Over the past year, The Masked Singer has taken the U.S. by storm. The music game show, which originated in Korea, is unexpectedly addictive — and not knowing who is behind the masks is oddly maddening. It's thanks to the show's simple, yet genius, design that the series has amassed a serious following.
Like The Voice, the identities of contestants on The Masked Singer are unknown. However, unlike The Voice, those competing in The Masked Singer wear elaborate masked costumes for the duration of their time on the show.
And although their singing voices are real, the contestants' speaking voices are obscured — so neither the judges nor the audience has any idea who the singers are until they're eliminated. (Or until they make it all the way to the end and are declared the winners.)
In order to help prepare for Season 3, let's take a look back at past winners of the competition. Because as viewers have learned by now, they should always expect the unexpected.
'The Masked Singer' Season 1 Winner: T-Pain
On Feb. 27, 2019, the Monster (rapper T-Pain) was declared the winner of Season 1 of The Masked Singer in the U.S. (Meanwhile, the Peacock, Donny Osmond, was the runner-up.)
None of the panelists correctly guessed who the Monster was before he was unmasked in the final episode. This was likely because T-Pain sang without his famous auto-tune.
"It was normal to me, because I hear my voice all the time," he told Entertainment Tonight following his win. "But when people hear the auto-tune, they automatically go off, 'Well, that can't be his real voice!' You know, it's pretty much the same."
Of T-Pain's emotional reaction on-air after winning The Masked Singer? "Just to hear all the compliments and to hear everybody praising so much, it was pretty cool to hear that," he told ET. "Don't cry, because once you get going, you are going to get me going! It was always like that, but to see them appreciate so much of what I did, it was it was pretty cool."
'The Masked Singer' Season 2 Winner: Wayne Brady
In Season 2, the Fox beat out 13 other contestants to take home the golden mask — and he was revealed to be none other than Wayne Brady. (Once again, the top guess was Jamie Foxx. Which would have been perfect, considering the fox costume and all.)
“This has been the coolest, most amazing, most touching, most challenging, weirdest, and this is the weirdest — and I host ‘Let’s Make a Deal.’ But, God, I mean, really I’m gonna take this with me forever,” Brady said after the shocking reveal. “This show is amazing because of the mask you lead talent-first. So there’s no one to say, ‘Wayne Brady doing our– Shut up, that’s the funny guy.'”
'The Masked Singer' Australia Season 1 Winner: Cody Simpson
Given that there's only been two seasons of The Masked Singer in the U.S. so far, let's take a look at one of the recent international winners. Over in Australia, Season 1 wrapped up this past October. And it was the Robot — who turned out to be Miley Cyrus' boyfriend, Cody Simpson — who won.
Lindsay Lohan totally called it and wasn't surprised in the least when Simpson took off his mask — he once dated her sister Ali Lohan, after all.
With 18 new contestants — broken up into three groups of six singers each — Season 3 of The Masked Singer in the U.S. is sure to be a blast. Who knows? Perhaps Jamie Foxx really will show up behind a mask this time around. The countdown is on!