The Masked Dancer officially crowned the show's first winner on Wednesday night. After eliminating both Tulip and Sloth, Cotton Candy ended up with the win. The only thing left to do was reveal their identity. So, they subsequently removed their mask and revealed that they were Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas.
It was initially announced back in January 2020 that there would be a dance-focused spinoff of The Masked Singer entitled The Masked Dancer. Several months later, in October 2020, it was announced that Craig Robinson had been tapped as the host of the program. At the time, those behind The Masked Dancer also announced the judges' panel, which is comprised of Paula Abdul, Brian Austin Green, Ashley Tisdale, and Ken Jeong, who also serves as a judge on The Masked Singer. Several celebrities, including Mayim Bialik and Rob Lowe, have also appeared on the panel as guest judges. Rob Wade, the president of alternative programming and specials at Fox Entertainment released a statement about the host and judges for The Masked Dancer.
“We’ve begun filming ‘The Masked Dancer’ with incredible new talent on both sides of the mask, and can’t wait to share the series with viewers,” Wade said at the time, per Variety. “Craig Robinson is hilarious as always in his role as host, and Ken, Brian, Ashley and Paula are the perfect blend of personalities to lead our awesomely weird world of masks into a whole new genre!” The Masked Dancer premiered in late December, with masked figures such as Ice Cube, Disco Ball, and Exotic Bird trying their hand at the competition.
Prior to the show's December premiere, Jeong spoke about what viewers can expect from the new spinoff. In addition to speaking about The Masked Dancer, he also floated another idea for the future of the Masked franchise — a possible Masked Comedian. As Deadline noted, Jeong was asked whether there could be a spinoff inspired by Murray Langston, who is known as The Unknown Comedian as he wore a paper bag over his head when he was a frequent guest on The Gong Show. In response, the Masked Singer judge said, "I’ve actually told Craig [Robinson] that there could be a world where that could happen and Craig hosted Last Coming Standing. It’s funny you say that because there were moments when we were doing The Masked Dancer, where I would watch Craig on stage, because we go back so much in stand-up, and I said that there could be an amplification of this.”