So by the time that the dust settled on the first half of the Season 6 kick-off of FOX's The Masked Singer, Octopus aka NBA star Dwight Howard bid farewell to the masked singing competition series. But he wasn't alone, with Mother Nature also making the one-way walk to the green room. As for Mother Nature's identity? Well, that is a cliffhanger saved for tonight's episode. And when the show returns Thursday night, host Nick Cannon and panelists Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong, Nicole Scherzinger, and Robin Thicke are teasing viewers with the possibility of a shocking elimination in the first five minutes. Don't believe us? Thankfully, we have a new preview to back us up.
Here's a look at what you can expect from the wrap-up of the season premiere, followed by an updated look at this season's masks and clues:
The Masked Singer Season 6 Masks & Clues
Here's a look at our updated roster of masks & clues so far (with FOX taking down some earlier clues videos): Dalmatian, Queen of Hearts, Cupcake, Banana Split, Hamster, Mallard, Bull, Baby, Beach Ball, Jester, Caterpillar, Skunk, Pepper, and Pufferfish – with tons more over at Miss Masky's Twitter account):
And here's a look back at the first official visual clues for the first 11 announced masks:
As we mentioned earlier, with a new season come changes, with the two-part kick-off seeing a double unmasking and two new Wildcards joining the competition on the second night. As for the season overall, there will be two groups (Group A & Group B), with the winner of each group competing against each other in the season finale in the ultimate "Mask-Off Face-Off". And then there's the game-changing "Take It Off Buzzer". Here's how it works: let's say a panelist is 103% certain of who is behind a mask, they hit the buzzer at any point to offer the name. If they're right? The contestant heads home immediately and the panelist gets two points towards the Golden Ear Trophy. But if the panelist is wrong, there's a price to pay. While the contestant stays in the competition, the panelist who missed the mark loses two points towards the big prize. And not everyone gets a shot at it because there's only one in play in Group A and one in play for Group B.
"It's almost like we have three finales in our show. We have a winner from Group A and Group B, and they'll then be going head-to-head almost like a prizefight to see who is the 'Masked Singer' [in the finale]. But the great thing is, they'll be taking on each other, and they've never sat on the same stage together until that moment," EP Craig Plestis explained to EW about having only two finalists this season. Showrunner James Breen added, "I think it's not a format that would have always worked on the show, but we had such great singers this season that we knew that whoever made it into that final two, it could be all about these beautiful voices and performances, and it would still sustain a really good finale."