The Masked Dancer Finale Crowns a Winner

The Masked Dancer finale declared its season one winner on Feb. 17, and all we can say is that the well-deserved victor already has a few impressive trophies under their belt.

By McKenna Aiello, Lindsay Weinberg Feb 18, 2021 3:10 AMTags
The Masked Dancer, Season 1, Cotton Candy, Sloth, Craig Robinson, TulipFOX

The contestants of The Masked Dancer certainly swept us off our feet all season long, but only one rose to the top. 

When the finalists were unmasked on the Feb. 17 season finale, the top three all ended up having a strong dance background, making it easy to understand how they wowed us over the past two months. 

Firstly, the Tulip was named third place and unmasked as 16-year-old Dance Moms star Mackenzie Ziegler. It seems she's definitely picked up a few tricks from her 18-year-old big sis, Maddie Ziegler. 

Only panelist Ashley Tisdale correctly guessed it was Mackenzie. Paula Abdul predicted the Tulip was Liza Koshy, Ken Jeong said Lucy Hale and Brian Austin Green guessed Sabrina Carpenter.

After her unveiling, Mackenzie said, "I love Tulip. Behind the mask, I could be whoever I wanted to be, and I gained more confidence, for sure." 

Dancing With the Stars pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy proved he's a professional for a reason when his character, the Sloth, came in second. The ballroom champ and Broadway dancer had a leg up after competing for 17 seasons on DWTS. Most recently, he partnered with Vanessa Lachey, Heather Morris, Amber Rose and Meryl Davis, with whom he finished first in 2014

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Paula and Brian were spot on when naming Maksim as the Sloth, while Ken said Channing Tatum and Ashley said Hugh Jackman.

Finally, the Cotton Candy enjoyed the sweet taste of victory when she was crowned the winner of the first season of The Masked Dancer.

It turned out to be Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas, best known as a member of the Fierce Five gymnastics squad at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.


Gabby's final routine featured lots of flips, hinting at her athletic background.

Ashley commented through tears, "Honestly that was really emotional. You did such a great job." She clearly knew the Cotton Candy had experience in gymnastics, as she correctly guessed it was either Gabby or Simone Biles. Paula later concluded it was Gabby, too.

Ken came close when he predicted another Olympian, Michelle Kwan

"Being the Cotton Candy has been such an amazing journey," The Gabby Douglas Story star and producer said before unmasking herself. Afterward, she told the panelists, "This experience has been so, so amazing. I thank everyone so much and I love everyone so much." 

Michael Becker/ FOX

Throughout this season of The Masked Dancer, perhaps no unmasking was quite as shocking as the Moth's, as the critter ended up being Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped in 2002 at age nine and now advocates for victims of sexual assault.

To refresh your memory on the rest of the FOX dancers, keep scrolling.

Cotton Candy: Gabby Douglas

Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas has earned another gold medal! 

The Masked Dancer champ's clues were teased as follows: She's a perfectionist who loves an English-style breakfast, and has something to do with a wizard hat. She moved in with a new family as a kid and had trouble keeping up, and there's something about a clock with the numbers 12, 5, 6 and 9 replaced with L, E, F and I. Lip cupcakes are also important. 

Sloth: Maksim Chmerkovskiy

From Dancing With the Stars to The Masked DancerMaksim Chmerkovskiy took home second place. 

His clues: He's a fitness lover who worked hard to get to wherever he is today. He had a bad accident as a kid, and one clue suggests he was on Dancing With the Stars. The number 13 is also important. 

Tulip: Mackenzie Ziegler

Dance Moms star Mackenzie Ziegler came in third place. 

The Gen Z superstar's clues included that she loves the number 11 and was teased all the time growing up. She was in the glee club and the acrobatics club, and she's got some fancy green boots that she occasionally clicks together a la The Wizard of Oz

Zebra: Oscar De La Hoya

Former professional boxer Oscar De La Hoya was a total knockout on the stage, but didn't quite make it to the finale. 

Through the competition, it was teased that he's been out of the limelight for a while, but wears a medal with a "3" on it. 

Exotic Bird: Jordin Sparks

American Idol's very own Jordin Sparks was revealed to be the Exotic Bird.

The singer's clues included... She started competing as a teenager. She has a perfume line and a glittery gun. She felt attacked a lot. "Best by 07" is a clue. 

Hammerhead: Vinny Guadagnino

Jersey Shore's Vinny Guadagnino fist bumped his way into The Masked Dancer as Hammerhead. 

His clues: He's a shark who loves a burger and some alphabet soup that says "talk." He also loves a cup of "Joe." He became famous too quickly and realized he was unhappy, so now he's doing things that used to scare him. 

Cricket: Brian McKnight

Singer Brian McKnight joined the cast of The Masked Dancer as Cricket. Fans may have guessed correctly if they paid attention to references that included 90210, Punk'd and The Apprentice

Miss Moth: Elizabeth Smart

Elizabeth Smart was revealed to be Miss Moth.

Her clues included... She's in the spotlight even if she didn't want it. She used to be a regular moth and then was suddenly making headlines with the president. She had a traumatic experience that changed her life and she's a survivor who now has ties to the Capitol building. 

Ice Cube: Bill Nye

Ken Jeong called it: Bill Nye the Science Guy turned out to be the dancing Ice Cube. 

Disco Ball: Ice-T

Law & Order: SVU star Ice-T somehow had the time to dance on The Masked Dancer as the Disco Ball. Who knew?!