Each week, one contestant is eliminated and unmasked, depending on who receives the least number of audience and judges’ votes. With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, the show’s voting system looks a little different this season. Here’s what you need to know about who gets to vote for their favorites, and how:
Without an Audience This Season, ‘The Masked Singer’ Is Enlisting ‘Super Fans’ to Vote From Home
Due to COVID-19, season 4 of The Masked Singer will not feature a live audience, which poses a problem for the show’s original format, which depended on the votes of their in-studio audience to determine which contestant was unmasked each week.
According to Variety, the show solved this problem by selecting a group of “Super Fans,” who could watch the show from the comfort and safety of their homes and vote as part of a “Virtual Audience.” Each episode will be screened by a selection of at-home audience members, who got to vote for their favorites at the end of the nights’ performance to pick who stays and who goes home.
If you are interested in becoming a “Super Fan” in the At-Home Voting Audience for season 4, they are currently accepting submissions here.
Executive producer Craig Plestis told Variety, “We’ve been showing the performances to our superfans and letting them vote all across America. I watch them when they actually do the voting, and they get to actually communicate with one another like a little private chat room. We’ve been really lucky that the fans are really loyal and showing up and they don’t want to spoil it for anyone.”
This approach has been done successfully by competition series in the past, even before COVID-19. For NBC’s America’s Got Talent: The Champions, voting is determined by a select panel of “AGT Super Fans” located across the country, in place of open voting (which they implement during their regular AGT seasons).
The Season Was Pre-Taped, So There Will Once Again Be No Live Voting
If this is your first time tuning in to The Masked Singer, it’s important to note that it is NOT a live show. Since what you’re watching each week was pre-taped in advance, that means that live voting is not a feature of The Masked Singer. As an at-home audience member tuning in each Wednesday, you will not have the opportunity to vote. The home voting panel that you’re watching on your television was chosen well in advance, and incorporated into the filming schedule to determine the results each week.
With new COVID-19 safety measures in place to enforce social distancing and prevent the spread of coronavirus on set, The Masked Singer production had to make some changes so that they could film this season in the midst of the pandemic, including a super-sized desk for the panelists to ensure that they stay 6 feet apart. Plestis explained to Variety that, in spite of the pandemic, they wanted to produce a show that felt as close to “normal” as possible. He said, “The last thing they want to have is watch a TV show that looks like work. Our mission was to try to make it as familiar as possible and to go back to old school. How do we do that? Through a lot of innovation, through some virtual reality stuff that we’ve been playing with, to make the sets even bigger.” Continuing, he added, “It’s not going to feel like a COVID show. And I think we really achieved that. It feels like a broadcast network TV show, and not a Zoom call.”
Since they cannot have back-up dancers during the performances or actors in the video clue packages this season, The Masked Singer is implementing CGI and animated elements to keep the show dynamic. Host Nick Cannon told FOX, “It’s almost like we turned it into a positive, because if you look we have cool new animation. The set looks amazing. There are computer-generated images that are a part of the performances.”
New episodes of The Masked Singer season 4 air on Wednesday nights at 8/7c on FOX.