So anyway, there’s this new show, right? It’s called The Masked Singer. So famous people – and by “famous people”, I mean “people judged to be famous by the same process that selects contestants on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, but still, more famous than you or me – sing a song. And they’re wearing a mask. And a panel of judges has to try to guess who the singer is.
So far, so good. Well, not “good”, exactly. More like: so far, so pretty much what Australian commercial free-to-air television can be relied upon to provide. Which I guess is problematic in itself: why do our local producers keep coming up with programs that seem calculated to provoke the response, “What is the point of all this?”? It’s been successful in America, where it was adapted from a successful Korean show, so I suppose we have to accept there’s an audience for premises that might, in a pinch, be sustainable for a single round at a pub trivia night. But it’s still hard to escape that gnawing feeling at the back of your mind, that little voice that says, “With the money they spent on this they could’ve made a REAL show”. I call that gnawing feeling “Fifi Box Syndrome” and I’ve been suffering chronically from it of late.
But OK, fine, The Masked Singer is a thing and we all have to live with that. But even by the standards of baffling decisions, the producers made a baffling decision when they announced that one of the judges would be…Lindsay Lohan.
Yeah. Lindsay Lohan. That Lindsay Lohan. The one who was a really adorable child actor, and then an incredibly hot young woman actor, and then a perpetually imploding human train wreck, and then a punchline. Her latest incarnation: Australian Masked Singer judge, as the former shining star of Mean Girls dares us to speculate on what she’s more desperate for: attention or money.
Leaving aside questions of, if Lindsay Lohan is your judge, how low-status are your contestants going to be, how is this even going to work? Australian celebrities put on weird costumes, sing a song, and Ms Lohan has to guess who they are? What exactly is she going to have to go on? Has she been studying up on Anthony Callea’s body language? Is she in a fit and proper condition to make the call on whether the booming baritone in the elephant costume is Shane Jacobson or Denis Walter?
What I’m getting is that if there is a subject on which Lindsay Lohan is less qualified to opine than how to avoid the pitfalls of fame, it would be the identification of minor Australian celebrities. And yet this is the job for which she has been hired.
It’s enough to make you suspect that nobody’s taking The Masked Singer seriously. But…no. Surely not.