Well, we definitely didn't see that one coming. On Jan. 20, fans found out that the dancer behind the Cricket mask was none other than singer Brian McKnight! Keep reading to see who fans initially predicted.
We know by now that Ice-T was the Disco Ball and Bill Nye was the Ice Cube… but who is the Cricket on The Masked Dancer, the spinoff of the hit guessing game The Masked Singer?
The FOX reality competition certainly isn’t saying, but the Cricket has already dropped some clues to their identity, and both judges and viewers have guesses…
The Cricket offered clues in their video package and on Instagram.
Introducing himself in a pre-taped package during The Masked Dancer’s Dec. 27 premiere, the Cricket offered clues… and probably some red herrings, too.
“Honestly, I never thought I would do a show like this,” he said. “Me, Cricket, dancing? No way. But I've always bet on myself. I had to give it a try. I've been pretty lucky in life. But when it came to love, it always felt like I was getting punked. I needed support, a foundation to stand on. But then, it was love at first sight. I hit the jackpot, and we became the ultimate power couple. She was my rock, and I was her apprentice. She taught me the art of balance. Tonight, I'm ready to jump for my love.”
As the Cricket gave us his life story, we saw some visual hints that may or may not relate to his identity: a $90,210,000 grand prize, a “x10 x10 x10” jackpot, and four aces. And when it came time for the Cricket to give us a one-word “Word Up” clue in his real voice — after he danced to “Jump (For My Love)” by the Pointer Sisters, Cricket said, “Accomplished.”
And in an Instagram clue before the premiere, Cricket said, “I’ll be home, not alone, for Christmas. You can count on me.”
Also, in a press release, Fox listed the accolades among the Season 1 contestants: “Between all of the celebrity competitors on the show, they’ve amassed more than 38 million albums sold worldwide, 20 Emmy Award wins, 20 Grammy Award nominations, 10 World Dancing titles, five New York Times bestselling author titles, four Olympic gold medals, and three Broadway show appearances.”
Viewers have educated guesses about the Cricket’s identity.
A GoldDerby recapper agrees with panelist Brian Austin Green’s guess that the Cricket is Brian’s former Beverly Hills, 90210 costar Ian Ziering. That would explain that “$90,210,000” prize and the Las Vegas references. As Brian pointed out, Ian danced with the Chippendales in Vegas in 2013. Plus, we already know Ian can dance: He competed on Dancing With the Stars in 2007.
On Reddit, however, another viewer isn’t so sure: “Is he tall enough?” that viewer wrote. “Cricket looks like he’s 6-foot-5 or 6-foot-6.” And don’t forget that Ian and estranged wife Erin Ludwig split in 2019, so he wouldn’t necessarily be waxing romantic…
Other viewers on Reddit, meanwhile, side with panelist Ashley Tisdale and say Cricket is Ashton Kutcher. That would explain the “punked” mention — Ashton hosted the MTV prank show Punk’d — and he and his former That ‘70s Show costar Mila Kunis, his wife since 2015, are quite the power couple.
But another fan thought it could be Dax Shepard, who also acted in Punk'd. And Dax is definitely a power couple with The Good Place star Kristen Bell, his wife since 2013.
See how the Cricket fares — and who he actually is — as The Masked Dancer continues on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.