It didn’t take too long at all for the folks over in the UK to get fully on board The Masked Singer craze. Months after the show completely took over the winter TV season in America with huge ratings, ITV has now confirmed that they are bringing their own version of the franchise to British viewers at some point in 2020.
On the surface, it appears as though the show is doing something fairly similar to what we saw in the United States. It is going to feature a wide array of different big-name talent hidden entirely by elaborate masks and costumes, and it will be up to a panel of superstars as well as viewers to try to guess who was underneath the mask — with a few assorted clues for help, including their singing voice. This format originally hails from Korea, where the show was an enormous hit and cultural institution. It was so big, in fact, that major US stars like Ryan Reynolds ended up making an appearance. Ken Jeong, who is a judge on the US version of the show, has also appeared on the original.
Do we think that this is a great idea? Well, there’s really no reason to doubt it. What made the US version so engaging was strictly its commitment to fun — and to making the masked characters special. It was incredibly engaging to get to see these people completely transform themselves into their new alter egos. By the end of the show, it was surprisingly moving seeing these characters evolve, and it was a little bit sad to see the mask come off because we enjoyed them so much in that form. The guessing game aspect of it was actually rather easy, so over time, you do have to just let go of some of the mystery and just enjoy the wacky ride. (If you’re about to do this, it’s actually a little bit more in line with the Korean version; we feel like that was really more just about enjoying the surprising singing and the oddity of the concept more so than who was behind the mask.)
In a statement, Siobhan Greene of the network had the following to say about the new version:
“Not very often, a show comes along that seems to abandon all the rules…. and this is it. The Masked Singer is original, bold, funny and a proper guessing game, that we hope will have the nation hooked. We all loved it from the moment we saw it and are so excited to be bringing it to a UK audience.”
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We’re certainly interested to see what people in the UK do with The Masked Singer, and ultimately let’s just hope that it’s as entertaining as it is in the US. Season 2 is coming stateside to Fox, and it will be premiering at some point this fall. The main question that we have with it is whether or not it’ll prove to be a one-hit wonder, or if there is something about the property that can be sustainable.
What do you think about the idea of a UK version of The Masked Singer? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: Fox.)