The international singing show sensation The Masked Singer arrives in Aotearoa on Sunday night. Which famous faces will be hiding under the costumes? Nobody knows – but these are our best guesses.
It’s the biggest reality show in the world right now, and it’s finally here in New Zealand. We’re excited.
How to explain The Masked Singer? It’s not at all easy. Basically, 12 celebrities are shoved into elaborate costumes that are the stuff of nightmares, and then they sing songs. A panel of judges (in our case Rhys Darby, James Roque, Ladi6 and Sharyn Casey) try to guess who the celebrities are. They are unmasked, one by one, week by week, according to the response from audience and judges to that episode’s performances. The last one to be unmasked is the winner of… The Masked Singer.
But the real winner is the audience at home, trying to guess who’s behind the mask based only on their voice and a few cryptic clues. Below, we’ve taken our best guess at the identity of each masked singer, and we’ve included the clues so you can decide for yourself. Good luck!
The clue: I am Tuatara, one of the oldest reptiles in the world and found only in Aotearoa. I’ve learned lots of secrets to success over my years on this planet – and will be keeping my third eye on the prize.
Remember, I’m a survivor from the ends of the earth – so I’m riding solo these days, and I’ve changed my appearance over time. Hopefully this performance merits the judge’s praise. I’m not a lizard, nor a dinosaur. I’m the only one left of my kind.
Sam Brooks: Kelvin Cruickshank, New Zealand’s other most well-known third eye wielder.
Stewart Sowman-Lund: We’ve had David Seymour on Dancing with the Stars, now it’s time for Winston Peters on The Masked Singer. Possibly New Zealand’s oldest reptile, Peters is the definition of a survivor.
Tara Ward: Sue Nicholson, renowned psychic medium and lover of a third eye. Sing like nobody’s listening, open your third eye like nobody’s watching, job done Sue.
The clue: I’m a national treasure in real life and on the stage, it’s me – Tūī! Birds of a feather might flock together, but I’m not here to make friends – I’m in it to win it. This kiwi bird first took flight in Australia. I was an early success. You’ll be a box of birds after my performance.
Tūī are known to leap and skip amongst the treetops. The early bird gets the worm, and I’m raring to go. The others may chicken out but I’m going all the way to number one.
Sam: Mark Richardson, the earliest riser in the country.
Stewart: It’s got to be Stan Walker, New Zealand’s favourite Australian import.
Tara: Matilda Green, because tūī birdsong sounds a lot like “matootles” and worms are probably paleo.
The clue: Hey guys it’s me Jellyfish. Follow me as I dive into my little fairytale. After journeying across the seas, I decided it was time to kick up my heels a bit. I’m super competitive and I love to win. I like going to parties and making friends.
And while being on dry land is a little scary, I’m hoping I can still make a splash on the stage. Think you can work out who I am? I love a lackadaisical Sunday afternoon.
Sam: Going to parties and making friends? Why it has to be our nation’s most friendly man: Colin Mathura-Jeffree! Either him or public enemy number one (for fish), Clarke Gayford.
Stewart: Hopefully this is the intern who had to write these clues, because they deserve a break and a pay rise.
Tara: Get down, get funky, it’s a shame there’s no blue monkey. It’s Suzanne Paul, because Sunday afternoons give her a natural glow.
The clue: They call me Tom Cruise, because I’m Mission Im–possumble. It’s me, Possum! I might look cute and cuddly, but I’m more cunning than I look. Like most possums, I first thrived in Australia.
Naturally as I’m from a sporty family. My big possum eyes have spotted the prize and I’m going in for the kill. I’m a big fan of Elvis Presley. Some possums can even fly, so watch me fly all the way to the top.
SB: Suspicious minds, innocent eyes, it may well be Delta Goodrem.
Stewart: I don’t know sports. Richie McCaw? Does he have massive possum eyes? Probably.
Tara: Thingee, and if it’s not him I’ll eat my third eye.
The clue: Watch this space – it’s me Alien! I have recently been fielding many questions about my identity. But you’ll know I’m used to wearing a disguise. As for my singing – I’m going to win this competition – Jupiter believe it.
The panel need to calm down and beehive. To all my competitors, Comet me bro. I’m ultra-competitive and always want to beat the opposition – but don’t make any Snap decisions with your vote.
Sam: This is either Paula Bennett or Tom Sainsbury as Paula Bennett.
Stewart: This is definitely a politician, but let me propose an alternative. It’s got to be Chris “the Bish” Bishop – don’t ask me why.
Tara: Zip it sweeties, it’s Paula Bennett.
The clue: I am medusa – in Greek mythology a woman with snakes instead of hair. There’s a clue in my name – if you work it out, you’ll be close. I love the way my dress feels.
With snakes for hair, I’m floating On Air. Tonight, will be one of my greatest performances. This isn’t my first rodeo, so just watch how far I go. I’m used to shooting for the stars.
Sam: Tonight? Me-dusa? I’m hearing Me-gan Alatini, of TrueBliss fame!
Stewart: Me-ghan Markle? She’s a TV pro and recently said she and Prince Harry considered a shift to New Zealand. After Oprah, The Masked Singer is the best place to make an appearance.
Tara: If you scramble the letters in “medusa” long enough you come up with “Rachel Hunter”, so there it is. I don’t make the rules, snake queen.
The clue: Shhh, don’t tell Bo Peep I’ve made a run for it, it’s me – Sheep! I’m no wolf in sheep’s clothing, I’m the real deal. Unlike most sheep I’ve been known to keep calm at times.
I expect to sail away with this competition. You’ll spot my fleece around the acres or roaming in the backyard of my uncle’s Bach. With two shakes of this lamb’s tale, I’ll shepherd out the competition. It takes courage to perform behind the mask, but my conscience is clear.
Sam: Sailing? It has to be no other than five-time Olympian Barbara Kendall, heading for gold once more.
Stewart: I’ve been calling for Naz to return to New Zealand’s screens forever, and the time has finally come. When people say Bach, I think Bach-elor. Who’s going to be on the hit list this time?
Tara: Wake up sheeples! There’s nobody calmer than Dr Ashley Bloomfield, shepherd to a team of five million and rumoured fan of fleece. (Disclaimer: we do not know the director general of health’s official position on natural fibres).
The clue: Ladies and gentlemen, please put your wings together for Monarch! I’ve got orange stripes like a tiger, but I’ll sting like a bee – my competitors have got nothing on me. I’m so excited to be in this huge metropolis.
Just like a ladybird I’m ready to spread my wings. I’m mad about performing, and can’t wait to take to the stage tonight. With a wingspan like mine, I’ll easily fly to the top. I’m hoping tonight’s my big break.
Sam: Dame Catherine Tizard, purely for the image.
Stewart: Nobody can “sting like a bee” as well as a boxer can. Joseph Parker, for sure.
Tara: Patrick Gower, in an exciting attempt to break away from the “fucking news”.
The clue: Hey guys, it’s me Monster! As a monster, I’m pretty scary. I’m used to taking down all my competitors. Since I was a young child, I’ve always run to the beat of my own drum. I’ve sharpened my claws and I’m going to claw my way to the top.
On this show, I want to be strong and powerful, just like my ancestors were. Think you can work out who I am? I’m no sea creature, but you’ll often find me washed up on the shore.
Sam: David Tua, ready to take down competitors once more.
Stewart: A C-lister that needs a career boost. Take your pick.
Tara: The Rock. We can live in hope, right?
The clue: Bird’s the word, it’s me – Moa! I might be extinct, but I’m no dinosaur – moa may be flightless birds, but I really can soar. A lot of stories about moa are the stuff of legend – a bit like me really.
That I’m a bird is a bit of a giveaway. I’m definitely not going to Beak early. I’m going to boss the competition. When it’s time for the big game, my aim is true.
Sam: Her aim is true, and she’s no slouch: Beatrice Faumuina.
Stewart: A legend? Suzy Cato, obviously.
Tara: Come on down Anika Moa, a boss, a legend and an actual Moa.
The clue: Hello I’m Orange Roughy! The thing about fish like me, they like swimming against the tide. I’m not afraid to stand up for what I think is right. Yes, I have to look out for the ocean’s predators like any fish does, but I’ll dig my tail in if I need to.
Swimming these seas all my life, I’ve come across a fair few scuffles. Travelling from sea to ocean, my journey has been rocky. Luckily I’m a streamline fish and can get myself out of danger. I’m not nervous about tonight, I’ve shot for the stars a few times before. The next clue might throw you off course.
Sam: Calling this for Danyon Loader, because I’m unimaginative and can only name one swimmer.
Stewart: I can name a second! Sophie Pascoe. New Zealand literally has no other swimmers.
Tara: Sounds plausible, but my money’s on New Zealand music icon Sir Roderick “Orange Roughy” Stewart coming to rock the dock again.
The clue: I’m as sweet as pie, it’s me Pavlova! Australia might claim me as their own, but this Pavlova is all Kiwi. Representing Pavlova is right up my alley. It’s a sweet and exotic trip and one I’m looking forward to taking. Just like a Pavlova, I’m known for being airy.
Tonight, I’m going to Focus on my dance moves – it’s one of my greatest assets. While I might not be a dancing queen, I’m no stranger to the screen. You guys are wide off the mark – next time listen more more closely and I may come to your rescue.
Sam: It’s gotta be Rebecca Gibney, who is a true blue-and-red Kiwi, despite her fame in Packed to the Rafters.
Stewart: Lorde, after that one time she was called Australian.
Tara: Phar Lap. Have you seen the trailer for this show? Anything could happen.
The Masked Singer NZ airs Sundays at 7pm and continues Mondays at 7.30pm on THREE and ThreeNow.