Emmy Award-winning costume designer Marina Toybina gives EW clues about who is under the White Tiger costume.

By Rachel Yang
January 17, 2020 at 10:16 AM EST
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Get ready for the eye of the tiger on The Masked Singer.

The Fox singing competition has exclusively revealed to EW that the White Tiger will be one of the 18 costumes on season 3. The character joins the previously unveiled Banana, Robot, Miss Monster, Mouse, Frog, and Llama.

We talked to Emmy Award-winning costume designer Marina Toybina, who’s created all the costumes for the show, to get the scoop on the new character, which celeb might be under the mask, what we can expect from the season 3, and secrets from previous seasons’ costumes.

Meet the White Tiger

Michael Becker/FOX

We’ve seen period looks before on the show, like Fox’s steampunk outfit and Leopard’s Elizabethan regalia. Toybina tells EW this time around she wanted to explore an Egyptian feel for White Tiger.

“This season the one thing that’s been missing was creating some sort of warrior character,” Toybina says. “With the White Tiger, I want to do something that was a little bit inspired by an Egyptian influence. And when we found out who was cast for it, it was just a perfect fit.”

Although the end result was close to Toybina’s original artwork, she says she had a one-on-one meeting with the celebrity to make sure their personality could shine through the costume.

“I embraced and embodied who I was working with and how can I make this such a big stage presence and also create this really inspiring character that just takes over the entire atmosphere of the stage?” she adds. “We ended up with this incredible White Tiger Egyptian god of all gods.”

That’s certainly a lot for one person to live up to! As far as hints go, Toybina remains tight-lipped on who could be under the mask, but did provide a few small clues. “He’s just fun, outgoing, incredible, and loves his costume,” she hints. “It is somebody that enjoys his performance and is definitely larger than life on stage.”

Besides the apparent God-like star that’s behind the White Tiger, the most impressive aspect of the costume is just how intricate it is, especially given that Toybina’s team had the same time-frame as previous seasons to create 18 looks as opposed to 16 or 12. The White Tiger took about three to four weeks to complete and every detail, down to the fur, was done by hand.

How season 3’s costumes differ from past editions

Michael Becker/FOX (2)

Toybina also tells EW this year’s ensembles will differ from past seasons in a few ways. There will be a lot more mobility in the costumes, which means more stage movement from the performers. Additionally, in terms of style, Toybina says while season 1 was an experiment in seeing what worked and season 2 had characters with a more superhero feel, season 3 will be much more fashion-forward and modern.

“I let all the rules go and played with an idea of how to make certain characters even more detailed,” she says, “using a lot more couture work and handwork to really create these costumes that were more relatable and a lot more runway inclined. So you see definitely this modern take in a lot of these characters.”

Toybina won’t reveal what costumes are her favorite (besides that we’ll see a lot more geared toward the White Tiger “at the end of the season”), but she did say there’s always a possibility for designs that didn’t make the cut in one season to appear in future rounds. The Ladybug, for example, wasn’t picked by a celebrity in season 1, but ended up in season 2 as Kelly Osbourne’s disguise.

“Season 3, I believe, everything is pretty much brand new. The way it works is I always do a lot more artwork than the amount of characters that we’re going to have on the show, so we do have options to play around with,” Toybina says.

Viewer feedback matters

While Toybina herself doesn’t go on social media to mine audience reactions, viewer feedback and reviews do play a factor in the direction of her designs. For instance, because a lot of kids watch the show, she likes to create costumes that are “fun and outgoing.”

For season 3, Monster was “brought back by popular demand” through the new character of Miss Monster, who bears a strong resemblance to winner T-Pain’s season 1 look.

“That one was one of the favorites and just being able to create something that was very toylike, was very different from the rest of the costumes,” Toybina says. “Recreating the Monster again for season 3 gave us a field to retell a story and bring back a fan favorite and at the same time, do something very different. And also it reminds people why they’re watching the show.”

The Masked Singer season 3 will premiere Sunday, Feb. 2, immediately after the Super Bowl at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Related content:

Episode Recaps

Celebs compete in this crazy reality-singing TV show while wearing elaborate costumes to conceal their identities. Can you guess the celebrity behind the mask?
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  • TV Show
seasons
  • 3
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Airs
  • Wednesdays at 8:00pm
Premiere
  • 01/02/19
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  • In Season
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