The Masked Singer Australia will be premiering its second season on Network 10 on August 10 at 7:30 pm and available on BVOD on 10 Play.
The over-the-top costume party will see new masks step into the spotlight for season two of the show that had viewers across Australia screaming “take it off!”.
The panel of Dannii Minogue, Jackie Henderson, David Hughes and newcomer Urzila Carlson, stepping in for Lindsay Lohan will decipher who is singing behind the mask, with the aid of curated clue packages.
The show’s cast and crew started arriving in Melbourne in late July as did some of the judges who have to relocate to Melbourne for the shoot, with Dave Hughs the only Melbourne local.
The first episodes are being filmed just a week before they go to air. A shorter deadline than is usual for some shiny floor shows that don’t go out live.
Stephen Tate, the head of entertainment and factual programs at 10 said, “It is a fairly short turnaround, but entirely possible, considering we do I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! in a nine-hour turnaround,” Tate told Mediaweek. “An eight or nine-day turnaround is quite leisurely,” he chuckled.
Without being able to spend so much time in post-production, it will give the new season what Tate referred to as a “live feel”.
10 has taken over two soundstages at Dockland Studios this year after relocating the production from Sydney. “We moved because of studio availability as it’s a very complex show to make. We have to keep all of the masks [performers] separate. It is almost a military operation with all the backstage work happening on a separate soundstage. The masks can never meet.”
10 has found a “creative workaround” to replace a studio audience this year. Tate: “Warner Bros [which makes The Masked Singer for 10] were the first to do this with Dancing with the Stars. They did such a brilliant job of still delivering a live show that was full of energy. The great thing about The Masked Singer is that it is a completely bonkers show so we can really be playful with what we can do in place of an audience.
“We will have a special virtual audience. We have selected a number of super fans to watch the performances and vote.”
With no live audience, Tate expects the time taken to film each episode could be shorter. However it’s still enough of an involved process that they can’t film more than one a day. “We had to do a full security sweep of the audience last year before the reveals to make sure there were no recording devices. That took up to 90 minutes.”
Making up for that though is some ambitious staging to compensate for no live audience. “The props are bigger this year and we have secured The Squared Division [Antony Ginandjar and Ashley Evans] who are by far the most outstanding creative directors in the world. They will really lift our production values.”
Another big change this year, and one aided by the entertainment industry shutdown, is the artist roster for 2020. “Artists who would not normally have been available to consider doing The Masked Singer have said yes. Our reveals will be absolutely extraordinary. You won’t believe who we have got. It truly is amazing. The calibre of the artists has given us an embarrassment of riches.”
Delays in filming this year have caused some challenges for 10’s most in-demand host Osher Günsberg. Tate: “It’s a juggle. We will have to find some creative workarounds for the production of The Bachelorette. He will certainly have a presence throughout the entire series of The Masked Singer. He has the energy of 10 hosts. What helps us face the logistical issues is that Warner Bros is the producer of both shows which will help make it work.”
The winner of the first season of the Masked Singer was Cody Simpson.
1. Robot – Cody Simpson
2. Wolf – Rob Mills
3. Monster – Gorgi Coghlan
4. Unicorn – Deni Hines
5. Spider – Paulini
6. Lion – Kate Ceberano
7. Dragon – Adam Brand
8. Prawn – Darren McMullen
9. Rhino – Wendell Sailor
10. Alien – Nikki Webster
11. Parrot – Brett Lee
12. Octopus – Gretel Killeen