Spoilers ahead for the second episode of The Masked Singer Season 4, featuring the six contestants from Group B.
Fox's The Masked Singer has been one of the most bizarre shows on television ever since it debuted back in 2019, but the latest episode of Season 4 featured the show's weirdest twist to date with an elimination that made history, and something needs to change to make sure it doesn't happen again. The debut of Group B's six singers ended with the first self-elimination of the series when Gremlin unmasked himself, before the voting could even begin.
Gremlin took the stage as the last of the six competitors in Group B, and he came across as an older competitor with his rendition of Ben E. King's "Stand By Me." Even in the initial performance, before he removed the head of his Gremlin costume, I thought he seemed to run out of steam at a few points, and it turned out that he was ready to go when he was done.
Judges Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, and Ken Jeong had time to make their respective guesses of Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Rourke, and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, but then Gremlin had enough and started to remove his mask. Before anybody could stop him, and despite the judges and host Nick Cannon trying to talk it out of it, Gremlin unmasked himself and guaranteed his own elimination by revealing his identity as Mickey Rourke.
History has been made, and not in a good way. A big change needs to be made to make sure this doesn't happen again. Now, I'll admit that I was so caught up in the thrill of The Masked Singer that my first instinct was to want the show to make the masks harder for the competitors to remove on their own. After considering it for a few moments, I came do a different (and arguably kinder) conclusion: The Masked Singer needs to change its masks.
Gremlin was seemingly pretty uncomfortable well before he finally pulled his mask off. He tried to walk off the stage as soon as he was done, and Nick Cannon had to pull him back. Everybody was laughing, and it originally seemed like Gremlin was goofing around. Then, when the judges were making their guesses, Gremlin started gesturing for Ken Jeong to hurry up.
Again, it still seemed like Gremlin might have been playing up his antics for the game, but then he started struggling to get the mask off, and Nick Cannon announced that it was because the mask was too hot. Gremlin couldn't be talked out of taking off his mask, and I for one got the sense that he wasn't just being cantankerous or going out of his way to break the rules. He seemed downright uncomfortable.
This isn't the first time that a Masked Singer contestant has been uncomfortable with the mask either. Rob Gronkowski, who was the White Tiger in Season 3, didn't hit some of his moves because he ran out of oxygen, and that's saying something for a former professional athlete, and Ricki Lake, a.k.a. the Raven, had sciatica pain exacerbated by her outfit, even after the costume was eventually lightened somewhat. Former Poodle Margaret Cho had struggles of her own due to the mask.
While the extravagant masks are a big part of the appeal of The Masked Singer, I don't think they should be so elaborate that the contestants physically suffer from wearing them. Surely the show could find some ways to make them more comfortable without losing all of the spectacle, right?
That's not to say that the show has done something terribly wrong; after all, The Masked Singer ran for three full seasons before any contestant had enough of an issue to take off the mask before the vote. And there could be perks of some more comfortable outfits. More dancing could be possible if the costumes were less cumbersome!