Double reveal as The Masked Singer hits ratings high

 

The big reveals on Ten's The Masked Singer just keep on coming - and last night delivered double the fun.

Two singers were forced to unmask - the Spider and the Unicorn - drawing a peak national audience of a million viewers to Ten for the "reveal".

On average, the show attracted 839,000 viewers, which was down on Monday night's episode, and just trailing The Block, which had an audience of 844,000.

Former Australian Idol contestant Paulini was unveiled as the woman behind the Spider after wowing judges with her cover of Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi.

The next reveal did not come as a surprise to many, with Deni Hines unmasked as the owner of the soulful voice behind the Unicorn.

Deni Hines before her big reveal.
Deni Hines before her big reveal.

Hines said she loved the series as it allowed her to be judged "purely" by her voice.

Before her unmasking, Hines, the daughter of soul singer Marcia, had the audience and judges jumping with her cover of the Bruno Mars hit Locked Out of Heaven.

Speculation had been rampant for weeks that Hines was the star underneath the elaborate costume.

Deni Hines said she loved being judged by her voice alone.
Deni Hines said she loved being judged by her voice alone.

The big reveals came after Monday's episode resulted in an epic comeback for Ten, with an audience of 1.15 million when the lion's identity was revealed (it was Kate Ceberano), and an average of 905,000 viewers during the rest of the show.

At its peak, The Masked Singer beat reno reality show The Block which had 970,000 viewers nationally on Nine.

TV analyst Steve Allen said Ten would be "very happy" with The Masked Singer's ratings comeback and it "couldn't happen at a better time" as the network heads into negotiations for a second series, due to screen in 2020. 

Lindsay Lohan.
Lindsay Lohan.

The lion was a fitting character for singer Ceberano, whose award-winning first solo album Brave was one of the biggest hits of the 1990s.

"I want this for the rest of time," Ceberano told the judges after performing Maroon 5's Moves Like Jagger.

"Apart from the fantastic value of having the head larger than my arse, which I loved," she joked, "this is a show of great virtue, because although it's really wacky, being in a suit you are without colour, age, size, your gender - it's completely based on what you are, you're just free."

 

Jackie O revealed how hard it is for the judges to guess who’s who on The Masked Singer. Picture: Ten
Jackie O revealed how hard it is for the judges to guess who’s who on The Masked Singer. Picture: Ten

Speaking on her KIIS FM radio show today, judge Jackie O explained why the judges didn't immediately guess it was Ceberano behind the lion mask. "I will say this, everyone listening at home was guessing Kate Ceberano because you could hear Kate Ceberano, right, it was so obvious," Jackie O said.

"Watching on TV, I was like, 'Oh my god that sounds exactly like Kate Ceberano, how did we not pick that up?'

"We don't hear what you hear," Jackie O said. "When you're at that judging panel you've got the crowd, you've got so much going on, you don't hear what you hear back home."

'WRONG CALL' ON LOHAN'S FUTURE

A leading media analyst has criticised Ten's move to re-sign controversial judge Lindsay Lohan for The Masked Singer's second series.

Peter Cox told News Corp Australia it was the "wrong call" to bring her back for a second series, to air in 2020, while another media commentator praised Ten's decision, saying she was "very good talent" for Ten.

"I think it looks silly for the show and lowers the credibility of it," Cox said.

"I don't think she contributes anything to the show and she lacks local knowledge. She's not able to guess who the right person is, not that it's easy, but she keeps on putting up LA people that couldn't possibly be on the show."

Lohan has been at the centre of a barrage of criticism since the show debuted in Australia, with many viewers using social media to target her lack of knowledge of Australian celebrities.

They’re all returning! The Masked Singer judges Lindsay Lohan, Dave Hughes, host Osher Günsberg, Dannii Minogue and Jackie O. Picture: Ten
They’re all returning! The Masked Singer judges Lindsay Lohan, Dave Hughes, host Osher Günsberg, Dannii Minogue and Jackie O. Picture: Ten

Cox said Ten had been drawn to Lohan's controversial appeal. "She's known for other factors rather than being a performer of top standing. I don't see how she can add anything to the show from that point of view," he said.

He praised the other judges, saying that Lohan was the "only one who stands out as inappropriate".

However, media commentator Steve Allen backed Ten's decision, describing the Hollywood star-turned-Mykonos club owner as "very good talent" for Ten.

"She is certainly very good talent on the show," he told News Corp.

"She gets it and has fun with it. She's not what we've come to understand about her from what we've read about in gossip press."

 

Lindsay Lohan lacks local knowledge on The Masked Singer, a leading TV analyst said. Picture: Ten
Lindsay Lohan lacks local knowledge on The Masked Singer, a leading TV analyst said. Picture: Ten

Allen said Lohan - who dabbled in a pop career of her own with the song Rumours in 2004 - "understands performing".

The network's chief content officer Beverly McGarvey confirmed the next series would have "exactly the same judging line-up and exactly the same host", confirming that Lohan, along with Dannii Minogue, Jackie O, Davie Hughes and host Osher Gunsberg would be back next year.

Originally a ratings hit for Ten, numbers for The Masked Singer dropped last week, as the singing show was trumped by a big week on Nine's The Block.

Allen added The Masked Singer's initial ratings success had been "unexpectedly high".

"I wouldn't have thought it was ever going to be able to hold a million-plus audience.

"It's not a mass audience show, it's more niche. In order to get consistently a million-plus, you've got to appeal to 50-plus audience as well as under 50s."

 

Masked Singer host Osher Gunsberg, right, with the ‘alien’ aka Nikki Webster. Picture: Ten
Masked Singer host Osher Gunsberg, right, with the ‘alien’ aka Nikki Webster. Picture: Ten

Allen also defended the show's masked performers, which have so far been revealed as child star Nikki Webster, former The Voice host Darren McMullen, rugby league player Wendell Sailor, former Australian cricketer Brett Lee and TV and radio personality Gretel Killeen.

"That's part of the charm of the show, you're seeing people that when they are unmasked you think, 'gosh, can they do that (sing)?'"

The Masked Singer is the latest role for Lohan after her failed MTV reality series, Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club, which saw her operate a nightclub - named Lohan Beach House - on the party island of Mykonos in Greece.

The club opened in May last year and the series premiered in January. Amid dwindling ratings, the show was met with negative reviews including by The Hollywood Reporter, which called it "vapid and tedious".