Masked Dancer’s Oti Mabuse accused of ‘stealing’ rival judges’ guesses on show

A glittering spin-off of television's greatest guessing game, The Masked Dancer is almost upon us, premiering this weekend on ITV.

Each of the Masked Singer's judges will be returning bar Rita Ora, who has been replaced by Strictly Come Dancing dynamo Oti Mabuse.

The South African professional dancer gets on brilliantly with the fellow judges – despite a little friendly rivalry from comedian Mo Gilligan.

The comic accused Oti, 30, of "stealing" the judges' guesses on the show, as they try to figure out the identities of the celebs inside the costumes.

During the press launch, Oti was forced to defend herself when funnyman Mo claimed she'd been sneakily nicking rival judges' guesses while filming.

Turning to Oti, Mo claimed: "She did steal as well. She came on the show as Robin Hood, basically."

However, Oti was quick to defend herself, pointing out Mo always got to guess first because host Joel Dommett knew his preference in the running order.

She explained: "Oh my god! No, I didn't. Let me just explain what happened.

"We had similar suggestions and then Joel always asks Mo before me, because Mo gets nervous going last. But we're just suggesting the same thing – that's it!"

Mo admitted Oti was right, as he pointed out it was incredibly difficult to go last when the most popular guesses have already been claimed.

"I do get nervous still," he said. "Because I feel like, what it is, when you go last you really got to round it up.

"Everyone's said a guess. So when you're the last, everyone's like, 'well, you've had all these suggestions, I wonder who you've come up with?' And I'm like… 'Barry from EastEnders?'"

Jonathan Ross agreed with the pair, remarking: "You can see the relief. When Joel comes to you first everyone's relieved."

He went on: "Mo's right, when it comes to the end you've got to go, 'well they're all good guesses, but here's mine – even better'. But you might not have anything."

Oti argued her case, adding: "Joel and Mo know this, and so Joel asks Mo before me. And then it looks like we have the same answer."

"But you haven't even guessed anyone right," she finished, hinting Mo's guessing game had room for improvement.

Mo jibed back: "When you're the newbie you get asked first. Because you're new to the show, so it's like 'how are you finding this? Isn't it crazy.'

"Oti had that first couple episodes. 'Wow this is great, this is lovely'. Then she just started stealing, just slowly.

"You know like that kind of steal where you get a box of Quality Street and you go, 'where've all those little green triangles gone?'. Oti stole them!"

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Laughing it off, Oti insisted the claims were "not true," only for host Joel to admit he was open to bribes when it came to picking which judge went first.

He weighed in: "Just to let all of you know. I will take bribes happily if you want me to come to you first. Just slip a little Quality Street into my dressing room."

The Masked Dancer, from Saturday 29 th May at 7pm on ITV and the ITV Hub.

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