Review: Why We Love The Masked Singer

Television:
Fox
Version:
Season 1

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On February 22, 2019
Last modified:February 28, 2019

Summary:

Yes, it's crazy. Yes, it's silly. But, it works! The Masked Singer is a big hit because the silly is taken seriously. The judges have fun while they keep the show on track. Many performances have been impressive making this show less about which B-Lister signed up, but more about which could jump start their career. It is a crazy combination, but with nothing else like it on TV, we are in the for the ride.

What a wacky and crazy fun show this is! Based a South Korean series called King of Mask Singer, the Fox series has take the web by storm. The mysterious qualities of The Masked Singer matched with the genuine talent (for some) of the performers is a great combination. I was very wary of this show thinking of how ridiculous it seemed to be. And I was right, it is ridiculous, but they take the absurdity seriously allowing this to become genuinely fun. The final round airs next Wednesday on Fox, so we are taking a minute to analyze this season’s most talked about reality show. *Spoilers Ahead*

The Masked Singer | Fox

Format

The series is based on one core idea, can you and the judges guess who is underneath the mask. The best part is, we can be wrong. The fun of the show comes from the mystery and the reveal. The performances, campy clue packages and elaborate costumes are all part of the character story to help the process, but not give too much away. Because the show includes such a variety of people, some with true singing ability, there is almost a desire not to find out because the characters have developed their own personalities.

The penultimate episode revealed The Rabbit as Joey Fatone of NSync. The former boybander has gone on to star on Broadway and has shown much of comedic side throughout this career. His embracing of The Rabbit as its own character allowed him to stay on longer than other contestants because we wanted to see more of The Rabbit, not just the star himself. The Rabbit had a twitch matching his beady red eyes and straight jacket ensemble. The ticks and look made him creepy and lovable at the same time. Joey’s singing ability also proved to be a way to stay in the competition longer than non-professional singers.

The singer who gets revealed is based on who got the least number of votes by the judges and studio audience. This works through what looks like an app where the group votes for their single favorite. Clean and simple. No weeks long nationwide tallies, no secondary reveal show. The Masked Singer puts the control with those in the room and gets real-time reaction from those involved in that weeks vote. Thusly, the audience reaction is genuine. The judges make their final picks as to who they think is behind the mask and more often than not they are wrong. It becomes a point of pride if they are right. Ken Jeong wore a crown in the episode following his correct guess of Tori Spelling as The Unicorn, which was not guessed by any other judge.

The Masked Singer Judges and Host | Fox
The Masked Singer Judges and Host | Fox

The Judges

For the season, we have Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger as judges. All are good at giving feedback, but also really enjoy the process. They take their job as detectives seriously which allows viewers to do so as well. I have found myself analyzing clue packages with a fine-tooth comb to figure it out. My family puzzled out La Toya Jackson as The Alien because the flash of an “Est. 1956” sign and this is her birth year. The judges are also taking diligent notes and calling back to previous weeks information, so they can create a full image of the performer to make an informed guess.

The group dynamic is strong, but the panelists have been joining by guest judges Joel McHale, J.B. Smoove, and Kenan Thompson. All seem to be baffled by the format which makes this more fun as they seem to be outside of our collective inside joke. By the end, all guest judges become invested drinking the Kool-Aid as they find out if their guess is correct.

The Acts

The Masked Singer Unicorn, Tori Spelling | Fox
The Masked Singer Unicorn, Tori Spelling | Fox

This is not your typical singing show about wannabes and burgeoning careers. This is a comeback tour. Names like La Toya Jackson, Ricky Lake and Tori Spelling are back on the scene. Other reveals include NFL stars Terry Bradshaw and Antonio Brown. All performers explained how the anonymity has given they confidence to perform in a way they haven’t been able to before. Although, Antonio Brown’s fun-loving Hippo was quickly revealed in the first episode of The Masked Singer, the show still boosted his post-season public awareness. Ricky Lake pulled from her personal history of losing her husband into her performances, making them moving to watch and cathartic for her.

As compared to the likes of American Idol or The Voice, this show doesn’t take itself seriously as they are not starting someone’s career and now one loses anything when they are revealed. More so, this show is able to boost a celebs profile by being on the show.

The costumes are impressive and may be worthy of a Best Costume Emmy if there is one for reality TV as they are the show itself in many ways. Without fun, inventive but functional costumes, the show wouldn’t work. The performers were able to pick their character and the designs exceeded expectations. The Monster regularly gets clothes matching his song choice each week and The Peacock has removable feathers. The Lion was revealed as Rumer Willis and her gold lion mask and geometrically inspired look is both a great representation of the animal, but also rather on trend.

Final Picks

Overall, this show is fun, campy, and even sometimes tear-jerking. Further, it is a bona fide hit and we are in for the ride. The cast has been stellar and the performances were memorable. With nothing to lose and a title to gain, no one is phoning it in. I will be sad to lose these characters as a new season will bring in a new group. As we have pulled into the final week we are still trying to suss out who is behind the showman known as The Peacock, the diva The Bee, and the adorable crooner The Monster. Here are our thoughts on who the final three may be.

 

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The Bee

From the beginning, The Bee was suspected as being Gladys Knight. We will go with that theory. Her style and story matches the clues and her performances have all been impressive. We know she has been singing for decades. Clues have also been thrown out to confuse us and the judges which have lead some to think that maybe this is Anita Baker or Patti LaBelle.

UPDATE: 3rd Place – Gladys Knight! 

The Peacock

For a while we thought Donny Osmond, but now maybe Neil Patrick Harris? This one does stump us, but Neil fits the child star history, he has mentioned several times a connection to the LGBT community and is a great performer. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s someone else entirely, but I could see Neil, who is also an avid variety show enthusiast, joining this crazy concept show.

UPDATE: 2nd Place – Donny Osmond!

The Monster

The most beloved of the Masked Singer performers, The Monster is cute, cuddly and very talented. Our guess is T-Pain. His personal back story matches up with some clues, but the biggest clue was he was previously known for auto-tuning his voice. This show is evidence he is a real singer and could very well have a different type of career after this show.

UPDATE: 1st Place – T-Pain!

How do feel about The Masked Singer? Who are the final three? Share in the comments!

Be sure to check out all of our TV Reviews!

Yes, it's crazy. Yes, it's silly. But, it works! The Masked Singer is a big hit because the silly is taken seriously. The judges have fun while they keep the show on track. Many performances have been impressive making this show less about which B-Lister signed up, but more about which could jump start their career. It is a crazy combination, but with nothing else like it on TV, we are in the for the ride.

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