Just weeks after The Masked Singer crowned its Season 5 winner, the fan-favorite Fox singing competition is already preparing for Season 6. After the ongoing coronavirus pandemic impacted multiple aspects of the competition and competition series across different networks, The Masked Singer Season 6 will bring back a major feature: the live audience.
According to a casting email recently sent out, The Masked Singer is "back with live studio audiences beginning 7/8/21 in Hollywood." For the upcoming season, all shows will consist of a live in-studio audience to clap and cheer along with the masked competitors as they take the stage each week of the competition. The series is currently searching for those audience members, though all audience members must be "fully vaccinated fans ages 18 and up." The email says that "all invitations will only be sourced from our vaccinated pool of Masked Singer SuperFans," and those The Masked Singer fans who are not yet full vaccinated "have time to be eligible to attend the first day of the live shows" on Thursday, July 8.
Season 6 will mark the first time in more than a year that The Masked Singer has had a live-studio audience. The coronavirus pandemic hit as the series was filming Season 4, forcing the show to undertake multiple safety measures to protect the panelists and contestants. This included foregoing the typical in-studio audience, something it also did without in Season 5. Instead, the Fox series used a little studio magic to make it appear as though there was an audience, pulling footage of live audiences from past seasons to use as reaction shots.
"You'll see a lot of differences this season to with the virtual reality stuff, with the animation, with adding America's votes — since we couldn’t have a full audience of 300 people, though we're utilizing some audience footage from pasts seasons to get that audience feel," executive producer Craig Plestis said in a September 2020 interview with Yahoo. "We're augmenting some of the clapping and stuff to get that audience feel, kind of like what sports does. But we want to make sure our show comes back and doesn't feel like a Zoom show."
At this time, further details on the upcoming season are unknown. Fox handed down the Season 6 renewal in May, just ahead of The Masked Singer Season 5 finale. The new season will continue to air in the fall on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. E.T., though a premiere date has not yet been announced. Those wanting to catch up on the series or relive their favorite moments can do so on Hulu, where all past episodes are available for streaming with a Hulu subscription.