In its second week on Australian screens, The Masked Singer is proving to be ratings success with local viewers.
But what many Aussie fans won’t know is that the original series in South Korea, called King of Mask Singer, has attracted A-listers such as Hollywood hunk Ryan Reynolds.
Actor Ryan appeared on King of Mask Singer in May 2018, performing Tomorrow from musical Annie while he was promoting his film Deadpool.
The 42-year-old slipped into a rainbow unicorn costume for his surprise reality show gig, a move that generated him plenty of press on the publicity trail, and also scored him some brownie points with diehard King of Mask Singer fans.
The Masked Singer in Australia
Over the last two weeks The Masked Singer has confused over a million Australians and one American, Lindsay Lohan, who happens to be a judge on the show.
Those who are still pining for Survivor and The Bachelor may find the format bewildering, but its impressive ratings prove it could still be a satisfying lineup to Channel Ten’s light entertainment.
Last night Twitter was sent into a frenzy when Nikki Webster was revealed as the famous name behind the alien mask.
Beyond the creative masks that bemuse Twitter comes a captivating concept that was born out of Asia a few years ago.
Where exactly is The Masked Singer from?
The Masked Singer first aired in South Korea back in 2015, and since then it has sparked spin-off versions across 17 other countries, including Australia.
Currently hosted by local media personality Gim Seong-ju, South Korea’s version is actually called King of Mask Singer and airs on MBC (Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation).
How does The Masked Singer actually work?
The first round involves two masked contestants singing the same song, before subsequent rounds require a solo performance.
Once a contestant is eliminated they are required to reveal their identity, and the last one standing is crowned the ‘Mask King’.
South Korea’s version is known for having local stars and some K-pop names thrown in to make the show all the more exciting for its fans, but what many Aussie viewers may not know is that Hollywood is a big fan of the concept, both with its own show in the US, and the original in South Korea.
The real man behind the mask
While Australia’s season has so far showcased an octopus, wolf and robot, the South Korean version has featured a ‘sea otter baby seahorse’, ‘party queen grasshopper’ and even ‘ready to order popcorn girl’ to name a few.
The man behind the masks is designer and Project Runway Korea winner Hwang Jae-keun.
Hwang has previously explained that as the show has been adapted in other countries, the visions of what the masks should look like have also evolved.
“For instance, the Thai version has been the most dramatic one in Asia,” he told The Korea Herald. “The masks are not just a stage prop but ‘exaggerated’ to a point like special effects in sci-fi films, and so is the US version.”
Lindsay Lohan’s a standout star
Last week The Masked Singer kicked off in Australia, with Jackie O, Dannii Minogue and Dave Hughes joined by international star Lindsay Lohan on the judging panel.
Former Big Brother host Gretel Killeen was the first celebrity to be unveiled after she performed behind an octopus mask, and the fact that the local celebs couldn’t identify Gretel’s signature voice means poor Lindsay had zero chance working this one out.
These tweets pretty much sum it up.
Australian cricketer Brett Lee was the next celeb to be unveiled.
The Masked Singer airs on Mondays and Tuesdays on Channel Ten.