There is a certain reality competition show on Fox that seems to be having similarities in the pace of its season production with how Marvel Studios makes the MCU movies, and that is “The Masked Singer.” Having premiered only in 2019, the show has already run four seasons since, with a fifth starting up right this week. Now that viewers have gotten the hang of how “The Masked Singer” goes after seeing the competition format four times, now would be a prime opportunity to introduce something new, aside from the next batch of disguised and costumed contestants of course. Now what exactly are we expecting?

Leave it to Entertainment Weekly to get the lowdown on Fox’s fifth season for “The Masked Singer.” It will be starting this coming Wednesday, March 10, and yes there will be some changes to the whole thing. The first one is not even intended, as Niecy Nash steps in to host the initial weekly episodes while regular presenter Nick Cannon continues to recover from catching COVID-19. It is hoped that he will be in fine shape enough to return for the second half of the season’s run, at the latest.

The real changeup for “The Masked Singer” season 5 is the total number of the titular masked singers. Rather than starting with a fixed number and whittling them down week after week, there will be additional contestants coming in at some weeks of the show even as some of the earlier singers are eliminated. That means this season could actually last longer than the usual (the shortest run was S1 with 10 episodes while the longest was S3 with 17). These wildcards are to show up at the end of episodes to challenge any surviving contestants to swap themselves in.

Season 5 will start with 10 initial masked singers divided into two 5-person teams. Their total achievement statistics are as follows: 26 Grammy nominations, four Oscar nominations, nine multi-platinum singles, three Super Bowl appearances (could mean NFL player or halftime performer), two (unspecified event) Gold Medals, and two World Records. In addition to the singers giving clues, a non-contestant “Cluedle-doo” in a chicken costume will add extra hints for the TV audience (not live) to guess at, but he will not clue the panelists (regulars returning from previous seasons). It is known that one of the contestants is a duo like Snow Owls from S4.

Image courtesy of TV Insider