'The Masked Singer' Season 5: Host Nick Cannon Will Return 'Toward the Second Half' of Season

With The Masked Singer host Nick Cannon taking a break from the show as he recovers from the coronavirus — and Niecy Nash taking over as guest host to cover for him — fans are wondering when Cannon will return in the upcoming Season 5. Producers revealed during the virtual Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday without going into the specifics that Cannon will be back "towards the second half of the season." However, producers did not reveal if Cannon will be resuming his hosting duties once he returns.

"Nick rejoins towards the second half of the season," executive producer James Breen said, as reported by Entertainment Tonight. "I won't be too specific about how many shows, but Niecy kicks things off." Breen thanked Nash, who previously appeared on the show as a guest judge, to fill Cannon's shoes at the last minute. "We got incredibly lucky there because Niecy just stepped in pretty last minute," Breen said. "And immediately had her own chemistry with the panel. She was just a producers' dream. Absolutely fantastic."

Judges Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke all agreed, with Jeong adding that Nash is "just part of our game-changing season." Calling Nash a "boss" and a "queen," Scherzinger joked about Jeong, "She took over for Nick's sot and she put her son in his place."

As far as Nash's experience on the competition show, she said she has "never felt so welcomed," despite being a newcomer. "I just walked in the door and every single person supported me and was so kind," she said. "The producers, my hats off to you because they gave me such a beautiful surprise. I'm recently married. They surprised everybody, not just me, but I loved my surprise. They gave me a beautiful video message from my new wife and I wanted to cry my fake eyelashes off. I was sad to go; I really was."

Season 5 of The Masked Singer, which premieres next week, will feature never-before-seen twists like the wildcard rounds that will spice up the competition. Breen also hinted that the format update would add a new layer of intrigue to the rounds. "We will get to know them [the wildcard contestants]," he said, adding that one of them has "one of the most emotional performances" of the entire season. The show will also introduce Cluedle-do, a mysterious and masked celebrity guest who interrupts the show with new clues about contestants' identities.

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The Masked Singer premieres Wednesday, March 10 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. Share with us what you're looking forward to most in the comments!