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Fox’s “The Masked Singer” Delivers Huge Ratings

Fox’s “The Masked Singer” Delivers Huge Ratings

Fox’s new reality TV offering The Masked Singer premiered on Wednesday night, in which masked celebrities (or, “celebrities,” perhaps) perform popular songs while dressed in costume as sexy animals and other assorted creatures. Based on audience vote, the singer with the lowest score are then subsequently “unmasked” by the panel of judges consisting of Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger, and Robin Thicke.

The program — hosted by Nick Cannon, natch — was described by Huffington Post writer Priscilla Frank as a “dystopian circus” and not even something Black Mirror creator Charlie Booker could manufacture. So naturally it was a hit with audiences, pulling in over nine million viewers for the first episode, according to Deadline (although it’s worth pointing out that very little new programming was on TV during the second evening in 2019):

Against mostly repeat competition, the premiere performance of The Masked Singer (3.0 demo rating, 9.212 million viewers), in which the first six costumed celebrity singers — aka Peacock, Hippo, Monster, Unicorn, Deer and Lion — faced off, was the top program of the night both in the 18-49 age bracket and in overall audience.

To put the numbers into context, The Masked Singer was the highest rated reality show premiere all-around since NBC’s Little Big Shots in 2016, and Fox’s biggest since the X-Factor in 2011.

For what it’s worth, the Hippo was the first to be voted off after an apparently underwhelming performance of Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative,” later revealed to be Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.

A total of 12 celebrities will eventually compete on the show over the course of ten episodes, who are said to have a combined 65 Grammy nominations, 16 multi-Platinum albums, 16 Emmy nominations, 9 Broadway shows, 4 Super Bowl titles, and 4 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame between them.