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“The Masked Singer” Season 11 Starts with an Unmasking that Pranks Nick Cannon: 'Worst Performance Ever'

Wednesday's premiere saw Book, Goldfish, Lovebird, Starfish and Ugly Sweater introduce themselves and Rita Ora take her spot on the panel for the first time

<p>Michael Becker / FOX</p>

Michael Becker / FOX

'The Masked Singer' host Nick Cannon

The Masked Singer certainly cranked it up to 11 on Wednesday’s season 11 premiere.

The new season saw Rita Ora take Nicole Scherzinger’s seat on the panel alongside returning judges Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy and Robin Thicke. Nick Cannon came back as the host and received an unexpected shock when the first season 11 contestant unmasked.

But first, Goldfish kicked off the night.

“When I first started out, I made a splash overnight,” Goldfish said in their clue package. “But all that success made me feel like I was living in a fishbowl with everyone’s eyes and expectations on me.”

Related: Every Winner of 'The Masked Singer': See Which Celebrities Took the Trophy

The fish’s clue package also showed a jar of hearts, two kisses and a glass slipper. “I had big decisions to make: I could play it safe or dive into deeper, darker, edgier waters,” Goldfish shared.

Goldfish opened the show by covering Olivia Rodrigo’s “Vampire.”

“That performance gets you all the way to the final,” declared McCarthy, 51.

<p>Michael Becker / FOX</p> Goldfish performing on 'The Masked Singer' season 11

Michael Becker / FOX

Goldfish performing on 'The Masked Singer' season 11

Ora, 33, called the rendition “perfect.”

The Men in Black brought out an additional clue for each contestant after they performed and for Goldfish, they delivered a gold record to the stage.

“Let the record the show that gold is my lucky color,” Goldfish stated.

The judges thought Goldfish could be Hilary Duff, Selena Gomez, Lucy Hale, Lea Michele or Carly Rae Jepsen.

Related: Rita Ora Makes Her Masked Singer Debut with a Fifty Shades-Worthy Masquerade Accessory – Watch the Teaser!

Starfish followed up with their bubbly sense of humor.

“When I was just starting out, I was serving steaks to the stars,” Starfish said in her clue package, which also showed a four-leaf clover, PA’s sunscreen, a doll, Steve Martin and Whitney Houston.

The marine invertebrate revealed that she eventually came out on top. “Now I have it all — and I can afford it!” Starfish continued. “So trust that your ‘yes’ is coming, or just find a rich sugar mama like me!”

<p>Michael Becker / FOX</p> Starfish performing on 'The Masked Singer' season 11

Michael Becker / FOX

Starfish performing on 'The Masked Singer' season 11

Starfish aptly covered Madonna’s “Material Girl.”

“I’m in love with a starfish,” Ora declared afterwards.

For Starfish’s additional clue, the Men in Black presented the number “50 billion.”

“I’ve been streamed for 50 billion minutes, and that was just in one year,” Starfish explained.

Catherine O’Hara, Cheri Oteri and Molly Shannon arose as options for Starfish’s identity.

Related: Nick Cannon Calls Luann de Lesseps 'My New Baby Mama' During Flirty 'Masked Singer' Appearance

Ugly Sweater continued the night by dressing up the stage.

“When I hit the scene as a young, handsome Ugly Sweater, I was the epitome of style,” the garment began in his clue package.

But things took a turn for Ugly Sweater. “I went from living in penthouses to sleeping on park benches,” he said.

<p>Michael Becker / FOX</p> Ugly Sweater on 'The Masked Singer' season 11

Michael Becker / FOX

Ugly Sweater on 'The Masked Singer' season 11

The package showed a blue record and a rabbit in a hat and concluded with Ugly Sweater declaring, “Now, I’m back on top.”

Ugly Sweater wanted to prove that by singing “The Best” by Tina Turner.

“I think we’ve got an icon, a legend on our hands,” McCarthy declared.

The Men in Black brought out a sweater with the word “featuring” on it for Ugly Sweater’s extra clue.

“Ugly Sweater's always in style — must be why the biggest stars want to work with me,” Ugly Sweater said.

The panel tossed out Ronald Isley, Eddie Levert, Aaron Neville, Verdine White and Charlie Wilson as possibilities for Ugly Sweater.

Related: See Why Ken Jeong Thinks Travis Kelce Might Be The Masked Singer Season 11's Lovebird (Exclusive)

Lovebird flew up next.

“What can I say? I’m a hopeless romantic,” Lovebird said in their clue package. “Every decision I’ve made in my life has been because of love, either hoping to find it or the fear of losing it.”

The package included a groom by himself on the top of a wedding cake, the number one on a watch, two gold cleats, two dice showing a total of five and a Most Lovable trophy.

<p>Michael Becker / FOX</p> Lovebird performing on 'The Masked Singer' season 11

Michael Becker / FOX

Lovebird performing on 'The Masked Singer' season 11

“I’ve had success in many fields, but I always followed my heart,” Lovebird added.

Lovebird got the crowd going with “Home” by Phillip Phillips.

A TV that with the words “leading man” on the screen served as Lovebird’s supplemental clue.

“I may make for a great Lovebird, but you know, I’m even better as a leading man,” Lovebird said.

Football players Odell Beckham Jr. and Travis Kelce and former Bachelor Nick Viall came up as suggestions for Starfish’s identity.

Related: 20 of the Wildest Rules You Didn't Know Contestants Have to Follow on 'The Masked Singer'

Book closed the book on the premiere.

"I have stories for days and a vocabulary that’s really, what's the word? Good!" Book said in his clue package that featured an Animals 101 book, a detective badge, a ghost and an open mic night sign. "And I owe it all to my mom. See, my brother was a troublemaker, a real crime novel. So my mom had to lay down the law on me."

The tome added that he "was good at everything, from school to sports," but "these days, I'm a bestseller, making over $4 billion in the box office."

<p>Michael Becker / FOX</p> Book performing on 'The Masked Singer' season 11

Michael Becker / FOX

Book performing on 'The Masked Singer' season 11

Book sang "So Sick" by season 10 winner NE-YO, and Ora thought she knew "100 percent" who was under the mask.

Thicke, 46, guessed Book could be Kevin Hart, but before Book could give the other judges a change to take a stab at who he might be, the page-turner decided to unmask and reveal himself. "How do I get out of here?" Book asked.

Once Book popped out of his pages, Hart, 44, appeared. "I got you Nick!" the Lift star declared.

<p>Nina Westervelt/Variety via Getty; Michael Becker / FOX</p> Kevin Hart as Book on 'The Masked Singer' season 11

Nina Westervelt/Variety via Getty; Michael Becker / FOX

Kevin Hart as Book on 'The Masked Singer' season 11

A completely shocked Cannon, 43, asked Hart for an explanation.

"This is a prank!" Hart continued. "You had no idea. You had no idea that I'm coming here, Nick. And guess what, Nick? Guess what? It's nothing you can do about it!"

Cannon and Hart have a longstanding prank war, and the father of 12 thought the comedic actor gave "the worst performance ever on the history of this show" while trying to pull one over on him.

"On purpose, Nick!" Hart responded.

Related: Nick Cannon Is Not Finding Out 'Who's Having My Baby' on TV — Here's What He Actually Cooked Up with Kevin Hart

Cannon couldn't take the joke. "You embarrassed yourself," he told the Hart to Heart host. "Dude, that was stupid."

"I don’t look stupid. I look put together, Nick," Hart retorted. "There's nothing stupid about me. You know who looks stupid? You, in that stupid jacket."

The Drumline star said Hart "ruined the freakin' show" by deciding to unmask on his own.

Hart didn't care. "That's not my problem," he said. "That’s your problem."

As a result of Hart's premature unmasking, Cannon declared the rest of the contestants safe before making Hart sing one more time.

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The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

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