A Review of The Masked Singer

I just don’t quite “get” it.

I wanted to get it.

I tried to get it.

I watched the first couple of episodes of season one when it first came out. Hulu had it and I was bored.

And while most of the singing was okay or better, and the costume thing was novel, and I did enjoy some of the judge’s banter and jokes, overall I was left with a feeling of “…eh.”

At first, I thought it was silly fun.

A simple distraction amidst the chaos that is all the singing/competition shows.

The premise is quite simple: a costumed person sings and then the judges and entire audience votes on their favorite. The one with the least votes is eliminated and host Nick Cannon helps them take off their mask and show themselves to the world.

Season 1 was won by the unexpected T-Pain who was “the monster.” Season 2 was won by the versatile Wayne Brady dressed as an elaborate fox. Kandi Burruss, the “night angel,” won season 3. And season 4 winner was the veritable LeAnn Rimes while being the sun.

The Masked Singer debuted on January 2, 2019, and in just two years and 4 months, we’ve gotten 4 full seasons and are halfway through a fifth.

The show is hosted by Nick Cannon (who also appeared as a contestant after recovering from Covid), and the permanent judges are Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg (ant-vaxxer), Nicole Scherzinger, and Robin Thicke.

Contestants don’t know who they are competing against and are required to keep the news of their participation very quiet.

Some actual (amazing) singers have been on the show.

Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick, Adrienne Bailon, Chris Daughtry, Patti Labelle, Raven-Symone, Ls Toya Jackson, Donny Osmond, and more.

Then there are the “huh?” contestants. Why did they even want to participate in something like this? They still have current, successful careers.

Tommy Chong, Rumer Willis, Joey Fatone, Bow Wow, Nick Carter, Laila Ali, Kelly Osbourne, Seal, Lil Wayne, Drew Carey, Jojo Siwa, Bret Michaels, Jesse McCartney, Busta Rhymes, Mickey Rourke, Paul Anka, Danny Trejo, Mark McGrath, Tamera Mowry-Housley, and more.

Lastly, there are the “why?” contestants. Why were they even invited and how does it make sense that they ended up here?

Ricki Lake, Logan Paul (ugh), Terry Bradshaw, Bob Saget, Tori Spelling, Johnny Weir, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Sherri Shepherd, Ana Gasteyer, Tony Hawk, Sarah Palin (?!), Bella Thorne, Rob Gronkowski, Brian Austen Green, Wendy Williams, Tori Kelly, Kermit the Frog (???), Caitlyn Jenner, and more.

An argument can be made that the show is letting some problematic people have a chance at a comeback.

(cough) Logan Paul (cough)

On the one hand, the show is mindless entertainment, and viewers can engage with the clues and try to figure out who the costumed contestants are, and enjoy the silly costumes.

On the other hand, some pretty problematic and also just “what? why?” contestants have been featured. Such as Srah Palin, Logan Paul, and more…people who maybe shouldn’t be given another huge platform.

Also…why are there even judges? The judges have no actual hand in whether or not a contestant is eliminated — it’s all voted on by the entire audience. All the judges do is argue, provide comic relief, and make guesses.

Each episodes end with the entire room screaming “TAKE IT OFF!” as a contestant pretends to struggle with their mask for what I think is an overly long time, before revealing themselves.

The reveals are pretty fun!

By the way, there is NO prize money or anything — not even for charity — when someone wins. They just get a trophy, which Wayne Brady claims he never received.

Overall rating: 2.5 stars.

I give it an exactly average score. Half. It’s a silly, kind of fun show. But the endless YouTube clips, the random contestants, the fact that there is no prize and the judges aren’t really doing anything, and the eliminations often feel random makes me put this show right in the middle. A “C” grade, if you will.

I thought it was fun and watched the first few episodes of season 1 and then….just never came back. There’s so much buildup and suspense and it moves pretty slowly for my taste. Plus, I am bombarded by ads, YouTube clips, and articles every single week when it airs, which gets a touch annoying.

It is neat that there have been legends like Gladys Knight and Dionne Warwick on there and singers who maybe haven’t been the lead in a while like Nick Carter and Bow Wow.

But overall, there have been so many contestants that don’t make a lot of sense and almost feel like just giving a spotlight to people who have lost it — perhaps for good reason. Logan Paul is a great example of this. There was a ton of backlash when he posted a video in the Aokigahara Forest of Japan, sometimes called the “suicide forest,” only to find the body of a young man who appeared to have recently hanged himself and being completely disrespectful and even filming the body up close. Plus, he has long been criticized for taking advantage of his very young fans to make money.

With 5 seasons in less than 3 years, it seems they are letting anyone on the show and only waiting as long as it takes to make the elaborate costumes.

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Entrepreneur, writer, editor, book coach, cat lover, weirdo, optimist. Author of “Write. Get Paid. Repeat.” & “Concept to Conclusion.” jyssicaschwartz.com

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