Spoilers ahead for the October 14 episode of The Masked Singer Season 4 on Fox.
Group B returned to The Masked Singer in the playoffs to belt their best and try to stay in the running for Season 4 champion, but it was a different return entirely that leaves me wanting more. Guest judge Joel McHale returned for his second episode of Season 4, which follows appearances in every other season so far. After his latest venture as guest judge, I'm ready for The Masked Singer to bring him in as a permanent member of the panel, with or without the sequined cape! Here's why.
Although the singing celebrities in their elaborate masks get the spotlight each week, I doubt that The Masked Singer would work if viewers had nothing but anonymous singers to go on. The commentary between host Nick Cannon and judges Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong, and Nicole Scherzinger adds some grounding humor to the craziness of the show, and their chemistry has gotten comfortable after three full seasons. They mess with each other as much as they support each other, and Joel McHale fits right in.
Part of Joel McHale's ability to gel with the rest of the panel is undoubtedly due to working with Ken Jeong on Community back before The Masked Singer existed, but the other judges are in on the humor by this point, so it doesn't feel like a Community reunion with a couple other people awkwardly hanging outside of the banter. With all the pandemic-related changes and the somewhat unsettling addition of a fake audience, some shenanigans on the panel are more than welcome, in my book.
Robin Thicke still wins the top prize for best quarantine hair, and Ken Jeong can't be beaten when it comes to wild guesses (despite Thicke giving him a run for his money last week), but Joel McHale fits with the original four judges.
And since the judges don't actually matter when it comes to deciding who stays and goes, unlike competition series like America's Got Talent on NBC and Dancing with the Stars on ABC, The Masked Singer can add a judge without cutting any of the others. An even number vs. an odd number doesn't make a difference for anything other than the size of the physical panel and the amount of airtime allotted to the judge guesses, so why not add a fifth? And why not make Joel McHale that fifth?
It's worth noting that despite the banter, Joel McHale does take The Masked Singer seriously and gives solid guesses for the identities of the singers. He may not have been correct in guessing that the eliminated Baby Alien was Eric Bana of Dirty John fame, but none of the other judges managed to identify retired NFL quarterback and sports commentator Mark Sanchez either!
The Masked Singer is already a major hit with Nick Cannon and the existing panel of four, so it technically doesn't need to make any changes to attract an audience, but I for one would appreciate more Joel McHale. At least keep bringing him back as a guest!
Unfortunately, this was the last episode of The Masked Singer for a few weeks thanks to the 2020 Major League Baseball World Series. When The Masked Singer returns, new episodes will air on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. For some viewing options in the coming weeks in case baseball isn't up your alley, check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule!