Here are our best guesses for each of the contestants on ‘The Masked Dancer’


masked dancer disco balll

The Disco Ball and Craig Robinson.

Michael Becker/FOX

  • “The Masked Dancer” is the new spin-off of “The Masked Singer.” Ten celebrities are masked up, fitted with voice modulators, and then dance their hearts out each week.
  • Each contestant gives the panelists clues on their identity.
  • We reviewed the clues for each contestant and made our best educated guesses for each dancer.
  • Among our guesses are Nick Lachey, Hope Solo, and Monica Lewinsky.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

This week, we finally got to see all the contestants on the first season of “The Masked Dancer.”

Just like “The Masked Singer,” disguised celebrities wear wild costumes to perform and the panelists have to try to guess who it is … except this time, the celebs are showing off their dance moves, not their voices.

According to Fox, the dancers on “The Masked Dancer” have amassed “more than 38 million albums sold worldwide, 20 Emmy Award wins, 20 Grammy Award nominations, 10 World Dancing titles, five New York Times best-selling titles, four Olympic gold medals, and three Broadway show appearances.”

But besides those clues, each dancer gets their own clue package to help judges and viewers decipher the real identities of the dancers beneath the costumes.

Insider has reviewed all 10 clue videos, and made our best educated guesses, from Vinny Guadagnino to Hope Solo.

The first celebrity revealed on “The Masked Dancer” was underneath the Disco Ball’s mask …

disco ball masked dancer

Disco Ball.

Michael Becker/FOX

Some of the clues before his dance included saying he grew up on a “rough block” and lost both of his parents at a young age. Other clues included a shark in the water with an emphasis on the fin, a mention of a “Fountain of Youth,” a bone with the letter “J” on it, a glass of iced tea, saying he was ready to “serve and protect” with a gavel, and a military salute.

The one word he said without the voice modulator was “Grammy.”

… It was rapper and “Law and Order: SVU” star Ice-T, who danced to “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars.



Michael Becker/FOX

Ice-T grew up in South Central Los Angeles (the “rough block”), and lost his mom at 9 and father at 13, respectively.

He also hosts the true crime show “In Ice Cold Blood,” which featured an episode about swimming with sharks. The bone refers to a film called “Johnny Mnemonic,” in which Ice-T played a character named J-Bone.

The reference to a Fountain of Youth could be a reference to this tweet, in which he called music the Fountain of Youth.

More obviously, the glass of iced tea was a reference to his name, and the gavel and “serve and protect” was alluding to his long-running role on “SVU” as Odafin “Fin” Tutuola, as was the emphasis on the shark fin. The rapper was also in the Army, which explains the salute.

Lastly, his one word, “Grammy,” refers to his Grammy Award for the song “Back on the Block.”

The Tulip danced to the song “I Don’t Care” by Icona Pop and Charli XCX.

tulip masked dancer


Michael Becker/FOX

The important clues we picked up were a clock with the words “Tick Tock,” a cereal box with the number 11 on it, a bus ticket with “AL-DC” written on it, and the Tulip clicking her heels three times while talking about home and a rainbow. In addition, her one word was “Triple.”

The Tulip also mentioned both Glee Club and Acrobatics Club, made a reference to “tumbling,” and said she was bullied.

Our best guess is that the Tulip is former “Dance Moms” star Kenzie Ziegler.

maddie mackenzie ziegler

Kenzie Ziegler.

Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Here’s our evidence: The “AL-DC” bus ticket refers to the Abby Lee Dance Company, which is the dance company featured in “Dance Moms.” The dancers used to travel to competitions on a bus — plus the show premiered in 2011 (the 11 reference). The heel-clicking and the rainbow could refer to Ziegler’s performance as Dorothy in “The Winter of Oz,” a holiday-themed production of “The Wizard of Oz,” which famously features “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” The “tick tock” is also a reference to Ziegler’s TikTok following — she has 19 million followers on the app.

Ziegler’s reference to “Triple” could be her status as a triple-threat — she can sing (Glee Club), act, and dance. 

Other guesses: Charli D’Amelio, Millie Bobby Brown, Shawn Johnson, or Heather Morris.

The Cricket grooved to “Jump (For My Love)” by the Pointer Sisters.

cricket masked dancer


Michael Becker/FOX

Here’s what we picked up on from Cricket’s clue package: He’s tall, not a dancer, and frequents Las Vegas. There was a reference to the numbers 90210 and the number 12. He called himself “pretty lucky in life,” mentioned “love at first sight,” said he always gets “punked” when it came to love, and mentioned being an “apprentice.” Other clues: three gold bars with the number 10 on each of them, and a hand of cards with four aces.

His one word was “Accomplished.”

Our best guess is Ian Ziering, of “Beverly Hills, 90210” fame.

ian ziering

Ian Ziering.

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for IMDb

Not all of the clues fit, but, of course, the big reference to “90210,” in which Ziering played Steve Sanders for 10 seasons, comes to mind. Ziering also appeared on “The Celebrity Apprentice,” which might be why he mentioned being an “apprentice.” The three 10s could be referencing the three perfect 10s that Ziering received when he appeared on the fourth season of “Dancing With the Stars,” which could also be connected to the four aces.

The Las Vegas motif also could be a reference to Ziering’s appearance in the Chippendales revue. We’re still stumped on what “Accomplished” means, though.

Other guesses: Former MMA fighter Tito Ortiz, former pro wrestler Ken Shamrock, Jason Priestley, Ashton Kutcher, or Dax Shepard.

Exotic Bird danced to “Con Calma” by Daddy Yankee, Snow, and Katy Perry.

exotic bird masked dancer

Exotic Bird.

Michael Becker/FOX

The clues we noted were two runners on a race track wearing the number 17, a starter pistol with glitter, references to being competitive, starting as a teen, a perfume line, winning big at the beginning of her career, a Venus flytrap, body shamers, stating that she felt attacked for “losing, my relationships, [and] just for being a big bird,” the phrase “Best by ’07,” cooking, a cracked egg, and calling herself a “true warrior.”

Her one word was “Scored.”

We think Hope Solo is underneath the Exotic Bird’s mask.

hope solo

Hope Solo.

Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

Right off the bat, all the judges noted Exotic Bird’s height and dancing skills. Solo is on the taller side (5 foot 9 inches), and Solo placed fourth when she appeared on “Dancing With the Stars” in 2011.

She started playing soccer when she was very young, is famously very competitive, has been playing professionally for 17 years (thus, the runners wearing the number 17), has twin babies (the runners again), has had some legal troubles with her family and her now-husband, and was part of the infamous iCloud leak which could be the reference to body shamers. The glitter gun could be a reference to the ticker tape parade the US Womens National Team received in 2015.

The “Best by ’07” reference could be referring to the 2007 World Cup, during which she was the starting goalkeeper for the first four games — Solo gave up only two goals, and had three consecutive shutouts. But for the semifinals, she was controversially benched in favor of veteran goalkeeper Briana Scurry, which Solo was vocally upset about. Solo was then benched for the rest of the World Cup.

Other guesses: Venus Williams, Marion Jones, Jordin Sparks, Khloe Kardashian, Kelly Clarkson, or Jessica Simpson.

The Hammerhead danced to everyone’s favorite jam, “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” by the Backstreet Boys.

hammerhead masked dancer


Michael Becker/FOX

There were plenty of clues to choose from in the Hammerhead’s intro. The big ones were the many references to the beach, an odd-looking burger, a cup of alphabet soup with the word “Talk” spelled out, a cup of coffee with “Joe” written on the mug, something being added to the coffee, references to becoming famous too quickly, feeling like their best moments were behind them, and feeling like they shifted from who they were to who they thought people wanted them to be. There was also a painting of a lifeguard surfing, a clock going from 6:01 a.m. to 6:05 a.m. (and then back again), references to moving backwards, and staying hungry for “learning, life, [and] love.”

The one word Hammerhead uttered was “dramatic.”

We think it’s none other than the Keto Guido himself, Vinny Guadagnino.

vinny guadagnino

Vinny Guadagnino.

Denise Truscello/WireImage via Getty Images

While Guadagnino might not surf, he is most famous for a show that takes place at the beach: “Jersey Shore.” The Hammerhead is certainly jacked enough to hang with the best “gorilla juice-heads.”

The rest of our proof? One of the panelists called the coffee “bulletproof coffee,” which is famously very keto-friendly. Guadagnino also definitely became famous very quickly, as did the rest of the “Jersey Shore” cast, but Guadagnino struggled with it. He even left the house for a period of time due to his anxiety. The 6 a.m. time could be referring to the original six seasons of “Jersey Shore,” and the moving backwards could be alluding to his return to the show with the rest of the cast for “Family Vacation” — possibly another beach/vacation reference.

The “Talk Soup” might be a reference to “The Soup,” the dearly departed clip show hosted by Joel McHale. It was originally called “Talk Soup” before McHale took over. “Jersey Shore” clips were frequently shown on “The Soup.”

Lastly, the Hammerhead busted out some serious break-dancing and “stripper” moves, which could be explained by Guadagnino’s extended run at Chippendales. Plus, the word “Dramatic” sounded exactly like his voice.

Other guesses: Ryan Lochte, Joel McHale, Zac Efron, or Bryce Hall.

The first dancer to get unmasked from Group B was the Ice Cube, who danced to a Postmodern Jukebox cover of “Bad Romance.”

ice cub masked dancer

Ice Cube.

Michael Becker/FOX

The most important clues that Ice Cube revealed were: stating that he was successful, saying his mom was always off doing work at the White House and his dad spent time behind bars, an emphasis on the letters “CORNL,” calling TV his only friend, a pair of smelly ballet slippers, multiple references to climate change and the periodic table, and saying he was “in [his] element.”

His one (technically two) word was “’90s icon.”

It was … Bill Nye the Science Guy

bill nye the science guy

Bill Nye.

Michael Becker/FOX

Confused? Well, Nye is obviously an iconic ’90s TV star with “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” He attended Cornell University (“CORNL”), appeared on “Dancing with the Stars” was but wasn’t great, hence the smelly ballet slippers, and is very focused on climate change. He’s also a DC native, which might explain the White House clue.

The references to his parents were both true, albeit in sneaky ways. His mom was enlisted by the Navy as a code-breaker during World War II — so while she might not have literally worked at the White House, she was part of the armed forces. His dad did spend time behind bars, but it was as a prisoner of war in a Japanese POW camp for four years.

Cotton Candy rebounded from an intense fall during practice to dance to “Glitter in the Air” by Pink.

cotton candy

Cotton Candy.

Michael Becker/FOX

Some of Cotton Candy’s clues were a bowl of cereal turning into an English breakfast, a chalkboard drawing of a witch’s hat and witchy things accompanied with the voiceover “I was an all-around wiz kid,” references to moving away as a kid, living with a new family, and getting homesick. Other clues included a clock with the letters “LIFE” instead of the numbers 12, 9, 6, and 5, stating that she had “trouble keeping up,” two 3-pound weights, a head-shot sent to “Some Very Important People,” her family giving her a “save haven,” a cloud with “B!RD” written on it, feeling “more glamorous than ever,” and four cupcakes.

Her one word was “Primetime.”

The Cotton Candy might be none other than Julianne Hough.

Julianne Hough

Julianne Hough.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

We agree with the judges — only a trained dancer could pull off what Cotton Candy did, which is why we’re guessing professional dancer Hough.

Hough, who has four siblings (four cupcakes!), was sent to live in London (the English breakfast?) when she was 10 years old after her parents split up and lived with the Ballas family (“a new family”). During that time, she was an extra in the first “Harry Potter” movie (“an all-around wiz kid”).

She may have had trouble “keeping up” with her brother Derek — the two have a playful rivalry, and both were pros on “Dancing With the Stars” — a “primetime” show. Hough won the fourth season of the show (perhaps this is the four cupcakes reference), and then continued to branch out.

Hough starred in the movie “Safe Haven,” a more obvious reference. The 3-pound weights could be a reference to Hough’s three Emmy nominations. The cupcakes, which were pink with glamorous lips and eyelashes, could also be referring to “Grease” and Pink Ladies, as Hough starred in “Grease Live” (also a primetime event).

Other guesses: Jenna Dewan, Fergie, Gabby Douglas, or Sabrina Bryan.

The Moth danced to “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” by Brooks and Dunn.

miss moth masked dancer


Michael Becker/FOX

The Moth’s clue video heavily referenced a traumatic experience in her life. She mentioned how moths don’t seek out the spotlight, and that she was a normal person until she was “making headlines with the president,” and even showed a fake tabloid with the name “National Insectquirer.”

There was also a box labeled “clothes,” a blue dress that the Moth was eating, references to both the White House and the Capitol building, a tree, multiple equations, a ladder, a painting of a moth-inspired Mother Teresa, a sign that said “Box Sweet Box,” the number 286, and a fly swatter. She also said that she retook her fame and uses it for good now.

Her one word was “Inspired.”

Our best guess is that Miss Moth is actually Miss Monica Lewinsky.

monica lewinsky

Monica Lewinsky.

Noam Galai/Getty Images for Webby Awards

This one seems pretty obvious — maybe too obvious. Of course, Lewinsky was involved in one of the biggest presidential scandals of all time that led to the impeachment of President Clinton. The Moth was even seen eating a blue dress, perhaps a reference to Lewinsky’s infamous blue dress.

In addition to the obvious tabloid drama, the headline on the fake tabloid, “Moth Tells All,” could be a reference to the tell-all book Lewinsky participated in, “Monica’s Story.” The clothes everywhere might be alluding to Lewinsky’s successful handbag business. She also held her knife and fork like knitting needles — Lewinsky has stated that knitting is what kept her sane.

The math equations might be a clue to her education — after the scandal, she moved to London and obtained a Masters of Science degree, and tried to stay out of the spotlight until 2014, when she began reclaiming her fame, like Miss Moth did. She has publicly taken a stance against cyberbullying, which has become her main cause, which could be why her word was “Inspired.”

Other guesses: Megyn Kelly, Marla Maples, Omarosa, or Stormy Daniels.

The Sloth was anything but slow when he danced to “What I Like About You” by the Romantics.

sloth masked dancer


Michael Becker/FOX

Here’s what we got: multiple doctors wearing “D.R.” badges, blue and yellow liquids mixing together to make green, people talking “down and dirty” to him, a toothpaste tube that says “GLEE” and “Dentist Whitening Tooth System,” a stopwatch, a soda cup with “13” on it, sharing that he had a bad accident as a kid, asking people “not to call the feds, K?,” and saying that people thought he was a “Mickey Mouse operation.”

His one word was “Broadway,” with a very distinct accent.

We’re going to agree with Paula Abdul — we think the Sloth is none other than Matthew Morrison.

matthew morrison 2019

Matthew Morrison.

Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Here’s what we got: Obviously, the “GLEE” toothpaste could be referring to Morrison’s star-making role as Mr. Schuester on “Glee.” The green liquid could be alluding to his role as the (very green) Grinch in the live musical “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical!.”

The “D.R.” could be one of two things: Morrison played a doctor in a show called “Relativity,” and also on the 13th (!) season of “Grey’s Anatomy,” one of the most famous medical shows ever. While Morrison was never on Disney, he did release an album of Disney covers called “Disney Dreamin’ with Matthew Morrison.” He also played J. M. Barrie, author of “Peter Pan,” in “Finding Neverland.” Also, Mickey Mouse and Matthew Morrison have the same initials.

We might be giving “Masked Dancer” producers too much credit, but the “No need to call the feds, K?” might be referring to the very popular TikTok meme that accuses Morrison of being a war criminal.

The soda cup with 13 could be referring to his season 13 role, but also, slushees played a big part on “Glee.” Abdul also pointed out the Sloth flashed the “L” loser sign on his forehead, another big “Glee” motif.

His ’80s aesthetic might be a reference to his role on “American Horror Story 1984,” and his word, “Broadway,” is a clear nod to Morrison’s Broadway roots.

Other guesses: John Stamos, Neil Patrick Harrison, Kevin Federline, or Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

The Zebra danced to “Magalenha” by Sergio Mendes.

zebra masked dancer


Michael Becker/FOX

The Zebra’s clue package had references to many boy bands, including One Direction, New Kids on the Block, the Backstreet Boys, and *NSYNC.

The video also took place on a movie set with the 2019 Oscar winners for director and cinematographer, Bong Joon-Ho and Roger Deakins. He said he had been out of the limelight for a while and “knows a thing or two about running on a low gas tank.” Other clues included the letters “OS,” the number 11, a medal with the number three on it, a dancing hotdog, a tabloid with the headline “This Is a Clue,” a license plate with the numbers 154-128, and a sign that said “Zebra for Mare.”

Zebra’s one word was “Comeback.”


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