The Masked Singer has reportedly started production for its fourth season.
After an extended hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the hit celebrity singing competition went back into production at Red Studios in Hollywood this week with strict health and safety protocols in place as producers worked closely with local officials, the Health Department, and industry unions, according to Deadline.
Employees and contestants are reportedly getting temperature checks, practicing social distancing, and using PPE equipment as they film for the fourth season, which is slated to debut in September on Fox.
In an exciting new twist for the new season, home viewers will be able to vote for their favorite masked singers as part of a virtual audience. The votes will help determine which costumed celebrity goes through to the next round.
For the past three seasons, an in-studio audience did all of the voting from their chairs in pre-filmed segments. It is unclear how this “live” aspect will work for Season 4, but in an Instagram post on the official Masked Singer page, seen here, a call went out to all superfans of the show.
“Want to be part of the at-home audience for Season 4 of #TheMaskedSinger?” the post read, before instructing fans to register for a chance to witness all-new performances and vote for their favorite singers.
While fans seemed excited about the voting news, other used space in the comments section to denounce Masked Singer host Nick Cannon, who was recently fired by ViacomCBS for his past racist and anti-Semitic comments. The TV personality has profusely apologized for his inappropriate talk, which was unearthed from an old podcast, but several commenters urged Fox to “get rid” of the longtime host.
In a statement posted by Entertainment Weekly, a network rep said Cannon is extremely “remorseful” for his past actions and that the network planned to move forward with him as host of The Masked Singer.
In addition to Cannon, The Masked Singer includes judges Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong, and Nicole Scherzinger. All four are expected to return for Season 4.
As for what fans can expect for the upcoming installment, executive producer Craig Plestis said things could get even wackier on the already-crazy competition that features celebs in bizarre costumes.
“I want to increase the bonkers level and keep the production values up,” he said. “There are things that you’re going to see in [Season 4] that you haven’t seen anywhere else, not only here but anywhere in the globe.”
The first three seasons of The Masked Singer featured celebrities such as Bret Michaels performing as a banana, Tom Bergeron as a taco, and Donny Osmond as a peacock.