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'The Masked Dancer' Is Officially Coming, Because Why Not?

When The Masked Singer debuted in 2019, it was a shock to the reality show system. The popularity of singing competitions was already well documented, but shows featuring celebrities have discovered a fanbase war problem. It didn't matter how well the celeb did if fans knew who they were. By putting them in full-body costumes (and masks), it leveled the playing field. Now shows like Dancing With The Stars will get their own version, as The Masked Dancer is officially coming to Fox next year.

If The Masked Dancer sounds familiar, it should. The concept began, of all places, on daytime television. Ellen Degeneres, long known for her dancing segments, which then spread to having her guests dance, decided this would be a perfect spoof of the reality TV series. She started doing these back in January of 2019, when The Masked Singer first started, judging her dancers along with tWitch. The segment proved so popular it's become a regular feature on the daytime talk show. Celebrities who have danced on the show include Howie Mandel, Sean Hayes, Derek Hough, Colton Underwood, and even Masked Singer panelist Ken Jeong.

Now she's partnered with Fox to make it a standalone series, following in the footsteps of other talk show segments that became their own shows like Carpool Karaoke and Lip Sync Battle.

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Fox made the announcement at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

Rob Wade, president of alternative entertainment and specials at Fox Entertainment, said:

We're still blown away by The Masked Singer's massive impact on pop culture, but when Ellen debuted her own inventive segment, The Masked Dancer, on her show, we were truly amazed. We are thrilled to partner with Ellen on this new format and take The Masked Dancer to a whole new creative level.

As for Degeneres, in a statement, she said she could not wait for viewers to see what they were cooking up.

This is gonna be just as fun and suspenseful as The Masked Singer, but with a lot more krumping. And I cannot wait!

The Masked Singer, meanwhile, will begin its third season with a premiere that airs directly after Super Bowl LIV. The first two seasons crowned winners T-Pain and Wayne Brady, though the special guest star for the Season 3 premiere will not be either winner, but Jaime Foxx, host of Beat Shazam, which will be going into its fourth season on Fox this year.

The Masked Singer Season 3 premieres on Feb. 2, 2020, at whatever time the Super Bowl decides to be over. The Masked Dancer does not yet have a premiere date.