By Lauren Huff
Updated September 21, 2020 at 07:20 PM EDT
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The Masked Singer

type
  • TV Show
network
  • Fox
genre

It's almost time to get out your metaphorical magnifying glasses, Masked Singer fans!

The bonkers singing competition show, which features celebrities in elaborate disguises battling it out to be the last singer standing (and the last to have their identity revealed), is returning soon for a fourth season.

The third season, which wrapped up in May, saw Turtle, Frog, and Night Angel competing in the finale. Ultimately, Night Angel won, followed by Turtle and Frog in second and third place, respectively. Night Angel was revealed to be Kandi Burruss, the show's first female winner, while Turtle was singer and actor Jesse McCartney and Frog turned out to be rapper Bow Wow.

As we prepare to welcome a whole slew of new famous faces to the show, EW has rounded up all of the info we know so far about the upcoming season.

Michael Becker / FOX

When does the new season start and where can I watch?

Season 4 is set to premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 8-9 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. Fans do not have to wait that long for new Masked Singer content, though. The network is airing a special sneak-peek episode of The Masked Singer on Sunday, Sept. 13, live to all time zones (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT), following the first NFL double-header of the season.

Will the same panel and host be returning?

The panelists — Robin Thicke, Nicole Scherzinger, Jenny McCarthy, and Ken Jeong — as well as host Nick Cannon are returning.

What are the new costumes/characters?

A promo for the new season revealed season 4 will feature Gremlin, Snow Owls, Crocodile, Giraffe, Broccoli, Popcorn, Seahorse, Jellyfish, Mushroom, Whatchamacallit, Squiggly Monster, Dragon, Baby Alien, and Sun. It was later revealed that Lips and Serpent will also be costumes this season. (Get a closer look at each season 4 costume.)

What celebrities can we expect this season?

According to Fox, the season 4 celebrity contestants combined have sold more than 281 million records worldwide, appeared in more than 5,475 episodes of television and 151 films, appeared in five Super Bowls, and have four stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, plus one appearance on Time's list of 100 most influential people. They also have 46 Grammy nominations and 23 platinum records, and there are 10 hall of famers and one Olympic gold medalist in the bunch.

Obviously, we won't know who any of the famous contestants are until they're unmasked. However, in an interview with executive producer Craig Plestis, he did tease some major star power that we could see. "I have such a long list, it's incredible," he said when asked who he'd want to see on the show. "My top four would be: I love Michelle Obama. I love Barack Obama. I'd love to get Oprah [Winfrey]. I'd love to get Brad Pitt. Now, those are the four I mentioned, doesn't mean they're not going to show up. One of them might show up sometime on season 4, but I can't tell you." He also revealed that the new season would be more "unexpected" and will feature "people that you normally would never have seen before on any of these kinds of competition shows."

Will the show be filmed in a studio or somewhere else?

The show will still be filmed in a studio.

Will the format of the show change at all?

"Format-wise, you'll see some similarity to the past seasons, but there's some innovative twists and turns that we're doing in this new season just to keep it fresh," Plestis said. "That's the great thing about The Masked Singer — it doesn't have to be the same every season. We try to put a little nuance into the format just to keep it extremely fresh for the fans and keep a little bit more of that guessing game going on."

Specifically, the 16 contestants will be broken up into three groups: A, B, and C. Groups A and C have five contestants, B has six. Thus, Group B will have a double elimination in the last round. The remaining two contestants from each group will make up the Super Six. From there, three of the Super Six will be unmasked in the same night in a special two-hour episode airing Dec. 2, which will leave three contestants for the finale. There will be 13 episodes total.

Plestis also said that fans can expect the show to be even more "bonkers" than it has been in the past, and to expect new staging and revamped clue packages. "With the clue packages themselves, it's always about telling stories about the individuals as well as entertaining everyone, and I think in this cycle, we've upped the ante in how we're producing it," he said. "I think we pushed the bar of creativity of storytelling to a new level that you haven't seen yet on any Masked Singer at all."

In order to cut down on the number of filmed segments, the clue packages will now feature special animated elements from animation studio Bento Box, EW can confirm.

Another known change to the format includes a new competition among the panelists. After viewing each contestant's first clue package and performance, Thicke, Scherzinger, McCarthy, and Jeong will write down who they think is under the mask. Their guesses get locked away and are revealed after each elimination. The panelist with the most correct answers will win the Golden Ear trophy. It's a through-line across the season, and viewers at home are encouraged to play along and lock in their "first impression" guesses as well.

With the coronavirus pandemic, will there be an audience this season?

There will be a small audience in each episode, but AR technology was used to make it sound and look like a fuller audience. And for the first time in the show's history, viewers at home will have a chance to vote on their favorite performances. According to the Masked Singer Twitter account, super-fans will have a chance to be a part of a virtual audience, watch each performance, and cast their vote as to which costumed singer they'd like to see again. Votes will be taken virtually and help determine the outcome of the competition. Viewers can register for that opportunity here.

Jillian Sederholm contributed to this report.

Related content:

Episode Recaps

The Masked Singer

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?
type
  • TV Show
seasons
  • 3
rating
genre
status
  • In Season
network
  • Fox

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