Last month, reality television sank to new depths of brain-rotting, shame-inducing moral decay when Rudy Giuliani was revealed as a contestant on The Masked Singer. News that the disgraced former New York City mayor/Donald Trump crony would be featured on the typically lighthearted show was leaked months before the episode aired and met with fierce backlash.
And yet, even though the stunt casting was, by all measures, an unequivocal disaster, Fox (home of The Masked Singer) is standing by their decision. During a conference on Monday morning to discuss the network’s fall lineup, president of alternative entertainment & specials at Fox Entertainment, Rob Wade, declared that there were “no regrets” over Giuliani’s appearance.
“Yeah, absolutely no regrets,” he said on the call, as reported by Variety. “The marketing is all about delivering jaw dropping moments, which is exactly what the casting accomplished. And whether it was on set or with the viewers at home I suppose my only regret or surprise was obviously the reveal was spoiled, but kudos to you guys. Just please don’t do it again. Thanks a lot.”
Giuliani took the stage during the seasons’ seventh episode, meaning this writer had to watch SEVEN entire episodes of the godforsaken show so as not to miss the big reveal. He was dressed as a frightening hybrid of Jigsaw from the Saw franchise and Jafar’s evil, annoying parrot sidekick from Disney’s Aladdin, perhaps a nod to his role as Trump’s evil, annoying sidekick in the plot to overturn the 2020 election results. The song choice–“Bad to the Bone” by George Thorogood & the Destroyers–was bleakly on the nose.
When Giuliani was unmasked at the end of the episode, the tension and shock in the room were palpable. Poor, confused Nicole Scherzinger asked if he was Godfather actor Robert Duvall and Ken Jeong replied with a tone of subdued, boiling rage, “No, that’s not Robert Duvall.” Jeong was so outraged that he stormed off the set, followed by fellow judge Robin Thicke.
It was an awkward, infuriating, decidedly un-fun moment for a show that is meant to be nothing more than silly celebrity karaoke. But hey, as long as the Fox execs can still sleep at night!