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‘The Masked Singer’: Nick Cannon and Judges Break Down How the Singers’ Identities Are Really Kept Hidden (Exclusive)

Audiences love a good mystery! That’s clear by the success of Fox’s latest competition series, The Masked Singer, which features performances by disguised celebrities. “I’m always genuinely shocked when they do the reveal,” host Nick Cannon tells Us Weekly exclusively in the latest issue. “The talent are very slick with how they present themselves.”

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Cannon, 38, doesn’t find out who the singers are until the moment they’re unmasked – just like the audience and judges Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger.

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Panelists Ken Jeong, Nicole Scherzinger and host Nick Cannon in ‘The Masked Singer.’ FOX via Getty Images

Before a celebrity is revealed each week — NFL stud Antonio Brown and comedian Tommy Chong have already been unmasked — Fox takes extreme measures to keep their identities secret. “Not only are the contestants in masks but their managers, agents and publicists are all in masks, too, because the judges may know them,” the Hangover alum, 49, said. He adds that, while the show includes performances, it’s about so much more than the singing: “It’s a combo of American Idol, Password, Jeopardy! and a couple other shows all rolled into one. It’s so unique and unexpectedly heartfelt.” Yes, the former physician actually cried many times: “It’s wonderfully insane!”

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In fact, the show is extremely emotional for both the judges and the contestants. “The mask gives them the courage to reveal other parts of themselves they’ve never gotten to share,” says the former Pussycat Doll, 40. “When you’re trying to figure it out, that’s where you have a lot of twists and turns. It’s very transformative for some people and very therapeutic, I think, for the contestants.”

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Lion performs in the all-new ‘Five Masks No More’ episode of ‘The Masked Singer.’ Michael Becker/FOX

When it comes to who has the best guesses, the Dr. Ken creator says that while the singers on the panel are obviously the most musically inclined, it’s McCarthy, 46, who’s “the sharpest of us all.” However, in Scherzinger’s opinion, “Ken steals the show!”

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The Masked Singer airs on Fox Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET.

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