Dec 19th, 2020, 08:14 PM

The Masked Singer, TV series (France)

By Imaniushindi Fanga
Masked Singer Title Card and Promotional Stills, Image Credit: INews UK and Kreisbote, Edited by: Imaniushindi Fanga
Come back to life and relieve your quarantine blues with this fun and extravagantly costumed sing-song

If like me you frequent French newsstands either outside or inside the Paris metro stations, you’ll always find a Paris Match magazine handy for your consumption and pleasure. This time a suggestion made by journalist Clemence Duranton put me on to something new, strange, and extremely entertaining to watch - The Masked Singer. This show is an American original that has been transformed and molded to fit French tastes and cultural appetites. It was originally created in 2019 in America and has become a four-season renewed hit.

The concept is to introduce new and old stars through the themes and ideologies of masquerade and surrealist theatre pieces in the style of Burlesque and Liberace. In Duranton’s article, "Dans Les Coulisses de 'Masked Singer'," she takes a behind the scenes look at the French version of the NBC American production produced by Kev Adams whom I had the honor of meeting in a past article of mine and mentions, “Quelle star se cache derriere le squelette," and "Nouveauté de la saison: une double costume pour un de la ville." Meaning, in every season there is a new concept for costumes and European stars to be revealed behind costumes that totally disguise their natural figures.

Still of one of The Masked Singer's (France) masked performers. Image Credits: OK Magazine

The show has a set list of creators, stars and performers on their menu; here is a short list of the main team:

  • Camille Combal, a French television and radio presenter.
  • Jarry, a theater professional comedian humorist actor, and theatre director.
  • Anggun, an Indonesian born French singer-songwriter and television personality.
  • Alessandra Sublet, a French radio and television presenter. 
  •  Kev Adams French comedian, actor, humorist, screenwriter and film producer. 

The show plays on principles of deception and mystery; the TF1 sponsored and payed music show follows the flow of similar Western multimedia entertainment models. The Voice, America’s Got Talent, The X-Factor, and American Idol come to mind as templates for France’s rendition of such an oddball and wacky singing-competition reality tv show. 

Mask Singer 2020 | All Reveals


The show features short songs as seen in traditional musicals with intermissions that have extravagant costumes and culturally relevant mis-en-scenes. By way of example, one emission had Dios de los Muertos as one of its additional performance pieces. The show also uses its celebrity judges and special guest performers to add to the show's hyper-exceptionality and each week the judges and performers must add to their critiques and talent levels. Every special guest has their outlandish, vibrant, and awesome costume designs made for their performance and the main judges along with the audience must decide or decipher who is the special guest performer under the mask? The show features artists who are not only singers but may not even be known for that talent. By way of example, here is a short list of unmasked stars who were not known for their singing abilities:

  • Itzair Ituno from the Libson based show, " La casa de Papel," (2017).
  • Frederique Bel, a French comedian- better known for the French comedy blockbuster hit,"Qu'est-ce qu'on a fait au Bon Dieu?" (2014).
  •  Valarie Damiot, a French children’s show comedian and host. This show is great for quarantine moments because it absolutely does not itself seriously. It’s wacky, funny, with a setlist of comedians, and themes that fit any occasion. 

My love for this show grows stronger and stronger as our days turn into nights. With two seasons under its belt, The Masked Singer (France), continues to build on the nonsensical fun powerful theatre pieces need to get better and better. One last remarkable note on this show is that it does a fantastic job of bringing already established celebrities out of virtual obscurity and back into the limelight of today. 

If you are looking for similar content on Peacock Plume during this quarantine time check out this article, Frida Kahlo's Broken Wings written by Paulina Trigos, that focuses also on the power of theatre to inspire and entertain during what seems to be very depressing times in our societies. So, if you are feeling this way, please look and watch the Masked Singer on TF1.