For three seasons, no reality TV show has come close to matching the buzz, excitement and cool factor of Fox’s “The Masked Singer.” And for good reason. Where else on television can you see well-known celebrities dressing up in elaborate food/animal/creature costumes and singing their hearts out for the ultimate prize of the Golden Mask? However, rival shows like “The Voice,” “American Idol” and “America’s Got Talent” still have a one-up on “The Masked Singer” when it comes to the exhilaration of live episodes. That’s when the voting power switches over to the fans and truly anything can happen up on the stage. Gold Derby recently asked “The Masked Singer” director whether they’ve ever considered going live, and his answer has us even more excited for future seasons.
“We’ve definitely talked about it,” confirms Alex Rudzinski in our recent video interview. “I think it’s on the cards. Whether the whole season would be live is a different question. The show has been very successful in certain other territories — I think Germany is one they actually run it live. We’ve been laser focused on seeing how it does in other territories and what we can pinch from each other. Of course you watch your fellow brothers and sisters around the world and see how they produce the show and if there’s anything that we can take from their shows. There’s definitely potential to do an amount of the show live.”
The director has won Emmys for working on live productions of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Grease,” so overseeing live episodes of “The Masked Singer” would be right up his alley. However, that doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be challenges. “The way that we run it is we obviously don’t shoot exactly 43 minutes,” Rudzinski reveals. “We shoot a lot longer than that and then we can edit down the judge comments and the clues and get the best moments of all that, and that creates a certain pace and rhythm.”
Having worked on “Dancing with the Stars,” which does produce live episodes, Rudzinski has come to realize the process is a “two-sided sword.” He notes, “With a live show you get this visceral energy that I don’t think you can get on an un-live show, but sometimes you are also at the whim of the judges a little bit in terms of, if they choose to truly run over a topic of conversation, sometimes it’s hard to reign them in or to get the right nuggets out. For ‘The Masked Singer’ it’s really important because it’s a guessing game really. We’re all playing along as part of a game. Sometimes being able to edit that helps the audience at home a little bit to tell the story.”
In hindsight, it’s a good thing the third season of “The Masked Singer” didn’t air live. The show was able to film the finale, in which Kandi Burruss (the Night Angel) was named the first-ever female winner, before the coronavirus pandemic shut down Hollywood. “In these times it’s great to have an entertainment show such as ‘Masked Singer’ so that everyone can just extricate themselves from the reality and the craziness of the current world and just have great, multi-generational family fun,” Rudzinski proclaims.
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