masked singer winners
Source: FOX

Past Winners of 'The Masked Singer' Prove You Should Always Expect the Unexpected

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Oct. 22 2020, Published 8:15 p.m. ET

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.

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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. 

the masked singer
Source: Fox
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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.)

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.

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'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.)

masked singer winner season  t pain
Source: FOX
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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."

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'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.)

masked singer winner wayne brady
Source: FOX
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“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,” Wayne 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' Season 3 Winner: Kandi Burruss

By the end of Season 3, a lot of fans had already guessed who the winner would be, and who would be behind her mask. The Night Angel, who was revealed to be Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss, took home the trophy. Kandi was a member of the R&B group Xscape in the '90s, so many fans of her music called that it was her voice behind Night Angel early on in the show.

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kandi masked singer
Source: FOX

Kandi beat out runners-up Turtle (Jesse McCartney) and Frog (Bow Wow) in the final episode. Following her win, she released a new single with Todrick Hall and Precious, called "Used to Love Me."

Season 4 of The Masked Singer is already off and running, but we still have a while to go to see who will be taking home the trophy this season. Will it be their first duo, the Snow Owls? Or maybe that adorable Squiggly Monster? We'll have to wait and watch Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.

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