The Masked Singer loves masks so much that it has the word “masked” right there in its title. It also loves “singing,” and a variant of that word is also in the name. As such, the setup, execution, and specifications of the masks — and how singing is realistically and cleanly managed in spite of those masks — are the biggest production challenges faced by the show’s crew.
According to Variety, when contestants are backstage but not yet in costume, they wear oversized, identity-obscuring sweatshirts that read, “Don’t talk to me,” which stops people from talking to them and thus prevents them from talking … and then accidentally revealing their possibly recognizable speaking voices. When contestants speak on-air — such as bantering with host Nick Cannon or in their pre-recorded interview segments — those voices are altered in the name of keeping the mystery intact. However, their voices are not changed at all during the actual singing performances, which are executed live and never pre-recorded.
Executive Producer Craig Plestis says the masks were carefully constructed for clarity. “A lot of research and a lot of energy was spent on sound quality and testing out these masks,” he told Variety. “It’s about constructing the mask so there’s not an echo … there are certain ways to construct these masks so the voice can come out and project the voice properly.”