Season 9 of Fox’s “The Masked Singer” kicked off with a legendary reveal: Dick van Dyke.
The 97-year-old Emmy, Grammy and Tony winner concealed his iconic face and gray hair in a giant, red-headed gnome costume during the show’s ninth-season premiere Wednesday. Before the big reveal, van Dyke performed Frank Sinatra’s “When You’re Smiling” surrounded by a lively second-line band and parade as balloons and confetti fell on the live studio audience.
Van Dyke’s Hollywood career spans decades and includes leading roles in “Mary Poppins,” Broadway’s “Bye Bye Birdie” and 1960s sitcom classic “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” alongside Mary Tyler Moore. In 2021, he received the Kennedy Center Honor, calling the prestigious arts award a “capper on my career.”
The entertainer and comedian dropped hints in his introduction, saying he’s been an entertainment mainstay during his “storied career” and that he’s “done it all.”
After his performance, the judges made their guesses of who was behind the costume, stating names including Dustin Hoffman and Robert DeNiro.
Once Van Dyke stepped out of the suit judges Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger dropped their jaws in surprise.
“It was real dark in there,” Van Dyke said after host Nick Cannon asked what it was like inside the costume. “You couldn’t see anything … I didn’t know Robert DeNiro could sing.”
Scherzinger teared up saying: “I love you so much, we love you, the whole world loves you so much. It’s an honor to have you on our show. I can’t believe you’re here.”
The premiere came with a double elimination with country singer Sara Evans revealing herself as the wearer of the mustang costume. During her performance, she sang “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake and later battled the Medusa costume by singing Rihanna’s “Diamonds.”
Evans said she kept her “Masked Singer” performance a secret from her family: “I have three children and we’re going to watch it together.”
Story Credit: usatoday.com