News May 28, 2019

“It is genuinely original, addictive and a little bit bonkers:” ‘The Masked Singer’ heads to Australia

“It is genuinely original, addictive and a little bit bonkers:” ‘The Masked Singer’ heads to Australia

Viral singing competition  is heading to Australia.

has secured the rights for a local version, to be produced by Warner Bros. Australia.

On commissioning the series, Ten’s chief content officer, Beverley McGarvey, said: “It is genuinely original, addictive and a little bit bonkers.

“It is not that often that you get to launch something that feels so unique and exciting.

“We cannot wait to get going and have the whole country playing along.”

”Warner Bros. Australia CEO Michael Brooks, commented: “Australian TV audiences are screaming out for something fresh, exciting and original.

The Masked Singer is not a singing show, it’s an addictive guessing game that will have the entire country asking one question…who is behind the mask?”

The Masked Singer is not a serious show, which is part of the reason why it averaged 11 million viewers in the US when it launched in January, and quickly green-lighted to second and third seasons.

It is part celebrity singing comp and part masquerade party.

Originally a South Korean show King of Mask Singer which then went to Thailand as The Mask Singer three years ago, the show is a neat reverse of other music reality TV shows.

It’s not anonymous people wanting to be stars but stars wanting to be anonymous.

The celebs sing in head-to-toe costumes, face masks and gloves which conceal their identities from other contestants, panellists, and audience.

Security, as you can imagine, is very strict during shooting.

Clues are dropped to their identities. The Australian version has to strike the right balance to dropping enough to keep audiences fixated, and not enough so the game is given away.

Some contestants are sportspeople, comedians, models and TV personalities so they can’t necessarily sing.

Their whole aim is to be the last to be unmasked, and the guesses are what makes the show so endearing.

When asked what surprised him most about the show’s first season, US executive producer Craig Plestis told The Hollywood Reporter: “The engagement level of everyone who watched it.

“We knew from looking at the Korean and Thai formats that people went online and talked about it.

“But we really didn’t know it was going to capture the zeitgeist so much in the sense of people going online and sharing their secrets and telling who they think it is and debating it and getting passionate — beyond passionate — about who they think it is.

“Each week when I see the trending of No. 1 worldwide and No. 1 USA and the volume of tweets, it just astonishes me.

“It’s more than any other show I’ve ever worked on, because of that guessing game element.

“I’m blown away each week when I see that.”

The finale of the first season saw The Monster (rapper T-Pain) the winner, with The Peacock (Donny Osmond) the runner-up.

They beat The Bee (Gladys Knight) and The Lion (Rumer Willis).

A singing show where Gladys Knight gets beaten in the singing stakes by T-Pain and Donny Osmond?

No wonder Rolling Stone called it “truly avant-garde TV,” while The Guardian suggested, “This might actually be the best-televised singing competition of the last decade.”

An Australian screening date, on Ten and WIN, is yet to be announced.

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