It’s the musical guessing game that is driving Britain crazy – and The Masked Singer’s new series should be the trickiest yet.
With 12 mysterious celebrities ready to sing their hearts out while hidden away in a crazy new costume set, panelist Rita Ora is already bewildered.
Davina McCall said, “The difficulty level is off the charts. It’s so much harder this year than it has ever been ‘[/caption]
The 31-year-old singer said: “This series is the most difficult because the contestants understand what our strengths are. “
Rita and her fellow guessers – Davina McCall, Jonathan Ross, and comedian Mo Gilligan – are tasked with trying to find out who’s inside each wacky costume when the show returns on New Years Day.
Still, while she correctly guessed the most celebrity count in series one and two of the hit ITV show, Rita isn’t sure she’ll get such a high score this time around.
She continued, “I always listen to the vocals, when Jonathan and Mo are so strong on the comedy side, and Davina knows everyone.
“It’s difficult for me now because the mystery singers are adjusting their accents and their voices, which I always rely on. “
Mo, 33, who replaced American comedian Ken Jeong on the Round 2 panel last year, agreed, saying: “Contestants have seen the show so they’re trying to change the way they talk. They might put an accent to discourage us. They’re even changing the way they sing now.
“People are really improving their game so that they don’t get disturbed so early on. “
And Jonathan, 61, added: “I think it’s probably harder than ever. “
This year’s costumes are on another level, from a traffic cone to bagpipes.
But for Davina, 54, the real pleasure is finding out what a big name is hidden inside.
She said: “The level of difficulty is out of the ordinary. It’s so much harder this year than ever.
“The clues are a lot harder, but I think the production team wants to make it harder because it’s entertaining.
“I found that it’s more fun watching someone get exposed when you don’t know it, because you’re so excited to find out who it is.
“So it’s a win / win for me. It’s a victory if you do it right, but it’s also a huge victory if you don’t, because you think, ‘Who is this? I have no idea’.
“There’s a lot in this show that I don’t know who they are. I felt a bit of pressure to get it right in the first two sets, but now I’ve realized that part of the fun is not knowing.
The dynamic between the panelists is electric as their competitive streaks sparkle – and their jokes are now part of the show.
The king of talk shows Jonathan was so eager to excel that before filming began he prepared at home listening to a range of young pop performers.
And it has paid off, as his fellow panelists say he led the field from the start.
Jonathan said: “We all pretend it doesn’t matter. It’s Rita who really wants to win this series.
ROCKHOPPER IS A STAR
“She’s won the last two, and I think she thinks a hat trick is a prize worth winning.
“I’m doing my best right now, against all odds, but it won’t last.
“I check who the young stars are and try to listen to their voices. I wouldn’t necessarily know a lot of young stars as well as older stars because I have listened to them all my life.
“I’m going to listen to groups and try to hear the distinct voices, like Little Mix, Girls Aloud, One Direction, and see if I can pick out the individual voices. So I’m warming up a bit for that.
Rita added: “Jonathan is really trying to win this year and he’s doing a great job. It’s so hard for me to say that, but it is.
The panel shared a number of quirky behind-the-scenes facts. Mo revealed that three people are to help the celebrity don the Robobunny costume.
Host Joel Dommett said the star inside the Traffic Cone costume was able to sit in it – while Rita exposed the Donuts fame to be a “crowd pleaser.”
Joel, 36, faces a different challenge than the star panel – and it’s one that he says gets harder and harder with each passing year.
He said: “When I started doing this show, the costumes I wore were daring, whereas today they are not as daring as they used to be. Now that Daniel Craig is wearing a pink velvet tuxedo jacket, that has changed.
“We try to improve our game with each set. I don’t know where this will take us, but we’ll see.
For Davina, Rockhopper the penguin is the star.
She said: “Rockhopper put on a performance that was so beautiful and afterwards we could see that they were actually crying. It was incredibly moving.
“It was really lovely to be able to be so moved by a performance with a mask that moved you to tears when you couldn’t connect with someone with your face. “
- The masked singer returns on New Years Day at 7 p.m. on ITV.
Davina says: “The clues are a lot harder, but I think the production team wants to make it harder because it’s entertaining”[/caption]
Joel says, “We try to improve our game with each set. I don’t know where this will take us, but we’ll see ‘[/caption]
Mo says: “The contestants have seen the show so they are trying to change the way they talk”[/caption]
Rita says: “This series is the most difficult because the competitors understand what our strengths are”[/caption]
Jonathan said: “We all pretend it doesn’t matter. It’s Rita who really wants to win this series’[/caption]
The crazy costumes led by Panda[/caption]
The Masked Singer returns on New Years Day at 7 p.m. on ITV[/caption]
We pay for your stories!
Do you have a story for the Sun News Bureau?
Email us at [email protected] or call 0207 782 4104. You can send us a WhatsApp on 07423 720 250. We also pay for videos.
Click here to upload yours.
Click here to receive The Sun newspaper FREE for the next six weeks.