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The Masked Singer Season 9 Features First-Ever Panelists’ Save

ScreenRant logo ScreenRant 2/6/2023 Lorianne Palinkas
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The Masked Singer season 9 will include the first-ever panelists' save, during which Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg, Ken Jeong, and Nicole Scherzinger will be able to prevent a contestant from being unmasked. In addition to the panelists, Nick Cannon will return as the host. The Masked Singer season 9 has already revealed 10 character names including French Hen, Doll, Axolotl, Moose, Mustang, Dandelion, Gargoyle, Fairy, Jackalope, and California Roll. Theme nights will return after their great success in The Masked Singer season 8. So far, they include ABBA, New York, Superhero, Sesame Street, Country, and '80s Night.

According to The Futon Critic, The Masked Singer season 9 will also introduce the "Ding Dong Keep It On" Bell, which allows the panelists to save a contestant from elimination. There will also be a "Champion of The Masked Singer" format, which features sudden eliminations and double unmaskings. This new twist allows the panelists the opportunity to keep a strong contestant in the competition for another week.

Related: Masked Singer Season 8 Contestants Guessed By Panel (& Who Stumped Them)

The Masked Singer Season 9 Premiere Has Three Performances

The Masked Singer season 9 premiere will feature three masked celebrities. Last season, there were four masks in the first episode, but only one of them made it to the second round of the competition. William Shatner (Knight), Eric Idle (Hedgehog), and Chris Kirkpatrick (Hummingbird) were all revealed, but Amber Riley (Harp) made it all the way to The Masked Singer season 8 finale and won. She took home the Golden Mask Trophy, while Wilson Phillips (Lambs) placed second.

Although The Masked Singer season 9 is keeping its much-maligned double elimination format, this new twist appears to have been added to alleviate some of the frustration at seeing strong singers leave the competition too early. Last season, the studio audience voted for their favorite singer, and the one who received the least amount of votes was automatically unmasked. The other two then went head-to-head in a Battle Royale, during which the panelists decided who went on to the next round. At times, this appeared to be predetermined as celebrities such as William Shatner seemed relieved that they did not move on in the competition. Linda Blair (Scarecrow) even voluntarily withdrew after the first round of The Masked Singer season 8 because she accomplished her goal of raising awareness for her charity, the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation.

The Masked Singer "Ding Dong Keep It On" Bell will be a fun and exciting twist that will make the competition more fair for the better singers. It is unclear if it can be used every week or if it can only be activated once in the season. It is the opposite of The Masked Singer season 6's "Take It Off" Buzzer, which allowed the panelists to force a celebrity to unmask immediately if they guessed their identity. This new twist is a great solution to the problem of fantastic singers leaving The Masked Singer too early. However, it keeps the excitement of possibly finding out two celebrities' Masked Singer identities in one episode. The Masked Singer season 9 seems like it could be the best one yet.

The Masked Singer season 9 premieres Wednesday, February 15 at 8 p.m. on FOX.

More: The Masked Singer Stars Who Passed Away In 2022

Sources: The Futon Critic, The Masked Singer/Instagram


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