The Masked Singer looks like a snippet from a furry’s sex dream. Meanwhile, the actual premise leaves you wondering who would actually want to be on this show?
In true Australian television fashion, The Masked Singer is a poorly considered spin-off of the semi-successful American show by the same title. The US version was inspired by the Korean program, King of the Mask Singer, which had roughly the same concept.
Celebrities perform to a panel of judges, but their identity is hidden by elaborate masks. They are given the masks in order to eliminate bias based on popularity. Additionally, it brings an extra element where the panel and viewers try to guess who the contestant might be, since the singer’s identity isn’t revealed until they’ve been eliminated.
This works brilliantly in Korea, with hundreds of artists from K-Pop idol groups who could potentially be the singer. Rappers can prove their singing chops and individual artists who don’t get a lot of spotlight get to shine. With previous contstents like BTS’s Jungkook and Australian idol Rose from Blackpink, the show would bring in artists at the peak of their careers.
The US remake however, didn’t garner the same interest from the any current American stars. The winner of the first season was T-Pain – while definitely famous, he’s not the first person anybody would flock to see. Some would argue that’s the point of the show, but with competitors like Tori Spelling, the show seemed more like yet another C-list celebrities’ way of clawing their way back into the spotlight.
This is where the Australian version will fall through. Our big name singers/celebrities, like Sia or even Hugh Jackman, are currently far too successful to bother gracing the program. Once the likes of Guy Sebastian and maybe Delta Goodrem make an appearance, there really aren’t that many currently performing artists who would show up.
The program is likely to quickly become an Australian Idol reunion show, where our long list of ‘one-year in the spotlight’ artists are begging to prove they can still sing. If the show’s creators are lucky, they might bring out a couple of old favourites, but there are only so many Dark Braithwaite’s to go around. All in all, the Australian celebrity singer pool is fairly small. The pool of talented artists is even smaller.
Even if the show somehow became a major success (there’s enough questionable popular TV shows on right now, it is possible), it could only feasibly run for a couple of seasons before they run out of possible contestants.
Perhaps the only thing stranger than the possible contestants is the list of panelists. The ragtag team consists of a comedian/radio show host, another less funny radio show host, the sister of a popular singer and a Disney Channel child star. With a line up of Dave Hughes, Jackie O, Dannii Minogue and Lindsay Lohan, at least we can all be assured the show definitely has the industry’s leading vocal experts ready to judge. While Lohan and Minogue at least have a history of singing, nobody in their right mind wants to hear Hughsey belt out a tune, so how is he allowed to judge who else can hit the right note?
Australia’s The Masked Singer will, in all likelihood, be an absolute train wreck, but that’s probably the exact reason we’ll all be tuning in.
Featured image source: 10 Daily