SALT LAKE CITY — The Atlantic writer Megan Garber wrote this week that “The Masked Singer” is a perfect show for 2019 because it “lets you in on the scam.”
“The Masked Singer” is a reality competition TV show from Fox that tasks competitors with singing songs while wearing costumes. The contestants slowly release clues about themselves over the course of the season. In each episode, two singers will face off against each other. Then, the audience and the judges will vote on who the winner of each matchup. The loser then unmasks.
On Wednesday night, “The Masked Singer” held its season finale. Gladys Knight was revealed to be the Bee, while Donny Osmond was revealed as the Peacock. The Monster won the entire show, revealing himself to be T-Pain.
According to Garber, T-Pain’s reveal showed he was more “than many have previously assumed him to be.”
And that is the point of the show, too.
- “Many reality shows, competition-based and otherwise, revolve around a soft-lit version of a noble lie. They ask viewers to suspend disbelief, to think that maybe the romance that blossoms along with the roses on ‘The Bachelor’ really is genuine, or that the rivalries that bring the drama to the ‘Real Housewives’ franchise are more than merely performative. ‘The Masked Singer’ inverts all that, because it treats the lies of reality-as-a-genre not as open secrets, but rather as premises. The artifice, here, is the point.”
She wrote the show doesn’t have any prize money. Exposure is literally the point.Comment on this story
- “There are no prizes on ‘The Masked Singer,’ save for the small trophy awarded to the winner, somewhat anticlimactically, at the season’s end. Exposure, with all its implications, is the currency at play, for the contestants and the judges alike. That’s what gives the show’s platitudes about authenticity their jagged, postmodern edges.” she wrote.
Other perspectives: The New Yorker pointed out that "The Masked Singer" turns the reality TV show on its head. Normally, reality shows help society find new pop culture icons. But "The Masked Singer" reintroduces old celebs.
Correction: This article previously said the show’s performers unmask and reveal their identities after the judges guess their identities correctly.