Will the upcoming season of The Masked Singer have a live audience? No. But according to a recent casting notice, there may be some sort of simulated audience. Or, to put it in plain parlance–a FAKE audience.
The Masked Singer will employ a fake studio audience
Recently The Masked Singer recruited audience members to film reaction shots to performances. Here’s the catch–the audience didn’t actually watch any performances. Here’s the notice from Onset for the day of shooting which took place in Chatsworth, California on Aug 23:
WE ARE LOOKING FOR FEATURED BACKGROUND AUDIENCE MEMBERS FOR THE MASKED SINGER!
CASTING INFO: We are looking for FEATURED AUDIENCE MEMBERS to be in the background for AUDIENCE REACTION SHOTS for Fox’s The Masked Singer. You will not see the actual show! To apply, you need to be available for 1 DAY of shooting reaction shots, PLUS take the provided Covid test (given same day)! This is non-union. You will be paid through Production Payroll!
In order to attend this taping, you must complete any and all required documentation as determined by the producer in its sole discretion, including, without limitation, a nondisclosure agreement and audience release form.
The Masked Singer “reveals” are also very fake
Reality Blurred also linked to a Good Housekeeping piece that outlined how Masked Singer results are filmed. Each reveal is the same–host Nick Cannon grabs the costume head, “struggling” to pull it off, as The Who’s “Who Are You” plays, and the audience screams “Take it Off.” But according to the reporter in the audience, the music stops, Nick and the still fully costumed celebrity walk off the stage. Then, the warm-up comic takes over to assist in filming SHOCKED SHOCKED audience reactions to a reveal they actually didn’t see. Next, the audience leaves the studio while a smaller VIP audience sits down to witness the actual reveal.
Sure, I understand FOX’s need to go extra lengths to stop spoilers, considering that the network films the entire season ahead. The list of celebrities competing on the series somehow leaking before the season premiere would be a DISASTER for the show. The reason to watch–guessing the identities behind the masks–would be destroyed. But dang, that’s a quite a bit of fakery FOX employs in order to keep the show’s secrets.
Masked Singer Australia shut down after positive COVID-19 tests
Meanwhile, taping for The Masked Singer season 4 is underway, with COVID-19 protocols in place. Things could go wrong, however, as they did in Australia, where positive COVID-19 of cast and crew shut down production. Reportedly, seven dancers tested positive for the virus right before filming the finale. Currently, the network suspended production while Network 10 figures out how to proceed.
The Masked Singer is filming NOW with a virtual, voting audience
However, so far so good for the American version on FOX. The judges–Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger–are currently taping the shows in studio while a virtual audience watches and votes on which masked celebrities get to stay, and which are sent home. FOX is branding the virtual voting audience as some kind of AMAZING NEVER BEFORE SEEN TWIST. But the audience has always voted on the outcome of the competition. Now it’s all done virtually because of COVID-19.
The Masked Singer season 4 will premiere this fall on FOX.