The secrets of The Masked Singer have been revealed as the new series concludes tonight.
The hit entertainment show sees stars disguise themselves in characters costumes while performing pop songs to the nation.
Judges and viewers alike are again speculating about who exactly is behind each mask as television’s biggest guessing game airs Saturday nights.
With the show’s surprise element coming from the big reveals, producers go to extreme lengths to make sure not even the slightest details about the contestants leak.
Panellist Davina McCall described the show’s security as “insane”, with only a select few crew members permitted to even communicate with the celebs.
“The celebrities and the judges and presenters were always kept apart in two completely different areas,” she explained. “I once saw somebody, and they still had a full on helmet on their head and a sign on their T- shirt saying ‘don’t talk to me’.
“Very few people in the whole crew, out of all the cameramen and floor managers, knew their true identity.”
Comedian Mo Gilligan, who joined the show for its second season, added: “I remember day one when I got in my car and I always talk to drivers – ‘Hey. How’s it going? You okay?’ And I remember the driver just said ‘I’m good, I don’t know where I’m taking you and I’ve been told I’m not allowed to speak to you!’
“And then we got there and I’m just on the panel and even I had to go through SO many levels of security just to get to my dressing room. I was like wow this is so top secret. Sometimes you may think it’s just for TV but being involved in it…I had to go through five people just to get into the building!”
Meanwhile, Jonathan Ross told how the competitors can’t leave their dressing rooms unless they’re incognito.
“The level of secrecy is second to none, it’s amazing. None of us had any idea,” he said. “We would occasionally fish for a clue, or try to trick the people working on the show who we thought might know.”
“The celebrities would only be allowed to walk around in their costume. They would leave their dressing room in costume. Even getting into their cars, they had a mask on.”
Aled Jones, who performed as Traffic Cone in series 3, revealed how filming works for the acts.
Following his exit, he told Heart FM of the secret involved: “Oh my god, you have no idea. Not even backstage. About half an hour before you arrive on the airfield where they record it, I don’t want to give too much away, but you have to put a balaclava on, a visor, gloves, and you’ve got a hoodie that says ‘don’t speak to me’ and you never see anybody else, so I never ever saw a single other contestant whilst I was there. Except if we were on stage and that’s it…
“You’re basically pushed onto stage, because I couldn’t see anything really and then you’re dumped there and you do your bit, and then you go home.”
Appearing on BBC 5 Live, one of 2020’s contestants shared more.
Politician Alan Johnson, unmasked as Pharaoh in the first week, said: “They don’t do the reveal in front of the whole audience even.
“They take two thirds of the audience away and make the smaller audience all sign non-disclosure agreements and they’re the ones there for the reveal. They even go to those lengths.
He went on to say about appearing on the show: “If you weren’t wearing the costume you were given a balaclava, I looked like a bank robber.
“As former Home Secretary I was a bit worried about that. And then a visor that is reflective so you can see out but no one can see in. Then a hooded anorak, with ‘don’t speak to me’ on.
“And just as important as not seeing your face people are not allowed to hear your voice so you have to stay absolutely silent as you walk about.”
Alongside Davina, Mo and Jonathan, Rita Ora returns to the panel for the third series with Joel Dommett back as host.
The Masked Singer airs Saturday nights on ITV and ITV Hub.