The Masked Dancer returns “bigger and better” as stars reveal all about new series
The Masked Dancer is BACK for its second series – and the show’s stars are promising the series will be “bigger and better than ever”.
A spin-off from The Masked Singer, The Masked Dancer sees a celebrity cast attempt to baffle, bewilder and bamboozle the panel and viewers with their fancy footwork and dazzling dance moves whilst covered from head to toe in extravagant and elaborate costumes.
The new series sees football legend Peter Crouch join the panel, stepping in for Mo Gilligan who is unavailable due to touring commitments.
Peter joins returning panellists Jonathan Ross, Davina McCall and Oti Mabuse with the four-piece watching each performance closely as they try and work out which twinkle toed celebrity is behind the mask.
At the helm once more is host Joel Dommett.
Promising a series “bigger and better than ever,” Joel reveals: “I think we’ve gone full ham for weirdness. It’s really incredible and the names are bigger and better than ever I think. There’s more clues and more dancing. It’s definitely harder but there’s so many more clues. There’s so many more games that we play now to help with the guessing, with extra clues up for grabs, which I think is quite fun.”
Adds Jonathan: “It looks amazing. The costumes are, I think, even better than ever. The characters are wonderful. They’ll be characters that the kids fall in love with and some really cool characters that I think the grown ups will love. The people under the masks are even more impressive and harder to guess.”
Teasing some of this year’s characters, Joel continues: “There’s some great ones. Pearly King is a really great costume. I also really like Scissors, because it’s very simple. I do think that Pearly King is my absolute favourite. They’re really good and embrace the whole character.
“It’s amazing and what makes this show wonderful is that it’s not really in any way a talent show. You can be an amazing singer or dancer, but Pearly King isn’t the best dancer by country mile but he’s embracing it and courts the audience, he’s really enjoying it and I think that can get you really far. The more you enjoy it, the more people enjoy watching you. It’s really fun.”
Davina agrees: “What I love about this show is that everybody gives it 100%. It’s interesting, there are no half measures. I think there is something about being behind a mask which means that a celebrity is less encumbered with self consciousness and will definitely kind of give 100% in everything that they do and we’ve seen that in every series.
“It can be embarrassing dancing but when you’ve got a mask on it isn’t, they just go for it. It’s brilliant.”
Other contestants on the new line up include Sea Slug, Pig, Tomato Sauce and Astronaut.
“Sea Slug, I know when you say Sea Slug you don’t think it’s going to be very pretty, but Sea Slug is very glamorous, very sexy and very sophisticated. I think viewers will love Sea Slug,” says Jonathan. “One of my favourites this year is Pig. Pig is such a sweet, lovely costume. There is such a lovely energy about the way Pig dances.
“Tomato Sauce is cute and flirty and has got a little twirly skirt on and throws a few signature moves. There’s so many great characters. Astronaut is the one I think probably had the hardest costume to dance with, because it’s like a big thick Astronaut suit, but they did a great job as well.”
Oti thinks this year the clues to the celebs under the costumes have been made even harder.
She explains: “They’ve made them much harder because they know the panel knows lots of people in the entertainment industry. They’ve made it really hard because it could be someone that I’ve worked with before and I’d know their movements, like with Craig Revel Horwoord who was Knickerbocker Glory in the first season.
“I guessed him because he has a very distinctive walk that I had observed lots of times. Not everyone would have known that.”
Meanwhile new judge Peter says he was taken aback by the “madness” of the show.
“It’s probably more mad than I thought and more secretive than I thought,” he shares. “Literally no one knows. We’re constantly asking the production team trying to get clues throughout the whole day but no one will say anything.
“I also didn’t realise quite how serious I’d be taking it, you know. Oti and I are quite competitive and it’s sort of taken over my life a bit because I’m constantly thinking wherever I am, ‘Who’s the Prawn?’”
Peter added: “My kids love the show. I played football for England and Liverpool, I played in Cup finals, played in the Premier League and played in World Cups but my kids, the only thing they want to talk to me about is The Masked Dancer. They absolutely love it. They came and watched one of the shows and absolutely loved it and it’s all they’ve talked about since.”
While Peter may be standing in for him this series, Mo has confirmed he’ll still be making an appearance as a guest panellist for one episode – and won’t be holding back with his own dance moves.
“One thing I love about this show is getting my dad dancing moves on, I’m not even a dad, but I’m representing the dad dancing at home,” he says. “That’s one of the things I love about this show, the playlist selection is always top tier and The Masked Dancer makes you want to dance as well. You get so into the performances you forget you have to guess as well.”
And on his stand in, Mo adds: “Peter’s great. I’ve met Peter before and I know he’s got a couple of moves and it’s great. He’s definitely holding it down.”
“Peter has been so good,” continues host Joel, “He’s really taking it seriously. He’s a sportsman so he wants to win and that’s made him a great sportsman and also a good detective on the show. He’s very good at it. He just loves piecing together all of the clues.”
Davina concludes of the hit series return: “Masked Dancer and Masked Singer are formats that everybody loves. So a three year old loves it and an eighty year old loves it. There are not many shows that everybody can hand on heart sit down in front of the television and say we all love this programme as a family….
“You know, times are hard and this is the show you want when times are hard, it’s funny, it’s uplifting, it’s engaging and it’s exciting.”
The new series of The Masked Dancer starts on Saturday, 3 September at 6:30PM on ITV and ITV Hub.