As a blow their own horns that is fully known for keeping its contestants masked up from head to toe, Fox’s “The Masked Singer” was once already in the next role, security-wise, than many other unscripted packages returning to production amid the pandemic. But at some stage in its Season 4 shoot — which began Aug. 20 and wrapped Sept. 14 — broadcast TV’s absolute best-rated blow their own horns obviously had to transfer previous taking its customary precautions to hide performers’ identities to following guidelines that would possibly per chance well serve curb the unfold of the coronavirus for cast and crew.
And whereas the wacky Gash Cannon-hosted competitors (which Fox determined would live a Gash Cannon-hosted competitors in July, following his apology for anti-Semitic remarks made on his podcast) was once enforcing serious adjustments, love COVID trying out, staggering name times, cutting out the noteworthy in-studio audience and casting off off-role shooting, “The Masked Singer” executive producer Craig Plestis was once finding ways to create up for what it had misplaced.
“When the pandemic hit, there had been two big aspects, at least for myself and my team: How one would possibly per chance well be inventive on this pandemic — create it stare love a much bigger blow their own horns than we’ve ever executed before, but with the obstacles of shooting in a deadly disease? After which the 2nd allotment is the solution to create a blow their own horns with fewer folk on the stage region, so every person’s stable,” Plestis, who developed the South Korean “Masked Singer” structure into the Fox version that premiered in January 2019, steered TheWrap.
When the fourth season of “The Masked Singer” premieres Wednesday, you’ll get out the solutions to those questions included a “very minute” quantity of in-studio viewers, an at-dwelling audience, fan balloting, animation and virtual reality effects, as effectively because the blow their own horns’s first-ever two-headed costume, the Snow Owls, essentially the most important costume with animatronics, Serpent, and essentially the most important puppet costume, Diminutive one Alien. (That final one is so adorable Plestis “nearly stole him from the costume department and brought him dwelling.”)
“We old pretty a pair of virtual reality in our attach pieces on the stage and around the stage, establishing worldscapes,” Plestis talked about. “And that was once executed essentially so we didn’t want to elevate in further crew and further props and more folk on the stage. You’ll stare pretty a pair of variations this season to with the virtual reality stuff, with the animation, with adding The united states’s votes — since we couldn’t beget a rotund audience of 300 folk, even though we’re the utilization of some audience photos from pasts seasons to glean that audience feel. We’re augmenting a pair of of the clapping and stuff to glean that audience feel, form of affection what sports does. But we are making an strive to make certain that our blow their own horns comes serve and doesn’t feel love a Zoom blow their own horns. And for myself, as a viewer, no longer a producer, after I come dwelling at the pinnacle of the day, I are making an strive to stare TV. I don’t are making an strive to stare one more Zoom. I Zoom nearly 24/7, so that’s the final part I are making an strive to stare is runt containers. I are making an strive to stare my feeble TV blow their own horns.”
“And when The united states is coming serve now in the autumn here, we’re going by such a injurious time and this blow their own horns is such a certain runt island far off from the relaxation. It’s family viewing. And we opt our consolation meals. I produce. I opt my family serve collectively yet again, my panel, my host. I opt it to feel love we went serve in time a runt bit bit with some original innovations — and I feel we truly did that. It’s correct going to place a smile serve on The united states’s face.”
Moreover Be taught: ‘The Masked Singer’ Season 4: That is Every thing We Know – So A long way
“The Masked Singer” was once “fortunate” in plenty of how whereas shooting at some stage in COVID since the blow their own horns has been surroundings apart its groups out of secrecy from Day 1 and, for sure, that total hide part. Plus, Plestis and co. had already realized the fundamentals of mastering far-off post-production when “The Masked Singer’s” third season needed to be completed correct because the coronavirus began to unfold in the spring. So Season 4 was once all about the solution to create every part else work within original guidelines, love adding “a desk the scale of a football enviornment” to soundly space out judges Ken Jeong, Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy and Nicole Scherzinger.
“As a alternative of going out and shooting our ‘clue packages’ love we’ve executed before, with our contestants and costumes and crews of parents, this season we old [Fox-owned animation studio] Bento Box and did them as spirited shorts, essentially because we desired to correct beget much less folk around. But additionally it was once an experiment to strive something numerous,” Plestis talked about. “We had a likelihood this season to push ourselves as producers. We’re form of confined, but what’s going to we produce this season that we wouldn’t in overall beget tried if it wasn’t for this injurious problem that we’re in?”
While Plestis was once figuring out many pandemic-prompted inventive considerations, the network was once going by some good ones.
“The overall keeping folk safe, for me, was once a logistical problem but something that that you would have the ability to alter and arrange and glean to a project by broad discussions with doctors and effectively being authorities and plenty others, the put you feel equivalent to that you would have the ability to protect folk safe. The larger problem is to persuade folk they’re safe,” Fox’s alternative entertainment president Obtain Wade steered TheWrap. “And so that was once maybe the greatest part I was once terrified about, because I didn’t know whether our host and our judges and celebrities would even are making an strive to come serve to attach, because folk and I do know folk, who’re very understandably, love, ‘I don’t if reality be told are making an strive to transfer away the dwelling in the intervening time. And I’ve purchased ample money, so I received’t.’ So as that was once a wide problem for me, and rightly so.”
Though host Cannon and judges Jeong, Thicke, McCarthy and Scherzinger joined in for Season 4, Wade says that wasn’t the case for all of the competitors who had been booked pre-pandemic, with some shedding by the wayside once COVID-19 unfold, suspending their “Masked Singer” participation till they feel more joyful on a attach.
“We had those that had been too terrified to come serve out. And I’m no longer criticizing them, because I tag that, it’s a horrifying part, in particular if you happen to’re an older particular person or beget underlying effectively being prerequisites,” he talked about. “But that was once a big part for me that we had to work if reality be told laborious on. It’s if reality be told about laying out our plans to the talent and to the forged and crew to explain, ‘We feel equivalent to that you would have the ability to be safe on this atmosphere.’”
Fox “overbooked” in the pinnacle, having anticipated more dropouts, ensuing in a final tally of 16 contestants (but 17 celebrities, because of the the two-headed costume): Serpent, Gremlin, Snow Owls, Crocodile, Giraffe, Broccoli, Popcorn, Seahorse, Jellyfish, Mushroom, Whatchamacallit, Squiggly Monster, Dragon, Diminutive one Alien, Solar and Lips.
Portion of the idea to create Season 4 safely for both the contestants and the crew was once shifting “The Masked Singer” from its customary space at CBS Tv Metropolis in Los Angeles over to Purple Studios Hollywood. Plestis says that exchange allowed them to glean “as discontinuance to an NBA bubble as that you would have the ability to glean for a TV blow their own horns,” with a “locked down lot” that was once fully dwelling to “Masked Singer” whereas it was once shooting.
“We went above and former on the side of security, but I feel it paid off. We’re executed shooting and we made a blow their own horns,” Plestis talked about. “We went over our protocols the put every person knew when and the put we had been shooting. And also with the celebrities, they had been frequently self-contained anyways, no one would possibly per chance well ever crawl up to them. Literally, we had been pre-COVID COVID for our celebrities since the secrecy of their identities needed to be stable. So it correct grew to vary into allotment of the protection precautions as effectively.”
Wade says Season 4’s winner conducted five times versus the nine times that Season 3’s winner, Kandi Burruss a.k.a. Evening Angel, conducted, because the focal point this time was once on keeping the amount of celebrities high whereas making the amount of times that they had to express low.
“And the reason we did that was once because we wanted them on-role for as brief a time as seemingly. So in our final season, folk came to attach, they conducted, they left, they came serve a pair of weeks later, they conducted, they came serve a week later, they conducted. So out and in and out and in and in out of the bubble. We desired to repeat folk, you come in, you create, that you would have the ability to additionally beget gotten three days of filming, then you definately discontinue after which if you happen to’re by that stage, you return and produce one more week of filming.”
To create matters even safer for everyone on attach, Fox had a health care provider in the dwelling, Dr. Ken Jeong. Jeong purchased some trip shooting at some stage in COVID whereas knowledge superhighway hosting essentially the most important season of Fox’s original singing competitors “I Can Ogle Your Disclose,” which taped three weeks forward of the fourth season of “The Masked Singer,” and Plestis says Jeong’s “stamp of approval” on Fox’s security procedures intended more to him than “somebody else.”
And contributors guidelines utilized to protect “The Masked Singer” cast and crew safe saved the blow their own horns’s crowd even safer.
“The closing big hurdle was once audience. That was once a wide issue for me. From the very initiating, from March, it was once referring to to me,” Wade talked about. “And we came in some unspecified time in the future of numerous ways in which to produce an audience or create the appears to be like of an audience and likewise to produce an atmosphere at some stage in the studio that lent itself to permitting the judges, hosts and celebrities below the duvet to if reality be told create.”
That peril was once solved by having a “very minute” quantity of in-studio audience people, blended with “handsome fans” who joined the blow their own horns’s at-dwelling audience by process of Zoom for Season 4. That fortunate community also purchased to vote on performances, something “Masked Singer” viewers at dwelling beget undoubtedly no longer been ready to produce before, because a formulation to drag off fan-balloting on a pre-taped blow their own horns had undoubtedly no longer came about to the producers before.
“That appears to be like love such an glaring part to produce, but it completely wasn’t glaring. And we did it, and it was once truly very, very easy to enact because of the, if reality be told, the adeptness,” Wade talked about. “You return six or seven months previously and hiss, we are making an strive to transfer on Zoom — and the observe Zoom’ that you would have the ability to had been love, what? — so we are making an strive to transfer on Zoom and glean love 300-400 folk and they also’re all going to telephone in from their laptops. You’d beget talked about, you’re going to correct play them something from their computer systems? We’d beget all been love, yeah, technically we would possibly per chance well produce that. Nonetheless it would possibly per chance well beget correct felt love pretty a pair of laborious work and likely ineffective. Whereas now we’re love, yeah for sure. Pointless to explain that will work. Pointless to explain every person knows the solution to glean on to the factual interface and still their calls. And that was once a silver-lining from the production.”
A silver-lining Plestis “undoubtedly no longer” needs to present up, even once he can glean his noteworthy in-studio audience serve.
“I smooth are making an strive to protect that direct in self belief all of The united states to vote. I feel that’s if reality be told instrumental,” he talked about. “It was once spirited to stare that folks from all 50 states signed up to participate and so that you would possibly per chance well vote. And it was once so great relaxing looking at it, because I will also stare all of The united states, because we beget a feed of all of their Zooms whereas they’re balloting. And we start up a runt bit chat room so they would possibly per chance well all take a look at with one one more too.”
“And when we put the approach to movement available, we did a runt bit vide beforehand speaking about how they’re in the brotherhood/sisterhood of ‘The Masked Singer,’ would possibly per chance well you please protect what you stare secret,” he added. “Text and post your heart out on the day of our blow their own horns when it airs, but please protect it quiet till then. And so they all did! They had been if reality be told noteworthy and so overjoyed to be invited into the arena of ‘Masked Singer.’ I undoubtedly no longer are making an strive to present that up.”
“The Masked Singer” has also been gathering questions from fans over social media for the panel to quiz contestants to serve create the blow their own horns “train in now for everyone to allow them to feel love they participated.”
“But additionally, I correct love hearing the fans direct. Sure, I truly love my panel and every person else. But we truly are making an strive to make certain that that The united states’s heard at some stage in your total blow their own horns,” Plestis talked about. “They’re very vocal. There is a reason why we trend every evening when we’re on. Our fan miserable is terribly passionate and they also’ll love certain characters, they’ll despise others, they’ll create relaxing of Ken’s defective guesses. So we are making an strive to make certain that they’ve a allege at some stage in the blow their own horns. It is far amazingly vital for us.”
“And we hear, myself, my team, when the blow their own horns airs, we stare at the feedback. We stare what they cherished, what they didn’t love. We strive and create the next blow their own horns every time. We truly strive and hear to The united states, we don’t express we know greater. And if there is a formulation to present a receive to issues we produce it.”
That’s what Plestis is hoping he was once ready to alter with a season that had to adapt dramatically because of the the pandemic.
“We did push issues even further,” he talked about. “That puppet, it’s not seemingly that we had been ready to place that off. A two-headed costume in COVID times, how did we produce it? Big casting, which you’ll get out, I will’t repeat you that factual now. But as complicated because it’s to cast in COVID times, we had been very fortunate to glean some those that we normally attach no longer want gotten, if it weren’t for this time… And there’s pretty a pair of noteworthy innovation and quality didn’t crawl down, I feel quality truly went up and maybe because we didn’t produce other distractions. We had been all in our properties so all we did was once are living and breathe ‘The Masked Singer’ lingo at some stage in your total time. We had been fortunate in the sense that we purchased pushed.”
“The Masked Singer” premieres Wednesday at 8/7c on Fox.
Celebrity Health: ‘Masked Singer’ Season 4 Costumes: That is Your First Search at Squiggly Monster, Jellyfish and Extra (Photos)
Plus: Diminutive one Alien, Serpent and Seahorse
The wait is quite over for “The Masked Singer” fans, because the fourth season of Fox’s wacky singing competitors premieres Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 8/7c. And to glean you even more hyped for the subsequent spherical of the “whosungit?” guessing game, the published network has revealed the costumes for all 16 contestants competing on Season 4. Click on by TheWrap’s gallery to stare every person of them — all created by “Masked Singer” costume clothier Marina Toybina — from Squiggly Monster to Diminutive one Alien.