The Masked Singer Season 3 Format: What Are the New Rules?

The Masked Singer Contestants

FOX THE MASKED SINGER: Miss Monster in the “The Playoffs: Group A” episode of THE MASKED SINGER airing Wednesday, Feb 5 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

When The Masked Singer season 3 episode 2 airs on Wednesday, February 5, you might be surprised to see that the 5 remaining contestants from the February 2 episode are performing again, instead of a new crop of characters. Let us explain:

In an interview with Billboard, The Masked Singer showrunner Izzie Pick-Ibarra explained the revised structure. Pick-Ibarra said “We changed the format up to make three mini-seasons. So we have six singers in each mini-season: groups A, B and C. We start with six in a group and they get whittled down to three. Then we go to the next group and the next and then we bring all the singers together so you have nine champions from the groups and they’ll compete against one another to the end.”

Continuing, he explained that the motivation for the change was to support the larger cast and keep viewers engaged in each character’s storyline and development: “It helps the viewers when we have a cast as large as ours and it’s hard to track people’s stories and personalities if you’re flip-flopping between 18 people from the get-go. It’s a way to let viewers know them in smaller groups, and by the time they come together, they have a handle on who each are over 19 episodes.”

This means that the season’s episodes will (barring any sudden changes or unexpected twists) follow this structure:

Episode 1: “Group A” all 6 contestants.
Episode 2: “Group A” remaining 5 contestants.
Episode 3: “Group A” remaining 4 contestants.
Episode 4: “Group B” all 6 contestants.
Episode 5: “Group B” remaining 5 contestants.
Episode 6: “Group B” remaining 4 contestants.
Episode 7: “Group C” all 6 contestants.
Episode 8: “Group C” remaining 5 contestants.
Episode 9: “Group C” remaining 4 contestants.
Episode 10-19: Group A’s remaining 3, Group B’s remaining 3, and Group C’s remaining 3 all come together to compete as the “Top 9,” with one contestant eliminated and unmasked per episode until a winner is crowned at the end of Episode 19.


Season 3 Features Updated Clue Packages for the Show’s Wide Range of Viewers

In addition to the revised show format, you may notice an upgrade to the video clue packages that precede each contestant’s performances. Pick-Ibarra teased that by observing the way different types of viewers engaged with the clues and formulated their guesses in past seasons, they “realized in the past that we’ve given away things too definitively that could only be applied to one person. Now all clues have to be able to apply to numerous people.”

He later explained that “This season we have different packages with friends and family of the singers who are also in disguise. So we have Banana and mini-bananas that we interview to tell [viewers] what they’re like as people. It’s meant to be entertaining while you’re sitting at home with all the generations and arguing and fighting about who is under the mask.”


For Season 3, There Is Still No Live Voting Option for Viewers

One thing that hasn’t changed in this season’s structure is the show’s absence of a voting opportunity for at-home viewers. It makes sense that such an option is not available since the entire season was prerecorded in advance of the season 3 premiere. This means that each week’s eliminations have already been pre-determined by the in-studio audience and judges who got to vote during the live tapings of each episode, and a season 3 winner has already been crowned.

That’s not to say fans can’t still get involved. The Masked Singer’s Twitter account encourages fans to vote on who they think is behind the mask of each character, and comment their own guesses via the social media platform.


Tune in to new episodes of The Masked Singer season 3, Wednesday nights at 8/7c on FOX.

READ NEXT: The Masked Singer Season 3 Live Stream: How to Watch Online


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