10 locks in Osher Günsberg as host for crazy new big-budget reality format THE MASKED SINGER
10 has confirmed the signing of much-loved Australian TV presenter Osher Günsberg as the inaugural host of the network's big new reality series The Masked Singer.
Günsberg was seen by 10 as the natural choice to front the celebrity singing contest.
The self-confessed music tragic has been at the forefront of Australia's entertainment industry, working as a VJ on Foxtel's Channel V, hosting radio program Take 40 Australia and helping to create music superstars as co-host on Network 10's Australian Idol for seven seasons.
Günsberg also hosted Live To Dance for US broadcaster CBS and has been the face of The Bachelor franchise in Australia since 2013.
In an interview with TV Blackbox, Günsberg explained why he jumped at the chance to host the outrageous singing contest;
"When we were in LA in January, my former colleague at Live to Dance James Sunderland could not stop raving about The Masked Singer.
He told me 'You've got to host this show. It's completely bonkers. If it comes to Australia, it has to be you that does it.'
Surprise James, you got your wish!"
TV Blackbox exclusively revealed the commissioning of The Masked Singer by 10 in March. The network is investing what rivals have described as 'an exorbitant fee' to secure the bizarre singing format after it became the most successful new show to launch in the US this year.
"I'm so excited to be a part of a big, loud entertainment show for Network 10," added Günsberg.
"The Masked Singer Australia is such an out-there show, such a wild format, and I can't wait for people to see it."
Originally created in South Korea, The Masked Singer sees 12 celebrities performing live on stage before a studio audience while disguised head-to-toe in elaborate costumes to hide their identities from both the studio judging panel and home viewers.
Clues are provided each week to help viewers guess the identities of the competitors, with the judging panel only allowed to ask one question of the performers each week. The guessing game has proven to be a viral hit, and helped attract LIVE broadcast viewers back to TV, at a time when consumers increasingly prefer catch-up.
The identities of the 12 celebrities are only revealed after they have been eliminated from the competition.
Celebrity competitors in the most recent US version included Tori Spelling, La Toya Jackson, Ricki Lake, Terry Bradshaw, T-Pain, Joey Fatone, Donny Osmond and Gladys Knight.
The Masked Singer Australia is produced by Warner Bros. Australia.