‘The Masked Singer’: Season 6 Confirmed to Have a Live Audience for the First Time Since COVID-19

Get ready Masked Singer fans. The unique singing competition is returning to Fox on September 22, 2021, for its season 6 two-night premiere. There will be all-new characters, celebrity judges, an enhanced set, and coronavirus (COVID-19) protocol to follow.

During seasons 4 and 5, the show was filmed using a virtual audience to adhere to social distancing guidelines. For the first time since the pandemic began, a live studio audience will be on hand for the return of season 6.

Nick Cannon tested positive for coronavirus

The host and judges panel of 'The Masked Singer' dressed professionally in front of a purple background with the logo
‘The Masked Singer’ host and judges panel | Getty Images

During the filming of season 4, coronavirus took a fierce grip on the nation, causing many shows to shut down. According to Pop CultureThe Masked Singer staff instituted “multiple safety measures to protect the panelists and contestants.”

Audience members were not allowed in the studio during filming, challenging editors to create a virtual audience. By taking live audience footage from previous seasons, they could replicate the feeling of a participating crowd, even though no one was in the building. The method was effective and continued for season 5 as the virus raged on throughout the country.

Despite strict coronavirus regulations, host Nick Cannon tested positive for the coronavirus at the beginning of season 5. Comedian Niecy Nash temporarily replaced the vibrant host for the first few episodes. The former Nickelodeon star spent several weeks in quarantine recovering from his illness. The father of seven feels better than ever and is ready to return to his hosting duties for the upcoming season.

Precautions made for filming in front of a live audience

A whole new cast of characters is gearing up for season 6 of The Masked Singer. Insider reported the contestants to include Dalmatian, Queen of Hearts, Cupcake, Mallard, Hamster, and the two-person Banana Split. Veteran panelists Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg, Ken Jeong, and Nicole Scherzinger will return for another round of wacky performances.

Filming for season 6 began at the end of June and ran through August 11, 2021. It was the first time in over a year that audience members were allowed in the studio.

According to MJS Big Blog, strict coronavirus protocols were in place to ensure a safe environment. All audience members were required to show proof of vaccination and a negative coronavirus test before entering the building.  Interaction with panelists was non-existent, and the presence of crew members on stage was limited.

The audience size was considerably smaller than previous years, and no one under 12 was permitted to attend. Also, the contestants weren’t the only ones wearing masks this time around. Audience members needed to wear a mask while in the studio throughout the taping of The Masked Singer.

Showrunner James Breen told Entertainment Weekly, “I think one of the most exciting things for us has been working with a full audience again.” He explained that it changes the dynamics of the show, saying, “I think it’s just been really fun to get fans back into the room and have them experience it with us.”

The return of season 6 of ‘The Masked Singer’


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As the delta variant of coronavirus spikes in LA County, several television programs are making the difficult decision to shut down production once again.

Variety reported that despite following strict coronavirus guidelines during the taping of the sixth season, there was a coronavirus outbreak on the set of The Masked Singer. The LA County Public Health Department confirmed 12 positive coronavirus community and workplace exposure cases at Red Studios Hollywood. However, the zany show was able to complete filming of the entire season without disruption to production.

Fox Entertainment issued a statement that read, “The safety of the entire cast and crew has been and will continue to be our number one priority.” They noted they have been working with the unions and local and state officials to ensure “the safest environment possible.”