How The Masked Singers Are Actually Breathing (And Singing) Underneath Those Costumes
Renowned costume designer Tim Chappel is one of the few people in Australia who actually knows the identities of our mysterious Masked Singers.
The Oscar-winner has been approached by so many people begging him to let slip which celebrities are hiding under all that perspex and lycra, he's perfected the face he pulls in response to any attempt at snooping.
"And do you know what, I get texts every day going, ‘I know it’s this person’ and I’m like, ‘I can neither confirm nor deny,'" he told 10 daily.
But while we'll all have to wait for the Masked Singers to gradually be revealed, there's one mystery Tim was happy to explain -- how the hell those celebs are actually singing under their masks.
The premise of the show is as simple as it is completely bonkers -- 12 celebrities sing their hearts out while disguised in extravagant costumes and then the judges and fans take a stab in the dark as to who it could be.
But the fact that the anonymous celebs' mouths are obscured by fabric has led some very cynical fans to assume it's just a lip-sync battle.
"Oh no, it’s real! It’s definitely happening, they’re singing in there," Tim assured us.
And Tim should know because a huge part of his job was making sure the celebs could breathe, sing and have as much vision of the stage as they could.
"When we started the process we thought about things like, making sure they had air and trying to give them as much visual scope from within the costume as possible," he said.
"When you think about the Unicorn, the only thing you can see out of is the mouth, that was really tough," he added, explaining that the wearer had to be led around the stage by their hand.
Tim and his costuming team -- about 75 people at one point -- had to get creative about letting some airflow into the huge masks so the celebs didn't faint on stage.
"It ended up that even with the number of air holes that we put into them, we had to find ways of carving more into every single head," he told 10 daily.
"We found out you can stick a fan on your iPhone and jam that up inside [the mask], it’s really powerful, too," he said of the clever DIY air-conditioning system they devised.
The bulky costumes got very hot so the celebs were only meant to be wearing them for 20 minutes at a time.
"But there would be a holdup and they’d get stuck backstage in this big headdress for like an hour," Tim explained, adding that the haze on stage meant "people were literally nearly falling over because of the heat."
There were no complaints about the costumes during the celebs' first time on stage, "because they were too busy sh***ing themselves".
"But the second time they put them on, that’s when sh** hit the fan, not the fan inside their headdress, fortunately," Tim told 10 daily.
Tim said that although he hates being asked about which costume he likes best, because, "they're like children", there are elements about each that he loves (and hates).
"The Lion I think is one of the most beautiful but the headdress ended up weighing like five kilos, which is a lot to carry on your head," he said.
"The Robot and the Rhino were super successful but they were also problematic with movement and squeaky, the robot was really squeaky!"