Never-ending lockdowns can be stressful. But, what if we told you that you could become an overnight sensation by just watching ‘The Masked Singer’? Matthew Seaman, in-house Roar Podcast Editor has blown up on social media over the last month. While watching ‘The Masked Singer’, one particular participant looked familiar…
R: Can you tell our readers the basic premise of ‘The Masked Singer’?
M: ‘The Masked Singer’ is ITV One’s adaptation of a South Korean singing competition. The basic premise is twelve celebrities perform in front of a studio audience and a panel of judges, and are eliminated one-by-one until we are left with a winner. The twist is, all of the celebrity contestants are concealed behind intricate costumes and masks, each of them adopting a new persona to match the mask they wear. It’s a guessing game, filled with clues, and I feel it’s exactly what we need during lockdown!
R: When you started joining the dots about one particular singer being Joss Stone, what was your first reaction?
M: Well, I essentially kept an eye on Twitter while the show was on, seeing what the public reaction to each Masked Singer was. When it came to the soulful ‘Sausage’, it appeared many were pointing towards all-rounder Sheridan Smith. Whilst I do love Sheridan’s voice, I was certain ‘Sausage’ and she sounded nothing alike. I essentially made it my mission to find out who it really was, and prove it to the world. After comparing Joss Stone’s voice with Sausage’s, I was set on that, and then it was really just a case of adding up the clues.
R: … And how did those speculations end up in you becoming a TikTok sensation overnight?
M: I have never really been a huge fan of TikTok, I always find the algorithm a bit brutal and it all seems to be based on luck. However, on this occasion, I bit the bullet and posted my prediction video for the remaining seven Masked Singers. I was met with a ridiculous number of comments insisting I was wrong about ‘Sausage’. At which point, my detective skills came into play. I made a fair few videos breaking down the clues, pointing out the Royal references (hinting at Joss being in ‘The Tudors’ and being friends with the Royal Family), and even strange details such as her ‘owing her career to a horse’, which was mentioned in an early episode (a reference to Joss going on ‘Star For a Night’ to afford to pay for her family horse).
Despite the huge disagreement amongst my viewers, the videos have reached upwards of five million views, and I now have seventeen thousand TikTok followers… which is insane. ‘The Sun’, ‘The Mirror’, ‘OK Magazine’ and a couple of regional papers have all covered the story, and it was quite hilarious to wake up to those one morning.
Check out Matthew’s speculative video here.
R: What was your reaction when Joss Stone was revealed to be Sausage? Did you feel relieved?
M: I CAN’T EVEN TELL YOU! I filmed my reaction, you can see the huge sigh of relief I took when I saw her face, particularly as not one of the panel of judges had even mentioned her. It was a massive relief, especially because somebody at ITV had messaged me just days prior to the final, telling me I had got it all wrong. I should have realised this particular person was known to be a wind-up merchant. I had left my phone on vibrate, and the second Joss had taken her mask off, the number of notifications I received in one go was off the scale. It was all so much fun. I wouldn’t have admitted it at the time, but it would’ve been pretty embarrassing if I had got it wrong after all of that.
Check out Matthew’s reaction video here.
R: The Daily Star reported that you “ruined ‘The Masked Singer’ for millions”. Do you think you ruined the show?
M: Honestly, if you look at some of the things that the journalist said, it’s a very unusual article. To claim my guessing has essentially ‘spoiled’ the secrecy of the show, makes no sense. The point of ‘The Masked Singer’ is that it is a guessing game. The fun of it is breaking down the clues, and I have been flooded with comments from followers telling me they tuned in to the final specifically to find out if I was right or not.
Since then, I had a chat with one of the show’s main producers, who told me “we don’t mind at all… keep up the good work. Hope we trick you next time.” So ultimately I’m not really sure where ‘The Star’ got their ITV insider from, but it’s all fun and games, and all I really want to do is support the show.
R: What tips would you give to the fans of ‘The Masked Singer’ in order to become viral sensations? What should they look out for in terms of hints, for the next season?
M: My big tip would be to be aware of red herrings. After relaying all the intricate clues that linked ‘Sausage’ to Joss, I was still getting comments telling me that “there was a reference to ‘Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps’ in episode 1, so it HAD to be Sheridan”. They want to throw us off, and so if it was that easy that a single clue would give them away, there would be no point in the whole thing. Focus on the voice, as the clues aren’t the be-all and end-all, and keep an eye on Twitter! At the end of the day, no matter how much somebody tries to mask their voice, when they’re inside a hot, sweaty Bush-baby outfit, there’s only so much they can really throw off their fans. If Twitter hears Aston Merrygold, Ne-Yo or Gabrielle, then most of the time, you’ve just gotta trust them.
R: So, what will your niche be now? Will you keep making videos about ‘The Masked Singer’ or are you leaving behind “the TikTok guy”?
M: I have absolutely no idea. There’s a lot of Masked Singer related stuff lined up, with its spin-off: ‘The Masked Dancer’ arriving in the UK soon, and the next main series being filmed towards the end of the year (keep a lookout for which Americans are in the country in September!). But I’m just gonna keep on being me, and focusing on whatever grabs my fancy, whether that be theatre (I’ve done a lot with ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’) or writing for Roar.
Follow Matthew Seaman on TikTok at @1matts.