With the final season of The Masked Singer kicking off last night, chat show host turned panelist Jonathan Ross is telling Gemma Dunn what’s in store for her fans.
Get ready to share your Saturday nights with Poodle, Snow Leopard, and Robobunny, as The Masked Singer makes an explosive comeback this new year.
Yes, the popular ITV singing competition is back for a third season, with returning host Joel Dommett and panelists Davina McCall, Rita Ora, Jonathan Ross and Mo Gilligan leading the guesswork.
For those in need of a recap: this is the bizarre, yet wonderful, hit show in which 12 celebrities, in new and ever-flamboyant character costumes, sing along and hide their identities as they attempt to bewilder viewers and the panel they could possibly be on.
Let out the cries of “take it off” and “who is behind the mask” as their identities are finally revealed.
But can this year’s famous group compete with Ne-Yo’s leather-clad Badger performance from Wrecking Ball or Joss Stone’s winning reins as Sausage?
It looks promising. We learn more from veteran broadcaster – and panelist – Ross, 61, who teases “some real surprises” this time around …
HOW DID YOU LIKE TO RETURN TO THE PANEL?
It is very nice to be back. Being back here, especially now with a big audience and it’s an audience that really knows what the show is, it’s been really so fun, so much energy in the studio every night, so much fun seeing all the new guys. singers. It’s always exciting to see what the costumes will be and see what those inside the costumes do with their characters.
RECORD NUMBERS TO WATCH THE LATEST SERIES OF UNMASKED SAUSAGE – AND THE FORMAT IS A WORLDWIDE SUCCESS. WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT CAPTIVATES PEOPLE?
It’s so much fun and there is no kind of negativity at all. Even when someone comes out early in the competition – in other shows there’s a sadness when they leave, because they’ve worked so hard – there’s not that I don’t think so. People love to participate so much and they might like to stay a few more weeks, but they don’t really mind because there is nothing involved. They don’t do it for any other reason than just having a good time. moment and try to fool everyone.
HOW DOES HAVING A FULL AUDIENCE IMPACT THE MOOD?
Having a crowd lifts things up. And one of the things that I find really lovely about it is seeing so many people coming with their kids. It is a family show par excellence. It’s a 100% family show. So seeing all the little kids, seeing how well they get into it and seeing how they react to some characters, who might not be the best singers, but the funniest on stage … You can. see that they are having a good time watching that person have fun.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE CHARACTERS OF THIS YEAR …
All the costumes are great. There is a very wide range; we have beautiful and stylish animals like the Rockhopper; there’s a cute mushroom character on stage. Then we go to the other extreme and we have a robot with a bunny stuck inside and we have a traffic cone. We’re not usually very happy to see traffic cones, but we love to see this traffic cone because they make us all laugh. The biggest crowd pleaser yet is Donuts – made entirely of donuts and probably the funniest artist to watch.
HOW IS YOUR ESTIMATE GAME THIS SEASON?
I start well at the beginning. I paid a lot more attention to the clues and a lot less attention to my imagination. But also, I had a person at the start, and I think I was in the best position to have that person – I don’t want to give it away – because he was an older artist and I’m the most aged from the panel. So I’m a little more plugged into older celebrities and a little less into younger ones. So again, that’s what makes the show such a great family show – there’s always something for everyone in it.
DID YOU SAY IT WAS MORE CHALLENGING THAN THE PREVIOUS SERIES?
I think it’s about the way it always has been, really. It’s always been tough. The problem is, you go down a certain trail and start to convince yourself, because you have no real idea. But the voices are often in disguise – perhaps more this series than previous ones. They made it harder for us. A person has been trained to sing using their mouth in a different way so that their very distinctive voice does not sound like that. We probably would have guessed if they were singing the way they normally sing. Clues help and don’t help as often as they can apply to more than one person. So you will convince yourself that you are right and then when you realize what they meant with the clue it really makes sense.
WHAT IS THE COMPETITION BETWEEN THE PANEL LIKE THIS YEAR?
It’s pretty hot in some ways. We all pretend it doesn’t matter. It’s Rita who really wants to win this series – she’s won the last two so I think she thinks giving the hat trick is a prize worth winning. So far I think she’s doing the worst of all of us and it’s quite delicious. I think I’m doing my best against all odds right now, but it won’t last.
IF YOU NEED TO DESIGN A COSTUME, WHAT WILL YOU FIND?
Since I love science fiction, I could go for something from this kind of field. But we have a Robobunny in the show, so they kind of ticked the box there. We haven’t had a big frog yet and I like frogs. And we didn’t have as many dogs as I thought we would. We have a poodle in this series, but I think a pug could be fun. A big, supple and supple pug.
AND WHAT WOULD YOUR CHOICE OF SONG BE?
Well, because I have a wide range, I would probably go with ‘And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going’ by Dreamgirls. I’m probably the only one in the panel who can hit those notes and it would surprise people because I have this energy …
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE CHARACTER OF ALL TIME?
No, I don’t play favorites. Once you are in The Masked Singer family you are in The Masked Singer family and we love them all equally.
The Masked Singer continues tonight on STV, 7:30 p.m.