reality tv

The Masked Singer Australia recap: The 5 biggest questions Australia's asking about Ten's new show.

If you missed the premiere of The Masked Singer on Channel 10, check out how Australia reacted to the first episode. 

No.

For reasons that are currently unclear, someone, somewhere decided that what’s missing from Australian primetime TV is anonymous celebrities dressed as lobsters singing well-known songs to a panel that includes Lindsay Lohan.

That was a conversation that happened in a meeting at Channel 10.

“Obviously, Osher should host it,” a disembodied voice likely yelled from the back of the room. “His experience coordinating people’s quest for love uniquely qualifies him to ask a studio audience ‘WILL IT BE WOLF, OCTOPUS OR ALIEN?’ with the right amount of enthusiasm.”

And so, The Masked Singer was introduced to Australia, and for Monday night’s premiere, 1.5 million people tuned in.

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Of course they did.

Basically, the premise of the show is that the panel (Jackie O, Lindsay Lohan, Dave Hughes and Dannii Minogue) and host Osher Günsberg are entirely unaware of the true identities of 12 bizarrely dressed celebrities. Each episode, a group of contestants face off by performing a song of their choice, and both the audience and panel choose a winner. The losers of the face offs are then subjected to an elimination, and the eliminated contestant (by the panellists votes) is unmasked.

Before each contestant sings, a short pre-recorded package is aired giving hints as to who they really are. After their performance, the panellists are able to ask them a single question to inform their guesses.

Watch the moment Gretel Killeen was revealed as the masked singer. Post continues after video.

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Video by Channel 10

At this point, you might be thinking, 'well, that's a vague, confusing explanation of a TV show format'.

And it is.

BUT THAT'S BECAUSE THE FORMAT IS VAGUE AND CONFUSING.

I watched every second of Monday night's episode (entirely voluntarily), and I have so many goddamn questions about how the hell this show works/what the point is/why people are dressed as unicorns. These are just some of them:

1. How... on earth... is Lindsay Lohan meant to recognise any of these contestants?

Look, it's awkward.

After each performance, Lindsay kept guessing people like 'Usher'.

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Oh, no. No no.

Lindsay, let me... explain.

We're in Australia, and that means the people in these costumes are going to be a different... type... of celebrity.

For example, a huge number of viewers are convinced that Nikki Webster is one of the masked singers.

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Why? Because that's incredibly realistic.

Unfortunately, Usher has far better things to do than come to Australia and sing in a wolf costume.

This fundamental flaw with casting Lindsay Lohan on the panel came to a head on Monday night, when the octopus turned out to be Gretel Killeen, and Lindsay's reaction went something like this:

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Ah yes, of course.
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How did I not guess.
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It's the 2001-2007 host of Big Brother Australia, Gretel Killeen.

2. Relatedly, why do people keep guessing really, really big name celebrities?

I'm going to say this once and once only:

Latoya Jackson is not appearing on The Masked Singer Australia 2019. So that was a frankly ridiculous guess, Dave.

You know who else isn't coming?

Kelly Osbourne. Or Jamie Oliver.

The official hints released before the show suggest there'll be a Logie winner, an ARIA winner, a World Cup champion, and an Order of Australia recipient. No where, no where is there any suggestion that MULTIPLE, high profile, international celebrities are going to come to Australia to sing in front of Dave Hughes.

So start guessing realistically, pls.

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I want a guess for Peter Everett, the former host of Ready Steady Cook, or Ivan Krslovic, who appeared on both The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise and later, very unsuccessfully, Australia's Got Talent. I also want a guess for Moira McLean, who used to do infomercials on Good Morning Australia.

But then again, the guesses are largely redundant, because:

3. Why is there absolutely no incentive for the panellists to guess correctly?

The role of the panellists is confusing because while they're given an opportunity to guess each performer's true identity, it makes no difference whether or not they're right.

It's not as though a person has to unmask themselves if their identity is guessed, or we learn at any point that a contestant's identity is still a mystery.

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The panellist's commentary is just... superfluous information.

WHY.

4. Why do the dressed up people have security?

So, the elephant in the room is that no TV network in Australia has the budget to draw in really high profile celebrities. Which no one, at any point, thought to tell Lindsay Lohan.

But you know how Channel 10 could redirect some funds towards procuring talent? By not giving a person in an alien costume two security guards. 

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WHO SIGNED OFF ON THIS.

The alien is in his/her own home. Disguised. And even without the disguise, the double security seems super unnecessary.

5. How do we even know the person is actually singing?

Given that the disguises are so absurdly over-the-top, there's no way for us to know a) if it's actually the celebrity singing, or b) if the vocals have been pre-recorded (allowing the lobster to... lip sync).

There's no... reason for the person to actually perform. No one can see their mouth moving.

During at least a handful of Monday night's performances, I wondered whether there was a 'lil bit of autotune going on. After all, why would an unexpected celebrity appear on this bizarre show other than to surprise everyone with their very nice voice?

No one's going to wear a unicorn costume in front of the whole country and accidentally mix up the words to Ed Sheeran's 'Perfect'. That's just embarrassing.

Of course, we're only one night into The Masked Singer and somehow I feel like each episode is going to bring with it 1989174 questions about why but also how and on a related note, why.

So it's important we all stay tuned.

For more from Clare Stephens, you can follow her on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

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