Review: ‘The Masked Singer’ kicks off its new season with exhilarating new twists

Fox’s hit singing competition show, “The Masked Singer,” premiered its fourth season on Sept. 23, introducing a new twist that kept the show from being repetitive. The star-studded premiere kept the audience guessing all night on Twitter who the contestants were, creating a buzz for the show.

This season, host Nick Cannon announced the addition of the Golden Ear Trophy. The award will be given to the judge who can correctly guess the most masked celebrities. This new iteration of the show raised the stakes of the competition, keeping it from feeling stale.

Though ‘The Masked Singer’ could not invite live audiences, its exceptional execution in featuring the virtual audience allowed a sense of normalcy.

The first contestant, Sun, showed up on stage prancing around to “I’m Walking on Sunshine,” wearing a golden sun mask with a flowy, glittering golden dress which was one of the best costumes the show has ever had. The dress, bedazzled with over 200 rhinestones, gave it a mesmerizing, glowing illusion.

The rest of the costumes from the other contestants, however, fell short — especially Watchamacallit’s which is made with a combination of wig hair, only making it look like a bad Halloween costume.

When Sun started singing, it was mind-blowing. Her voice was one of the strongest in all of the previous seasons, planting hope to have the second female winner — following Night Angel from last season who was revealed as Real Housewife of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss.

Sun is clearly a trained vocalist with the way she falls off the notes perfectly at the end and belts and her ability to show off her dynamic range. Regardless of her poor song choice, performing “Cuz I Love You” by Lizzo, Sun overcame the challenges with her powerful voice. While the song has a few high notes, the rap song was not helpful in showing the Sun’s full vocal abilities.

Though almost all contestants seemed to struggle with their song choices, the final contestants of the night exceeded expectations. Hatching out of an egg in their owl costumes, the two contestants presented the show’s first-ever duet. The Snow Owls sang a beautifully saddening rendition of “Say Something” by A Great Big World, leaving judge Nicole Scherzinger in tears.

The clue packages this season were also presented differently, showing animated versions of each contestant due to the precautions put in place while filming the show during the global pandemic. In comparison to its previous seasons, where contestants filmed their clue packages in different studio lots or around Los Angeles, the change of style felt like a breath of fresh air and gave the season an exciting, new feel.

While the show has boasted famous singers, like the Godmother of Soul Patti Labelle and the Empress of Soul Gladys Knight, the show often features celebrities that many people had forgotten about or did not know could sing. Nonetheless, because the first contestant to get eliminated was Busta Rhymes, the unveiling of a big-name rapper left me hopeful for a star-studded season.

Overall, the premiere promises an exhilarating season with mind-boggling twists and exceptional talent.

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