The show’s host, Nick Cannon, said that all of the contestants combined have 36 Grammys, three world records, a net worth of over $395 million.

TV’s most mysterious singing competition is back for a fourth season.

Wednesday marked the first episode of the new season of Fox’s hit show, “The Masked Singer.” Some of the most famous people from the entertainment industry go undercover each week to give a live performance and four judges –– Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger –– have to guess who it is based on clues and vocals.

The show’s host, Nick Cannon, said that all of the contestants combined have 36 Grammys, three world records, a net worth of over $395 million and the show’s first Olympic gold medalist.

There are some changes to the show’s process for the fourth season. While the show is a competition for the singers, it’s now also a competition for the judges. The judges have to write down their first guess of the masked singer’s identity and put it in a box to be placed in a vault. They do this for each singer and Cannon will read their guesses before a singer is unmasked. Whoever guessed correctly gets a point and the judge with the most points wins the “The Golden Ear” trophy.

Another aspect that changed is the voting process. For the past three seasons, the live audience and judges were the only ones who were able to vote. Now, they select fans of the show to watch the pre-recording live and vote with the audience. It’s a great way to get viewers involved with the show.

The season premiere only introduced five of the singers: Sun, Giraffe, Popcorn, Dragon and the Snow Owls. 

The episode started out strong with Sun singing “Cuz I Love You” by Lizzo. Her vocals were strong throughout the performance, which is necessary for that song. The judges were all over the place with their guesses. Scherzinger predicted Kathrine McPhee for having a cat in the background. McCarthy disagreed and guessed Demi Lovato after seeing a Disney reference and hearing a clue about depression. Finally, Jeong and Thicke both agreed on Madonna based on her voice.

After the first masked singer, a giraffe in colonial clothing performed “Let’s Get it Started” by The Black Eyed Peas. The entire audience and judging panel were on their feet for this song. Scherzinger gave the singer recognition for nailing a difficult song to sing. After the applause, the judges made their guesses. McCarthy guessed Travis Barkley because of the carnival clues and a drumming reference. Thicke took the giraffe’s crash-and-burn clue and connected it to Vanilla Ice.

The third singer was Popcorn, who gave the audience a powerful performance of P!nk’s song “What About Us.” All four judges were amazed at the talent that came out of the singer. She had the type of voice that could nail that song, and she did. When it was time to guess, there were three names from the judges. During the clues, McCarthey noticed a merry-go-round with the words “Proud Mary” above it which made her think of Tina Turner. Scherzinger guessed it was Mary J. Blige from small detailed clues. Jeong took an entirely different turn on his prediction. He noticed a tiger and a picture of a king, which made him think of Carol Baskin from “Tiger King.” 

The next singer to appear on stage was the Dragon. The Dragon got everyone dancing with a cover of “Mama Said Knock You Out” by L.L. Cool J. Right away, the panel knew it was an iconic rapper. The camera even showed that Jeong said, “He sounds like a legend.” When the performance ended the judges began to connect the dots. McCarthy mentioned seeing an “X” as a clue and the raspy sound in his voice made her think of DMX. Sherzinger liked McCarthy’s guess, but mentioned other clues and connected them to Busta Rhyme, which Thicke agreed with. However, Jeong focused on all the gold clues as well as a stopwatch and decided to guess Michael Phelps.

For the final performance, the Snow Owls came out. This is a big deal for the show because it’s the first duo group it’s ever had. The two owls sang “Say Something” by A Great Big World. 

The performance was beautiful and emotional, and Thicke said that he could hear the same amount of emotion from each owl. None of the judges agreed on who the two singers could be. Jeong guessed Eugene Levy and Cathrine O’Hara from “Schitt’s Creek.” McCarthy guessed Donny and Marie Osborn, which was shot down by the other judges because Donny has already been on the show. Thicke added the idea of Amy Grant and Vince Gills being the two singers since there were Christmas clues and they’ve been in a Christmas album together.

After the five singers performed the judges and audience members voted. Unfortunately, the Dragon was voted off. While everyone was disappointed they were equally excited to see who the Dragon was. Prior to taking the mask off, Cannon went over the judges’ first impressions. McCarthy said NFL star Adriene Peterson, Jeong guessed Marshon Lynch and Scherzinger and Thicke guessed Busta Rhyme. Once the mask came off, rap icon Busta Rhyme appeared, which put Scherzinger and Thicke in the lead to win The Golden Ear.

The season premiere was an unforgettable start to the fourth season of “The Masked Singer.” It’s clear from the five incredible singers that performed first that this year should be good.

Contact Gracie Brogowski at brogowsx@dukes.jmu.edu. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Instagram and Twitter @Breeze_Culture.