The Masked Singer probably looked odd to the first-time viewer who wasn’t aware it came from a South Korean singing show called King of Masked Singer.
Yes, we think that latter name is just as cool, though would have initially baffled American audiences even more. Yet, thanks to YouTube, a lot of Americans were already familiar with the South Korean counterpart. For the Fox Network edition, nothing would change: newer and legendary singers put on masks to try and fool the audience, plus a panel of judges.
Since its American debut on January 2, it’s a big ratings hit. What are some obvious and even psychological reasons why all demographics love it so much?
‘The Masked Singer’ creates social media conversation
You can see why the pitch to bring The Masked Singer to America probably took only seconds for Fox executives to approve. Hearing the words “social media interaction” usually brings dollar signs to the eyes of today’s TV executives. Creating conversation on places like Twitter ensures a lot more engagement with a show, including higher ratings.
This also creates more buzz in the process. If you go on Twitter during the night of the broadcast, you’ll see thousands of people attempting to guess who a particular singer is. A lot of people create social checklists to keep tabs on whether their guesses are right.
Most people have achieved correct guesses, which might reveal the one true flaw with the show in making it too easy.
It brings a sense of nostalgia for pop culture icons
Some of the masked singers (so far) are ones who’ve been a bit forgotten by pop culture, but always possessing singing talent. People like LaToya Jackson (the alien mask) clearly showed an affinity for being a great singer, despite always being overshadowed by her older brothers and sister.
The same goes with former talk show host Ricki Lake and Tori Spelling as the raven and unicorn, respectively. These are all people familiar in our culture over the last 30 years who never let it on they could sing.
Then you have the rumors a real singing legend is in the show’s midst. If it’s Gladys Knight as the bee (and we’re almost 100% sure), it means the show isn’t afraid to land some true legends who deserve a new renaissance in their careers.
The audience feels smarter than the judges
Any reality show making the audience feel like they’re smarter or can outwit a judging panel is going to bring a more positive response.
In the realm of how shows affect people psychologically, the sense of mystery on TMS is the true definition of its success. Being able to solve something unknown is a trigger into feeling like you accomplished something worthwhile.
You could say this show brings out everyone’s inner Sherlock Holmes they normally don’t utilize. At the same time, it helps when the celebrity judges play dumb and act like they have no idea who the masked singers are when they maybe do. No word if judges like Ken Jeong have to sign an NDA to pretend they don’t know.
Then again, judge Robin Thicke has a good track record recently of guessing some of the singers.
All demographics are likely watching
Not many reality shows nowadays attract all demographics across the board, including every family member watching something on TV together.
It’s a little bit refreshing to see a show that can attract so many age groups. Other singing contest shows like American Idol usually only attract Millennial (or younger) audiences.
With older singers being included in the mix, it’s going to attract the over 55’s as well. Of course, this works as double duty in reviving the careers of these older entertainers.
We find it a great feeling to know someone legendary like Gladys Knight could end up selling millions of albums again with a younger fan base thanks to The Masked Singer.