Nicole Scherzinger has indeed left The Masked Singer (at least for now)

Nicole Scherzinger is not part of The Masked Singer season 11 cast, stepping away from the show's latest season for a very good reason.
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The Masked Singer judges panel will look a bit different this season. For the first time in the history of the show, we have a new judge joining the show with Rita Ora entering the mix to take over for Nicole Scherzinger who has been a judge on the show since its first season.

The change to the judging panel for the show is not the result of any behind the scenes drama, but rather a change in Scherzinger’s availability. 

Scherzinger was forced to step away from The Masked Singer after accepting the role in London’s West End’s production of Sunset Boulevard. As Scherzinger is needed in London for the production and The Masked Singer films in Los Angeles, she was forced to step away for the season which is why Ora was brought in to join returning judges Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, and Ken Jeong.

THE MASKED SINGER -- CR: Michael Becker / FOX. /

It’s unclear if Nicole Scherzinger will return to The Masked Singer

While we know Nicole Scherzinger was unable to appear as part of the judging panel forThe Masked Singer season 11, it has not been confirmed whether Scherzinger will return should FOX renew The Masked Singer for a twelfth season. 

There is a chance Scherzinger could opt not to return for season 12 and that FOX might keep Rita Ora around in a more permanent role. However, it’s important to note that no casting decisions have been announced for season 12 and FOX has also not renewed the show just yet — though we do expect a renewal will be coming.

It's not uncommon for there to be changes to the judging panels of shows such as The Masked Singer when they've been on air for as long as the show has been. We've also seen judges come and go on other shows such as NBC's The Voice, so there is a chance that Ora could stick around for season 12 or that Scherzinger could return for the next season.

THE MASKED SINGER: L-R: Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg, Rita Ora and Ken Jeong. THE MASKED SINGER premieres Wednesday, March 6 (8:00-9:02 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. © 2024 FOX MEDIA LLC. /

Rita Ora is no stranger to The Masked Singer

Although Rita Ora is a first-time judge on The Masked Singer US, Ora is no stranger to the franchise! Ora has appeared as a judge on the UK version of the show across its first five seasons making her a perfect selection to take over for Nicole Scherzinger this season.

Ora has a long-standing history with reality TV actually having appeared as a judge on a number of competition series including The Voice Australia, Boy Band, The Voice UK, and The X-Factor UK.

And before you ask, no Rita Ora has not appeared as a contestant on The Masked Singer, though her name has been guessed a few times over the years by the judging panel of FOX's series.

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