Spoiler alert! Before reading this article, for anyone who hasn’t seen the latest episode of The Masked Dancer, a contestant's identity is revealed.
When The Masked Dancer's contestants were announced, the public began to guess who the celebrities behind the costumes were (much like with its sister series, The Masked Singer). But, one contestant couldn’t fool panelist Ken Jeong – the Ice Cube. There was one distinctive characteristic that, at once, gave him away. Ice Cube has now talked about how he had to play it cool for Ken Jeong on the new series.
From the beginning of Episode 2 of The Masked Dancer, Ken Jeong knew who Ice Cube was from the moment he walked on stage. Jeong literally recognized the contestant’s walk, and guessed it was famous science communicator and television host, Bill Nye. It turned out to be true, as Nye was eliminated and unmasked in front of the panelists. Nye told TV Insider how he tried to “play it cool” after Jeong’s correct guess on the show.
Something I've written about is you can tell who people are by the way they walk, and I think if people were familiar with me, especially if anybody had been swing dancing in Los Angeles, New York, or Washington, D.C., they would recognize me from the way I walk, so I wasn't that surprised. But when Ken Jeong guessed me right away, I had to play it cool. I had to not get knocked over backwards, ‘Doggone it, he knew it right away, damnit!’ No, ‘I’m cool, sure, yeah, it could be, maybe,’ shrug the shoulders. ‘Sure, yeah.’
Given Nye’s love for swing dancing and the relatively small circle of people who participate in that in Los Angeles, Jeong’s guess shouldn’t be a total surprise to fans. But, this isn’t the science advocate’s first foray into the reality dance competition world, as he also took part in Season 17 of Dancing with the Stars, in 2013, where he was eliminated in the third week.
Outside of appearing on dancing competitions, many 1990s kids know Nye as the host of the celebrated children’s series Bill Nye the Science Guy, which ran from 1993 to 1998 on PBS. Before the PBS series, the host gained recognition as Dr. Brown’s lab assistant on the short-lived Back to the Future: The Animated Series. He returned to PBS in 2005 to host the adult- and teenaged-leaning The Eye of Nye, which lasted 13 episodes. Nye appeared in two more science-themed series, Stuff Happens in 2008, and Bill Nye Saves the World on Netflix from 2017 to 2018.
Since then, Nye has kept to his science roots by appearing on series such as The Big Bang Theory and Blindspot. He recently appeared in the biopic Mank, as political activist Upton Sinclair. It’s nice to see someone like Bill Nye break away from preconceived notions about individuals in the sciences by being multifaceted.
The Masked Dancer will continue on Wednesdays, at 8 p.m. EST on Fox, but for more to watch be sure to check out our guide to winter/spring 2021 TV!