The Masked Singer: What is the new bonkers celebrity ITV talent show?

2 January 2020, 11:49 | Updated: 9 January 2020, 16:29

The Masked Singer UK
The Masked Singer UK. Picture: ITV

By Tom Eames

The Masked Singer is the latest in a long line of TV talent shows, but it's so daft that we can't help but love it.

A mixture of The Voice, Stars in their Eyes and The X Factor, the US series has been a surprise hit, and has crowned two winners so far.

But what is it all about? Trust us, you'll be pleased to know a UK version is here.

  1. What is The Masked Singer?

    The Masked Singer premiered on Fox in the US on January 2, 2019, and is based on the South Korean format King of Mask Singer.

    The US version is hosted by Nick Cannon, and features celebrities singing in head-to-toe costumes and face masks, which hide their true identities from other contestants, the panelists, and even the audience.

    Essentially, they all look like football mascots singing, but we have no idea who they are until they're eliminated.

    The costumes were designed by Marina Toybina, a four-time Emmy Award winner.

    The judging panel consisted of singer Robin Thicke, TV star Jenny McCarthy, comedian Ken Jeong and singer Nicole Scherzinger.

  2. How does it work?

    12 celebrities compete on the show anonymously, all wearing costumes, over 10 episodes.

    Each episode, some of the competitors are paired off into face-off competitions, where each will perform a song of their choice.

    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 put to the earlier votes of the panelists, to discover who will head home. The eliminated singer then takes off their mask to reveal their real identity.

    Hints are also given to each masked singer's identity during the show. The panelists are given time to guess the identity of the singer after the performance, and ask them a single question.

    In the US, the likes of Donny Osmond, Seal, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, and LaToya Jackson have taken part.

  3. Who will appear in the UK version and when does it start?

    The Masked Singer stars
    The Masked Singer stars. Picture: ITV

    Former I'm a Celebrity star Joel Dommett will host the UK version, which launches on ITV on Saturday, January 4 at 7pm. The second episode airs on Sunday, January 5 at 8pm.

    The four judges will be: Jonathan Ross, Rita Ora, Davina McCall, and Ken Jeong from the US version.

    The Masked Singer UK
    The Masked Singer UK. Picture: ITV

    The 12 colourful masked singers will be known as:

    The full list of Masked Singers are:

    - Butterfly (revealed as Patsy Palmer in episode 1)

    - Pharaoh (revealed as Alan Johnson in episode 2)

    - Tree

    - Octopus

    - Fox

    - Duck

    - Chameleon

    - Queen Bee

    - Hedgehog

    - Unicorn

    - Monster

    - Daisy

    The Masked Singer UK
    The Masked Singer UK. Picture: ITV