the unmasked rudy
The Masked Singer just officially revealed its most controversial participant yet.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was revealed as one of the contestants on Fox's reality competition show Wednesday, as had been reported when the episode was filmed.
The Masked Singer involves celebrities singing while wearing elaborate costumes so their identities aren't known until a grand unmasking. On the latest episode, the mask of the "Jack in the Box" singer came off to reveal Giuliani — though panelist Nicole Scherzinger didn't appear to recognize him at first, asking, "Is that Robert Duvall?"
Ken Jeong, who was clearly unhappy with the reveal, told her, "No, that's not Robert Duvall." Giuliani proceeded to perform "Bad to the Bone," and a frustrated Jeong walked off the set as he sang. "I'm done," Jeong said. Scherzinger and Jenny McCarthy stayed and danced.
While interviewing Giuliani, host Nick Cannon said it was surprising to see him there with "all of the controversy that's surrounding you right now." Giuliani played a key role in seeking to overturn former President Donald Trump's loss in the 2020 election while pushing false voter fraud claims.
The former mayor told Cannon he wanted to come on to show his granddaughter "that you should try everything, even things that are completely unlike you." He added that he's been a fan of The Masked Singer for years and "it just seemed like it would be fun, and I don't get to have a lot of fun."
The Masked Singer faced a new wave of criticism for bringing on Giuliani after the episode aired, with Variety's Daniel D'Addario bemoaning that "Fox gave time and attention to a powerful figure who would have, if given his way, put the last nail in the coffin of democracy in this country."
Watch the moment below.