Move over The Masked Singer, there is competition in town when FOX introduces the nine-episode The Masked Dancer special event beginning Sunday, Dec. 27.
Like it’s sister show, the new series will feature celebrities in elaborate costumes, except in this format, they will be performing dance moves ranging from breakdancing to ballet, as the panel and the audience tries to figure out who the famous faces are behind the masks and the moves.
The series, inspired by a segment featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, will be hosted by Craig Robinson, with panelists Brian Austin Green, who performed as the Giraffe on The Masked Singer, Ken Jeong, Paula Abdul, and Ashley Tisdale.
Knowing it is more difficult to figure out the celeb identities with only dance moves, the producers of The Masked Dancer have provided panelists with more clues than they do for The Masked Singer panelists, and the clues will be sprinkled throughout packages, costumes and routines.
“This show is harder than The Masked Singer,” Green admits. “The clue packages have a lot more information in them. There’s a different way of viewing this show than The Masked Singer and a different focus for people to put on what it is they are watching.”
Even though it is more difficult to guess a dancer than a singer, at the end of the day, the panel feels it did a pretty good of figuring out who was behind the masks.
“We surprised ourselves,” Green says. “We were expecting it to be a lot tougher than it was. But once we got into the rhythm and the understanding of what we were looking for and what made sense, then the show was really fun. It was really fun for us and, hopefully, really fun for people watching.”
Green also chatted about his time on The Masked Singer, the changes in the costume to accommodate dancing, how hard it is to keep the secret, and more.
Monsters & Critics: What thought went into the costumes to make them easier to dance in than the ones for The Masked Singer? They still look like a lot to move in.
Brian Austin Green: On The Masked Singer, it was hard because there was such a limited range of motion that you could do within those costumes. They’ve solved a lot of that on this show. The costumes seem a lot more streamlined and a lot slimmer and easier to move in.
But the field of vision, the view from the little window that you have to look through definitely makes it difficult. Even though that’s difficult, it’s fun because it’s such a different experience for people to be in something that seems like it would be as tough as it is. And then you do it, and you finish the process, and you really feel like you’ve accomplished something, like you made it through something. What these people do in costumes is amazing when they are competing the way they are.
M&C: Brian, would you have been more comfortable doing The Masked Dancer rather than The Masked Singer?
Brian Austin Green: I was saying to somebody, because I’m not super confident in myself as a singer that way, and so if I could have done a show like Dancer, where I could have been much more anonymous and been in a costume and doing that, I would have.
I think that’s a really cool thing that we offer to people that are in the costumes is this complete anonymity. It’s something that they haven’t gotten in quite a long time, possibly. So, that’s probably the most fun experience,
I think, for people being in costumes, is that you spend so much time worrying about being judged and all of that, and especially on this show, you are not until you are unmasked. We are not here for that purpose. We are here to have fun with you, to entertain people and for it to be fun and light.
M&C: What it’s like to be the person under the mask? How hard is it to keep a secret when that show is on the air and people are talking about it and they don’t know you are under the mask?
Brian Austin Green: First, when you are under the mask and you are performing, I told nobody that I was doing it. The only people that knew were my agent and my manager just because they did the deal for me. I didn’t even tell my kids, and they would sneak in the room while I was doing vocal training, and they would film me with iPads.
Luckily, they didn’t know that I was doing the show because then, I think, after seeing me do that, they would have talked to their friends about it. So, you try and keep the circle as small as possible, who knows what.
And then when people would ask me, “Hey, what are you working on?” I would just say, “I’m working on something, and there’s a really big NDA that I’ve had to sign.” I’ve never had to do that before. And as soon as you say “NDA,” people know, “Oh, okay. You can’t talk about it,” and they just let it go.
M&C: And then, when you are unmasked, what goes through your mind? Do you feel relief, like “This thing is finally over?” Or do you get your feelings hurt?
Brian Austin Green: At the point when you are finally unmasked, the thing that’s strange about this experience is that the job isn’t over. You are unmasked, and that episode is done, but then you are still quiet about it for another month and a half before it airs.
And so, you see people talking about it, and you hear things, and everybody is trying to figure out who is in the costumes and all of that. But you have to play as dumb as you possibly can just to make it entertaining for people outside.
It’s weird for an actor because, normally, at the point when you shoot something, the job is over, and that’s just not the case on this. And so, definitely, at the point when it finally aired and I was unmasked, it was the relief of, like, “Oh, thank goodness this is done,” because, up until then, you are sweating inside, hoping that nobody hears you talking about it.
The Masked Dancer premieres on Sunday, Dec. 27 on FOX.