The Masked Singer is proving to be the hit television show format of the Covid era. Four former Eurovision stars have recently been unmasked on their local versions of the international celebrity singing franchise. 3JS singer Jan Dulles won the Dutch version, while Justs, Elina Born, Izhar Cohen and Vicky Leandros were masked acts in Latvia, Estonia, Israel and Germany, respectively.
The popular South Korean singing show format — in which celebrities perform in elaborate costumes that conceal their identity — now has versions in dozens of countries around the world. And the format has proved to be a perfect place for former Eurovision stars to do what they do best.
Jan Dulles wins The Masked Singer Netherlands as Neptune
In 2011, Jan Dulles was the frontman of the Dutch group 3JS, who sadly placed last in their Eurovision semi-final. But almost a decade on, victory is his as the winner of the second Dutch series of The Masked Singer.
Jan competed as Neptunus, god of the ocean. Week after week, he showed off his strengths as a vocalist, tackling songs by artists such as the Jonas Brothers and OneRepublic. The Masked Singer audience liked what they heard, voting him their champion.
The Masked Singer proved to be a massive ratings success for broadcaster RTL. Almost four million people tuned in to watch the grand final — making it the most viewed RTL show since the final of Idols in 2003.
Justs revealed as the Sparrow on The Masked Singer Latvia
Latvia’s Eurovision 2016 star Justs has been revealed as Zvirbulis — the Sparrow. For the past few weeks, he’s been one of the strongest performers on Balss Maskā, Latvia’s version of the popular celebrity singing show.
But this week, just one week short of the grand final, he was sadly eliminated from the show.
For his last performance, he tackled “Riņķa deja” originally by the Latvian rapper Rolands Če. It showed off a different side to Justs, proving that he can rap and deliver some swagger — even dressed as a sparrow.
Latvia’s Eurovision 2021 star Samanta Tīna was on show’s judging panel, but even she wasn’t even to correctly guess that Justs was behind the sparrow.
The Masked Singer Latvia wraps up next week, with the Demon and the Doll competing for the top spot. And there could be a further Eurovision connection — Samanta Tīna is convinced that Aminata Savadogo is underneath the Doll costume!
Elina Born unmasked as the Lynx on The Masked Singer Estonia
At Estonia’s 2017 national final, she asked “Are you in or out?” But now it’s clear that “Goodbye to Yesterday” singer Elina Born was the one in the Lynx costume but sadly she’s now out of the competition.
Elina has been competing as Ilves — the Lynx on Maskis laulja. In the most recent episode, she gave an impressive performance of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” — but it wasn’t enough to keep her in the competition.
The competition continues, with the Arctic Wolf, the Dragon, the Phoenix, the Toadstool and the Zebra competing to be the second Estonian Masked Singer champion.
Izhar Cohen was behind the Bull on the Masked Singer Israel
In 1978, he gave Israel its first Eurovision win with “A-Ba-Ni-Bi”. Now the legendary singer Izhar Cohen unmasked as the Bull on the Israeli version of The Masked Singer.
He lasted five weeks on הזמר במסכה — The Singer in Mask. Izhar performed as שור — the Bull. While his big Eurovision moment happened in the 1970s, Izhar performed contemporary pop songs on the show. Over the weeks the Bull sang “Stay with Me” by Sam Smith, “Black BMW” by Israeli group Ethnix, and “Stitches” by Shawn Mendes.
Sadly, the Bull is out of the competition, but the Stork, the Dragon, the Rooster, the Dragonfly, the Yael, the Falafel are still competing to see who will be Israel’s first masked champion.
Vicky Leandros unmasked as the Cat on The Masked Singer Germany
Another Eurovision winner has also been unmasked. Vicky Leandros is the Greek-German singer who won Eurovision 1972 for Luxembourg. But now she got in touch with her feline side, performing as Katze — the Cat — on the German version of The Masked Singer.
Over the weeks she performed songs from Adele, Queen and Lionel Richie, but was eliminated this week. The Alien, the Anubis, the Meerkats, the Hippo and the Skeleton remain in the competition.
Due to tighter restrictions against the Covid-19 pandemic, the German edition now takes place without a studio audience. The audience space is now filled with cardboard cut-outs of viewers.
What do you think? Which Eurovision singers would you like to hear on The Masked Singer? Should there be an all-Eurovision special series of the contest? Tell us your thoughts below!