Ken Jeong will not appear on The Masked Singer U.K. this season due to travel restrictions put in place during the coronavirus pandemic. The comedian is forbidden to travel to the U.K., he told Deadline, although he may try to make some kind of socially-distant cameo. Jeong is still expected to appear on the U.S. version of the show on Fox.
"I had so much fun on season 1 of The Masked Singer UK, I told the team nothing short of a global pandemic would stop me from coming back for Season 2!" Jeong joked. "I am gutted because I truly love working with Joel, Rita, Davina, Jonathan and everyone at Bandicoot and ITV. I hope when things start to normalize I can return and offer my expertise on all things British, like the Australian Open. Please take care, be safe, and as the title of the show suggests, wear a mask."
Season 2 of the U.K.'s version of The Masked Singer was just confirmed on Monday, as the pandemic continues to cast a shadow of uncertainty across the entire entertainment industry. Jeong will reportedly be replaced there by British comedian Mo Gilligan, who spoke to reporters about filling his shoes.
"It's a real privilege to be joining The Masked Singer team. It's one of the funniest shows out there, and I'm really proud to play my small part to help bring a little bit of joy to the nation," Gilligan said.
The U.S. version of The Masked Singer will look different this year as well, and not just because of the coronavirus pandemic. According to a report by PEOPLE, the show resumed production this week, with a new twist added to the competition: fan voting. Fans will be able to cast their vote for the performance of the night in the upcoming season, though the details of the process have not been revealed yet.
Fox and the show's cast and crew are reportedly working closely with local health experts and officials to ensure that the set is as safe and sanitary as possible. It is currently slated to begin airing in September, and fans can expect to see frequent use of PPE, as well as social distancing between the cast and crew. Off-screen, peoples' temperatures will be taken regularly as well.
Jeong will be joined by fellow judges Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke, all of whom have worked on the series before. Of course, there is no word yet on who will be under the masks, but the performers this year will include a Queen Bee, three vegetable masks, sunglasses, two keys, a bowtie, a Canadian maple leaf, a baseball glove, a yin-yang, a gavel, a stethoscope, 11:11 and a post card addressed to Mel Rose.