The Masked Singer clues that were red herrings and expose this series’ deception

The Masked Singer made a sensational return to our screens on Boxing Day with a brand new set of celebrities hiding inside some extraordinary costumes.

Returning judges Davina McCall, Jonathan Ross, Rita Ora were joined by newcomer Mo Gilligan as they attempted to guess who was behind the mask.

But is there any point in carrying on with the rest of the series?

Armchair Sherlocks have supposedly correctly guessed the identities of all of the celebs that have performed so far, so they might as well end the contest right now.

According to the super sleuths at home, Robin is Aston Merrygold from JLS, Stacey Solomon is hiding inside Sausage and Dragon is obviously Courtney Act.

Masked Singer fans think they have it all worked out after just one episode, but they would be fools to think it’s that easy.

Some The Masked Singer viewers think they already know who all the contestants are

During the first series, show bosses managed to trick viewers into thinking they had guessed correctly at an early stage.

They planted a series of red herrings and decoys that left many convinced they knew the identifies of the celebs, but they were completely wrong.

And they even had the power to steer opinions when one of the characters was close to being rumbled.

When the judges and public were close to finding out the right famous name, a hoax clue would be inserted, and easier ones would be released if they were way off with their guesses.

Here is a look at how they managed to trick viewers during the first series – and what it could mean for the new batch of celebs.

Queen Bee

Queen Bee kept us guessing from the start


When Queen Bee gave her first rousing performance at the start of the 2020 series – many were convinced they knew who was singing within seconds.

Queen Bee said she was a wild card and rule breaker, but had grown up after starting their career at a young age.

Within seconds of her taking to the stage, viewers claimed they were certain it was Charlotte Church, who began her career as a child opera star.

One guessed: “Queen Bee is surely Charlotte Church…. #TheMaskedSingerUK.”

“Blatantly Charlotte Church. Why give such obvious clues!! #TheMaskedSingerUK,” suggested another.

Turns out the clues weren’t in fact that obvious as they were wrong.

Nicola Roberts won the first series of the UK version

People also began to suspect she was royalty – mainly due to the ‘Queen’ part of her name and crown.

She also claimed she was “no longer a princess”, but now “I’m a Queen”.

But the judges were clueless as it took until week four for one of them to suggest the right answer – the eventual show winner Nicola Roberts.

With the net closing, bosses threw in a massive red herring with their next set of clues.

“With tonight’s song I’m going to enjoy every moment – these wings were made to fly,” said Queen Bee.

Tonnes of viewers were convinced she had dropped a massive hint and exposed herself as a Little Mix star due to the song lyric.

Even up until the moment of the big reveal at the very end of the series, some viewers believed it was Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall behind the mask.



It took viewers quite a few weeks to work out who the prickly customer was.

After a few performances and clues there were rumblings that comedian Jason Manford was behind the mask.

So to send viewers off in the wrong direction, clever bosses slipped out a major clue that completely turned the tide of opinion.

During his opening video tape on week four, Hedgehog was seen dusting a framed photo of Billy Connolly.

“I’ve always looked up to people as heroes,” said Hedgehog, which made the judges shout out the comedian’s name.

Many viewers claimed this indicated it was Jason Manford behind the mask, until they spotted a red ball to the side.

The red ball was a big red herring

In a blink and you’ll miss it moment a red cricket ball flashed up on screen with the name “Michael’ written on the side.

This led many viewers and guest judge Donny Osmond to guess that Hedgehog was the famous opera singer.

“Are we just going to ignore the fact that the ball has ‘Michael’ written on it…Hedgehog has to be Michael Ball,” tweeted one viewer.

However, others suggested that the ‘Michael” on the ball clue could actually be a decoy as it was too obvious a clue.

Along with some viewers at home, Rita Ora guessed it was Michael’s pal Alfie Boe because of his theatre experience.

Of course it transpired that Hedgehog was in fact Jason Manford all along, but they managed to change a lot of minds before his reveal.


Unicorn was fab-u-lous


A “show pony” with “flair” that has always “stood out from the crowd” was how Unicorn was described in the first week.

After trotting on stage with his rainbow mane and dazzling horn, viewers and the judges were convinced the theatrical character was John Barrowman.

And it seemed they were correct when the showman came out on the following night’s Dancing On Ice in the same flamboyant style.

One viewer said: “Unicorn is definitely John Barrowman!!”

“John Barrowman just came out on dancing on ice, doing the same dance the ‘Unicorn’ did on masked singer last night,” added another.

The deception went even further when Unicorn’s identity was seemingly blurted out on Dancing On Ice.

Holly Willoughby asked John if he was “moonlighting as a Kate Bush loving Unicorn”.

Pointing the finger, Phillip Schofield said: “If last night’s show is anything to go by it seems one of our judges is leading a secret life.”

Dancing On Ice viewers thought John Barrowman was acting like Unicorn

Holly asked: “Right John Barrowman I’m only going to ask you this once. Are you or are you not moonlighting as a Kate Bush loving Unicorn?”

A sheepish looking John told Holly he would not tell her even it was him behind the mask.

When Holly claimed it was him and asked to borrow the outfit, he replied: “You’d have to rip it out of my closet if i had it.”

Viewers were actually left fuming as they believed it was too obvious it was John.

So the following week, Unicorn actually responded to claims he was the Doctor Who star, although that didn’t stop suspicions.

“I don’t know who he is, but if I did I would say that he is fabulous,” teased Unicorn.

It turned out that Scissor Sisters singer Jake Shears was the actual Unicorn.


Chameleon was known for his massive trouser bulge


The Chameleon really did fool viewers with his changing appearance.

After just one performance of Radioheads’ ‘Creep’, many were adamant that the sparkling reptile was a well known presenter.

Having supposedly detected a supposedly distinctive Geordie twang to the singing voice, viewers claimed it was none other than Declan Donnelly of Ant and Dec fame.

The mystery singer revealed they had many talents and had a background as a “dazzling urban act”

That doesn’t look like Dec

Chameleon also teased that they “once provided the voice of a children’s cartoon character”, which fitted the idea of Dec as he voiced the titular character in ITV kids show Engie Benjy.

This turned out to be a massive curveball – and a very smart ploy from those pesky show bosses once again.

Viewers thought they had it all figured out but they were way off with their initial guesses.

Chameleon was actually The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins.


Viewers got in a muddle over Fox


Shows bosses had a lot of fun with Fox’s identity.

From an early stage, viewers worked out that it was star of stage, screen and radio Denise Van Outen.

One of Fox’s VTs was set on on the streets of London and saw her talking about spending time in the East End – and Denise appeared on EastEnders.

She also explained she had an award-winning body, and Denise won Rear of the Year back in 1999, while clever fans also worked out she was a known tea pot collector.

In a bid to throw viewers off Fox’s scent, the masked singer referred to a ‘broken heel’ leading to her big break.

Emerging from the disco fox outfit has certainly been a weight off for Denise

Taking to  Twitter  to share their thoughts and frustrations, fans insisted that they were more than certain that it was ‘Broken Heels’ singer Alexandra Burke

“It’s so obviously Alexandra Burke. No doubt about it!” quipped one watcher.

“Helloooo, it’s 100% Alexandra Burke. People are so dumb!”.

Turns out people weren’t too stupid after all as it really was Denise.

*The Masked Singer continues Saturday night at 7pm on ITV

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