"The level of secrecy on this show is nothing like anything I've ever worked with."
We’re less than one week away from the premiere of the Australian version of The Masked Singer, and if you thought the teases thus far have been insane, you haven’t seen anything yet.
Speaking with The Music ahead of Monday’s launch on Channel Ten, host Osher Gunsberg said it's “preposterous”, and will shatter preconceptions of reality singing shows.
“Basically any singing show that we’ve seen, has always been anonymous people seeking fame. This is famous people seeking anonymity. So we're talking people who play the other way around,” Gunsberg said.
“We're always looking for someone who's trying to be, you know, something they're not yet, and this is people trying to be something they haven't been in a long time.
“And they love it, you know, because when they go to the grocery store they have to put make-up on in case they get paparazzi shooting them. They’re like, 'I’m dressed as a giant giraffe and now I’m singing this song from Lee Kernaghan.'
“They love that they're in front of the crowd and, you know, vibing up the crowd only going off their voice, because they’ve been judged for so long on the thing that they're known for - that may or may not be singing, which is really interesting. Because that's the thing, they can all sing but they’re not all famous for singing, being a singer, which is the interesting part.”
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Rapper T-Pain, aka The Monster, was crowned the winner of the US version earlier this year, while the South Korean version featured Ryan Reynolds in a unicorn mask, and while that seems like some A-list star power, Gunsberg told us the Aussie take will feature “celebrities so big that need their own door at the airport”.
Gunsberg, alongside the judges – Danni Minogue, Dave Hughes, Jackie O and Lindsay Lohan – learn contestants' identities as the audience does.
“Honestly, the level of secrecy on this show is nothing like anything I've ever worked with,” he said.
“The guys that were helping us secure the celebrities were, you know, they talk in whispers, they have secret tattoos on their forearms that only eight other blokes that were in their platoon have.
“Whenever the celebrities weren’t in their masks - which was very, very rarely - they wore these big cloaks with a visor that you couldn't see their faces, they had gloves on, they had a T-shirt that said 'Don’t talk to me'. They wore, almost like a fat suit, so you couldn't see their body shape. Yeah, it was very, very, very well done.”
As for who to keep an eye on this season? Gunsberg’s hot tip is Lion and Dragon.
The Masked Singer will premiere on Channel Ten next Monday, September 23 at 7.30pm.