‘The Masked Singer’ Producer Reveals Fox Required ‘Unbelievable Talent’ and ‘Recognizable Names’ for the Show

The Masked Singer always leaves viewers feeling breathless when the mask comes off and the celebrity’s identity is revealed. Most recently, hip-hop artist, Tyga was uncovered as the artist inside the Dalmatian costume and fans went wild. Viewers and the judges are kept guessing and are shocked and thrilled when the singer is finally unmasked. The Masked Singer executive producer Craig Plestis said that finding top talent is a requirement for the series. But how do they keep the celebrity’s identity secret? Plus, what did one Masked Singer celebrity tell Showbiz Cheat Sheet about his experience on the show?

‘Top talent’ was a requirement for ‘The Masked Singer’ producers

Plestis said the biggest requirement from Fox was that they feature big-name talent. “From the get-go, Fox asked how we were going to cast this,” Plestis told The Hollywood Reporter in 2019.

The Masked Singer producer said the network required top talent like guest host Niecy Nash
The Masked Singer producer said the network required top talent like guest host Niecy Nash | FOX via Getty Images

“They were firm in saying, ‘We’re not going to do the show unless you get unbelievable talent for the show,'” he continued. “It has to be recognizable names. When the masks come off, everyone has to recognize that face — or they have to have some huge credibility, either in sports, in entertainment, TV, film, music.”

Do some celebrities say ‘no’ to going on the show?

Plestis said some celebrities were all in and envisioned the show’s potential. “They loved the idea of being behind a mask and no one knowing who they were, and showing off the talent that no one knew that they even had,” he said. “They got it right away.”

“Some people said no,” he admitted. “In the end, we got great names, and all of them are big in their field in one way or another. The stats that we have, between the Grammy winners [and other achievements], is really phenomenal. When we started putting together and looked at all the awards all these people have won, we realized we just don’t have one or two great people; we have 12 great people.”

How do producers keep ‘The Masked Singer’s’ identity secret?

The Masked Singer‘s identity is kept under wraps, which is a pretty tough feat for Hollywood.  Plestis described the lengths producers go to in order to retain secrecy. “All the stars, before they even left their house, they had to meet at another location,” he explained. “They dressed in cloaks and masks. We had drivers who had no idea who they were. Everyone was under a different alias, and when they pulled up on the lots, everyone had to wear these cloaks and wear these masks. They were sequestered into a private area that was guarded by security guards.”

Then even on set, the celebrity had to remain completely covered, even skin can’t be showing. If the celebrity’s manager accompanied the singer, the manager even had to mask and cloak up.

What was ‘The Singing Surgeon’s’ experience like on the show?

Dr. Elvis Francois, known as “The Singing Surgeon,” told Showbiz Cheat Sheet that appearing on the show was more nerve-racking than going into surgery. “I have spent the last 15 years or so training to be a surgeon, inside of the hospital, so that’s kind of my speed,” he told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “But to find myself on stage in front of Nicole Scherzinger, Ken Jeong, and Robin Thicke and actually starting to sing … it was the most nerve-racking thing ever!”

Unlike some of the other celebrities, Francois hadn’t performed in front of a large audience. “On top of the fact that I was in a giant 45-pound suit where it was 120 degrees inside. And I’ve never danced or choreographed before. So it’s certainly nerve-wracking and very different from my day job.”

“If you told me two years ago that I’d be performing on a set in a giant serpent costume and singing for America, I would have called you a crazy person,” he added. “Because number one I’ve never performed on stage before. I’ve never performed for people like that before. So that was definitely a pretty exciting opportunity sometime in the middle of 2020, with all the craziness that was going on in the world.”

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