I have said it before – and I am about to say it again – I love crappy TV.
I think this is, in part, due to the fact my job tends to be quite serious and stressful at times, and raising two children isn’t always a barrel of laughs, either (particularly when one of those children happens to be Isaac), but I also think my love of terrible TV is helped by the joy I get from laughing at stupid people.
Now, in the interests of keeping the peace, I should stress that I don’t like to make fun of the clinically dense in real life (unless they really bring it on themselves), because it would not be fair to mock anyone whose elevator perhaps doesn’t go all the way to the top floor, but as soon as said thicko chooses to appear on television, particularly where their inadequacies in the brain department are likely to be exposed, it’s open season as far as I am concerned. Joey Essex, I’m looking at you (not that he would be able to read this, even in the unlikely event he stumbled across my blog).
As a result, there are certain television programmes I particularly enjoy winding down with after a busy day/week (although I should stress, having just mentioned Joey Essex, I have never seen a single episode of TOWIE), sometimes with a glass of wine or two, in order that I can sit and feel smug about having all of my batteries included. The fact I am knitting with both needles. That all the lights are still twinkling on my Christmas tree. Ok, you get the idea.
Consequently, I’ll freely admit that I like The X Factor (but only in the early stages, when they have the dreadful singers who genuinely think they are the next big recording artist), and, in March 2016 – [gulp] was it really that long ago? – I wrote an entire blog entry about one of the finest programmes to come from these shores in recent years, Take Me Out (https://middlerageddad.com/2016/03/11/let-the-blog-see-the-rabbit/), so you get an idea of my level when it comes to watching TV. Essentially, my standards in choosing something to watch of a weekend, are on a par with the United States standards in electing a president.
You might think, therefore, that the latest crappy singing competition to grace our screens for 2020, The Masked Singer, would be right up my street, and in some respects you would be right (as I’ve watched three shows now, and I will have to finish the series to find out who everyone is), but I cannot deny even I am struggling to tolerate it, and there are certain aspects which are now getting on my usually-very-tolerant nerves (oh, shut up, I’m a fucking delight and you know it).
If you have mercifully dodged The Masked Singer thus far (and, if that is the case, please don’t start watching it now on my account, as I don’t want to be responsible for any of my followers slipping into a catatonic state, or, worse, doing something stupid with a machete in a shopping centre), let me explain the concept: Twelve celebrities (and, I should immediately stress here, only three singers have been revealed so far as I write this week’s entry, and the word ‘celebrity’ has never been more abused), dress up in overly-comical costumes to sing for a panel of four judges, who then have to try and work out who the singer is from their voice and the clues supplied to them.
Honestly, it’s like the bastard love-child of Stars in Their Eyes and Through the Keyhole.
To give you an idea of the costumes the viewing public are treated to, the twelve ‘contestants’ are: Butterfly, Chameleon, Daisy, Duck, Fox, Hedgehog, Monster, Octopus, Pharaoh, Queen Bee, Tree and Unicorn. And here they are:
Of course, when selecting twelve overly-elaborate outfits for someone famous to disguise their identity and sing for the viewing nation, a tree is a natural (excuse the pun) choice, isn’t it? Oh, how I would dearly love to have been at that production meeting:
“Ok, so we’ve got a butterfly, a unicorn and a hedgehog. Any other ideas?”
“A tree…. oooh, and a Pharaoh.”
“Fuck off, Dave.”
It would be fair to say ITV have pulled out all the stops with the judging panel, too (yes, this is sarcasm), as they comprise the following ‘A-listers’: Jonathan Ross, Davina McCall, Rita Ora, and ‘head judge’ Kim Jeong (who, if you aren’t familiar with the name, played Leslie Chow in the Hangover trilogy). A strange choice, perhaps, but if it helps to explain his particular involvement, he has already appeared on the US version of The Masked Singer, and it is our cousins from across the pond that we have to ‘thank’ for the format reaching our screens.
Now, the judging panel should give you some idea of the calibre of celebrity behind the masks, but just in case you had an inkling the budget was perhaps spent on persuading movie stars to get dressed up incognito and belt out a show tune or two, there have been three ‘celebrities’ unmasked so far, and they were, in order of fame:
Justin Hawkins from ‘The Darkness’ (yes, this IS in order of fame)
Patsy Palmer (who, for the unitiated, played Bianca in Eastenders)
And the Pharaoh….
Alan Johnson (Former Home Secretary). Yes, honestly.
I mean, fuck me.
What makes the first three reveals even more incredible, is that the panel genuinely offered guesses including Tom Cruise and Lady Gaga, only to be thoroughly disappointed when Alan fucking Johnson, a man who might not be recognised by his own children, was paraded around like the Dalai Lama.
Now, perhaps it is pure coincidence that the first three singers to be revealed (i.e. those deemed to have the worst voices), are simultaneously the three least famous among the characters, and we can only dream that the remaining nine participants are the real budget-stretchers, but I fear not. After all, would Tom Cruise really have a better voice than the fella from The Darkness?
Nevertheless, in the interest (and I have never used the term more loosely), of maintaining some, erm…. interest in the rest of the series, I have decided to come up with my own wild predictions of who might be behind the nine remaining masks. However, unlike the majority of those still watching this utter pish, and the British press for that matter, I am not going to take my guesses too seriously (as should become immediately apparent).
So, in alphabetical order, I have now determined (based on the pointless clues provided thus far), the remaining nine masked singers are as follows:
Daisy = Pope Francis
Argument For: His Holiness probably likes flowers
Argument Against: Daisy is clearly female
Duck = Bob Marley
Argument For: It justifies my use of this week’s blog title
Argument Against: He’s slightly dead
Fox = George Clooney
Argument For: George once played the lead in ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’
Argument Against: Would probably demand a higher appearance fee than, say, Former Home Secretary, Alan Johnson
Hedgehog = Pep Guardiola
Argument For: As the manager of Manchester City, he is used to being surrounded by pricks (I thank you)
Argument Against: Notoriously allergic to striped trousers
Monster = Vladimir Putin
Argument For: Requires little acting, as he is already a monster
Argument Against: Ol’ Vlad isn’t exactly known for embracing campness, is he? Well, not deliberately
Octopus = Prince Andrew
Argument For: Known to be ‘handsy’; diary is currently empty
Argument Against: Claims he cannot sweat, so would undoubtedly struggle in a heavy costume under studio lighting
Queen Bee = Beyonce
Argument For: Well, it’s her nickname, isn’t it? Plus, the bee can actually sing
Argument Against: Obsessed with Jonathan Ross, and not allowed within fifty feet of him
Tree = Tom Hanks
Argument For: Plays ‘Woody’ in the Toy Story films (woody = tree, geddit?)
Argument Against: Famous for his sense of humour, but even he has limits.
Unicorn = John Barrowman
Argument For: It’s clearly John Barrowman
Argument Against: None. Did you not hear me? It’s clearly John Barrowman
Disclaimer: The Middle-Raged Dad accepts no legal liability whatsoever, should someone reading this week’s entry choose to place a bet on any or all of the above predictions. If, however, aforementioned bet pays out at ridiculous odds, said reader is obliged to provide Middle-Raged Dad a ‘prediction fee’ of 35% of the sum paid, within 14 days of being placed in receipt of funds. Cash, or the equivalent value in Jaffa Cakes, are the only acceptable methods of payment. This does not affect your statutory rights.
Thanks for reading, folks x