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Saturday, May 28, 2022

A mystery celebrity disguised as a peacock stands next to host Nick Cannon in an episode of Fox's "The Masked Singer."

Simply fun, 'The Masked Singer' is surprise success

A remake of a Korean game show, Fox’s latest hit “The Masked Singer” is not your average competition. However, it consistently serves as a surprisingly fun spot on television.

A show that is somewhat off the beaten path of what we typically cover, “The Masked Singer” is a singing competition that sees celebrities pitted head to head in a battle to find out who has the best voice. The show features stars ranging from NFL athletes to talk show hosts to Grammy-award-winning artists with each celebrity singing their choice of a popular song to a panelist of judges. Audiences vote for their favorite singers of the selected group each week, and the singer with the least votes gets voted off.

All of this sounds pretty typical, but there is a catch: Each singer is dressed up in an elaborate costume, and audiences do not know who is under the mask. 

"The premise is unusual for such a show and adds a nice layer of mystery and intrigue to the typical singing format."

Rather than being told the names or titles of the series’ celebrities, viewers are introduced to characters like “The Monster” or “The Bee." Throughout the show, the contestants give hints about their true identity and the judges offer their guesses as to the identity of the masked singers. Once a singer has been voted off, they must remove their masks and unveil who they are underneath.

The premise is unusual for such a show and adds a nice layer of mystery and intrigue to the typical singing format. As someone who has never been much of a fan of such competitions, I find myself continuously interested in this show. There is an undeniable draw to trying to figure out who each of the characters is, and it is admittedly entertaining to watch celebrities sing their rendition of a song audiences know and love – though they sometimes fail to do so. 

The format of the show also provides an interesting new take on celebrities in the media. Since their identity is kept hidden, there are never any preconceived ideas about what the celebrity is known for or what they can do. 

In the case of the singers, the show makes its stars prove what made them so popular in the first place. In the case of the other entertainers, the show provides a platform for its contestants to show off a previously unnoticed talent. It is an appealing new way to look at celebrities, one that will constantly keep viewers coming back for more.

"[The judges'] unrelenting comments detract from the experience and make it hard to get fully invested in the show."

While the show has many gripping elements, there are several faults that detract from the overall experience. Most notably, the judges serve far more of a purpose on the show than they should. It is fine to have celebrities guessing along with viewers at the identities of the contestants, but they constantly interject during the performances of said contestants – which is undeniably the best part of the show. Their unrelenting comments detract from the experience and make it hard to get fully invested in the show. The fact that the show and much of its marketing center around said judges make this fault all the more noticeable, making it a factor that may turn away some viewers.

Though the judging format does draw away from the show, “The Masked Singer” ultimately stands out due to a quirky core idea that keeps its audience coming back for more. Everything considered, the show is simple fun, and is an easy watch for any viewer.

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Final Grade: B

Joseph Marz is a TV columnist for the Daily Cardinal. To read more of his work, click here.

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