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News October 22, 2019

‘The lure of mystery’: Masked Singer Australia finale pulls 1.37m

Senior Journalist, B2B
‘The lure of mystery’: Masked Singer Australia finale pulls 1.37m

The season one finale of Network Ten’s The Masked Singer Australia demolished last night’s opposition and topped all demos.

It drew one million overnight metro viewers, peaking at 1.37 million when the Robot was crowned and revealed to be Gold Coast bred, LA-based singer-songwriter Cody Simpson.

The runners-up were Gorgi Coghlan as The Monster and Rob Mills as The Wolf.

On the first episode host Osher Günsberg laughingly called The Masked Singer “the most ridiculous show on television”.

But to television executives on rival networks it was no laughing matter, repeatedly drawing over one million Australians per episode and justifying the rumoured $10 million investment.

James Manning, editor of Mediaweek tells TMN, “The show’s success has proven there are still big TV audiences willing to gather around a single TV early in the evening. However, programs that have that power are proving elusive for broadcasters.”

Watch the Robot reveal

No doubt there’ll be a rush of cash-ins from other networks.

But The Masked Singer, based on a Korean format, arrived in Australia with little expectations and no pilot, and turned into a viral phenomenon.

The first season consolidated the appeal: big costumes, big song productions (47 of these from 12 celebs) and big reveals. It was unashamedly family-friendly and the guests were demographic-leaping household names.

The judges might have been bumbling over the clues to their identities but journalists repeatedly continued to blow the surprise.

Manning explains the elements at play: “Being able to have a guess at home at who the masked singers might be is a significant part of the format’s success.”

“There’s the lure of mystery every week even if the media has been spoiling many of them. The make-up of the celebrity panel was significant, Manning opines.

“Dannii Minogue is the reality TV veteran amongst them. Jackie O has also made a successful return to primetime TV after being a key ingredient of Popstars. The often bizarre comments and guesses from Lindsay Lohan and Dave Hughes were giving viewers a laugh.”

Manning stresses: “Don’t underestimate the appeal of host Osher Günsberg too who hosts four of 10’s hottest shows.”

Based on moves in the second US season to avoid audience fatigue, this is what you could expect from the Australian second run. The show will remain a one-hour single episode per week.

There will be more on-air focus on the chemistry between the panel, as well as banter with Günsberg. A greater number of contestants, not all major household names, are also expected.


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