The Masked Dancer: Winner, other revealed contestants and everything you need to know

Find out who won the inaugural series of The Masked Dancer UK, who the other contestants were and who was on the judging panel.

By Katie Archer Published: 7 June 2021 - 9.20am
ITV The Masked Dancer logo

If you’re missing spending your Saturday nights shouting “Sausage is Joss Stone!” at the TV screen, check out The Masked Singer's spin-off show, The Masked Dancer.

Series two of The Masked Singer was a huge hit for ITV, so with Britain’s Got Talent taking a year off, what better show to fill the gap in their schedule than the dance version of the undercover celebrity competition?

Here’s all you need to know about The Masked Dancer – including who the judges are, how the contest works, and when you can see it.

What is The Masked Dancer?

Like its sister show The Masked Singer, The Masked Dancer does exactly what it says on the tin.

A cast of top secret celebrity contestants will don some of the best costumes on telly, including intricate masks to hide any identifying features, and perform a dance routine each week.

As well as performing as their costumed alter-egos, the celebrities will offer cryptic clues as to their identity before each dance. But beware - their voices will be disguised to throw viewers and the judging panel off the scent.

As with The Masked Singer, the fun is in guessing who each dancer could be as the judges put forward their best guesses each time.

Voting is a combination of studio audience and judging panel choices. Two contestants will face the dance off each week and one will be unmasked before leaving the show.

So start making a list of your best guesses and join the likes of celebrity fans Louise Redknapp and Antony Costa in asking “who’s that behind the mask?”.

Who are the Masked Dancers?

Zip - Howard Donald

The Take That star's name was mentioned but it wasn't one of the official guesses by the judges as came third.

Howard Donald revealed as Zip in The Masked Dancer ITV

Carwash - Louis Smith - WINNER

The Olympic gymnast and former Strictly champion surprised us all when he was revealed as the first ever winner of The Masked Dancer.

Louis Smith revealed as Carwash in The Masked Dancer ITV

Beagle - Christopher Dean

One half of ice dancing legend Torvill and Dean was unmasked as Beagle, making a rare solo performance.

The Masked Dancer Beagle ITV

Squirrel - Bonnie Langford

Bonnie managed to fool all of the judges - none of whom guessed that it was her behind the mask - as she came second in the competition.

Bonnie Langford revealed as Squirrel in The Masked Dancer ITV

Scarecrow - Tamzin Outhwaite

The reveal of the former EastEnders actress - who came fourth - was a particular surprise to guest Holly Willoughby, who explained that Tamzin is her husband's cousin.

Tamzin Outhwaite revealed as Scarecrow in The Masked Dancer ITV

Frog - Kelly Brook

Actor and model Kelly Brook surprised the whole panel except for Oti Mabuse, who was spot on with her guess for Frog.

The Masked Dancer Frog ITV

Beetroot - Dita Von Teese

The world-famous burlesque dancer shocked the panel when she was unveiled at the end of the third show.

Dita Von Teese in the Beetroot costume on The Masked Dancer ITV

Viper - Jordan Banjo

Diversity dancer Jordan was the first celebrity to be unmasked.

Jordan Banjo in the Viper costume on The Masked Dancer ITV

Rubber Chicken

Olympic ski jump legend Eddie the Eagle was unmasked as Rubber Chicken in episode four, leaving the panel in a flap that they'd skated right over the clues.

The Masked Dancer Rubber Chicken Eddie the Eagle ITV

Flamingo - Louise Redknapp

The singer was revealed at the end of episode two.

Louise Redknapp in the Flamingo costume on The Masked Dancer ITV

Knickerbocker Glory - Craig Revel Horwood

The Strictly judge became the judgee as he performed while dancer Oti Mabuse rated his routine.

The Masked Dancer Knickerbocker Glory ITV

Llama - Zoe Ball

She may have just left Strictly: It Takes Two, but Zoe Ball had a last hurrah on the dancefloor as Llama.

The Masked Dancer Llama ITV

Who are the judges?

It’s a familiar panel, with three of the four Masked Singer judges returning to their seats.

Joining The Masked Dancer is ballroom pro and double-Strictly winner Oti Mabuse, who will replace Masked Singer judge Rita Ora to sit alongside fellow judges Davina McCall, Mo Gilligan and Jonathan Ross.

Oti is of course best known for her starring role as one of the most popular pros in Strictly Come Dancing, but she also has judging experience from being a dance captain on BBC talent show The Greatest Dancer.

“I’m so thrilled and honoured to be joining the panel on The Masked Dancer," she said.

“I’m a huge fan of The Masked Singer and I loved the US Masked Dancer so I just can’t wait to start on this show.

“As a dancer, I will be watching the dancers intently looking for clues – it’s going to be so much fun!”

The Masked Singer judges ITV

Jonathan may not strike you as being the greatest expert on singing or dancing, but his unrivalled celebrity knowledge and the fact that he’s interviewed pretty much everyone at some point has made him a formidable guesser on The Masked Singer.

He said: “What people don’t know is that secretly I am an expert in dance and can spot a ball change from a box step no problem.

“The title of best detective on the panel is most certainly coming my way!”

Mo joined The Masked Singer for series two, replacing Ken Jeong, and is sticking around for the new spin-off show.

He said: “I love The Masked Singer. It’s a crazy bit of joy, which we all need right now – so when ITV asked if I wanted to join The Masked Dancer, I of course said a huge yes.”

Davina will also be back, and admitted that she was taking the role seriously: “I love playing detective and I love dancing, so what could be better?

“I’m currently swotting up on all things dance in preparation and I will be watching those celebrity feet like a hawk.

“They always have such an amazing cast on The Masked Singer, so it could literally be anyone hiding and dancing behind those masks.”

Comedian Joel Dommett will also return to host the show.

He said: “I’m looking forward to some incredible costumes, epic performances and accidentally saying Masked Singer at least five times.”

Has there been a Masked Dancer series before?

Masked Singer superfans may well recognise the new format, as the US has already run a Masked Dancer contest.

It actually came about from a Masked Singer spoof segment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, but was developed into a full series in 2020.

The US contest was won by Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas peforming as Cotton Candy and also included Ice-T as Disco Ball and Jordin Sparks as Exotic Bird.

Judges included former UK Masked Singer panellist Ken Jeong, alongside Paula Abdul, Brian Austin Green and Ashley Tisdale.

Who won The Masked Singer?

Earlier this year, we were glued to the second series of The Masked Singer with everyone convinced that winner Sausage would turn out to be either Stacey Solomon or Sheridan Smith.

However, when Sausage was unmasked she was actually Joss Stone, who had been competing in the bulky costume while heavily pregnant.

She summed up everyone’s thoughts about The Masked Singer as she laughed: “What a funny show!” at finding out she was the champion.

The series also included early exits from Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Mel B and Martine McCutcheon, with Aston Merrygold and Gabrielle reaching the final as Robin and Harlequin.

Series one was won by Nicola Roberts, who performed as Queen Bee.

When is The Masked Dancer on TV?

You can watch The Masked Dancer on the ITV Hub.

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