The Masked Singer host Nick Cannon has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, per Variety. As a result, he will not be able to host the first few episodes of Season 5 of the Fox series which begin taping this week. Since he will not be able to take part in filming, actress Niecy Nash will stand in as host for the first few episodes.
A guest judge during Season 4, Nash has previously hosted Clean House, a home makeover show that earned her an Emmy Award in 2010. She also appeared on two episodes of Fox's I Can See Your Voice, hosted by Masked Singer judge Ken Jeong.
With production on Season 5 of The Masked Singer set to begin on Thursday, Nash will take over for Cannon as host until he recovers. A representative for Cannon confirmed that he is in quarantine and resting in light of his COVID-19 diagnosis. Even though he may be missing for the first few episodes of Season 5, Fox expects Cannon to be back sometime later on in the season.
Season 4 of The Masked Singer concluded in December. The finalists included the Mushroom, the Sun, and the Crocodile. The final episode saw the Crocodile come in third place to be unmasked as Nick Carter. The Mushroom finished in second place, and revealed to be singer Aloe Blacc. In the end, the Sun, who was a force to be reckoned with during the entirety of Season 4, walked away with the win. The great unmasking revealed two-time Grammy winning singer LeAnn Rimes.
The "How Do I Live" singer later spoke with PEOPLE about her time on the show and her win. While Rimes has been involved in the music industry for quite some time now, The Masked Singer presented her with a unique opportunity to showcase a different side of herself.
"I didn't expect such an emotional journey from The Masked Singer," Rimes said when asked how it felt to win the season after showcasing a very vulnerable side to herself through her performances. "The whole show surprised me. I had only seen clips of the show before I signed on to do it, and I didn't expect the emotion and creativity. There was truly a deep thought process that went into being the Sun and creating the Sun, and the songs that I was performing. So it felt fantastic to win after the rollercoaster of being a part of all of that creativity."
The Season 5 premiere of The Masked Singer is scheduled for March. While Niecy Nash will temporarily replace Nick Cannon as host, the regular panel of judges – Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger – will return.