Photo: Fox

Fox’s The Masked Singer is a shockingly stupid show that operates in the dumbest, most blatantly manipulative way it possibly could, leading to a viewing experience that is somewhere between watching a train wreck and being in a train wreck. It is also very popular, with its premiere earlier this year breaking ratings records and now settling in with 17.6 million viewers across all of the different ways people watch TV these days. Unsurprisingly, then, Variety is reporting that Fox has decided to renew the show for another season, with Fox’s president of alternative entertainment and specials Rob Wade saying that the next season will be “even more fun, weird, and wonderful than the first.”

For those who have missed out on this cultural phenomenon, The Masked Singer is sort of like American Idol but the contestants are famous and they wear goofy costumes to conceal their identity. Every week, the singers compete against each other, offer some hints about their identity, get questioned by judges, and then move on to next week or go home depending on who loses an America’s Funniest Home Videos-style vote by the studio audience. An enormous portion of the show is dedicated to watching the judges struggle to interpret the clues that each singer gives, even though winners are chosen based on being good singers and not based on how well they obfuscate their identity—even though 90 percent of the show is about watching the judges shout ridiculously stupid guesses for who might be under each mask.

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The judges are Ken Jeong, Nicole Scherzinger, Robin Thicke, and Jenny McCarthy (who somehow found time for this in her busy schedule of contributing to the measles outbreak with her anti-vaxxer bullshit), and while Jeong and Scherzinger more or less know what kind of show they’re on, McCarthy and Thicke come at the task without any self-awareness. We don’t want to spoil who’s under the masks, but a singing show that has to get Jenny McCarthy and Robin Thicke as two of its judges probably isn’t going to be able to convince Barack Obama or Tom Brady to dress like a monster for however many episodes. Nobody asked us, but a better version of this show would drop the idea of competitors staying on all season and instead have one-off competitions where the winner is unmasked at the end of every episode. Then the show could actually pull in big names as a surprise every week instead of tricking people into tuning in for another song from Terry Bradshaw.

Anyway, this stupid show is getting another season and vaccines don’t cause autism.

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