Welcome to the Long Story Short on the first series of the show that will stump and delight dance detectives in equal measure. Whether you have ten seconds or a few minutes, you’ll be chanting, “Take it off, take it off!” in no time…
By Laura Rutkowski, Staff Writer
You know The Masked Singer, the bonkers show where celebrities dress up in over-the-top costumes and then sing for a panel that guesses who they might be? Well, The Masked Dancer is its sister show, but instead of singing, the mystery guests are busting a move.
How did the idea come about?
The US version of the show, which has had one season so far, began as a spoof segment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The Office US’s Craig Robinson hosts, with Ken Jeong, Paula Abdul, Brian Austin Green and Ashley Tisdale on the panel of celebrity guessers.
Cotton Candy was crowned the winner and revealed as Olympic medallist Gabby Douglas in February.
Who is on the panel?
Strictly Come Dancing’s Oti Mabuse joins The Masked Singer’s Jonathan Ross, Davina McCall and Mo Gilligan, with Joel Dommett returning to present. Mabuse said, “Coming from Strictly, I’m naming every single Strictly contestant ever… all the time.”
Who’s that behind the mask?
Um… we don’t know. That’s kind of the whole point! Twelve celebrities will tear up the dancefloor this series, which airs across seven nights. Each evening, the contestant with the lowest number of audience votes will be unmasked until the final winner is announced.
So, how on earth are we supposed to guess their identities?
The clues are in the moves! Clue packages accompany every Masked Dancer to help the panel and those at home decipher who might be shaking their tail feather (we’re looking at you, Flamingo and Rubber Chicken).
The clue packages are more in-depth than they are in The Masked Singer, with a segment where the contestant says one word in their own voice (their speech is distorted in The Masked Singer). Make sure you pay close attention to the cryptic hints, as well as to the performances, the song choices, the props on stage, and even what the other dancers on stage are wearing!
How do the celebs move around in their costumes?
If you’ve watched The Masked Singer, you know how elaborate the dazzling costumes are, with Lenny Henry performing as the giant Blob in series 2, Ne-Yo as leather-clad Badger and eventual winner Joss Stone as Sausage, wrapped in a newspaper with chips!
The Masked Dancer ensembles aren’t as large as they can sometimes be on The Masked Singer, allowing for optimum movement. Zip (a zip… wearing sunglasses), Beetroot (donning a fairy-like dress), Carwash (basically a big spinning brush), Knickerbocker Glory (complete with sprinkles and strawberry sauce) and more all still wear masterful masks, just with pared-down bottom halves. Dirty Dancing style lifts, here we come!
Speaking of lifts, what kind of dancing can we expect?
These are full-on choreographed routines, with some of the celebrities even performing with partners! From ballet to ballroom, salsa to swing, breakdancing to backflips, all styles are up for grabs.
Check out the kooky characters that will be dancing up a storm in the series below.
When is ITV’s The Masked Dancer on TV?
The Masked Dancer airs on ITV/HD (CH 103/113) across one week, with the first episode screening on Saturday 29 May at 7pm. The rest of the episodes start at 7.30pm. The series is also available in Apps & Games > ITV Hub.
TV channels: Channels, content and features available depend on your chosen package. Channel line-ups and content are subject to change at any time and to regional variations.
HD: HD TV set, V HD Box, TiVo box or Virgin TV V6 connected with HDMI cables required for HD channels. Number of inclusive HD channels depends on package.
ITV HD is subject to regional variation. ITV HD is not available where STV HD or UTV HD is available.
Catch Up TV: Catch Up TV content available for up to 7 days or up to 30 days after broadcast, depending on content.