The Tulip on The Masked Dancer
Source: Michael Becker/Fox

Fans Knew Who the Tap-Dancing Tulip Was on 'The Masked Dancer' All Along (SPOILERS)

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Feb. 17 2021, Published 10:16 p.m. ET

Update: The fans knew it all along! On Feb. 17, it was revealed that Dance Moms star Mackenzie Ziegler was behind the Tulip mask on The Masked Dancer Season 1. Keep reading to see who fans initially predicted.   

Fox’s reality competition The Masked Dancer has been underway since Sunday, Dec. 27, and fans have been sharing who they think the TikTok tap dancer in the Tulip costume actually could be.

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Even though the celeb panelists guessed Charli D’Amelio, Ariana Grande, and Heather Morris, many viewers think the mystery celeb in the flowery get-up is almost definitely Maddie Ziegler's sister, Mackenzie. Here’s what we know… 

The Tulip’s video package offered some hints on 'The Masked Dancer.'

the masked dancer tulip
Source: Michael Becker/Fox

Before she danced a tap-infused routine to Fergie’s “Fergalicious,” Tulip introduced herself in a video package. “Hey, guys! I thought I wouldn’t have anything to talk about in this video, but then I found this gem,” Tulip says, holding up a Mount Laurel yearbook. “I don’t want this to sound like one of those good guy/bad guy stories, but growing up, I was teased all the time. My confidence tumbled. But I tried my best not to let trolls get in my head.”

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She went on: “I packed up my things and found a new, sunnier place to call home. People were chill about the stranger things about me. For the first time, I felt like I could really breathe and be myself. Tonight, my dance is dedicated to anyone searching to find their place in the world. After all, we’re all in this together.”

Along the way, there are some props that could be clues… or red herrings. The Tulip turns off a “Tick Tock” alarm clock that reads 11 o’clock. She eats cereal from a box with a prominent “11.” She holds up a bus ticket reading “AL [to] DC.” And she clicks her heels three times.

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'The Masked Dancer' panelists made good guesses.

When it came time for the celeb panelists to give their guesses, Ashley Tisdale zeroed in on the TikTok sign the Tulip flashed at the end of her performance. 

“I just feel like, you know, the sassiness, the TikTok, I would say you are Charli D’Amelio,” Ashley said. “Charli was part of an anti-bullying campaign. She’s the biggest one on TikTok. She’s a dancer, so she knows tap.”

Paula Abdul, on the other hand, focused on the Tulip’s heels. 

“It’s someone who’s been bullied, and I saw three heel clicks. … I know someone who has a connection to this. Ariana Grande is being considered to be the lead in [the film version of] Wicked.” (Paula also thought that the Tulip’s one-word clue without voice modulation — the word “triple” — meant that the mystery celeb is a triple threat.)

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But Ken Jeong took his cue from the glee club photo in the yearbook. 

“Looking at the clue package, they had the glee club, and I famously recurred on Glee for an amazing two-episode arc. I was playing the father to Heather Morris. She can tap. What if this is my TV daughter Heather Morris? Look at the way she’s shrugging — that’s a qualified ‘yes’ to me!”

Fans think the 'Masked Dancer' Tulip is almost definitely Mackenzie Ziegler, and they might be right.

Online, many fans are positing that the Tulip is actually Dance Moms alum Maddie Ziegler's equally famous sister, Mackenzie Ziegler.

“If you see on her ticket, it [says] ‘AL DC,’ which is Abby Lee Dance Company,” one Twitter user pointed out, which is important because both Maddie and Mackenzie attended the famed dance academy. Even with that, the real clues are through her presence on TikTok and in the acting world before The Masked Dancer, elements hinted at by the Tulip during the season.

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Mackenzie — who, by the way, played Dorothy in The Wonderful Winter of Oz on stage, is a star in her own right with 15 million Instagram followers. That Wizard of Oz reference is another key element in proving she is the Tulip, due to a routine in which the Tulip wore ruby slippers, much like Dorothy did in Oz. Beyond that, Maddie doesn’t have a TikTok account, it seems, but Mackenzie does, and she has racked up more than 20 million followers on that platform as well. 

One other major hint that Mackenzie is indeed the Tulip comes in the form of special numbers, specifically the number 11. Mackenzie was first featured on Dance Moms, which garnered her fame, in 2011. During the Tulip's first clue video, a number 11 is clearly visible on a box, and in the third clue video, an alarm clock prominently displayed the time 11:00. Between all these hints and more, it's almost assured that Mackenzie is the tulip-costumed phenom fans have been searching for.

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