How long does it take to film The Masked Singer?
According to Tamara Simoneau, the Network 10 Executive Producer of The Masked Singer Australia, the shooting schedule was spread out to allow for the intricate nature of the show.
"We try to keep the filming days snappy to make sure everyone is peppy and fresh," Simoneau tells Refinery29 Australia. "We rehearse for a day and then shoot for a day. Because of the costumes and elaborate sets, it's all about the rehearsal and working out kinks before the real thing."
Abbie Chatfield is a judge on the show alongside Mel B, Chrissie Swan and Dave 'Hughesy' Hughes. She says the whole season was filmed over the course of three weeks.
"We filmed every second day but then on one [day] out of the week, we'd have have three days off in a row," says Chatfield.
"So it was very hectic. Huge filming days... but with this show, there's so much going on and we were actually just having fun with each other. It was just like having a 12-hour long dinner every day with Mel, Chrissy and Hughesy.
"Dinner and a show," she laughs.
Who chooses the songs performed on The Masked Singer?
It's very much a collaborative process between the contestants and producers to pick a song that suits their singing abilities and also reflects their personalities.
The show's vocal coach, Gary Pinto, recently lifted the lid on what it's been like coaching some of the famous names who have participated in the amusing reality show.
"George is a hard worker, and a very sweet fella," Pinto told Herald Sun earlier this month."I did more time with him than most singers. He’d always go, 'Come on, we need to rehearse more.' He put in more work than most of the singers."
How many hours does it take to make the costumes?
Academy award-winning costume designer Tim Chappel is the mastermind behind the costumes on The Masked Singer Australia, and has said that making the outfits takes a good three months, because they need to be sturdy enough for singing and dancing on stage.
Chappel said he initially chats to the producers of the show and "we all throw 20 to 30 ideas each" — which comes to around 80 costume ideas.
"Any idea that gets three votes, it's through," he said. "And any idea that people have that they're really in love with, we do those ones as well."
How much say do the contestants have in what their costumes look like?
After Chappel and the producers have narrowed down the ideas, Simoneau says that the stars are consulted. It's all about achieving a show-stopping look that will also get people thinking when they try to guess who's wearing the costume.
"Producers and celebs work together to figure out what will work best with the personality and what might be so outside the box for them that it would throw people off," says the producer. "Think Emma Wiggle as a zombie!"
How heavy are the costumes?
"Some of them are not too bad, but some — like Popcorn — are pretty weighty and mean the celeb inside needs to be willing and able to carry the load of the costume," explains Simoneau.
"It takes quite a lot of skill to pull it off so that it looks like it’s comfortable and light!"
How do the contestants get in and out of the costumes?
There's plenty of assistance on set to make the process of slipping in and out of the costumes as smooth as possible.
"We have a team of dressers to help them in and out," explains Simoneau. "Some are quite easy to put on and off, but others take longer and we need to allow time in the schedule for dressing, while making sure they’re not in the costumes unnecessarily as they can be claustrophobic!"
How do the judges prepare?
"I was the youngest person [on the judging panel], and also with Hughesy and Chrissie having 20 years experience in radio, speaking to every single person from huge names to just someone who had a cameo on Neighbours, they knew everyone," she said.
"And Mel B has met half of the Australian media, so I was kind of like, 'I don't know what's going on. I wasn't even born when this person was big'. It was a bit hard for me."
In terms of preparation, Chatfield studied up on the Home & Away cast and sportspeople to complement her impressive knowledge of reality TV personalities.
"All I know is Real Housewives," she said. "So I tried to shoehorn in Real Housewives multiple times as I knew everything about them and I could make the clues fit."
"I was told I was height-obsessed and to stop obsessing over heights, because it was ruining the fantasy and that it could be someone else," Chatfield said during an appearance on comedy panel show, The Cheap Seats.
"But I was like, I know how tall Osher is, and I’m going to work back from there — and I was usually right."
The Masked Singer Australia airs Sunday to Wednesday at 7:30pm on Channel 10 and 10 Play.