'The Masked Dancer' Premiere Unmasks Disco Ball, and It's a Major TV Star and Rapper

The Masked Dancer made its grand debut on Sunday evening and delivered its first unmasking in the process. The spin-off of The Masked Singer didn’t disappoint in delivering a recognizable celebrity in its first reveal. The Masked Dancer is hosted by Craig Robinson with a panel that includes Ken Jeong, Paula Abdul, Ashley Tisdale, and Brian Austin Green, who recently was spotted on vacation with Dancing With the Stars dancer Sharna Burgess.

In its series premiere, viewers were given its first unmasking as the Disco Ball lifted up its costume, revealing that it was Law & Order: SVU star and Grammy-winning rapper, Ice-T. He was among 10 masked contestants and a part of Group A, that included Tulip, Exotic Bird, Hammerhead and Cricket along with the Disco Ball. Ice-T stepped up with a performance of Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.” Afterwards, the judges attempted to decipher who was behind the costume, believing that Ice-T was instead LL Cool J, as guessed by Green. Other candidates included Smokey Robinson, Ving Rhames and Lionel Richie. Sticking to its parent show’s formula, each contestant’s identity is alluded to with various hints. For Ice-T, his included a “serve and protect” message paying homage to his hit television role and a more on-the-nose clue included an image of a pitcher of iced tea.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly about his early departure, the multi-talented celebrity said he was a big dancer back in the dancer and knew he wouldn’t have been able to tap into that like he used to due to his age. He joked that he didn’t care if he made a fool of himself because his identity would’ve been secret anyhow.

“When I was dancing, I was like ‘You know, if I am terrible it doesn’t matter because no one knows who I am.’ And by the time they know who I am I don’t have to dance no more,” he explained. He also talked about the process of keeping everything so hidden and how he didn’t get a ton of practice time beforehand and none of the performers were given a chance to pick their son or routine. His time there only lasted one weekend, as well, which worked out well for his SVU filming schedule that will run all the way through May after their Christmas break.