The Masked Singer revealed some of the tricks of the trade with an unprecedented behind-the-scenes sneak peak of security measures, E! News reports. With much of the nation hanging on every hint and bit of speculation, both during broadcasts and in between episodes, it’s not easy to keep the show’s secrets under wraps.
Nick Canon reveals some of how it’s done in a video just released that shares some of the rules and protocols put into place to maintain the suspense throughout a long season where anyone from an audience member to a contestant to an on-set caterer could let the cat out of the bag.
“We take no chances and assume everyone is a spy,” he said of the show’s approach to secrecy and subterfuge. “The celebrities don’t even know their competition.”
Canon reveals that the identities of singers are hidden at all times and from essentially everyone. This includes family, friends, associates, staffers, and publicists. During rehearsals, contestants wear simplified masks to keep their identities a secret even from production staff.
All in all, only about 25 individuals know the real identities of the masked singers throughout the entire process of casting, rehearsal, production, and taping. Most of the show’s staff — from producers to camera people to assistants — won’t find out the identity of each singer until the audience does.
Comic Margaret Cho revealed just how intense the secrecy could be, describing the insane secrecy that surrounded something as otherwise simple as a costume fitting. With would-be sleuths looking for any possible clue to the identity of each singer, even something as tiny as a revealed hand could jeopardize the secret.
“So you went for a number of fittings, and the secrecy around your arrivals everywhere, it was pretty intense,” she revealed. “They didn’t see your hands, or your body, because we had to wear these big hoodies and balaclavas. It was very, very extensive in hiding who you were. You had to go to quite a lot of rehearsals and fittings and blocking rehearsals and choreography, so there was a lot of stuff that you were doing, but really concealing your identity.”
Cho also pointed out that the teams responsible for each contestant were kept entirely separate, including separate dressing rooms with no overlap between singers at all.
The secret-keeping techniques and strategies developed and refined along the way during the first season won’t go to waste. The show was recently picked up for a second season, meaning that the wild secrecy of The Masked Singer will continue for some time to come.