The Masked Singer was a surprise prime-time hit last year.

The concept – that celebrities would sing in bizarre costumes while viewers and judges alike tried to guess who they were – didn’t necessarily sound like a winning formula to begin with, but before long it was the family show everyone was talking about.

And 2021 was no exception, with the judges having no idea who the eventual winner was until the very end. Take a look at the 12 spectacular costumes and who was behind them.

Where can I watch The Masked Singer?

Catch up on the second series of The Masked Singer UK on ITV Player.

You can watch season 1 of the show on BritBox.

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Who are the contestants?

Here were this year’s contestants:

Alien - Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Sophie Ellis-Bextor as Alien ITV

Alien was the first contestant to leave the show after landing in the bottom three alongside Badger and Swan - and it turned out she was none other than Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

The Murder on the Dancefloor singer (we see what they did with the 'links to a crime scene' clue) attempted to disguise her accent when she performed Don't Start Now by Dua Lipa, but told press that she was rumbled - even by her son.

"I suppose it's a compliment, but the fact that as soon as I opened my mouth even as the Alien my one-year-old, and I don't even know how he did this, pointed at the TV and said 'mummy'."

Sausage - Joss Stone - WINNER

Joss Stone as Sausage in The Masked Singer ITV

Week 1 performance: Skin by Rag 'N' Bone Man

Week 2 performance: And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going from the Dreamgirls musical

Week 3 performance: All Around The World by Lisa Stansfield

Week 4 performance: I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor.

Week 5 performance: Good As Hell by Lizzo.

Final performance: I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston.

Clues: Seen as a tomboy; possible links to the seaside and Blackpool; performances are a balancing act; the TV show Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps; has worn disguises; vegan; has won a Grammy.

Possible identity: Sheridan Smith, Stacey Solomon.

Joss had the judges stumped throughout the series, with none of them guessing correctly in the final.

The singer said: "Their guesses were way off but I loved them because some of them were my favourite singers. I could not believe it when I heard the names Jennifer Hudson and Beverley Knight. I would love to be able to sing even a little bit as well as they can. In my wildest dreams I couldn’t control my voice like Jennifer Hudson or have the stamina and fitness of Beverley. So, it was nice to hear those guesses even though they were wrong! Haha!"

Dragon - Sue Perkins

Sue Perkins as Dragon ITV

Week 1 performance: You've Got A Friend In Me by Randy Newman.

Week 2 performance: Reach For The Stars by S Club 7.

Week 3 performance: All By Myself by Eric Carmen.

Week 4 performance: The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss) by Cher.

Week 5 performance: Make You Feel My Love by Adele.

Clues: They have a firey temper; a house filled with money; possible links to LGBTQ+ communities, Destiny's Child, food and I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!; a dare got them started in their career; has a big belly; a globetrotter.

Possible identity: Michelle Visage; Kelly Rowland; Sue Perkins.

Sue said wearing the costume helped calm any nerves.

"I was strangely calm. I’ve always had a problem singing as myself – but everything felt better once I had a big mask on my head.

"I might try it in other stressful situations to be honest - like talking to traffic wardens or going to the dentist."

Seahorse - Mel B

Mel B as Seahorse ITV

Mel B was the second celebrity to be revealed on the show when she was unmasked from her Seahorse costume. She was in the bottom three with Grandfather Clock and Harlequin, and panellist Mo Gilligan correctly identified her.

She performed the Kylie Minogue hit Can't Get You Out Of My Head.

The Spice Girl said it was "gutting, hilarious and shocking" to have left the show so early. "I'd only just started!"

Viking - Morten Harket

Morten Harket as Viking ITV

Week 1 performance: Songbird by Fleetwood Mac.

Week 2 performance: Watermelon Sugar by Harry Styles.

Week 3 performance: Take On Me by A-Ha.

Week 4 performance: The Scientist by Coldplay.

Clues: Wears another kind of armour; possible link to The Voice and Spandau Ballet; has performed in front of billions.

Possible identity: Ricky Wilson, Morten Harket, Matt or Luke Goss.

He said of leaving the show at this stage: "My struggle with the sound inside the mask affected my overall freedom to perform. These things happen. I only realised what caused the problem at the point I was unmasked! "

Blob - Sir Lenny Henry CBE

Sir Lenny Henry as Blob ITV

Week 1 performance: Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars.

Week 2 performance: Word Up! by Cameo.

Week 3 performance: Hotel Room by Pitbull.

Week 4 performance: Addicted To Love by Robert Palmer.

Clues: Recorded a demo for Simon Cowell; wears glasses; links to teaching; possible links to stand-up comedy, cooking, schools and teaching; the names Darren, Rosie and Casey; Britain's Got Talent

Possible identity: Lenny Henry, David Walliams.

Sir Lenny said after leaving the show: "Being in the Blob costume was tricky because it was really heavy so adjustments had to be made to make it lighter. It was on wheels, so I had to move in a particular way and I had eyeballs on the ends of my arms so I had to be a puppeteer too and make him come alive, despite all the blobby bits and pieces. "

Harlequin - Gabrielle

Gabrielle as Harlequin ITV

Week 1 performance: Diamonds by Rihanna.

Week 2 performance: Smile by Nat King Cole

Week 3 performance: Fast Car by Tracy Chapman.

Week 4 performance: Falling by Harry Styles.

Week 5 performance: Everything I Wanted by Billie Eilish.

Clues: Played a male lead in a musical; connected to the news or a writer; festivals; has possibly mixed with royalty or politicians;

Possible identity: Gabrielle, Tracy Chapman, Emeli Sande.

"I was nervous every time I performed," Gabrielle revealed. "I couldn’t breathe, I was hot, I was terrified, the stage fright was real every time I sang.

"At some points I didn’t think I could continue the show but with the support of people that work on the show I was able to keep going and face the fear. I am so glad I didn’t give up and pushed myself, it was so hard but I am so glad I did it and took on the challenge."

Swan - Martine McCutcheon

Martine McCutcheon as Swan ITV

Week 1 performance: That Don't Impress Me Much by Shania Twain.

Week 2 performance: I Am What I Am from La Cage Aux Folls

Clues: An honoured career; possible links to ballroom dancing, America and the prime minister.

Swan had many of us fooled with her fake American accent, though Jonathan Ross called it just before the big reveal, linking the prime minister clue to the movie Love Actually which Martine starred in.

Martine said on leaving the show: "I’d have loved to have shown off my voice more with different songs but I also felt really relieved as I was so hot and claustrophobic - it was nice to be able to see and breathe again!"

Bush Baby - John Thomson

John Thomson as Bush Baby ITV

Week 1 performance: Delilah by Tom Jones.

Week 2 performance: A Little Less Conversation by Elvis Presley vs JXL.

Week 3 performance: Please Release Me by Engerlbert Humperdinck.

Clues: Links to Australia, a zoo and acting; a lot of his wardrobe has been seen on screen; reference to a potato.

Possible identity: Jason Donovan, Matt Lucas, John Torode.

Actor John Thomson was a surprise to all of the judges until he revealed himself, when Jonathan Ross realised that Please Release Me was used in TV show The Fast Show. Hanging socks shown in a VT was a reference to Cold Feet.

Thomson revealed he was too busy filming the ITV drama to take part in season one - so he jumped at the chance when he got the opportunity again.

"I decided to take on the challenge because I'd originally been asked the year before but I was in the middle of filming Cold Feet.  So, when the opportunity arose again, I decided to go for it."

Badger - Ne-Yo

Ne-Yo as Badger in The Masked Singer ITV

Week 1 performance: Feeling Good by Nina Simone.

Week 2 performance: I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing by Aerosmith.

Week 3 performance: Because Of You by Kelly Clarkson.

Week 4 performance: Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus.

Week 5 performance: Grease by Frankie Valli.

Final performance: Believer by Imagine Dragons.

Clues: Seen playing the guitar; links to motorbikes and hats; used to be anonymous; shy when he was younger around girls; possible link to chemistry and the military; has a big family; dancing shoes.

Possible identity: Damon Albarn, Jamiroqui, Ne-Yo.

After finishing runner-up, Ne-Yo said: "I’m always for anything that allows me to step away from being me for a while. The Masked Singer allowed me one of the greatest opportunities to do so since I first started writing songs for other people! To use another element of my voice and body, to literally become this character, it was an experience I won’t soon forget. Eternally grateful."

Robin - Aston Merrygold

Aston Merrygold as Robin in The Masked Singer ITV

Week 1 performance: Can't Stop The Feeling by Justin Timberlake.

Week 2 performance: Dance Monkey by Tones And I.

Week 3 performance: Rockin' Robin by Michael Jackson.

Week 4 performance: Closer by Ne-Yo.

Week 5 performance: Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran.

Final performance: For Once In My Life by Stevie Wonder.

Clues so far: A footballer; has been known to fly without wings; perhaps not the most intelligent; has represented his country alongside sporting legends; possible links to Ireland, Diversity and biscuits; performed in front of 17 million for their last final.

Possible identity: Aston Merrygold, Olly Murs.

After reaching the final and finishing third, Aston said: "I loved my outfit and character. As soon as your mask goes on something takes over and that’s it you’re a whole different... I was about to say person but, yeah, you’re the furthest thing from being a person on this show!"

Grandfather Clock - Glenn Hoddle

Glenn Hoddle as the Grandfather Clock in The Masked Singer ITV

Week 1 performance: Rock Around The Clock by Bill Haley.

Week 2 performance: You Make Me Feel So Young by Frank Sinatra

Clues: Connected to football; has been called a genius; says he's seen "the Hand of God with my own eyes"

Possible identity: Peter Shilton, David Seaman.

Jonathan Ross came the closest to guessing Grandfather Clock's identity when he mentioned "Hoddle and Waddle" after his week 2 performance. The former England player and manager impressed viewers and judges alike with his voice.

Hoddle said he was disappointed to have left the show: "I was gutted. I had some great songs lined up if I was able to continue but overall I loved the experience and just happy to have taken part."

Who are the judges?

Bafta-winning comedian Mo Gilligan is a new addition to the judging panel, while Davina McCall, Rita Ora and Jonathan Ross all return to their chairs.

Mo said he'd been made to feel very welcome on the show.

"Day one, everyone knocked on my door – Jonathan, Davina, Rita and Joel as well – and all said it’s good to have you on," he revealed.

"Straight away, everyone said 'it’s like you’ve been doing this for ages' so that really helped me settle in as well."

Comedian Joel Dommett again hosts the guessing game - and he reckons the talent is seriously impressive this time around.

"The level of singers is higher," he said.

"Last year Queen Bee blew us away and every song gave you goosebumps and tingles. This year there’s definitely at least four or five that had that effect on us and it made every show epic."

The second season of The Masked Singer airs on Saturdays at 7pm on ITV.


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