Spinning your chair around is so 2018, guessing who is inside the Unicorn is the new hotness.
After weeks of TV-timeout NFL teases, The Masked Singer finally made its debut on Wednesday night on FOX. Based on the South Korean show King Of Mask Singer, the show obscures the identity of celebrities with costumes, like the elaborate and elegant Lion or the full-bodied furry one-eyed Monster. They sing and compete against each other as a panel of judges attempts to solve the mystery, with the lowest-rated masked singer ultimately revealing their identity. It's a reality show fever dream that is actually even more bananas than promised.
The show is hosted by Nick Cannon, who uses his America's Got Talent resume to act as the conduit between the character and the judges. The panel runs the gamut of people that would say yes to watching a Peacock sing a song from The Greatest Showman, featuring Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger, and Robin Thicke as the surprising voice of reason. Together they hurl guesses at the contestants, ranging from plausible like Dieon Sanders, to outlandish like Lady Gaga or P Diddy. The more ridiculous the speculation, the more madness fuel that is added to The Masked Singer. The balance of actual ideas for who might be inside the Deer costume, coupled with the wild ideas of who it might be make the whole thing more pulse-pounding than it really deserves to be. But it works, with the "Blurred Lines" singer being the sober voice to guide us home.
What makes The Masked Singer something special though is the sincerity and seriousness with which it treats the contestants. Each character is given an origin story, featuring clues to their true identity during a cinematic vignette. Their reasons are complex and winking, featuring everything from family strife to recapturing glory. There is a carefully constructed persona behind each masked singer, and it's astounding.
The show did reveal their first celebrity, by unmasking one of the contestants at the end of the show. If you would like to avoid spoilers, do not read any further.
For those of you have already watched or hate fun and childlike wonder, it was a Hippo that didn't have what it takes in the show's debut.
Inside was Pro Bowl Wide Receiver Antonio Brown. This is important to note, because it's a sign that these masked singers are actually, real celebrities. There was a fear that behind the mask would be upstart actors and outdated gymnasts, but there is real hope behind the head of the Hippo.
We came to The Masked Singer with car wreck curiosity, but we leave with a fascination of the world they have built. We also stan Peacock, and give him early odds to win.
The Masked Singer returns Wednesday night on FOX. You can find all of the details here.