The Masked Singer EP on season 4 finale, that Mickey Rourke reveal, and what to expect next season
Plus, check out an exclusive sneak peek from Wednesday night's episode.
To celebrate the impending finale, EW is revealing a sneak peek, below, and we spoke with series executive producer Craig Plestis about what fans can expect and his take on season 4's wildest moments — including that infamous Mickey Rourke reveal. Plus, he teases season 5 of The Masked Singer and the show's upcoming spinoff, The Masked Dancer.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Just to start us off, what can fans expect from the season 4 finale?
CRAIG PLESTIS: I think the big thing is, some of our best performances in the history of The Masked Singer are on Wednesday night. We have a group performance with all three finalists singing "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)," which is an awesome performance. So you have a live feel right from the get go for the two hours. It just escalates with some more last minute clues, and then we have our final selection of Mushroom, Crocodile, and Sun competing for the Golden Mask. We have some of the show's best clue packages that come out for some final guessing, for the people who don't go to Reddit or Twitter. And by the way, on some of [the Internet's guesses], they're wrong. I go there every single night, and there's a couple people they don't have yet, so I'm really interested to see the reaction of that. Also, we did the first-ever Golden Ear trophy and we're gonna find out which panelist actually wins it on Wednesday night. Jenny [McCarthy-Wahlberg] is in the lead right now with three, Robin [Thicke] with two, Nicole [Scherzinger] with two, and Ken [Jeong] with zero, but you never know. He could come back. I wouldn't go to Vegas and bet on it, but you never know.
You guys played around with the format this season, including having a devastating triple elimination in the Super Six. What was behind the decision to do it that way?
It came down to a couple things. We wanted to try something different. This is the one show compared to a lot of other competition shows that are out there that we can do different things with each season, so it doesn't become cookie cutter. So we definitely wanted to try out doing multiple eliminations at that stage in the game. There were only so many episodes that we could fit in before Christmas as well, so it turned out to be that. It just was serendipity that it kind of happened that way, within format structure and with the hours that we needed to produce.
This season also featured the first self-unmasking of a contestant, when Mickey Rourke prematurely revealed himself as the Gremlin. What went through your mind in that moment?
Oh my god. If we had cameras in the booth at that time, you would have seen panic stricken producers. At a certain point, you just say, "Go with it. Just roll with it Nick [Cannon, the host]. Let's play this all the way through to the very end." So, we were scared and excited at the same time that it was happening. I like that it actually happened once. I don't want this ever to be repeated again, personally. [Laughs] It was nice once, but it just shows you early on, especially in this show, anything can happen. That really comes down to what we try to do for Masked Singer, and also for The Masked Dancer and future Masked Singers. We really want to keep the idea that it's not your regular competition show. This is something completely different, and we embrace the wacky, the crazy, and also the unexpected. So, when it happens, we're gonna go there, we're not going to direct it, we're gonna embrace it.
What can you tell me about season 5? Do you think the Golden Ear trophy will return?
As presently planned the Golden Ear will return, and we're very excited by that. Also, there's going to be some new elements added in to season 5 that I can't tell you yet. I want to tell you one, because it's so exciting, but I can't yet because we're just defining it a little bit more. For casting, just so you know, there's going to be a couple unbelievable surprises that we've never done before. Unbelievable. [In season 4], we had some incredible singers. The profiles of these singers were better than any season before and that bar is high, and we're trying to surpass that bar for season 5 as well.
It's been given a 2021 release date. Do you have anything more specific than that yet?
No. I don't have the exact dates yet from Fox.
There's also the premiere of The Masked Dancer on Dec. 27. As a producer on both shows, what surprised you the most about this new format?
The most surprising thing for Masked Dancer was, we thought it might be a little hard for the panel without actually hearing [the contestants'] singing voices to identify who's underneath the mask. We've done this thing for Masked Dancer that we haven't done for Masked Singer, which is the "word up" segment, where the panelists hear the dancers' actual voice for the first time speaking with a clue, which has been huge. It was very scary trying to do that because we thought are we giving away too much? But it really did spark a lot of conversation. It made me really nervous, because they were like getting too close too early on. I can't control it because it's a guessing game. But that just shows you the format works with dancing.
The great thing about Dancer is, you never know what's going to come out next. It could be a solo routine. It could be a duet dancing. It could be all of a sudden a gigantic dance number with dozens of people on the floor. You never know what's gonna hit the floor until they actually start dancing. And the show starts off with a bang. The first two minutes are this one production number that is close to worthy of a Super Bowl performance. So I would highly recommend to everyone not to miss that first couple minutes of it.
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The Masked Singer
Celebs compete in this reality-singing TV show while wearing elaborate costumes to conceal their identities. Can you guess the celebrity behind the mask?