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The Masked Singer is shaking things up big-time. Ahead of the reality TV singing competition’s eighth season, FOX announced a slew of changes that will be present in the new episodes. The Masked Singer Season 8 has a brand new format when it comes to eliminations, as well as some other exciting twists. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect.

Popcorn in The Masked Singer Season 5 to represent format changes in season 8
Popcorn in ‘The Masked Singer’ Season 5 | FOX/Getty Images

How does ‘The Masked Singer’ typically work?

For those new to The Masked Singer, here’s how the competition works. Each season, celebrities hide their identities behind elaborate costumes and perform songs in front of a panel of judges and an audience. Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg, Nicole Scherzinger, and Robin Thicke have always been the panelists, with guest judges like Joel McHale also appearing in some episodes.

Before and after the masked singers perform their song covers, they share “clue packages” to help the judges guess their identities. Then, the audience and the judges vote for their favorite singers. The least popular person is eliminated and they must unmask themselves. The Masked Singer continues until three contestants remain in the finale. Whoever wins out of those three gets a Golden Mask trophy.

The Masked Singer has often switched up its formatting between seasons, keeping viewers on their toes. In the past, the show has added wildcard votes, smackdown rounds, subgroups, and more. Now, The Masked Singer Season 8 is changing the format even more.

‘The Masked Singer’ Season 8 new format introduces ‘King and Queen’-style eliminations

There’s a new method for eliminations this season. Known as “King and Queen” eliminations, there will be twice as many unmaskings in each episode. One contestant will be eliminated in the middle of the episode, followed by another after a “Battle Royale” competition.

“It’ll be roughly between four to three singers in each episode. It varies a little bit, but you will see new masks every week,” The Masked Singer executive producer Craig Plestis told Entertainment Weekly.

The Masked Singer Season 8 will have a king or queen every three episodes so that the semifinals have only three finalists.

“It’s so exciting because you’ll see, will someone go and sweep all three episodes to go into the semifinals, or will each episode get a brand new king or queen? Because they’re tough,” Plestis continued. “But it’s the thrill of seeing them [unmasked] right away, to see if their guesses are right. It brings a whole new life and a whole new aspect to our show.”

Don’t worry, though, other aspects like clue packages will still remain the same.

‘The Masked Singer’ Season 8 includes theme nights

Another fun twist this season is the introduction of themed episodes. These themes will affect costume choices, set designs, songs, and some clues. The Masked Singer has already confirmed “Fright Night,” “Vegas Night,” “’90s Night,” “Thanksgiving,” “Comedy Roasts,” “TV Themes,” “Muppet Night,” “Hall of Fame,” and even “Andrew Lloyd Webber Night.”

“We’ve upped the ante a little bit with these themes to make it easier for the home audience to play along. If it is a Vegas night or if it is a, whatever theme it might be, it helps you with the clue and the guessing games as well,” Plestis shared.

The Golden Ear trophy and first impressions are gone this season


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Unfortunately, some beloved aspects of The Masked Singer will not return in season 8. In past seasons, the judges have shared first impression guesses of the masked singers. At the end of the season, the judge with the most correct first impressions won the “Golden Ear” trophy. Those will not come back this season in order to focus more on giving clues to the audience.

“We loved those elements in the past, but I think we have new elements that are going to engage the viewers and also just help them play the game,” Plestis said.

All in all, it sounds like The Masked Singer Season 8 will focus on having more fast-paced fun for audience members and viewers at home. That’s something we can all be grateful for.

The Masked Singer Season 8 premieres on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.