‘The Masked Singer’: Rita Ora to Continue as Nicole Scherzinger’s Replacement for Season 12

Rita Ora is sticking around on The Masked Singer. The British singer joined the long-running celebrity singing series for Season 11, filling in for panelist Nicole Scherzinger while she was in London starring in a play on London's West End. At the time, it was assumed that Ora would only be replacing the former Pussycat Dolls member for just one season, but now she's staying on.

Entertainment Weekly exclusively reports that Ora will be returning for the upcoming 12th season as a panelist alongside vets Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg, Robin Thicke, and host Nick Cannon. While Scherzinger's Sunset Boulevard was only on West End for 16 weeks, ending its run last January, the production will be moving to New York City beginning Sept. 28, with the official opening slated for Oct. 20.

(Photo: Michael Becker/FOX)

While Ora may have been the first new panelist since the series premiered in 2019, she is no stranger to The Masked Singer. She actually served as a panelist on the UK version's first five seasons. Additionally, she also was a coach on The Voice Australia for Seasons 10-12 and a coach on The Voice UK's fourth season, judged The X Factor UK's 12th season, and much more. She surely has a lot of experience being on a singing competition series, including The Masked Singer, and it will be exciting to welcome her back.

News of Rita Ora's return comes less than a month after The Masked Singer Season 11 finale, which crowned Vanessa Hudgens as "Goldfish" as the winner. Throughout the season, it was guessed that Nicole Scherzinger might have been one of the masked contestants, but that turned out to not be correct. It would be fun if she surprised everyone and was a brief contestant via a Wild Card performance, even if it is obvious.

Production on Season 12 of The Masked Singer just started, with the episodes set to premiere sometime this fall on Fox. As of now, a premiere date has yet to be announced, but the series will once again be kicking off Wednesday nights, followed by the second season of The Floor, hosted by Rob Lowe. A list of the masked singers competing should also be announced in the coming months, and then fans will once again be able to take their guesses as to who could possibly be one of the contestants.