The Masked Singer is back for 2023 and the judges have revealed what to expect from the new series.
The Masked Singer’s fourth season will begin on New Year’s Day on ITV1.
The celebrity guessing game sees celebs compete to put on the best music performance while their identities are kept covered behind extraordinary masks.
Joel Dommett returns to host with panellists Jonathan Ross, Rita Ora, Mo Gilligan and Davina McCall.
Davina says ahead of the launch: “It’s really, really good this season. I mean, it’s good every season, but I’ve been really, really enjoying the reveals this year. I think one of the things that I’ve really liked is that quite often on this series, there’s one of us that gets it right when the reveal happens. But actually, we’ve had quite a few where none of us have guessed right.”
Adds Jonathan: “I think they’ve all been good. We’ve had good names in every show. Sometimes it’s a good name because it’s someone you really wouldn’t expect to do it and they win the crowd over.
“I still think very fondly of Michael Owen as Donuts, and then when we’ve had people like Charlotte Church and Joss Stone, real kind of world class singers with huge careers, and Katherine Jenkins who can really sing”.”
Rita continues: “Well, I say this every time, but I really feel like it’s next level this year. There’s a specific two that I feel are just mind-blowing. And there are some real singers in the mix.”
The twelve new contestants on the show include the first ever musical duo – Cat & Mouse.
Davina shares: “It’s funny because you’d think, “Oh. Well, there’s two of them. If they’re a duo, then it’s easier to guess”. But I’ve been looking at them thinking, “You’re not a couple,” but then they might be acting like they are a couple.”
Meanwhile Rita suggests that the mystery celebs are going all out to fool the panel.
“I think now they’ve seen the show they’re like, ‘What can I do that hasn’t been done before, and how far can I take it?’. They are going further than ever before,” she explains. “I think actors and performers are doing that more this series.
“I don’t know if that’s a great strategy for singers, because I don’t know how long you’ll last if you do that when you’re belting out a big number. But for the actors and the ones that are not technically singers, they’re doing all these other things that I think are going to keep them in the competition. There are so many different strategies.”
Mo adds: “I feel people are really coming into their costumes more this series. So Phoenix always looks at us a bit weirdly for example. Then you’ve got some characters who are really funny, which is also hard because you think – is this a comedian that I know? And you can always see in the room who’s a fan favourite as well.
“It isn’t a singing competition is it, it’s just guessing who’s behind the mask! I think that’s my favourite bit where they sing and you start seeing the little kids reacting like, ‘Who should we save?’ And kids are screaming names out, which is one of my favourite parts of the show because some of the kids don’t even know some of the guesses we’ve said. The seven year old, he’s shaking their head at a guess!”
And host Joel says there are some new elements for the 2023 season.
He reveals: “We’ve got some theme weeks, which were some of my most favourite shows, just because it makes it easier to write funny links, because you’ve got a theme. It’s a good place to start from, makes it more ridiculous!
“But yeah, it’s just the same as usual, but a step further. I think that’s what we seem to be doing each time; we’re making it more ridiculous, more fun. And, of course, you’ve got different reveals, so every season is going to feel different.”
Other characters in the competition this year are Rubbish, Jacket Potato, Otter, Phoenix, Fawn, Piece of Cake, Knitting, Jellyfish, Pigeon, Rhino, Ghost and Cat & Mouse.
The Masked Singer starts on Sunday, 1 January at 6:30PM on ITV1 and ITVX