The decision to have Rudy Giuliani participate in the latest season was such a polarizing one that two panelists reportedly walked off the set, though only Ken Jeong was seen doing it during the broadcast.
According to media reports, Robin Thicke also walked. He wasn't seen leaving the stage, but after Giuliani started performing an encore and the camera cut to Nicole Scherzinger and Jenny McCarthy dancing along, Thicke was nowhere to be seen.
Did upsetting the show's panelists and causing an uproar among its fanbase worry top brass at the network? "Yeah, absolutely no regrets," said Rob Wade, president of alternative entertainment and specials.
Wade made the comment during a media conference call attended by Variety on Monday. "The marketing is all about delivering jaw dropping moments, which is exactly what the casting accomplished," Wade added.
In fact, his only regret about the decision was that it was spoiled by the media before the episode aired. "Kudos to you guys," he joked to the media members on the call. "Just please don’t do it again. Thanks a lot."
Giuliani was reportedly the first singer eliminated this season, but that didn't quite turn out to be the case. "Masked" mixes up its format each season, and this season saw the cast divided into three different groups which competed separately until this Wednesday's finale will bring together the winner from each one.
As such, Giuliani was the first one out in his group -- and appropriately so, as he was awful -- but his was the third group to go. That meant fans eager (or dreading) to see the moment had to wait seven full episodes before they could witness the dramatic unmasking, and walk-off.
You think that group was positioned last on purpose? It wouldn't surprise us. Since the reveal was spoiled, why not build anticipation by making people wait almost two months to see the moment.
Even Giuliani's choice of song, George Thorogood and the Destroyers' "Bad the Bone," proved problematic for many on social media, who thought the choice was in poor taste considering his own controversial past since aligning himself with former President Donald Trump.
Still for others, they were frustrated at the show for even wading into the polarizing and quagmire that is modern American politics at all. They come to silly shows like "The Masked Singer" to escape the real world for a little while, while choices like Palin and Giuliani only serve to drag them back into it.
Interestingly, while Wade says the network has no regrets about the casting decision, the show's official YouTube channel never shared any videos relating to Giuliani's performance or clues or unmasking -- and they share everything! Even after the episode aired, all videos related to him were conspicuously absent, and remain so.
Giuliani may be long gone, but three singers remain standing. "The Masked Singer" crowns its latest winner -- and unmasks all three -- this Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on its season finale.