‘The Masked Singer’ – a suspenseful show full of second-guesses

courtesy of the New York Times

Alyssa Ochss, Staff Intern

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Mystery celebrities decked out in gorgeous costumes and masks competing in a singing competition? Sign me up!

“The Masked Singer” is a new show on Fox that hit TV only four weeks ago, and it’s been a great hit for families everywhere. Every week I am left second-guessing my decisions about who could be under the masks these celebrities wear.

In the show, masked celebrities enter the stage and present videos containing clues for the celebrity judges (Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger) and the studio audience to figure out their identities. They then sing, and audience members vote for who they think was best.

Last week, Jan. 14, the masked singers were split into groups for their second face-off. The group containing the lion, peacock, deer, monster and unicorn sang. Each had a new video to show the judges, giving them precious clues that would lead to unveiling who is under each mask.

Once the group of mystery celebrities was fully introduced, they performed one-by-one and the judges gave their guesses for who they could be. Audiences at home could play along in guessing the celebrity.

The intense suspense was enough to leave me biting at my fingernails and consulting Google to see if the clues lined up with the celebrities I had in mind. The deer, I thought, could be Peyton Manning or Shaq, while I was left stumped when I no longer thought the lion could be Lady Gaga. The unicorn had me doing flips when I guessed that they were a famous gymnast, the peacock faintly sounded like Brendon Urie and the monster could be anyone.

One of the best things about this show is the celebrities under the masks aren’t all just singers. Actors, athletes and people who are famous in their own right could be under the masks, giving audiences and the judges endless possibilities for who each performer is. The judges have even guessed politicians could be under the masks.

As shown in the first three episodes, it is ultimately up to the audience present at the time of the performances to choose who stays and who goes. Some of the decisions have left the judges questioning the intentions of the audience when their favorites were in the bottom three or got voted off the show.

The voting mechanism is a great way to get the audience involved – and a way to make sure it’s out of judges’ hands. The judges have almost no say in who is in the bottom or, in last week’s case, who gets voted off completely. The judges might not vote in a way that is representative of the audience. It could also go the other way around, as seen in previous weeks.

At the end of each episode of the show, the celebrity with the least amount of votes on their side is unmasked and the judges are given a final chance to say who they think is under the mask. This week, the deer was voted off and I was left guessing at who it was until the mask was finally off.

Overall, the show is interesting and it leaves viewers guessing until the very last minute. It serves its purpose of getting the whole family involved and the performances are enthusiastic and moving.