For reality TV shows, it is often commonplace to bring in controversial figures to pop a rating and get more publicity.
This season, that backfired on The Masked Singer when they invited disgraced former political figure Rudy Giuliani onto the show to perform.
The problem came when his appearance was leaked before the season started and the show took a beating in the media and on social media with fans. Then, when his appearance came, the show had the lowest ratings of the season.
The viewers spoke, but The Masked Singer producers have no regrets.
The Masked Singer producers talk Rudy Giuliani appearance
Rudy Giuliani remains controversial because he tried to help former President Donald Trump overturn the 2020 election results after rumors spread of voter fraud, despite investigations dispelling that as false.
However, the producers saw nothing wrong with bringing a lightning rod of political controversy to the show, despite people watching reality TV to escape the actual reality of the real world. This put all the attention of the viewers back on the real-world problems that have created a divide among Americans.
“The marketing is all about delivering jaw-dropping moments, which is exactly what the casting accomplished,” said Rob Wade, the president of alternative entertainment & specials at Fox Entertainment.
He seemed to have no concern about taking the focus off the fun of The Masked Singer and instead wanted to make it a controversial moment instead.
“Whether it was on set or with the viewers at home I suppose my only regret or surprise was obviously the reveal was spoiled [by the press], but kudos to you guys. Just please don’t do it again. Thanks a lot.”
The last statement might have been a response to the spoilers causing many viewers to not tune in when they realized Giuliani was coming on the show.
The episode brought in 3.6 million viewers. The season averaged 4.1 million viewers an episode, a 13% decline in total viewers.
WonWoo Park, the show’s creator, said that the original show in South Korea would never invite someone that controversial onto the show, saying it is taboo there and they try to keep things more pleasant for the viewers.
The Masked Singer eased Giuliani’s reveal
Rudy Giuliani appeared on The Masked Singer wearing the Jack in the Box costume. He came out and performed Bad to the Bone by George Thorogood.
It was off-tune and easily placed him at the bottom of the votes for the round. When he unmasked, it caused controversy among the panelists.
Ken Jeong walked off stage in disgust, followed by Robin Thicke. It was later revealed to be because of Giuliani’s work to try to stop the New York City COVID-19 protocols. Sources said that Ken, a doctor, knew that would have cost the city thousands of lives.
However, in the episode, they didn’t show Ken walk off until the end when he said “I’m done,” and they never showed Robin walking off at all.
The Masked Singer airs is on hiatus. The show was renewed for an eighth season and should return in late 2022.