The Rudy Giuliani Masked Singer Controversy Fully Explained

You never fully know who is going to show up on Fox's "The Masked Singer," which is kind of the whole point of the show. Still, judges were shocked by the reveal of former New York City mayor and Donald Trump fixer Rudy Giuliani popping out of the Jack in the Box. Giuliani's appearance wasn't necessarily a total surprise to fans of the show, however, as the news broke that he had participated in the celebrity singing competition back in February, according to Deadline, and that some of the judges were pretty ticked off about it. 

The theme of this season of "The Masked Singer" is "The Good, the Bad, and the Cuddly," and Giuliani was booted off in the first episode. He performed a half-talking, half-singing rendition of "Bad to the Bone" for his swan song, though not all of the judges were around to hear the whole thing. Yeah, it didn't go great, it's safe to say. 

Fans and judges were disappointed by Rudy Giuliani's casting

Back in February when the episode was taped, Deadline reported that two of "The Masked Singer" judges, Ken Jeong and Robin Thicke, were especially displeased by Rudy Giuliani's appearance on the show, and walked off in protest. Watching the episode, you can clearly see how upset Jeong is by the reveal. As soon as Giuliani started singing "Bad to the Bone" after popping out of the Jack in the Box, Jeong, with his arms folded, said, "Yeah, I'm done," and immediately walked off stage. Thicke, who also left the stage, said, "It can't get badder than that." Meanwhile fellow judges, Nicole Scherzinger and Jenny McCarthy, stuck around and danced as Giuliani finished his number. 

While "The Masked Singer" isn't a stranger to hosting polarizing political figures (ahem, remember Sarah Palin?), the choice to cast Giuliani was especially controversial not just for the judges, but also for critics and fans on social media. Giuliani is known for trying to help former president Donald Trump overturn the results of the 2020 election. In a column for Variety, Daniel D'Addario wrote, "Fox gave time and attention to a powerful figure who would have, if given his way, put the last nail in the coffin of democracy in this country." Meanwhile fans on Twitter expressed their own anger. One person called it "Despicable and unacceptable," while another said, "Shame on the show for giving this ghoul any level of respect or positive press."

Should Giuliani have been allowed on the lighthearted show? According to the audiences, the answer seems to be no.