Kevin Hart unmasks himself after 'worst performance ever' in “Masked Singer” season 11 premiere

Kevin Hart unmasks himself after 'worst performance ever' in “Masked Singer” season 11 premiere

The actor and comedian behind Book pulled off one massive prank on host Nick Cannon.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for the season 11 premiere of The Masked Singer.

Promo for The Masked Singer season 11 promised March Mask-ness, and Wednesday's premiere episode certainly delivered on that.

The hour kicked off with a bang — literally — with a fireworks-filled performance from new panelist Rita Ora, who stepped in to fill Nicole Scherzinger's ultra high heels while she performed on London's West End last year. Ora's addition marks the first time that a new panelist has joined the fold, and to commemorate the occasion, she opened the show with a fitting rendition of "Who Are You" by The Who, before ultimately introducing the other panelists — Ken Jeong, Robin Thicke, and Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg — and herself.

From there things seemed to be smooth sailing, with all the dad jokes, costume puns, clue packages, and performances (good and bad) fans have come to expect from the show. As has become tradition, a show-stopping performance was delivered from the first contestant to take the stage: Goldfish, who sang Olivia Rodrigo's "Vampire." When it came time for guesses — which included Hilary Duff, Lucy Hale, Lea Michele, Selena Gomez, and Carly Rae Jepsen — Ora, who's previously served as a panelist on the U.K. version of TMS, gave us a taste of her guessing philosophy: "I know I’m new, and I’m coming fresh out the gate, but if you’re wrong, [be] wrong and strong, and if you’re right, then shout it from the rooftops." (This was just the encouragement Jeong didn't need moving forward.)

From there, we heard the first vocal outings and clues from new costumes Starfish, Ugly Sweater, and Lovebird, who performed "Material Girl" by Madonna, “The Best” by Tina Turner, and “Home” by Phillip Phillips, respectively. And it only took Thicke 32 minutes and 40 seconds into the season to make a pun out of Ora's name, telling her, "Well Rita, we love your aura" with all the confidence of a man who frequently embarrasses his kids with dad jokes.

<p>Michael Becker / FOX</p> Book in the season 11 premiere episode of 'The Masked Singer'

Michael Becker / FOX

Book in the season 11 premiere episode of 'The Masked Singer'

It was all going according to plan until the final contestant of the evening, Book, took the stage. Things seemed to be different from the get-go. While he was singing “So Sick” by Ne-Yo (a.k.a. season 10 winner, Cow), the panelists all could be seen sharing knowing looks with each other as if they knew immediately who was behind the mask, and Thicke even had to step away from the table because he was laughing so hard, which host Nick Cannon pointed out on stage afterwards.

"There’s only a few people that as soon as they walk in the room, I start smiling and laughing like this and that’s Kevin Hart," Thicke told him. This was the closest the panel got to actually guessing who was under the mask, because Book decided in that moment to yeet his costume off, causing the panel and audience to collectively lose their mind. Thicke even ran around like a child at Christmas.

Once the initial excitement died down, Hart and Cannon got into it, with Hart telling his Celebrity Prank Wars cohost, "I got you, Nick! It’s a prank, you had no idea I was coming here, Nick. And guess what, Nick? There’s nothing you can do about it." This prompted the most unrestrained response we've seen from Cannon on the show to date, who told him, laughing, "That’s so stupid! That was the worst performance ever on the history of the show.”

Hart pointed out it was "on purpose," to which Cannon replied, "You embarrassed yourself. That was stupid. You look very stupid."

<p>Leon Bennett/Getty</p> Kevin Hart and Nick Cannon have a long history of pranking each other

Leon Bennett/Getty

Kevin Hart and Nick Cannon have a long history of pranking each other

"I don’t look stupid. I look put together, Nick. There’s nothing stupid about me. You know who looks stupid, Nick? You, in that stupid jacket," the Ride Along star told Cannon, while the panelists could barely contain their laughter at the exchange.

When the Masked Singer host pointed out that Book's antics "ruined" the episode, because it robbed the contestants and viewers of a proper elimination, Hart joked, "That’s not my problem — that's your problem!"

It was Cannon who had the last laugh though, because he got to tell his longtime friend (and pranking partner in crime) the news that, after an elimination, the singer has to sing once more before they leave.

And with that, the wild first entry of season 11 ended, and all of the other contestants were safe and moved on to next week's episode. What other crazy antics will this season have in store? Only time will tell, but tune in to The Masked Singer Wednesdays on Fox at 8 p.m. ET/PT to find out.

Watch Hart's big reveal below.

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