|The Masked Dancer|
|Based on||Masked Singer|
by Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation
|Directed by||Alex Rudzinski|
|Presented by||Craig Robinson|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||9|
|Original release||December 27, 2020 –|
The Masked Dancer is an American reality competition television series that premiered on Fox on December 27, 2020. Craig Robinson hosts the show, with Ken Jeong, Paula Abdul, Brian Austin Green, and Ashley Tisdale serving as panelists. Like The Masked Singer's format, celebrity contestants wear head-to-toe costumes and face masks that conceal their identities, but perform alongside a "masked partner" in different dance styles. The show began as a recurring segment on Ellen DeGeneres' daytime talk show which spoofed The Masked Singer. In pre-production since January 2020, filming was delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
Panelists and host
Actor and comedian Craig Robinson hosts the show. The Masked Singer panelist and comedian Ken Jeong, entertainer Paula Abdul, actor Brian Austin Green (who performed as "Giraffe" on The Masked Singer's fourth season), and actress and singer Ashley Tisdale serve as panelists. Guest panelists included Cheryl Hines in the third episode, Rob Lowe in the fourth episode, Whitney Cummings in the fifth episode, Mayim Bialik in the sixth episode, and Will Arnett in the seventh episode.
Background and development
The Masked Dancer is a spin-off of The Masked Singer which debuted in January 2019 and became a surprise hit for Fox, averaging about 11.5 million viewers per episode in its first season. The show continued as the highest-rated non-sports program in the United States during its next two seasons. The series involves celebrities who are disguised in full costumes and face masks which conceal their identities. After performing a song, a panel attempts to guess their identities using clues given. After all have performed in an episode, the panelists and the audience vote for the favorite, and the least popular must take off their mask to reveal their identity. It is a derivative of the Masked Singer format which originated in South Korea.
Within a week of The Masked Singer's premiere, Ellen DeGeneres introduced a spoof segment, "The Masked Dancer", on her eponymous talk show. Segments featured disguised celebrities Sean Hayes, Howie Mandel, Colton Underwood, and Derek Hough. Masked Singer panelists Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger participated in later segments, as did the show's host, Nick Cannon. The day after the first segment aired, Rob Wade, head of alternative entertainment and specials at Fox, contacted The Ellen DeGeneres Show producers about a possible television series. Wade said the network could have proceeded without DeGeneres’ involvement, but felt she was "passionate about it ... [and] has great access to celebrities". The Masked Dancer was announced in January 2020 as a "straight-to-series" addition at Fox's winter Television Critics Association press tour. It is a co-production of Fox Alternative Entertainment and Warner Brothers Unscripted & Alternative Television.
Production films in Los Angeles at Red Studios where The Masked Singer has also filmed. As of January 2020, they had started casting the show. Some of the show challenges for the production is how the dancing is to be presented, as a solo, like The Masked Singer, in duets, which is more traditional for dancing competitions, and in group numbers, or a combination. Additionally, they accepted that the contestants need to speak, but like The Masked Singer, they would need to, in some way, disguise the voice. Like The Masked Singer, the contestants utilize elaborate costumes, made easier to dance in, but with a "similar eccentricity" including headpieces and they compete by performing dances that "could be a group dance or dances with another person". Unlike that show, The Masked Dancer requires more rehearsals as the celebrity contestants have to learn the choreography.
Fox airs the series in the United States. Though it is scheduled between two seasons of The Masked Singer, the network is unconcerned about audience burnout as episodes are shorter and less frequent than other reality competition series. CTV, which broadcasts The Masked Singer in Canada, simulcasts the show in that country.
The series features 10 contestants, who were announced on November 4, 12, and 25, 2020. The contestants in this series have sold more than 38 million albums worldwide, 20 Emmy Awards wins, 20 Grammy nominations, 10 World Dancing titles, five New York Times Best-Selling Author titles, four Olympic gold medals, and three appearances in Broadway shows.
|Cotton Candy||Gabby Douglas||Gymnast||SAFE||SAFE||SAFE||SAFE||SAFE||WINNER|
|Sloth||Maksim Chmerkovskiy||Ballroom dancer||SAFE||SAFE||SAFE||SAFE||SAFE||RUNNER-UP|
|Zebra||Oscar De La Hoya||Boxer||SAFE||SAFE||SAFE||SAFE||OUT|
|Exotic Bird||Jordin Sparks||Actress/singer||SAFE||SAFE||SAFE||OUT|
|Hammerhead||Vinny Guadagnino||Reality TV personality||SAFE||SAFE||OUT|
|Moth||Elizabeth Smart||Child safety activist||SAFE||OUT|
|Ice Cube||Bill Nye||Science communicator||OUT|
Week 1 (December 27)
|1||Hammerhead||"Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" by Backstreet Boys||undisclosed||SAFE|
|2||Tulip||"Fergalicious" by Fergie||undisclosed||SAFE|
|3||Cricket||"Jump (For My Love)" by The Pointer Sisters||undisclosed||SAFE|
|4||Disco Ball||"Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars||Ice-T||OUT|
|5||Exotic Bird||"Con Calma" by Daddy Yankee and Katy Perry ft. Snow||undisclosed||SAFE|
Week 2 (January 6)
|1||Sloth||"What I Like About You" by The Romantics||undisclosed||SAFE|
|2||Ice Cube||"Bad Romance" by Postmodern Jukebox||Bill Nye||OUT|
|3||Zebra||"Magalenha" by Sérgio Mendes||undisclosed||SAFE|
|4||Cotton Candy||"Glitter in the Air" by Pink||undisclosed||SAFE|
|5||Moth||"Boot Scootin' Boogie" by Brooks & Dunn||undisclosed||SAFE|
Week 3 (January 13)
|1||Zebra||"All My Life" by K-Ci & JoJo||undisclosed||SAFE|
|2||Cotton Candy||"Sour Candy" by Lady Gaga ft. Blackpink||undisclosed||SAFE|
|3||Moth||"Sway" by Michael Bublé||Elizabeth Smart||OUT|
|4||Sloth||"Up Where We Belong" by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes||undisclosed||SAFE|
Week 4 (January 20)
|1||Exotic Bird||"Latch" by Disclosure ft. Sam Smith||undisclosed||SAFE|
|2||Cricket||"This Is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan||Brian McKnight||OUT|
|3||Hammerhead||"Blinding Lights" by The Weeknd||undisclosed||SAFE|
|4||Tulip||"Fields of Gold" by Eva Cassidy||undisclosed||SAFE|
Week 5 (January 27)
|1||Cotton Candy||"Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis||undisclosed||SAFE|
|2||Exotic Bird||"Rush" by Lewis Capaldi ft. Jessie Reyez||undisclosed||SAFE|
|3||Sloth||"Ain't That a Kick in the Head" by Dean Martin||undisclosed||SAFE|
|4||Hammerhead||"Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" by Santa Esmeralda||Vinny Guadagnino||OUT|
|5||Tulip||"Thank U, Next" by Ariana Grande||undisclosed||SAFE|
|6||Zebra||"Mi Gente" by J Balvin||undisclosed||SAFE|
Week 6 (February 3)
|1||Tulip||"My Boyfriend's Back" by The Chiffons||undisclosed||SAFE|
|2||Zebra||"Take You Dancing" by Jason Derulo||undisclosed||SAFE|
|3||Sloth||"Twist Remix" by Neeraj Shridhar||undisclosed||SAFE|
|4||Exotic Bird||"Opposites Attract" by Paula Abdul||Jordin Sparks||OUT|
|5||Cotton Candy||"Swan Lake" by Tchaikovsky||undisclosed||SAFE|
Week 7 (February 10)
|1||Cotton Candy||"Get Ready for This" by 2 Unlimited/"Mickey" by Toni Basil||undisclosed||SAFE|
|2||Sloth||"Dancing With a Stranger" by Sam Smith ft. Normani||undisclosed||SAFE|
|3||Zebra||"Mack the Knife" by Bobby Darin||Oscar De La Hoya||OUT|
Week 8 (February 17)
|1||Tulip||"Kings & Queens" by Ava Max||Mackenzie Ziegler||THIRD|
|2||Sloth||"Ballroom Blitz" by The Sweet||Maksim Chmerkovskiy||RUNNER-UP|
|3||Cotton Candy||"This Is Me" by Kesha||Gabby Douglas||WINNER|
|No.||Title||Air date||Timeslot (ET)||Rating
|1||"Premiere - Everybody Mask Now!"||December 27, 2020||Sunday 8:00 p.m.||1.4||5.12||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|||
|2||"Group B Premiere - New Year, New Mask! (Who Dis?)"||January 6, 2021||Wednesday 8:00 p.m.||0.8||2.94||0.2||0.84||1.0||3.78|||
|3||"Group B Playoffs - These Masks Don't Lie!"||January 13, 2021||0.7||3.04||0.2||0.75||0.9||3.79|||
|4||"Group A Playoffs - So You Think You Can Mask?"||January 20, 2021||0.7||2.88||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|||
|5||"Super Six"||January 27, 2021||0.6||2.74||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|||
|6||"Top Five - Mask the Night Away!"||February 3, 2021||0.6||2.75||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|||
|7||"Semifinals - It's All About the Dance!"||February 10, 2021||0.6||2.79||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|||
|8||"Road to the Finals - Final Clues to the Mask!"||February 17, 2021||0.5||2.74||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|||
|9||"The Finale - One Last Mask!"||February 17, 2021||Wednesday 9:00 p.m.||0.7||3.23||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|||
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