‘The Masked Singer’ season 4 episode 1 recap: Who was the first celebrity to be unmasked? [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

It’s a great day for “The Masked Singer” fans (what do you call yourselves anyway — “Maskies”? “Maskers”?), as the Season 4 premiere has finally arrived. This year features a roster of 16 all-new secret celebrities wearing extravagant costumes who’ve been divided into multiple groups. Up first is Group A, which consists of Snow Owls, Sun, Giraffe, Popcorn and Dragon. Each of them took the stage on Wednesday night in front of a coronavirus-mandated virtual audience, as well as host Nick Cannon and panelists Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger. So who was the first contestant to be unmasked in front of America?

Below, read our minute-by-minute “The Masked Singer” recap of Season 4, Episode 1, titled “The Masks Return,” to find out what happened Wednesday, September 23 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite costumed celebs on Fox’s reality TV show, reflect on every reveal for all seasons, and tell us who you think will ultimately join the “Masked Singer” winners list.

Keep refreshing/reloading this “Masked Singer” live blog for the most recent updates.

8:00 p.m. — “Previously on ‘The Masked Singer’!” In last season’s finale, the final three came down to Frog, Turtle and Night Angel. One by one they were eliminated, with Frog in third place (he was rapper Bow Wow), followed by Turtle as the runner-up (he was singer Jesse McCartney) and Night Angel as the winner (she was singer/TV personality Kandi Burruss). By claiming the Golden Mask, Burruss became the first female champion in “Masked Singer” history. But enough about last year, let’s start the new season in 3 … 2 … 1 …

8:10 p.m. — Up first tonight is the Sun! The dainty, shining star walked out filled with confidence. Let’s listen to the clues! She reveals a card that says “Gold Member,” mentions “extreme seasons” and we see what looks like hair mousse being shot out of a tube. She reveals at first She was great, but it was a lot of pressure. The spotlight was scorching and she got burned out. She was then frozen in a deep depression. We could also see an image of a jaguar and Mickey Mouse ears. Interesting comments! For her performance Sun is singing “Cuz I Love You” by Lizzo. Okay, that opening note took me by surprised. Sun can sing and she’s got great timing as well. The belting, head voice and overall range leads me to believe she is definitely a professional singer. Who is she? The panelists threw out names including Katharine McPhee, Demi Lovato and Madonna.

8:20 p.m. — Next up, the Giraffe has been unleashed and I absolutely love this costume. It’s the tallest in “Masked Singer” history but it’s also so sophisticated! What are his clues? He’s had a roller coaster career full of ups and downs. Music is in his blood, but when he stuck his neck out and took a gigantic risk, he became a but of everyone’s jokes. He was in “knots” and felt lonely. He states the party was over, so he swung even harder (a $3 game) is shown. With hard work he’s drummed up towering success and now he’s in the driver’s seat. For his performance, Giraffe is singing “Let’s Get It Started” by Black Eyed Peas. Okay, we’ve got a rapping Giraffe! He also sings the chorus and has a decent voice, but his rapping is more fun. I’m digging this character! The panel thinks he could be Garth Brooks, Travis Barker or Vanilla Ice.

8:30 p.m. — Popcorn is up next and she’s got a sexy saunter to the stage. We haven’t heard her sing yet, but she knows how to bring personality without saying a word. Here are some of her clues — An image of “Snacks in the City” appears that looks just like the TV show “Sex and the City.” She has a thick New York accent, which could be an act. She says she built a career around love, but she’s not soft. She worked long nights rushin’ from one thing to the next. We also see some meatloaf on a plate, a goldfish with hoop earrings and a tiger. There’s a lot going on here! She has jet-setted to exotic places with royalty. Tonight she’s singing “What About Us” by Pink and she has great, distinct voice. I love her! She almost sounds like Cyndi Lauper?  She’s definitely a seasoned singer. Robin says it was the most outstanding performance of the night. The panel thinks Popcorn could be Tina Turner, Carole Baskin or Mary J. Blige. I know for a fact none of those guesses are incorrect.

8:40 p.m. — Dragon is up next and he appears to be a massive figure. This could be an athlete. Here are a few clues – We see three sports cars parked in front of his mansion (all drawn in animation). He loves dressing up in funky, outrageous costumes. He’s always been a fire-breathing beast on his quest to be the best. At first his fire was dangerous and then he got a tip to help him calm down and switch gears. He seems to have a lot of money and we also see a dumbbell, suggesting he’s no stranger to working out. We also see the Statue of Liberty. Tonight Dragon is singing “Mama Said Knock You Out” by LL Cool J. He’s got a raspy voice and sounds like he might actually be a legitimate rapper. Maybe Busta Rhymes or Ja Rule? He’s got some flow, but his stage presence wasn’t as fun as Frog last year (Bow Wow set the bar). The panel thinks Dragon could be DMX, Michael Phelps or Busta Rhymes.

8:50 p.m. — Last to perform are the Snow Owls, the first ever duo on “Masked Singer.” Here are some clues — We see a sign that says “Jam-a-Lot” and they says we haven’t seen them together in a while, but it’s time for a family reunion. It sounds like they are a man and a woman. They hint at being a brother-sister combo who have some roots in comedy. They have references to Christmas. For their song, Snow Owls are singing “Say Something” by A Great Big World. They both have great voices and there’s a bit of a country vibe happening. For a second I was thinking Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, but that wouldn’t go with the sister/brother clue. The panel guesses the Snow Owls could be Amy Grant & Vince GillDonny & Marie Osmond or Eugene Levy & Catherine O’Hara.

8:59 p.m. — It’s time to find out which singer from Group A will be un-masked. Going home first this season is the Dragon. Before he officially reveals his identity, the panel must reveal their first impression and final guesses: Adrian Peterson/DMX (Jenny), Marshawn Lynch/Michael Phelps (Ken), Busta Rhymes (Nicole and Robin).  Dragon finally pulls off his mask and it is, in fact, Busta Rhymes! Robin and Nicole are currently tied with one point each in their own pursuit of this season’s Golden Ear trophy.

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

Be sure to make your predictions to influence our reality TV racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the episode airs on Fox. You’ll compete to win eternal bragging rights and a spot on our “The Masked singer” Season 4 leaderboard. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.