The Masked Singer Season 8 - Here's What Can Tell Fans So Far

Since 2019, the Fox reality competition "The Masked Singer" has captivated viewers with its winning formula of mystery, music, and celebrity mystique. The show's premise is pretty simple: Celebrities wear elaborate costumes to hide their identities while performing songs, and they are unmasked as they are eliminated from the competition. The show's celebrity panelists, a live audience, and some lucky fans at home vote to keep their favorites concealed and crooning until a winner is presented with the golden mask trophy.

The rare anonymity that celebrities are afforded on "The Masked Singer" seems like an attractive sell to its competitors, including those who wouldn't usually dream of singing in public. "I don't even sing in the shower," "Dog the Bounty Hunter" star Duane Chapman said after being unmasked during Season 7, as reported by Gold Derby. Singer Teyana Taylor was the last star standing that season, with the allure of the show being so strong that she decided to come out of retirement to join the cast. "Nobody knows who's behind the mask, and just sing your heart out," she explained of why the show appealed to her, per Us Weekly.

It's also been a big enough hit for Fox to decide to bring it back for an 8th season, and much like the show's star-studded panel, we're putting the clues together to figure out what it's going to look like.

When will The Masked Singer Season 8 premiere?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Season 8 of "The Masked Singer" will premiere September 21 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Per Deadline, Fox announced the show's renewal before the Season 7 finale even aired.

In response to tweets on the show's official Twitter account, fans sounded off on what they would like to see during Season 8. Some viewers weren't fans of the Season 7 format that saw contestants divided into one of three groups: The Good, The Bad, and The Cuddly. "Please go back to a regular & fair format where everyone competes together and not these BS groups because none of last week's singers should have gone home," wrote one disgruntled fan. There were also calls to allow the panelists to share their first impressions again. In previous seasons, these guesses were used to determine the winner of the golden ear trophy.

Another popular request was adding wildcards back to the mix. These celebrity contestants enter the competition later in the game to keep things interesting — and give viewers some incredible new costumes to admire. Speaking of which, executive producer Craig Plestis teased that the Season 8 outfits will be over-the-top as ever, and the show just might have a few new surprises in store. "I think there's some ideas that we're playing with with the network that are going to be super exciting and the first time that we ever see something," he told Deadline.

Who will be on The Masked Singer Season 8?

Since its inception, the celebrity panelists on "The Masked Singer" have been Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger, Ken Jeong, and Robin Thicke. In its report about the show's renewal, Deadline did not say that any of them are going to be replaced, so it's safe to assume they'll all be returning for Season 8, along with host Nick Cannon.

The show also regularly invites guest panelists to join in on the fun. "Modern Family" star Eric Stonestreet, comedian Nicole Byer, and "Will & Grace" star Leslie Jordan were the celebs who dropped by for episodes of Season 7. Unbeknownst to him, Jordan had a working relationship with one of the contestants: his "Call Me Kat" co-star Cheyenne Jackson, per CinemaBlend.

The competitors are always a mix of professional musicians and entertainers from other fields, but every winner so far has sung professionally. They are Teyana Taylor, T-Pain, Wayne Brady, Kandi Burruss, LeAnn Rimes, Nick Lachey, and Jewel. The show does a good job keeping the contestants' identities under wraps until they are unmasked, and there are strict rules in place to prevent leaks. "We'll humiliate anyone who wants to use their phone on set ... They have to go through the humiliating task of wearing this pageant sash," showrunner Izzie Pick Ibarra told Billboard. Since part of the fun is guessing who the contestants are, most fans probably don't want to know this information ahead of time, anyway.

Could there be another controversial contestant?

Thanks to Rudy Giuliani's polarizing appearance on "The Masked Singer" Season 7, we can list a few celebrities who most likely won't be joining the Season 8 cast. "Rudy Giuliani is as responsible for the violent attack on our Capitol as our disgraced former president. Lives were lost. Over a hundred injured. It's disgusting to have him on the Masked Singer," former "Two and a Half Men" star Jon Cryer wrote on Twitter. "Family Guy" creator Seth McFarlane and comedian Billy Eichner also made it known that they weren't happy about the casting decision.

Giuliani was such a controversial choice because he helped push the lie that Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential race due to election fraud. The former NYC mayor had his law license suspended in New York, and The Office of Disciplinary Counsel slapped him with ethics charges, per a June AP report. One month earlier, Variety quoted Fox exec Rob Wade as saying that the network didn't regret letting Giuliani sing "Bad to the Bone" on "The Masked Singer" — a move that caused a visibly upset Ken Jeong to get up and leave the set. "The marketing is all about delivering jaw dropping moments, which is exactly what the casting accomplished," Wade stated. "I suppose my only regret or surprise was obviously the reveal was spoiled [by the press]." 

So it looks like Fox would have no qualms about casting controversial public figures on the show in the future.