The Masked Singer (American TV series)

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The Masked Singer
Masked Singer USA Logo.png
GenreReality competition
Game show
Based onKing of Mask Singer
by Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation
Developed byCraig Plestis[1]
Directed byAlex Rudzinski [1]
Presented byNick Cannon
Opening theme"Who Are You" by The Who
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes19
Executive producer(s)
  • Craig Plestis (s. 1–)
  • Izzie Pick Ibarra (s. 1–)
  • Rosie Seitchik (s. 2–)
Production location(s)Television City
Running time40 minutes
Production company(s)
Original networkFox
Original releaseJanuary 2, 2019 (2019-01-02) –
Related showsMasked Singer franchise
External links

The Masked Singer is an American reality singing competition television series part of the Masked Singer franchise featuring celebrities in head-to-toe costumes and face masks which conceal their identities from other contestants, panelists, and an audience. It premiered on Fox on January 2, 2019, and is hosted by Nick Cannon.

On January 30, 2019, Fox announced it had renewed the series for a second season. On May 13, 2019, Fox announced that the second season would premiere in fall 2019, and that it had ordered a third season, which will premiere following Super Bowl LIV on February 2, 2020.


The Masked Singer is based on the South Korean show King of Mask Singer. Executive producer Craig Plestis explained that he first discovered the format during a visit to a Thai restaurant. While an episode of the Thai version of the show was playing on a television, he observed that the other patrons "were all just staring at this TV watching this crazy kangaroo in like a pleather outfit singing, and we didn't even finish dinner." Plestis and his daughter began to research the series, and he later secured the rights to produce an American adaptation—which he would sell to Fox.

Due to Plestis' relationship with the studio, the first season of The Masked Singer was produced by Endemol Shine North America, then-owned partly by Fox's parent 21st Century Fox (the stake is now owned by Disney). For the second season, production transitioned to a new in-house studio under the Fox network, Fox Alternative Entertainment.[4][5]


A group of celebrities compete on the show anonymously in costumes over a series of episodes. Each episode, a portion of the competitors are paired off into face-off competitions, in which each will perform a song of his or her choice in their real voice. From each face-off, the panelists and live audience vote; the winner is safe for the week, while the loser is put up for elimination. At the end of the episode, the losers of the face-offs are then subjected to the earlier votes of the panelists to determine who will not continue; the eliminated singer then takes off their mask to reveal their identity.[6]

In addition to the singing competition, hints to each masked singer's identity are offered during the show. Pre-taped interviews are given as hints and feature celebrities' distorted voices. The panelists are given time to speculate the identity of the singer after the performance and ask them a single question to try to determine their identity.[6]

Panelists and host[edit]

Following the announcement of the series, it was confirmed by Fox that the judging panel would consist of singer-songwriter Robin Thicke, television personality Jenny McCarthy, actor and comedian Ken Jeong, and recording artist Nicole Scherzinger. It was also confirmed that Nick Cannon would host the show.[7] Occasionally, there are guest panelists that appear as the fifth judge for a few episodes; in season 1, they were comedian Joel McHale (episodes 3–4), actor J. B. Smoove (episode 7), and actor and comedian Kenan Thompson (episodes 8 and 10).

On March 28, 2019, Sharon Osbourne revealed on The Talk that she was originally supposed to be signed on as a judge for the series; those plans fell through after being contractually obligated to appear on The X Factor.[8]


The show's production staff undertakes significant security measures to prevent the participants' identities from leaking; showrunner Izzie Pick Ibarra said that only 25 people knew the actual identities of the contestants in advance of the first season.[9]

Series overview[edit]

Season Number of Duration Finalists Host Judges Guest Judges
Celebrities Weeks Winner Runner-up Third place
1 12 9 January 2 – February 27, 2019 T-Pain
as "Monster"
Donny Osmond
as "Peacock"
Gladys Knight
as "Bee"
Nick Cannon Robin Thicke Jenny McCarthy Ken Jeong Nicole Scherzinger 1
2 16 10 September 25, 2019 – TBA N/A N/A N/A 2
3 TBA TBA February 2, 2020[10] N/A N/A N/A TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA


  1. ^ Comedian Joel McHale served as a guest judge in episodes 3 and 4, actor J.B. Smoove in episode 7, and actor and comedian Kenan Thompson in episodes 8 and 10.
  2. ^ Actor Anthony Anderson served as a guest judge in episode 6, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog served as a guest judge in episode 7, and McHale returned as a guest judge in episode 8. Season 1 winner, T-Pain is set to be a guest judge in episode 10.[11]


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Episode(s) Result
2019 MTV Movie & TV Award[12] Best Host Nick Cannon Season 1 Nominated
Teen Choice Award[13] Choice Reality TV Show The Masked Singer Season 1 Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award[14] Outstanding Costumes for a Variety, Nonfiction, or Reality Programming Marina Toybina
Grainne O'Sullivan
"Finale" Nominated
People's Choice Award[15] The Competition Show of 2019 The Masked Singer Season 1 Nominated
The Competition Contestant of 2019 T-Pain Season 1 Nominated

Critical response[edit]

The premiere episode received mixed reviews. Emily Yahr of The Washington Post described the premiere episode as "one of the craziest reality shows of our time";[16] Vulture felt that the series was more entertaining, yet "weirder, sillier, and stupider" than other U.S. music competition programs, and described the format as having the "vibe" of "what if [Philadelphia Flyers mascot] Gritty walked out on a soundstage made to look like an arena concert, belted out Sam Smith's 'Stay with Me', was described as 'a professional' by Jenny McCarthy, took off his head to reveal he was Joey Fatone, and the entire experience felt three clicks away from an episode of Black Mirror?"[17]

Kelly Lawler of USA Today named the judging panel as the worst in reality television history.[18] The judges were deemed as "weak",[17] "off balance",[18] "ineffective",[18] and "[approaching] their jobs with all the insight and acumen of an America's Next Top Model contestant trying to decipher the Tyra Mail."[17] In addition, the performances on the show were considered "underwhelming" (using Ryan Reynolds' surprise appearance on the Korean version singing "Tomorrow" in a "low-rent" unicorn mask as a benchmark) due to the contestants not always being singers.[17] However, the format was described as brilliant[18] and deemed to have depth for being "a pretty fascinating examination of celebrity culture, mass appeal, performance, image, and fame."[17]


Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes First aired Last aired TV season Season averages
Date Viewers
Date Viewers
Including DVR
1 Wednesday 9:00 p.m. 10 January 2, 2019 9.36[19] February 27, 2019 11.47[20] 2018–19 13 11.57[21] 3 3.8[21]
2 Wednesday 8:00 p.m. TBA September 25, 2019 8.02[22] TBA TBA 2019–20 TBA TBA TBA TBA
3 TBA February 2, 2020[10] TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA


  1. ^ a b c "All-New Special "The Masked Singer: Super Sneak Peek" to Air Sunday, September 15, on FOX". The Futon Critic. August 28, 2019. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
  2. ^ "FOX Reveals a Second Season of Television's #1 New Show and #1 Unscripted Series, "The Masked Singer"". The Futon Critic. January 30, 2019. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  3. ^ Haynes, Dade (May 13, 2019). "'The Masked Singer' Renewed For Third Season, Gets Post-Super Bowl Slot On". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  4. ^ "The Secrets of The Masked Singer: Everything We've Learned About TV's Most Mysterious Show". E! News. February 27, 2019. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  5. ^ "Fox Launching Unscripted Studio With 'The Masked Singer' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Stone, Natalie (May 13, 2019). "The Masked Singer Renewed for Season 3, to Premiere After 2020 Super Bowl". People. Meredith Corporation. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  7. ^ Jones, Adrienne (November 12, 2018). "Fox's The Masked Singer Looks Like The Weirdest Singing Competition Yet". CINEMABLEND. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  8. ^ The Talk. "The Talk - Sharon Osbourne Unleashes on Simon Cowell For Losing Out on 'Masked Singer' Gig". YouTube. CBS. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  9. ^ Bricker, Tierney (January 31, 2019). "Unmasking The Masked Singer: Revealing All the Secrets About TV's Most Secretive Show". E!. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  10. ^ a b "FOX Announces New Primetime Schedule for 2019-2020 Season" (Press release). FOX. May 13, 2019. Retrieved June 24, 2019 – via The Futon Critic.
  11. ^ "The Masked Singer season 2 taps Anthony Anderson, Triumph, and more as guest judges".
  12. ^ Bell, Crystal (June 17, 2019i). "2019 mtv movie & tv awards winners: see the full list". MTV. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  13. ^ Kaufran, Gil (June 19, 2019). "Lil Nas X & Post Malone Lead 2019 Teen Choice Awards Nominations: See the List". Billboard. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  14. ^ "Nominees/Winners | Television Academy". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  15. ^ Evans, Greg (September 4, 2019). "E! People's Choice Awards Finalists Announced; Voting Open Through Oct. 18 – Complete List". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  16. ^ Yahr, Emily (January 3, 2019). "Yes, that was real life: 'The Masked Singer' premiered and was even weirder than you imagined". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  17. ^ a b c d e "The Masked Singer Is a Reality-TV Fever Dream". Vulture. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  18. ^ a b c d Lawler, Kelly (February 25, 2019). "The 5 best (and 5 worst) reality-TV show judging panels of all time". USA Today. Gannett. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  19. ^ Welch, Alex (January 4, 2019). "'The Masked Singer' adjusts up, 'SEAL Team' adjusts down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  20. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (February 28, 2019). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.27.2019". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  21. ^ a b Porter, Rick (June 10, 2019). "2018-19 TV Season: Live-Plus-7 Ratings for Every Broadcast Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  22. ^ Welch, Alex (September 26, 2019). "'Modern Family' adjusts up: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 26, 2019.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
The World's Best
Super Bowl lead-out program
The Masked Singer
Succeeded by