On Wednesday night’s episode of “The Masked Singer,” former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani was finally outed as one of the contestants.
The episode was actually taped in February—and rumors have been swirling ever since about his appearance, although it was unknown if or when the footage would actually air. Giuliani was disguised in a “Jack in the Box” costume, and the revelation of his identity was greeted by shock and dismay by the show’s judges, especially Ken Jeong, who was apparently so triggered that he stormed off the stage.
Although it must be added that some of the judges had no idea who he was.
“Is that Robert Duvall?” judge Nicole Scherzinger asked.
“No, that’s not Robert Duvall,” Jeong replied.
— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) April 21, 2022
Rumors about Giuliani’s appearance have been circulating for some time, and it was reported that judge Robin Thicke was the one who stormed off the stage. That wasn’t the case, although Thicke did seem to be missing from the stage at one point, perhaps consoling Jeong off camera.
Not one of the judges successfully guessed Giuliani’s identity. Ken Jeong guessed Elon Musk, Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg thought he might be Joe Pesci, Robin Thicke suggested Robert Duvall, and Nicole Scherzinger guessed Al Roker. The actual reveal came as quite a shock to the judges.
“It surprises us all that you’re here on ‘The Masked Singer,'” the show’s host, Nick Cannon, explained to Giuliani.
“This is definitely something I never would have guessed,” Thicke said.
“Me too, me too,” the 77-year-old Giuliani said. He then told the judges that setting an example for his granddaughter factored into his decision to appear on the show since he wanted her to know that “you should try everything, even things that are completely unlike you and unlikely. And I couldn’t think of anything more unlike me and unlikely than this.”
“I don’t get to have a lot of fun,” he added, explaining that he was a long-time fan of the show and thought it would be a fun appearance.
After his big reveal, Giuliani performed a rather off-key rendition of “Bad to the Bone” by George Thorogood and the Destroyers, which apparently prompted an exasperated Ken Jeong to exclaim “I’m done,” and then storm off the stage.
Thicke wasn’t seen leaving the stage, though it seems likely his exit had been edited out since a later shot showed judges McCarthy-Wahlberg and Scherzinger dancing alone.
Jeong apparently wasn’t alone in his reaction, with the usual suspects on Twitter chiming in to signal their “outrage.”
Allowing figures like Rudy Giuliani to ostensibly rehab their image through shows like this is unacceptable. https://t.co/WgJAIdu2pM
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) April 21, 2022
Giuliani’s reveal, and Jeong’s staged-seeming reaction to it, have been teased in the tabloids for some time, likely in a bid to drive up ratings. In early February, for instance, People spoke to a source on the show who claimed that “Ken felt disrespected and was livid to see Rudy was under the mask which is why he walked off. There’s no way he could hide his feelings.
“Ken has been incredibly vocal about how the previous administration handled many things but especially COVID-19 and has found a lot of what they’ve said not only wrong but dangerous,” the source told People. “To get someone who helped to spread misinformation and call into question the accuracy of our election and democracy to appear on his show was going to set him off.”
It’s unclear whether Jeong was equally triggered by Democratic politicians who have been calling into question the accuracy of elections and democracy for decades, beginning at least with the election of George W. Bush, and who have preemptively questioned the legitimacy of the upcoming midterm elections should they not turn out in their favor.
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