The Masked Singer kicked off Season 9 with a bang, eliminating a beloved entertainer whose fame spans generations! The show's producers decided to repeat Season 8's idea of theme nights and double eliminations — so in the Season 9 premiere, viewers saw a brand new stage and two huge unmaskings. One of them was the Gnome, an iconic actor whose career stretches back to the 1950s. Spoilers ahead!
The gnome costume was designed to make it impossible for panelists Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg, Nicole Scherzinger, Ken Jeong, and Robin Thicke to figure out who was under the mask. The clue package helped a big thought, beginning with the mention of how he has become a "mainstay in your lives" over the course of his career. He has worked with famous comedians and musicians and met presidents. He has also used umbrellas and has a connection to Tony Danza (but that was a reference to the Tony Awards).
After the package, the gnome performed Billie Holiday's "When You're Smiling." Once he started singing though, it became very clear who this was (well, clear to everyone but the panelists). Still, the panelists had to make their guesses. The Masked Singer team also had to bring out another clue, which was a medal with President John F. Kennedy's face on it. (This was a reference to the Kennedy Center Honors.) Scherzinger and Thicke guessed Dustin Hoffman and Jeong picked Robert De Niro.
The gnome did not make it to the Battle Royale segment, which meant he was the first contestant unmasked on the night. Even after a second opportunity to guess who it was, the panelists stuck to their early picks. McCarthy Wahlberg also guessed Tony Bennett. Of course, none of these were right! It was none other than Dick Van Dyke! At 97, Van Dyke clearly has no intent on stepping out of the spotlight.
How to Watch
The Masked Singer airs on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. If you don't have a traditional cable package, FuboTV allows you to watch The Masked Singer live (there's even a free trial available). Additionally, all episodes of The Masked Singer are available on Hulu the following day.