How ‘The Masked Singer’ Is Upping the Ante for Season 8

·5-min read

“The Masked Singer” Season 8 is starting off with a bang on Wednesday night, when three contestants will be eliminated from the competition before the night ends. From there, viewers will say goodbye to two contestants each week, as opposed to the usual one weekly elimination.

All of this is in an effort to make the show bigger, better and more exciting than ever before, executive producer Craig Plestis told TheWrap.

“Just hang on to your hat,” he said. “Go to the fridge, collect whatever you need to eat or drink and do not leave, OK? It is going to be a wild, fast ride of clues, of great singing, great performances and possibly some of the best unmaskings we’ve ever had in eight seasons.”

Plestis and his crew have upped the ante in other ways as well. Not only will one contestant each week be eliminated solely by an audience vote, but there are also more clues than ever to hint at who may be underneath the mask. Below, Plestis breaks down what to expect from the upcoming season.

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TheWrap: What can we expect from this new season of ‘The Masked Singer’?

Craig Plestis: This season, the whole concept is the king or queen of ‘The Masked Singer.’ So in every episode, you’ll see new contestants come in, and each week there will be multiple eliminations. Only one person will go through at the end. It’s also like a fast track pass to all of the clues. Instead of waiting eight weeks for some of these individuals to find out who they are, if you really pay attention, you can guess who they are so much easier. There’s so much excitement, there’s so much energy within it by doing this format. Also, this season for the first time, every episode has a theme. It just brings a whole new quality to the show and we can tie in different songs and that we would never be able to do on ‘The Masked Singer.’

That’s exciting to hear that there will be even more clues throughout.

We’re really trying to make this season as interactive as possible for everyone who’s sitting there watching it. Besides just having a fun experience, we want to play that mystery game even more for America.

How will the audience being able to eliminate the first contestant of the night change the game?

The audience has a lot of say within this. After the first performances, only the audience votes. The panel doesn’t even vote. So they’re literally left gobsmacked about who goes home. The beauty of our show is it’s not … necessarily every single time about who has the best voice. We’re not a typical singing show. It’s about who entertains you the most, who’s the one that made you smile, etc. I’m trusting we have some of the most incredible voices this season that we’ve ever had before, but it’s about just having fun being underneath that mask.

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So, the change definitely caused some shakeups, is what you’re saying.

Oh, yes. I’m sure America will go like, ‘How did that person go home?’ Those are things outside of our hands, which is kind of fun, because we’re left pivoting. As a producer, you’re trying to figure everything out on the fly here from all these votes. That’s what makes TV exciting for us.

The costumes also seem incredibly creative this season. What can you tell us about them?

We have such an incredible costume team, but a lot of the costumes were derived by the history of our contestants. Every costume is a clue to who that person is. When we get a celebrity who comes onto our show, we dive into everything about who that celebrity is. We do a lot of research, then we find out certain common elements within their history that lead to a particular costume idea. Then we’ll draw that costume idea and get them on the phone and go through all the reasons. Then I’ll say, ‘See how [we’re] tying all this together? Now we suggest you should become the X.’ And they’ll go, ‘Oh my gosh, that makes perfect sense.’ They get super excited, because there’s a real reason why we’ve crafted that particular costume for them.

One of my other favorite things about the show is the celebrities who send in messages for contestants they have a connection to. Can we expect more of those guest appearances?

There’s going to be lots of celebrity guests as well throughout the whole season. By having themed episodes this season, we have a lot of people that are tied to that theme. They’re also really close to who those people are on the stage. The themes are also clues to who’s underneath a mask. If there’s someone performing on Vegas night, there’s a reason why that person’s in that episode. So pay attention to that as an added clue to figure out who they are.

Is there anything else you can tell us about Season 8?

Here’s something that a lot of people don’t know yet. For [the premiere], there’s four contestants and three eliminations.

What made you want to start off with three eliminations in the first episode? It’s definitely a lot of contestants going home right out of the gate.

It’s a lot. We had so many people that wanted to do our show this season that it just worked out to be great. It was really tough to fit all this into one hour of TV, but we did it. It is a wild ride, and it just makes it fresh and different. You’re just never not excited by watching these episodes that are coming up.

“The Masked Singer” Season 8 airs on Fox Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT.