Backstage Secrets of the Masked Dancer – From Glittering Costumes to Crazy Choreography

If you thought The Masked Singer was bonkers, brace yourself – because The Masked Dancer spin-off takes guessing to a whole new level.

The successful ITV competition is back, with judges Davina McCall, Oti Mabuse, Mo Gilligan and Jonathan Ross.

But this time, they have to deduce which famous person is hiding behind the mask, only from their dance moves.

Executive producers Dan Nettleton and Derek McLean, who were responsible for The Masked Singer, say the new series is the craziest yet.

Dan said, “There are times when your jaw will be on the floor how crazy this show is.”

Here the couple explains how the wild show works …

The masked dancer is ready to go nuts

On filming secrets

Despite more movement in these costumes, there was an additional risk of accidents in The Masked Dancer.

Derek says, “It’s so much easier to hurt yourself while dancing. There was a time when we thought someone was injured and we were worried.

“But luckily it was just a strain and after a little ice cream they were back and they left. We had to be very careful about this.

The outfits will be crazier
The outfits will be crazier

On panel chemistry, Dan and Derek say new Judge Oti has seamlessly fitted into the show. Derek says, “Oti as a dance expert came in and was brilliant. She has worked with so many stars and knows how to dance so well.

“Having Oti on the panel really made a difference. She became aware of herself very quickly.

But Dan reveals that Davina, Oti, Jonathan, and Mo must have been quiet when they joked during takes.

Bandicoot co-founders Derek McLean (red top) and Daniel Nettleton
Bandicoot co-founders Derek McLean (red top) and Daniel Nettleton

“They get along too well,” he jokes. “We had to tell them! They are not silent.

“They get along like a house on fire and it reflects so well on the screen.”

The costumes

There is no way for a celebrity to dance in the costumes of The Masked Singer, so physicality had to be taken into account.

The producers didn’t want to lose the essence of the show’s incredible costumes, so the designs were created especially.

Dan says, “We haven’t compromised, we think we have the best masked dancer costumes in the world.

“These people now have to dance, they are going to sweat, they are going to need better vision, they have to be able to look good.

The show debuts on ITV tonight
The show debuts on ITV tonight

“None of this mattered to Singer, so we had to make sure we strip down in terms of heaviness, but we didn’t want to compromise on the goofy nature of these costumes. This has also been redesigned.

Derek adds, “We appreciate how grueling it is doing these really complicated and challenging dances in heavy costumes.”

The inspiration for Rubber Chicken came from the celebrity audition.

Derek says, “One of the people on their audition tape in the dance, it looked like they were making a chicken, I told Dan it would be funny if we could have a chicken.”

The dances

The dances were choreographed by the show’s creative director, who worked tirelessly.

Dan and Derek point out that just because some costumes are ridiculous doesn’t mean the dances aren’t taken seriously.

“We had a big debate about whether we should be having fun dances in there and whether we should be silly, rather than being serious about it,” Derek says.

It's busy backstage
It’s busy backstage

“We hit a really good midrange, I would say everyone on the show really put in the effort and put on a good show. None of the artists are doing it as a joke. “Some costumes are fun, but they take a long time.”

Viewers will see Charleston-style and contemporary dances.

“When the celebrities are revealed, you won’t believe the person who did the amazing things you see in costume,” Derek says.

* The Masked Dancer starts tonight at 7 p.m. on ITV and ITV Hub

About Keith Johnson

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