‘I can’t believe you’re here!’: The Masked Singer US judges in tears as Hollywood legend unmasked

Host Nick Cannon said Gnome was ‘the most seasoned and most decorated’ contestant to appear on the show

Isobel Lewis
Friday 17 February 2023 14:06 GMT
Dick Van Dyke is unmasked on The Masked Singer US

The Masked Singer US judges were left in tears after a Hollywood legend was unmasked in the show’s “greatest reveal ever”.

The US version of the reality TV show, in which famous figures compete anonymously in giant anthropomorphic costumes, returned for its ninth season on Wednesday (15 February).

During the season opener, Mustang, Gnome and Medusa all sung for the first time, with Gnome performing a rendition of “When You’re Smiling” by Billie Holiday.

In his VT package, which featured clues about Gnome’s identity, he said that he had been “a mainstay in your lives over the course of my storied career”, adding: “My address book includes all the president’s men, from Barack to Biden.”

He said that he had worked with Madonna, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Robin Williams and Ben Stiller, while umbrellas and a statue with a photo of Tony Danza were also shown.

Following his performance, the judges guessed that Tony Bennett, Dustin Hoffman or Robert DeNiro may be behind the mask.

However, when Gnome was the first to leave the competition and be unmasked, the judges were shocked to see a smiling Dick Van Dyke behind the constume.

Gnome on ‘The Masked Singer US' (Michael Becker/Fox)

“This is the most seasoned and most decorated [person] we’ve had on our show, ladies and gentlemen,” host Nick Cannon said, while Ken Jeong branded the unmasking: “Our greatest reveal ever.”

Through her tears, Scherzinger told the 97-year-old actor: “I love you so much, we love you, the whole world loves you so much. It’s an honour to have you on our show.

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“I can’t believe you’re here, I’m trying to play it cool. You look so gorgeous, you look so handsome.”

Asked how his experience on the show had been, Van Dyke replied: “It was really dark in there… I couldn’t see anything.”

Speaking after his exit from the show, the Mary Poppins star admitted that he’d never seen the show before he was asked to do it.

“I was so positive that nobody would ever guess it was me, that they would have somebody 97 years old on there,” he told Entertainment Weekly.

“I would say it’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever done. But they didn’t put a mask on me. They made a great big like Pumpkinhead thing that I had to do. It was a weird experience. I had two little peepholes I can see the audience with. It’s a good thing I’m not claustrophobic.”

The second unmasking of the night saw Mustang revealed to be singer Sara Evans.

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