The MBC Sunday variety show “King of Mask Singer” is very popular in Korea, generating buzz and ratings every week. In this talent survival show, musicians, actors, comedians and more sing behind masks and they are judged only by their voice and not by their looks or fame. It is filmed and recorded in a studio with an audience and a large panel of celebrity judges. Since the show is not live, like many survival competition programs, and there is incredible focus on the unveiling of a masked singer, secrecy is of upmost importance. The identity of the masked singer cannot be leaked before the broadcast of the show; otherwise, all the tension and excitement is gone.
The temptation must be there, however, for the audience and celebrity judges to talk to reporters or spread spoilers on the internet. But in the ten weeks this show has been on air, there have been no leaks from them (although there were leaks from Bugs Music) and local news media Ilgan Sports reports that it is because the audience are asked to sign an oath that will cost them a lot to break.
An audience member from one of the show’s recordings told Ilgan Sports: “Before filming, we sign an oath. When we arrive at the studio, the staff hands us a piece of paper. On that paper, it says we will not put any information about the broadcast on blogs or social media networks. If we break this oath, we have to pay all the production fees for one episode of the show.”
A staff member of the show also revealed that all the audience members are allowed to bring in their phones, but they are given a sticker to put over the lens of the camera so they can’t take pictures or record anything.
Regarding the filming process in general, the recording of “King of Mask Singer” takes place for about eight hours, starting around 4 p.m. There are 10 minute breaks from time to time during the filming. Additionally, there is not reshooting if the competing singer makes a mistake; the recording continues as if the show is live.