‘The Masked Singer’s Nicole Scherzinger Says Season 4 Is the ‘Hardest’ & Her ‘Strongest’ Yet

Nicole Scherzinger - The Masked Singer Panelist
Michael Becker/FOX

Every season of The Masked Singer is bigger and better — both when it comes to the costumes (the Serpent and its moving tentacles impressed panelist Nicole Scherzinger) and the talent.

While people may be looking more than ever for something to distract them, that wasn’t on the show’s mind when they were taping it, Scherzinger tells TV Insider.

“We always want The Masked Singer to be the best show possible. We knew that it was going to be a little bit different this season with COVID, with not having the audience during taping and stuff, so we just tried to match that energy and just really have a lot of fun with it. We were cognizant that we wanted to make it a great place for the family to escape during these times,” she says.

Here, Scherzinger discusses Season 4’s contestants, her guesses, and more.

There isn’t an in-studio audience, but there is footage of past seasons’ audiences in the finished episode.

Nicole Scherzinger: I think it’s brilliant. It’s beautiful. Those reactions are still real and authentic, but we’ve just had to recycle some of that footage. We just tried to match the energy and have extra fun with it, and be extra entertaining for the families at home.

How are you feeling about your chances of winning the Golden Ear, at least, with what we’ve seen so far.

I feel really good. I feel like I had a hard time with the clues this past season. Jenny [McCarthy]’s usually our clue master, but I’ve got a really strong ear and we’ve got a lot of great talent this season, so I’ve tried to put on my little Sherlock Scherzy hat and monocle and do a little bit more detective work this season. I feel like, so far with my guesses, it’s my strongest season so far.

This season features the first duo with the Snow Owls.

It was a really big surprise. We never had a duet before. We’re like, “Well, we’re breaking our own rules here. Are there any rules?” We had Baby Alien, which was a puppet, our first duet. I loved it, thinking outside of the box but still inside of the egg. You would think it’d make it easier, but I think it made it even harder for the guesses because we couldn’t even tell any physical attributes with height or anything. But the Snow Owls are one of my favorites. I just really love their voices.

The Masked Singer Season 4 Snow Owls

(Michael Becker/FOX)

Anything you can tease about what fans can expect from the Group A Finals on Wednesday?

All I have to tell you is that this season is the hardest season yet. I would not want to compete. Everybody’s so different. Everybody’s so strong in their own way and really bringing it. The first show of Season 4 felt like the finale of the last season. That’s the level of talent we were dealing with. You just have to stay tuned. Be prepared to be continuously blown away.

It seems like every time someone sings, you think, “Now that person’s a frontrunner.”

Exactly! You think, “Oh, they’re going to be the final.” “No, they’re going to be in the final.” “Oh my God, they’re going to take it all.” “No, wait, they’re going to take it all.” You just never know.

Are there any contestants that stood out when they first competed? Someone you thought the audience would really latch onto?

Yeah, immediately when I heard the Sun and Seahorse, I was like, “These are some of the strongest singers we’ve ever had on this show by far.” I felt really strongly about that.

When I’ve spoken to the unmasked contestants, they’ve really noted how long Ken Jeong’s guesses can be. We did see Giraffe go so far as to lie down on stage!

It’s funny. Ken does take a long time. Sometimes we’ll take a little nap or a snack break in between, but we love Ken for it. He’s good, though. [The] panelists are used to it by now, we make our own jokes about it, but I love that the contestants are now over it.

Mickey Rourke The Masked Singer Season 4 Unmasked Gremlin

(Michael Becker/FOX)

Mickey Rourke (Gremlin) unmasked himself this season. Did you ever think something like that might happen?

Never. I don’t think anyone would have ever thought about that. That’s why I love our show. It’s full of surprises. You never know who’s going to be on and you never know what they’re going to do. He didn’t want to wait. He wanted to unmask right then and there, and then he did. That’s the beauty of our show.

Which unmasking has surprised you the most so far, this season or in a previous one?

I think that the Monster, T-Pain, really surprised us because no one knew that was him in the end. I thought that was really beautiful that we got to know and see a whole other side to T-Pain that we didn’t even know to think to guess him. And then I thought it was really cool that unfortunately the first person we booted off last season was Robot, which was Lil Wayne. Who would’ve ever guessed that?

The Masked Singer, Wednesdays, 8/7c, Fox