many things. On “The Masked Singer,” there is no more live audience out of caution for health restrictions. “Visuals of audience featured in this episode included virtual shots as well as shots from past seasons,” reads the fine print at the end of the episodes. “The use of these visuals was for creative purposes only and did not impact the actual audience voting and outcome.”

“The Masked Singer” is an adaptation of the popular South Korean series, which premiered as an instant hit stateside on January 2, 2019. The program tasks a group of mystery celebrities with dressing up in extravagant costumes and singing in front of a studio audience and panel of judges. Each week the contestant who receives the lowest number of votes is unmasked in front of America, until only one remains as the winner of the coveted Golden Mask.

We recently asked our readers to tell us which “The Masked Singer” winner is their all-time favorite and Sun (LeAnn Rimes) came in with a majority of the vote (51%). Second place was Fox (Wayne Brady) at 25%, third place was Monster (T-Pain) at 16% and fourth place was Night Angel (Kandi Burruss).

SEE exclusive predictions: Who will win ‘The Masked Dancer’?

Be sure to make your predictions to influence our reality TV racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs on Fox. You’ll compete to win eternal bragging rights and a spotlight on our “The Masked Dancer” Season 1 leaderboard. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.


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