Kermit The Frog, a puppet, was revealed as the Snail on the season premiere of season five of The Masked Singer USA today, and I am proud to live in this unsettling and cursed universe.

Presumably having run out of D-list celebrities to don the increasingly otherworldly and horrifying costumes, the producers on the show called upon everyone’s favourite nasal-voiced muppet.

Kermit The Frog on The Masked Singer is a puppet within a puppet, like a babushka doll, except it’s a man inside an outrageous Snail costume hollering in a beloved children’s character’s voice. And there is a different set of masks that are babushka dolls, singing Shallow from A Star Is Born.

The character was described on the show as a “movie star, Oscar winner and A-list amphibian”. Truly one of a kind. The list of A-list amphibians is just him and Mr. Toad from The Wind In The Willows.

They even had a clue package and closed the episode explaining its oblique visual references to Muppets lore, like Kermit’s best friend Fozzie Bear and Swedish meatballs for The Swedish Chef.

Kermit The Frog was performed by Muppets creator Jim Henson until he passed away in 1990, and the role has since been taken over by two puppeteers Steve Whitmire, who was fired in 2016, and Matt Vogel, who must have had quite an experience inside that Snail outfit. 

Look at how the stagehands in tuxedos had to remove the top hat, because a puppet with skinny arms would not have the strength. And the way his tiny green hands appeared over the rim.

Watch a clip of Vogel as Kermit performing You Make My Dreams by Hall & Oates and share in this moment of abject horror with me. The top hat and bowtie on the snail. The dancers dressed as faceless roses. An increasingly distressed Nicole Scherzinger from the Pussycat Dolls trying to figure out who tf is singing. It’s all there and it’s all straight out of a horror movie.

The wild-ass move has left fans grappling with what this even means for the franchise. Are judges Nicole, Ken Jeong, Robin Thicke and Jenny McCarthy now expected to also guess popular animals and fictional characters as well as real-life people? (Judge guesses included: Republican politician Ted Cruz, Jenny’s brother-in-law Mark Wahlberg, Family Guy creator Seth Macfarlane and Billy Crystal.) Did Matt carry the puppet with him as he slid along the stage as a snail to be true to the character? How does this further blur the lines around the concept of ‘celebrity’?

Does the reveal lend credence to the theory that contestants are eliminated not by public vote but according to celebrity scheduling and singing talent? We do not know.

What we do know is that this reveal has really livened up the world’s Thursday afternoon.

Here’s hoping this season also gets fast-tracked to Network Ten. We need this content.