The Masked Singer is officially underway with viewers already trying to suss out the famous faces behind the wacky costumes.
The hit ITV reality series – which sees stars dress up in elaborate costumes and perform cover songs to a panel of judges who attempt to decipher their identities using clues – returned to screens earlier this month.
This year’s judging panel includes Jonathan Ross, Rita Ora, Davina McCall and Mo Gilligan.
Snow Leopard, Chandelier and Lionfish have already been sent home.
Nine celebrities remain in the running to be crowned the winner of this year’s Masked Singer.
Who is Poodle?
This furry friend performed a winning rendition of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” during Saturday’s episode of The Masked Singer (1 January).
Poodle’s VT gave viewers plenty of clues to chew on. Hints included references to queens, performing, flamboyance, and dogs. The character also nodded to the Royal Variety Performance.
“I’ve always loved a bit of glamour and I don’t mind telling you that flamboyance is a little bit fabulous. It’s something I’ve always admired,” said the persona.
They added: “I can’t wait to be let off the leash in this competition. I’m very eager to start. Are you r-r-r-ready for me? Ruff!” In their final clue, Poodle said: “I once went on a very long walkies.”
Some viewers on Twitter guessed that Paul O’Grady could be Poodle given that the comedian and broadcaster presents a show called For the Love of Dogs.
O’Grady also performed in drag as Lily Savage for years. He has also starred in the Royal Variety Performance.
Other viewers, however, have suggested that the Poodle sounds like Gary Barlow feigning an American accent.
On Saturday (15 January), Poodle played into his animal identity by singing Tom Jones’s “What’s New Pussycat?”
His VT contained plenty more dog references, with the mystery figure saying that he was panel “no ordinary mutt” and had been “well trained”. Poodle also said that he had previously been bashed by the press and that he was “no stranger to a dog collar”.
The judges were impressed, with McCall saying that if Poodle wasn’t a singer they were “in the wrong profession” before guessing Rylan. Gilligan thought he was Snoop Dogg, Ross said Peter Crouch and Ora went for Mika.
Based on the last comment, Twitter users were left convinced that Poodle was Reverend Richard Coles, who used to perform with The Communards.
“Oi @RevRichardColes are you poodle?” tweeted fellow TV vicar Reverend Kate Bottley.
According to Betfair, O’Grady is the most likely to be revealed to be Poodle. You can see the odds below.
Paul O’Grady (8/11)
Gary Barlow (5/2)
Rylan Clark-Neal (6/1)
John Barrowman (10/1)
Adam Lambert (16/1)
The Masked Singer airs Saturdays at 7pm on ITV