‘The Masked Singer’ Faces Backlash Following Rudy Giuliani’s Reveal
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani was finally unmasked on Wednesday night’s episode of The Masked Singer, more than two months after news of his appearance was first leaked. As reported, judge Ken Jeong walked off the set in response to the reveal.
It was also reported that fellow judge Robin Thicke walked off with him, but that wasn’t shown in Wednesday’s broadcast. Fans on social media are discussing the judges’ varied reactions to the unmasking. Let’s break it down and compare it to another controversial reveal.
‘The Masked Singer’ Judges React to Rudy Giuliani
Giuliani turned out to be Jack in the Box. After singing “Bad to the Bone,” he received the least amount of votes and was eliminated and unmasked. When the mask came off, Nicole Scherzinger didn’t recognize him, and asked Ken Jeong if it was Robert Duvall, who was one of the panel’s guesses.
“That’s not Robert Duvall,” Jeong replied, seeming unamused by the reveal. He stood with his arms crossed as his fellow judges reacted.
Jenny McCarthy laughed as she expressed her surprise. Robin Thicke smiled as he said it was “something I never would have guessed.” Host Nick Cannon mentioned the “controversy” that has surrounded Giuliani, due to his association with former President Donald Trump.
When Giuliani talked about his granddaughter inspiring him to appear on the show, Scherzinger reacted with an “aww.” She then asked Giuliani if it was true that he’s officiated 200 weddings. Scherzinger and McCarthy could be seen dancing to Giuliani’s goodbye performance as Jeong said, “I’m done,” and walked off. Thicke wasn’t shown again.
What Fans Are Saying About the Judges’ Response
Fans had a lot to say about the judges’ varied reactions on Twitter after the episode, focusing on Jeong and McCarthy in particular. Many pointed out that Jeong is a doctor who has pushed back against COVID-19 misinformation like the kind spread by Giuliani, while Jenny McCarthy is known for speaking out against vaccines in the past.
Twitter user @eneiman defended Jeong against critics by writing, “He’s a doctor, he’s Asian, he’s faced racism and harmful views pushed forward by the very guy who laughed and smiled with Jenny McCarthy (who was way too excited to see Giuliani).”
Scherzinger, meanwhile, has expressed conservative political views in the past, including being anti-abortion. However, she also endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008. As for Robin Thicke, some on social media were initially surprised that the singer was apparently so bothered by Giuliani’s appearance, considering his own controversies relating to his song “Blurred Lines.”
However, Thicke’s walk-off (which wasn’t shown) reportedly had less to do with personal outrage and more to do with his friendship with Jeong. A source told People that he wanted to check on his fellow judge, adding, “Robin didn’t storm out because of Giuliani.”
How Does This Compare to Sarah Palin’s Unmasking?
Giuliani isn’t the first controversial conservative political figure to be unmasked on the show. In Season 3, former vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor Sarah Palin was revealed to be under the Bear mask.
Although all four judges were clearly surprised by Palin’s reveal, none of them seemed especially bothered by it, including Jeong. McCarthy told Palin that she “kicked butt” on the show, and Jeong laughed along as Palin talked about her performance of “Baby Got Back.”
Palin’s episode aired in March 2020, around the time COVID-19 shutdowns were starting in the United States. The show is pre-taped, so this reveal happened even earlier than that. Palin has since come out against the COVID-19 vaccine and drew backlash for dining out after testing positive for the virus earlier this year.
It’s possible that Jeong would have been just as bothered by Palin’s unmasking as he was by Giuliani’s, had it happened more recently. These reveals have certainly sparked a lot of conversation about the types of public figures who appear on the show.