Fox Orders Korean Based Celebrity Competition Series ‘The Masked Singer’
During its recent segment at this year’s TCA, FOX network representatives announced that they have ordered celebrity singing competition “The Mask Singer”; based on the hit South Korean variety-music show, “King of Mask Singer”. The international hit is already a viral phenomenon with more than half a billion fans worldwide, and the No. 1 top-trending video of 2017 on YouTube. It has already been adapted by other Asian countries such as China, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam but, this will be the first time the competition will be introduced on American networks and in complete English.
“This is truly one of the most unique, genre-defining formats I’ve ever seen,” said Rob Wade, Fox’s President, Alternative Entertainment and Specials. “It’s a massive international hit, and its boldness and originality make it the perfect fit for Fox.”
The original format has each competition (consisting of 8 singers), lasting for two episodes with the celebs competing one-on-one in three elimination rounds. In the first round, both contestants sing a duet, while in the second and third round they each sing a solo song. The winners of each pair are selected by the audience and panel of celebrities through instant live votes; voting solely based on the singers vocal performance as their identity is a mystery (preventing stars from winning solely based on fan factor). The winner of the third round challenges the winner of the previous competition, and is either eliminated or becomes the new champ.
What’s the catch? No one knows who the celebrities are until they are eliminated.
That’s right, each contestant is decked out in a unique and elaborate costume, most importantly a mask. Each episode also comes with a panel of non-competing celebrities consisting of a group of comedians, other artists called “Music Specialist”, and varying amounts of famous guests. The goal of this panel is to attempt to identify the masked celeb using hints and clues gathered from the performance and from talking to the contestants.
But...wouldn’t just talking to them give it away? Nope! Whenever the celebs are not performing, their voice is “masked” with pitch changing software to conceal their identities.
We are not sure how closely the US version will follow its counterparts format however, a few notable changes include the elimination rate; with one singer being eliminated each week and the amount of panel members decreasing to a set four. FOX has snagged Korean-American comedian Ken Jeong, actress Jenny McCarthy, X-Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger, and singer Robin Thicke to serve on the panel and play detective, alongside host Nick Cannon.
Between all of the celebrity competitors on the show, FOX has confirmed that they have amassed a total of 65 Grammy nominations, 16 multi-Platinum albums, 16 Emmy nominations, nine Broadway shows, four stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and four Super Bowl titles. With each performance, the host, panelists, audience, viewers and even the other contestants are left guessing who is singing behind the mask.
View FOX's official trailer:
During recent promotions in South Korea for Deadpool 2, star Ryan Reynolds shocked both the audience and the panel when he randomly showed up, performing "Tomorrow" from the musical Annie. Here's a clip: