Ok, I’ll be honest. I was rather pumped for the insane entertainment that is The Masked Singer.
This thing is so cray-cray that anything is possible.
And then I set my eyes -and ears- on the first singer, The Prawn. Sorry Prawn, as a singer you make a pretty good Prawn. My enthusiasm began to wane rapidly.
There was heavy disguising of Prawn’s Suspicious Minds singing with so much backing vocals and karaoke music production that it quickly felt pretty manufactured. Given I’m already denied any eye and facial expressions, connecting to the voice is kinda crucial.
Meanwhile he was grooving on a cheap set with a couple of dancers giving Eurovision a run for its money. The studio audience, possibly wheeled back in from Game of Games, had put down the red cordial and showered him with Prawn praise and a little audio sweetening leftover from The Voice.
Judges Lindsay Lohan, Jackie O, Dave Hughes and Dannii served up suitably animated performances that involved stumped faces, dancing and a little desperation. Each had a guess as to the identity, and to its credit, it is fun to think you may be more on the money than the experts.
Each episode comprises 3 x “battles” with pint-sized Alien competing next with Born This Way. These vocals improved things while the judges commended her dancing. From here the audience voted on devices to save one act before two more pairs battled it out.
Octopus, Robot, Unicorn and Wolf all followed, each with video clue packages.
By the end of the show one of three acts were due to be unmasked.
But the preview episode concluded before the mask came off, so while I’d love to relate the absolute fun / surprise / shock of the climax… alas I can’t. I have no doubt those pay-offs will make for fun TV.
For all its novelty value, I couldn’t help but wonder if this is ultimately a YouTube pastime, where all you need to do is see the 3 minute reveal….?
As to the judges, reliable Hughesy throws in some wacky punchlines while Lindsay Lohan drew upon a mix of local and international names.
Warner Bros. Australia, who did a brilliant job with Dancing with the Stars, cuts a few corners here. The stage is necessarily smaller and sadly we get no Live band. But the costumes by Tim Chappel are thankfully ravishing and help to make grand entrances.
The Masked Singer is family-friendly, and is definitely Gogglebox-friendly, so there’s hope yet. Although I’m yet to lay eyes on the Parrot, Lion, Monster, Dragon, Spider and Rhino I’ll go out on a limb and say I’ll be very surprised if this comes close to the longevity of Australian Idol, The X Factor or The Voice.
The Masked Singer airs 7:30pm Monday & Tuesday on 10.