Press Centre

The Masked Dancer 2021

[Press launch video for The Masked Singer]

[Last updated: Saturday 5 June 2021]

Journalist enquiries to susan.collins@itv.com and sarah.banbury@itv.com​

Viewer enquiries to www.itv.com/contact/how-to-get-in-touch

***

HEADLINES:

Show 1 - Saturday 29 May - Viper was the first to be unmasked. Revealed to be Jordan Banjo

Show 2 - Sunday 30 May - Flamingo was revealed to be Louise Redknapp.

Show 3 - Monday 31 May - Beetroot was revealed to be Queen of Burlesque, Dita Von Teese.

Show 4 - Tuesday 1 June - Rubber Chicken was revealed to be Eddie The Eagle

[No show Wednesday 2 June due to England v Austria international football]

Show 5 - Thursday 3 June - Beagle was revealed to be Olympic legend Christopher Dean 

Show 5 - Thursday 3 June - Llama was revealed to be Zoe Ball

Show 6 - Friday  4 June - Knickerbocker Glory was revealed to be Craig Revel Horwood

Show 6 - Friday  4 June - Frog was revealed to be Hollywood actress and model Kelly Brook

Show 7 - Saturday 5 June - 4th place - Scarecrow revealed to be Tamzin Outhwaite

Show 7 - Saturday 5 June - 3rd place - Zip revealed to be Howard Donald

Show 7 - Saturday 5 June - 2nd place  - Squirrel revealed to be Bonnie Langford

Show 7 - Saturday 5 June - WINNER - CARWASH CROWNED THE WINNER OF THE MASKED DANCER 2021 - OLYMPIC GYMNAST - LOUIS SMITH

***

Carwash has been crowned the winner of The Masked Dancer and finally the mystery of who has been brush swishin’ and back flippin’ under the mask all week has been solved - it's Olympic gymnast, Louis Smith.

Louis as Carwash is the champion ahead of Squirrel (Bonnie Langford) in second place, Zip (Howard Donald) in third and Scarecrow (Tamzin Outhwaite) in fourth.

Please find below a Q&A with Louis.  If you use this content please be sure to credit:

The Masked Dancer, ITV and the ITV Hub

What made you decide to take on the challenge?

I love the singer version, I love dancing and I love performing.

How do you think this compares to The Masked Singer? Did dancing appeal to you more than singing? 

I think this is a lot more physical obviously but I am definitely a better dancer.

How hard is it to keep the secret? 

It was pretty easy keeping it a secret but was difficult not to tell my mum.

How was the secrecy at filming?

They run a slick operation, everything is locked down.

What did you think of your mask, your overall look and the character you got to play? 

My character is so fun and full of energy and is such a laugh.

Do you have a signature dance move?  

Not exactly but he is a bit of a smooth mover.

Does the mask/outfit give you the confidence to dance like no one’s watching?

Having to smile whilst dancing is tough so the mask makes it less to worry about.

Were there any nerves when you first performed as your character or did being hidden inside the costume make you feel more confident? 

Oh I was so nervous. I like to put on a good show and I want to make myself and the team proud.

Have you seen some of the other costumes? If so, other than yours do you have a favourite?  

I’ve seen all the costumes and I think Viper and Rubber Chicken are my favourites.

Did you have any nerves and would you be as confident dancing without the mask on?  

I am a bag of nerves when I dance. I think I was more nervous when I was unmasked.

How about the clue packages - were there any clues you asked to be included into your clue package and if so, why that clue?

I just said “do your thing” to the producers!

Did you do any research and study any well-known performers to get some tips, ahead of filming?  

I am already a big dancing fan so I already take inspiration from so many performances.

What are your thoughts on the panel and what did you think of their feedback and guesses? 

Loved hearing the panel guess and hearing their praise feels good after working so hard.

Looking back at your costume and performances is there anything you would change? 

Not at all, I loved the dances and creative team and the costume is epic. 

What was it like performing in a mask and having complete anonymity?  

It was very fun, warm and sweaty - haha!

Who would be your own personal dream performer to see behind one of the masks?

Bruno Mars or Vladimir Putin. 

What has been your personal highlight taking part in The Masked Dancer? 

Being part of such a lovely team and talented group after the last year or two we have all had has been a blessing.

If you could sum up your experience in three words what would they be?  

Best. Decision. Ever.

***

Tonight on the final of The Masked Dancer runner up Squirrel was unmasked as iconic actor and performer Bonnie Langford.  

Please find a Q&A with Bonnie Langford below. If you use this content please be sure to credit:

The Masked Dancer, ITV and the ITV Hub

What made you decide to take on the challenge?

Why not! I love the Masked Singer and this seemed even more crazy.

Had you watched the Masked Singer and how do you think this compares? Did dancing appeal to you more than singing? 

Yes, I love it and I played along. This is tougher to guess I reckon, but so entertaining.

How hard is it to keep the secret? 

Really hard but I’m managing it somehow. I’ve had to downright lie to friends and family.

How was the secrecy at filming?

Full on! I’ve never experienced it before. It took some getting used to. 

What did you think of your mask, your overall look and the character you got to play? 

She’s cute and sassy.  I think she has a soft nature but acts big because she’s small. She’s feisty and fun. 

Do you have a signature dance move?  

A few, her poses, her wobbly head and swirling her tail.

Does the mask/outfit give you the confidence to dance like no one’s watching?

Yes, I’m doing moves I would never do as myself!

Were there any nerves when you first performed as your character or did being hidden inside the costume make you feel more confident? 

I was nervous because of the restrictions and visibility, but I found it so funny too.

Have you seen some of the other costumes? If so, other than yours do you have a favourite?  

I love them all, especially Knickerbocker Glory and Carwash.  It’s totally bonkers.

How about the clue packages - were there any clues you asked to be included into your clue package and if so, why that clue?  

No.  We had a lot of material to choose from and the team was amazing.

Did you have a game plan to trick the panel, whether by clues or your moves?

Just move like a girl band member as much as possible.

Did you do any research and study any well-known performers to get some tips, ahead of filming?  

Yes, I watched some on YouTube.

What are your thoughts on the panel and what did you think of their feedback and guesses? 

I don’t envy them! I can’t guess anyone. 

Looking back at your costume and performances is there anything you would change? 

Lighter tail and head! But otherwise nothing.

What was it like performing in a mask and having complete anonymity?  

It was weird not being able to say hello and chat to anyone.

Who would be your own personal dream performer to see behind one of the masks?

Beyonce, Carlos Acosta, Mikhail Baryshnikov.

How did it feel to leave at the point you left in the competition?

Sad but glad it happened.

What has been your personal highlight taking part in The Masked Dancer? 

Working with such a great team. 

If you could sum up your experience in three words what would they be?  

NUTS! NUTS! NUTS! And fun.

If you could wear your mask and costume just one more time what occasion would you choose to wear it to? 

A mascot at a cup final, or the Oliviers!

***

The Masked Dancer grand final continues and in third place is Zip, who was unmasked as Take That's Howard Donald.  

Please find a Q&A with Howard Donald below. If you use this content please be sure to credit:

The Masked Dancer, ITV and the ITV Hub

What made you decide to take on the challenge?

Just the challenge in itself! It felt like nothing I’ve done before. I’m sure like everyone else as well it was good to get my fitness back and help with lockdown boredom.

Had you watched the Masked Singer and how do you think this compares? Did dancing appeal to you more than singing?

Definitely. Dancing has always been my thing and singing comes second.

How hard is it to keep the secret?

Super hard! Especially when you can’t even tell your own children.

How was the secrecy at filming?

TOP secret. Not being allowed to speak on set was hard.

What did you think of your mask, your overall look and the character you got to play?

I love the mask. It’s me in a nutshell. From the first time I saw a drawing of the outfit I was so excited to get to be that character, although the big mask was restrictive when it came to some of the dance moves.

Do you have a signature dance move? 

I have a few but keeping them a secret.

Does the mask/outfit give you the confidence to dance like no one’s watching?

It does! And added to that the fact that there was no audience in the studio.

Were there any nerves when you first performed as your character or did being hidden inside the costume make you feel more confident?

It did give me a little bit more confidence but my anxiety was off the scale for the performances.

Have you seen some of the other costumes? If so, other than yours do you have a favourite? 

Knickerbocker Glory is amazing! I love Carwash too.

Did you have any nerves and would you be as confident dancing without the mask on? 

Yes, lots of nerves. I would definitely be less confident without the mask I think, although it adds extra difficulty as it’s quite restricting.

How about the clue packages - were there any clues you asked to be included into your clue package and if so, why that clue? 

I didn’t need to, the team did such a great job of putting them together. There were some that were very revealing.

Did you have a game plan to trick the panel, whether by clues or your moves?

I wish, I’m not that clever!

Did you do any research and study any well-known performers to get some tips, ahead of filming? 

No, I think that would have made me feel more nervous.

What are your thoughts on the panel and what did you think of their feedback and guesses?

All the guesses were a mile off which I was really pleased about. Davina was on the money about my age.

Looking back at your costume and performances is there anything you would change?

My costume was perfect, I wouldn’t change anything about it. I loved all my performances as well. The only one I was worried about was ‘Sky Full of Stars’, I don’t think the audience enjoyed that one as much and maybe didn’t quite get the contemporary dance.

What was it like performing in a mask and having complete anonymity? 

Very difficult and sometimes it could be frustrating as it's such a strange experience not speaking to anyone. At the same time I was very smug that the panel had no idea.

Who would be your own personal dream performer to see behind one of the masks?

Jeremy Clarkson.

How did it feel to leave at the point you left in the competition?

I never thought I would make it to the final and I’m proud of myself to have made it so far.

What has been your personal highlight taking part in The Masked Dancer?

The rush of being put through the next round each time, it was the best feeling.

If you could sum up your experience in three words what would they be? 

Proud, exhausted, nervous. 

If you could wear your mask and costume just one more time what occasion would you choose to wear it to?

I think I’ll start wearing it when I do my live DJ sets!

***

The Masked Dancer final is underway and the first mask is off! Coming in fourth place in the grand final having entertained viewers all week as the loveable Scarecrow - it’s actress Tamzin Outhwaite.

Please find a Q&A with Tamzin below. If you use this content please be sure to credit:

The Masked Dancer, ITV and the ITV Hub

What made you decide to take on the challenge?

I was a fan of The Masked Singer and the judges and I loved the trick element of it.

How do you think this compares? Did dancing appeal to you more than singing? 

Yes, I loved the idea of dancing more.

How hard is it to keep the secret? 

The secret becomes more difficult as time goes on. I said Iwas doing a secret project and left it there.

How was the secrecy at filming?

The way the secret is kept is fantastic - a military operation.

What did you think of your mask, your overall look and the character you got to play? 

I feel like the working class scarecrow who made his own costume. It’s brilliant but feels very real and not flamboyant. 

Do you have a signature dance move?  

My scarecrow arms but mainly my headstand.

Does the mask/outfit give you the confidence to dance like no one’s watching?

Yes! I definitely don’t have to worry about sticking my tongue out concentrating.

Were there any nerves when you first performed as your character or did being hidden inside the costume make you feel more confident? 

Lots of nerves always but the feeling of nobody knowing who you are is liberating. 

I feel slightly more confident with the mask on but can’t breathe as well.

Have you seen some of the other costumes? If so, other than yours do you have a favourite?  

I love Rubber Chicken and Llama - the more ridiculous the better.

Did you have a game plan to trick the panel, whether by clues or your moves?

Well – I was basing Scarecrow on a teenage boy to trick them into thinking I’m a boy or young.

Did you do any research and study any well-known performers to get some tips, ahead of filming?  

I watched the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz to find a character.

What are your thoughts on the panel and what did you think of their feedback and guesses? 

I love the panel – Oti really knows what she is talking about and her and Davina have been closest in their guesses.

Looking back at your costume and performances is there anything you would change? 

I would love to see better out of my mask.

What was it like performing in a mask and having complete anonymity?  

The anonymity is liberating. You really have no idea.

Who would be your own personal dream performer to see behind one of the masks?

Dawn French.

How did it feel to leave at the point you left in the competition?

Great – As long as I didn’t go first I was happy!

What has been your personal highlight taking part in The Masked Dancer? 

Learning a new dance each week.

If you could sum up your experience in three words what would they be? 

Weird, wonderful, hilarious.

If you could wear your mask and costume just one more time what occasion would you choose to wear it to? 

At my funeral – to make people laugh.

***

In the penultimate episode of The Masked Dancer the six remaining characters - Squirrel, Carwash, Frog, Scarecrow, Zip and Knickerbocker Glory - took to the stage.

Joining the panel tonight was guest judge, comedian John Bishop. 

Tonight's double elimination saw Knickerbocker Glory, Carwash and Frog in the bottom three.  Earlier viewers saw Knickerbocker Glory unmasked as choreographer and Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood. With the panel choosing to save Carwash it was time for Frog to hop off the dancefloor and reveal their true identity.  Frog was unmasked as Hollywood actress and model Kelly Brook.

Please see below a Q&A with Kelly Brook for immediate release. Should you use any of the content in this Q&A please credit as follows:

The final of the Masked Dancer airs on ITV & the ITV Hub at 7.30pm on Saturday 5th June.

What made you decide to take on the challenge?

After lockdown I wanted to challenge myself and get fit. This seemed so much fun and I love dancing.

Had you watched the Masked Singer and how do you think this compares? Did dancing appeal to you more than singing? 

I love The Masked Singer, the costumes are fab and I love the guessing game. I can’t sing at all but I enjoy dancing.

How hard is it to keep the secret? 

You want to tell everyone but you can’t, you just hope friends and family are watching. 

How was the secrecy at filming?

Insane. I wore a visor and was locked in my dressing room all day.

What did you think of your mask, your overall look and the character you got to play? 

Frog is so upbeat and enthusiastic. It was so much fun and the mask made me smile.

Do you have a signature dance move?  

Frog loves all the tik tok dances and choreography.

Does the mask/outfit give you the confidence to dance like no one’s watching?

Absolutely! However it’s restricting because you can’t see.

Were there any nerves when you first performed as your character or did being hidden inside the costume make you feel more confident? 

I had a lot of nerves and stage fright!

Have you seen some of the other costumes? If so, other than yours do you have a favourite?  

I love Zip and Carwash.

Did you have any nerves and would you be as confident dancing without the mask on?  

Dancing without the mask was fun, I could let loose.

How about the clue packages - were there any clues you asked to be included into your clue package and if so, why that clue?  

I think travelling west and liking men in tights as I was in Smallville and lived in LA.

Did you have a game plan to trick the panel, whether by clues or your moves?

I tried to be less girly and more military. 

Did you do any research and study any well-known performers to get some tips, ahead of filming?  

No but I should have done that.

What are your thoughts on the panel and what did you think of their feedback and guesses? 

Oti had a feeling it was me but the rest of the panel had no clue.

Looking back at your costume and performances is there anything you would change? 

The mask was big and heavy so it was hard to dance in! So definitely a lighter mask.

What was it like performing in a mask and having complete anonymity?  

It was challenging and scary.

Who would be your own personal dream performer to see behind one of the masks?

I’d love to see Justin Timberlake or Jennifer Lopez take part in the show.

How did it feel to leave at the point you left in the competition?

It felt the right time.

What has been your personal highlight taking part in The Masked Dancer? 

Working with amazing dancers. 

If you could sum up your experience in three words what would they be?  

Scary, hot & sweaty, suffocating.

If you could wear your mask and costume just one more time what occasion would you choose to wear it to? 

Halloween would be fun! 

***

Tonight, it’s the semi-final of The Masked Dancer and the first true identity of a dancer discovered was that of Knickerbocker Glory as Craig Revel Horwood removed the mask.

Please find below a Q&A with Craig. If you use this content please be sure to credit:

The Masked Dancer on ITV & the ITV Hub, the final is on Saturday 5th June at 7.30pm

What made you decide to take on the challenge?

I haven’t danced for years and thought it a fun challenge.

Had you watched the Masked Singer and how do you think this compares? Did dancing appeal to you more than singing? 

I love both equally. 

How hard is it to keep the secret? 

I wanted to tell everyone, it was so very difficult.

How was the secrecy at filming?

Amazingly handled by all.

What did you think of your mask, your overall look and the character you got to play? 

It was a really happy character and fun to play.

Do you have a signature dance move?  

Turning spins. 

Does the mask/outfit give you the confidence to dance like no one’s watching?

Yes but it is odd not using your face!

Were there any nerves when you first performed as your character or did being hidden inside the costume make you feel more confident? 

Very nervous because it was body only and no face.

Did you have any nerves and would you be as confident dancing without the mask on?  

Yes, I was very nervous. However, I would be just as confident with the mask off. 

Did you have a game plan to trick the panel, whether by clues or your moves?

Yes – to dance like a girl!

What are your thoughts on the panel and what did you think of their feedback and guesses? 

The panel were a riot with some hilarious guesses.

Looking back at your costume and performances is there anything you would change? 

Yes, I’d lose the skirt.

Who would be your own personal dream performer to see behind one of the masks?

Simon Cowell.

How did it feel to leave at the point you left in the competition?

I was disappointed.

What has been your personal highlight taking part in The Masked Dancer? 

The dancing and working with the choreographers.

If you could sum up your experience in three words what would they be?  

Fab.U.Lous! 

If you could wear your mask and costume just one more time what occasion would you choose to wear it to? 

My death.

***

The Masked Dancer continued tonight with all remaining characters performing to continue the guessing game! 

Following Beagle’s big reveal - Ice skating legend and Dancing On Ice judge Christopher Dean - Llama and Zip found themselves in the bottom two. After Davina announced the panel would be saving Zip, Llama alpaca’d their bags and, before exiting the dance floor, removed their mask to show the audience the celebrity within - Zoe Ball! 

Please see below a Q&A with Zoe Ball for immediate release. Should you use any of the content in this Q&A please credit as follows:

The Masked Dancer on ITV & the ITV Hub continues at 7.30pm on Friday 4th June.

What made you decide to take on the challenge?

I wanted to surprise my daughter, Nelly, my nieces and nephews and radio listeners who all LOVED Masked Singer.

Had you watched the Masked Singer and how do you think this compares? Did dancing appeal to you more than singing? 

Well I’m tone deaf so couldn’t do Masked Singer but I love a mum dance at a wedding or a kitchen disco.

How hard is it to keep the secret? 

Biggest secret I’ve ever kept. Loved it though…

How was the secrecy at filming?

Unbelievable. I always think I’m a good Miss Marple but there are no clues – such a clever set up, damn it!

What did you think of your mask, your overall look and the character you got to play? 

Llama has the cutest, calmest face. It disguises the gurning and panic underneath! 

Do you have a signature dance move?  

Llama hooves and a jolly trot. What a lark.

Does the mask/outfit give you the confidence to dance like no one’s watching?

The whole thing is bonkers – I loved being Llama and trotting about. Not speaking was hard though.

Were there any nerves when you first performed as your character or did being hidden inside the costume make you feel more confident? 

It’s still nerve-wracking – lots of heavy breathing and sweating but ultimately an absolute hoot. I definitely wouldn’t be as brave without my Llama disguise. The outfit gives you a superpower.

Have you seen some of the other costumes? If so, other than yours do you have a favourite?  

I did! Carwash, Zip and Rubber Chicken – BRILLIANT.

How about the clue packages?

They made me laugh – doing the Llama posh voice is daft. Penelope Keith was my inspiration!

Did you have a game plan to trick the panel, whether by clues or your moves?

Davina got close straight away so we had to lead her away!

Did you do any research and study any well-known performers to get some tips, ahead of filming? 

Crikey should I have done that?! Ha! Llama style is a bit Austin Powers and Bob Fosse but I’m not sure I’ve carried that off!

What are your thoughts on the panel and what did you think of their feedback and guesses? 

It’s hilarious listening to their guesses. I wish I was Vicky McClure of Line of Duty. Davina and Oti I know so when they get close or get it wrong it cracks me up.

Looking back at your costume and performances is there anything you would change? 

You can always be more graceful but I’m a llama, it’s hilarious.

What was it like performing in a mask and having complete anonymity?  

A proper hoot. Knowing Joel, Davina and Oti and the crew just makes me giggle when they don’t know it’s me.

Who would be your own personal dream performer to see behind one of the masks?

Tom Cruise or Ken Bruce from Radio 2.

How did it feel to leave at the point you left in the competition?

I lasted longer than I ever expected. I’ve loved it.

What has been your personal highlight taking part in The Masked Dancer? 

Learning dances with an ace choreography team and keeping the secret from my family!

If you could sum up your experience in three words what would they be?  

Bonkers, brilliant, best time ever.

If you could wear your mask and costume just one more time what occasion would you choose to wear it to? 

To the Brits or the National Television Awards. Or for the cover of Heat magazine or a Llama at home shoot for OK magazine – imagine! 

***

The Masked Dancer returned to our screens tonight as the eight remaining characters - Squirrel, Carwash, Frog, Beagle, Scarecrow, Zip, Llama and Knickerbocker Glory - took to the the stage.

Joining the panel tonight was guest judge, comedian and author David Walliams.   

Tonight's double elimination saw Beagle, Zip and Llama in the bottom three.  After chasing their tail it was Beagle who was eliminated first.  Beagle was unmasked as Olympic legend Christopher Dean 

Please see below a Q&A with Christopher Dean for immediate release. Should you use any of the content in this Q&A please credit as follows:

The Masked Dancer on ITV & the ITV Hub continues at 7.30pm on Friday 4th June.

What made you decide to take on the challenge?

I like new challenges.

How hard is it to keep the secret? 

I didn’t tell anyone and avoided calls from friends.

How was the secrecy at filming?

The whole experience of wearing a disguise all the time was surreal.

What did you think of your mask, your overall look and the character you got to play? 

I liked my Beagle.

Do you have a signature dance move?  

Pointing to the stars.

Does the mask/outfit give you the confidence to dance like no one’s watching?

It did to a degree but I did find that the mask was claustrophobic with very limited vision.

Were there any nerves when you first performed as your character or did being hidden inside the costume make you feel more confident? 

It’s a totally different way of moving and remembering steps.  I was trying to match with a partner I couldn’t see half the time.

Have you seen some of the other costumes? If so, other than yours do you have a favourite?  

They were all unique but Carwash was fun.

Did you have any nerves and would you be as confident dancing without the mask on?  

It’s definitely easier and you can smile.

Did you have a game plan to trick the panel, whether by clues or your moves?

I just stayed in character, there are not many dogs on ice! 

Did you do any research and study any well-known performers to get some tips, ahead of filming?  

I did, I watched dog ads on TV and dog shows.

What are your thoughts on the panel and what did you think of their feedback and guesses? 

The panel were great but they were way off the mark.

Looking back at your costume and performances is there anything you would change? 

More air in the mask and breathable clothing! 

Who would be your own personal dream performer to see behind one of the masks?

Lassie.

How did it feel to leave at the point you left in the competition?

It was my time and I enjoyed the experience.

What has been your personal highlight taking part in The Masked Dancer? 

Getting past show one.

If you could sum up your experience in three words what would they be?  

Surreal, challenging and fun.

If you could wear your mask and costume just one more time what occasion would you choose to wear it to? 

A dog's dinner.

***

Show 4 - Tuesday 1 June - Rubber Chicken was revealed to be Eddie The Eagle

The Masked Dancer continued tonight as five more characters - Squirrel, Carwash, Rubber Chicken, Frog and Beagle - took to the the stage.

Tonight Frog and Rubber Chicken found themselves at the bottom of the pecking order.  They put on a cracking performance but in the end the panel chose to save Frog.  Rubber Chicken was unmasked as Eddie The Eagle. 

Please see below a Q&A with Eddie The Eagle for immediate release. Should you use any of the content in this Q&A please credit as follows:

The Masked Dancer on ITV & the ITV Hub continues at 7.30pm on Thursday 3rd June (please note there is no show on Wednesday 2nd June) 

What made you decide to take on the challenge?

I always love a challenge and I love dancing too.

Had you watched the Masked Singer and how do you think this compares? Did dancing appeal to you more than singing? 

Yes, but dancing appeals more than singing!!

How hard is it to keep the secret? 

I found it very hard!

How was the secrecy at filming?

It was very well organised but I found it hard not to talk to people.  

What did you think of your mask, your overall look and the character you got to play? 

I loved being a Rubber Chicken. I could really be silly and play with the character but I did find the costume quite restrictive.  

Do you have a signature dance move?  

No not that I know of.  

Does the mask/outfit give you the confidence to dance like no one’s watching?

Yes.  I could do anything and be very silly.   

Were there any nerves when you first performed as your character or did being hidden inside the costume make you feel more confident? 

I was very nervous, I had to use a lot of energy to move the outfit, but it was nice to hide inside the costume it made things slightly easier.

Have you seen some of the other costumes? If so, other than yours do you have a favourite?  

Yes and I probably would have picked the rubber chicken myself, it was a great choice.

Did you have any nerves and would you be as confident dancing without the mask on?  

If I’ve learnt the routine I’d be happy to dance with or without the costume.

How about the clue packages - were there any clues you asked to be included into your clue package and if so, why that clue?  

I wanted the most obscure clues to be used, some clues might be a bit too easy to get.

Did you have a game plan to trick the panel, whether by clues or your moves?

No I had no game plan, I just improvised and hoped for the best.

Did you do any research and study any well-known performers to get some tips, ahead of filming?  

No, I thought I’d think on my feet. 

What are your thoughts on the panel and what did you think of their feedback and guesses? 

They really thought about what was said in the clues, there was a lot of lateral thinking.  I’d be useless at it.  I was impressed at how many celebrity names they could come up with.

Looking back at your costume and performances is there anything you would change? 

My only thing would be to make it easier to move in and breathe. I loved thinking like a chicken and embraced the whole character.

What was it like performing in a mask and having complete anonymity?  

I loved it, that was the best part no one knew who I was. 

How did it feel to leave at the point you left in the competition?

Gutted. I wanted to go all the way.

What has been your personal highlight taking part in The Masked Dancer? 

Learning new dance techniques. It was great fun taking part.

If you could sum up your experience in three words what would they be?  

Physical, fantastic and fun.

If you could wear your mask and costume just one more time what occasion would you choose to wear it to? 

To a wedding.  

***

Show 3 - Monday 31 May - Beetroot was revealed to be Queen of Burlesque, Dita Von Teese.

The Masked Dancer continued tonight as Knickerbocker Glory, Llama, Scarecrow, Beetroot and Zip were all welcomed back to the dancefloor.

After each had delivered their routines, it was Knickerbocker Glory and Beetroot who found themselves in a dance off. With Knickerbocker Glory winning, it was time for Beetroot to beat it but not before removing her mask to reveal the Queen of Burlesque, Dita Von Teese.

Please see below a Q&A with Dita Von Teese for immediate release. Should you use any of the content in this Q&A please credit as follows:
The Masked Dancer on ITV & the ITV Hub continues at 7.30pm on Tuesday

What made you decide to take on the challenge?

I thought it would be fun to do something unexpected and out of character for me… I’ve never done anything like this, and I’m not a competitive person, but I knew it would be hilarious. I also knew people wouldn’t expect me to be under the mask.

Had you watched the Masked Singer and how do you think this compares? Did dancing appeal to you more than singing? 

I have friends who work on the US version of The Masked Singer. Before I was approached to do The Masked Dancer in the UK, I had dinner with my friend Gregory Arlt… he does makeup on Masked Singer in the States. He was telling me about how comical it is as the cast and crew are all trying to figure out who’s who. 

I can’t wait until he finds out I did it. One night recently, he and I had dinner. I wanted to share a beet salad but he loathes beets so it was a no-go. Hopefully I can borrow the costume sometime to torment him. I have a few friends who hate beets! Me, I LOVE them. How glorious to get to eat such a beautifully hued-food!

I was also nervous about taking on The Masked Dancer because my dance experience is limited to ballet, and social dances from the 1930s and 40s, and, of course, striptease. I never expected to go far in the competition but I knew it would be difficult for them to guess me and I knew I’d be unique.

How hard is it to keep the secret? 

It wasn’t easy. I’d get quizzed a lot, especially since I was in London for a month at a time when it was really difficult to travel and some people don’t let up on trying to figure it out. Most of the people around me guessed I was on a top secret Drag Race episode or occasionally they’d guess Masked Singer so of course I would say, “… I would NEVER!”, which IS totally true. Singing live is my worst nightmare. And I’d diffuse the third degree further by telling them “listen, it’ll be funnier if you don’t know until it airs on TV.” I’m hoping to host a screening for my LA friends so they can point and laugh at the Beetroot struggling in the group dance numbers and losing the dance off to Knickerbocker Glory. We Americans don’t even know what a Knickerbocker Glory is! Maybe I’ll host my own masked dancer/singer contest as a party. I love a theme party, especially ones with performances involved.

How was the secrecy at filming?

It was truly top secret. This was one of my favourite parts of being on the show. I loved wearing the disguise… the DON’T TALK TO ME sweatshirt, the blackout visor and trainers. I also enjoyed not having to put on my glam every day, I kind of enjoyed being makeup-free under the disguise. But it was torture not knowing who the others were. And it was hard not to be able to talk while on set. I really wanted to be able to chat with the dancing carrots and onions supporting me through the dance number…

What did you think of your mask, your overall look and the character you got to play? 

Beetroot was quite glamorous! I loved her leafy, flowy, hand painted silk dress, and her beet-hued Swarovski covered dancing shoes. 

Do you have a signature dance move?  

Beetroot giggles a lot and takes tiny steps.

Does the mask/outfit give you the confidence to dance like no one’s watching?

Not necessarily, but for some of the things that were really out of character for me, like the group dances… well, I was REALLY glad I was wearing the mask. I’d be like “wait, you want me to do WHAT??” I felt ridiculous sometimes, but that was par for the course. Every time I would feel inept and silly, I’d have to remember the big picture… “YOU ARE A DANCING BEETROOT ON THE SILLIEST SHOW ON TV!”

Were there any nerves when you first performed as your character or did being hidden inside the costume make you feel more confident? 

I was nervous for soooo many reasons and pretty much always. I wasn’t ready for how difficult it would be to navigate with the mask on. My visibility was compromised quite a bit, so my balance was off. I literally could not see if someone was gesturing two feet in front of me. Then the inner-ears device created an added impairment for me. I am sure singers are accustomed to it. And Beetroot had a few moves in the choreography she could do fine in rehearsal but not with all the gear on. And don’t get me started on how that psychedelic high-tech floor complicated things! It was all very psychedelic, the whole experience. 

Have you seen some of the other costumes? If so, other than yours do you have a favourite?  

I saw all the costumes during the group filming day, which was definitely a highlight. I loved seeing everyone, it was just such an insane and surreal moment. No one knows who anyone is! My favourite costume was probably the frog because I love uniforms.

I was also very intrigued by the Carwash - what a brilliant idea for a character! Oh, and Llama slipped a note under my dressing room door so I can’t wait to see who’s in that costume. 

I was wishing I could have had a Masked Romance, totally in character of course.

Did you have any nerves and would you be as confident dancing without the mask on? 

I was really quite timid, which is strange because I’m not nervous when I’m dancing in my own shows. And although I’ve always loved to dance and move, I would get so worried about making mistakes in the choreography. It reminds me of being stressed out in ballet auditions when I was a teenager. 

Some of the choreography I had for Masked Dancer is very different from how I move for my own shows. In my burlesque shows, I have my own little ‘codes’ and a signature style, and I’m usually hyper-focused on the functions of my complicated striptease costumes. It’s also a real challenge to be masked while performing because I’m used to conveying a feeling to a large, live audience in a theatre. Being masked, and being on TV is VERY different.

On the other hand, it was also hard for me to perform the unmasked bit. I didn’t really have a chance to think about how it would be to dance as ME after the unmasking. I was actually kind of surprised at how hard it was for me to take off the mask and do the dance as “me”.

How about the clue packages - were there any clues you asked to be included into your clue package and if so, why that clue?  

The clues were all the production’s edits. I think it was hard because you can’t REALLY hint at my real profession as a burlesque star, it would have been a dead giveaway. We just chatted about my life and where I come from, things like that to get some ideas.

Did you have a game plan to trick the panel, whether by clues or your moves?

Not at all, I felt fairly confident that they wouldn’t guess me as it was during the pandemic and complicated to travel from the US to London. I guess I’m also a fairly private person too; I’ve never done a TV show like this so I don’t even think I was on anyone’s radar to be guessed on a TV show like this. I thought they were getting warmer by guessing I was a Pussycat Doll since I did perform with them when they were only a dance group in the early 2000s. 

What are your thoughts on the panel and what did you think of their feedback and guesses? 

I thought Jonathan Ross would have guessed me since I was on his show before. But Oti Mabuse was the one person I thought was on the right track, almost guessing me. Ultimately, she said she wrote my name down and then scratched it out. The feedback I thought was the most amusing was that I was “holding back” my dance ability because my feet and hands/arms are very much like a professional dancer. And that’s true, I have a lifetime of ballet experience but long ago I parlayed my ballet training into my own performance style. While it’s true that I am a “professional dancer” because I’ve been performing and touring for a long time… I created my own style based on bringing ballet and striptease together. I kind of turned lemons into lemonade… I was never going to be a professional ballet dancer and I was too short to be a Vegas or Moulin Rouge showgirl so early on I decided to explore the (then) mostly forgotten art of burlesque. 

Looking back at your costume and performances is there anything you would change? 

I wish I’d had more rehearsal time! I’m a slow learner, and I have a thing where I perform better when there’s a big live audience. Also, it’s probably the first time I’ve ever performed without having a half a glass of icy cold champagne before I go onstage… for luck, and for my nerves. But dancing as a beetroot was far more nerve-wracking than striptease! Don’t think I didn’t consider shedding those leaves for my dance finale! I loved my sleek beet-red unitard underneath it all!

What was it like performing in a mask and having complete anonymity?  

I found it somewhat difficult, more difficult than I imagined. I knew it wasn’t truly going to anonymous… when I’ve watched “Masked” shows in the past, I always like to know who’s under the mask before I watch. Yes, I google the spoilers. I can’t help it!

Who would be your own personal dream performer to see behind one of the masks?

Maybe someone like Misty Copeland or someone else from the ballet world!

How did it feel to leave at the point you left in the competition?

I always knew I wasn’t going to be the one doing backflips across the stage, or doing the pumped-up, crowd pleaser type songs… I was honestly just happy to be included. I was kind of relieved to go home, I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to keep up!

What has been your personal highlight taking part in The Masked Dancer? 

I really loved being in the studio with the choreographers, and all the positivity everywhere. Everyone was so encouraging. I haven’t felt as vulnerable as I did for all of this in a long time… I like stepping outside of my comfort zone sometimes. I’m so accustomed to producing my own shows and being in charge, and so it was nice to let go. 

If you could sum up your experience in three words what would they be?  

Comical!
Challenging!
Unforgettable! 

If you could wear your mask and costume just one more time what occasion would you choose to wear it to? 

Maybe for my Glamonatrix show at The London Palladium so the Beetroot can finally perform a striptease!

***

Show 2 - Sunday 30 May - Flamingo was revealed to be Louise Redknapp.

The Masked Dancer continued tonight as six more characters - Squirrel, Carwash, Flamingo, Rubber Chicken, Frog and Beagle - shimmied onto the stage.

She shook her tail feather and gamely challenged Rubber Chicken in the pecking order but ultimately it was Flamingo who flew the nest this evening. Removing the mask, Flamingo was revealed to be Louise Redknapp.

In the final panel guesses it was Jonathan Ross who was spot on!

Please see below a Q&A with Louise Redknapp for immediate release. Should you use any of the content in this Q&A please credit as follows:

The Masked Dancer on ITV & the ITV Hub continues at 7.30pm on Monday

***

What made you decide to take on the challenge?

After being in lockdown for so long, it felt like such a nice change to get out and not only dance, which is something I love, but keep fit and just thoroughly enjoy doing something fun. 

Had you watched the Masked Singer and how do you think this compares? Did dancing appeal to you more than singing? 

The dancing appealed to me because it’s something I love to do but it isn’t my sole vocation. It’s not my job but I do use it within my job. It just seemed so fun.

How hard is it to keep the secret? 

It’s hard because obviously you’re going to do dance rehearsals and you can’t tell people where you are so you’re forever making up excuses! Luckily my kids are teenagers and they didn’t ask too many questions. 

How was the secrecy at filming?

It was made really easy; a lot goes into keeping the secret. They do all the hard work for you, finding you a place to film that’s really secure and such. The production really help to keep it private. 

What did you think of your mask, your overall look and the character you got to play? 

I loved my character, it was really good fun. What was really nice is that it was so different from me, it was very girly and pink. Being a flamingo was lots of fun and so different to what I would naturally choose. 

Do you have a signature dance move?  

No not really… flapping my wings?!

Does the mask/outfit give you the confidence to dance like no one’s watching?

I found it a little bit harder to dance in the mask because the head of the mask was so big that I found it difficult to really give it everything I wanted. It unfortunately wasn’t that easy but it was really fun and nice to know that people didn’t know who was under the mask. 

Were there any nerves when you first performed as your character or did being hidden inside the costume make you feel more confident? 

I think the nerves for me were all about trying to manage the costume - how big mine felt, being within the mask and not being able to see too well. It was those things that made me more nervous than the actual performance. 

Have you seen some of the other costumes? If so, other than yours do you have a favourite?  

I liked Viper. A little bit rocky and a cool costume. 

Did you have a game plan to trick the panel, whether by clues or your moves?

No game plan. I felt like the costume was so different to anything I’d do anyway that it in itself seemed like enough of a game plan to put someone off! As for my moves - I just danced the way I love to dance!

What are your thoughts on the panel and what did you think of their feedback and guesses? 

I was guessed pretty quickly and easily by one of the panel members and most probably on the tip of the tongue of the other panellists. I wasn’t surprised that they guessed me when they did. 

Looking back at your costume and performance is there anything you would change? 

I’d ask for a slightly smaller head / mask - ha! 

Who would be your own personal dream performer to see behind one of the masks?

Justin Timberlake

How did it feel to leave at the point you left in the competition?

I think the nice thing about this competition is it’s not personal in any way. It’s all about whether they guess you, whether you did a performance where they felt they knew who it was or whether they’re left guessing. I think the fact it’s not personal is really nice. 

What has been your highlight taking part in The Masked Dancer? 

I think for me, it was just getting out and rehearsing. It’s the stuff in the dance studio I enjoyed the most. Moving and having that bit of freedom, enjoying the music and dancing.

If you could sum up your experience in three words what would they be?  

I love dancing, I loved having the freedom to go and dance, and the fun experience. It was all about having fun and not taking anything too seriously. Anyone that knows me really well will know me as someone that doesn’t take things too seriously at all so it was perfect. 

If you could wear your mask and costume just one more time what occasion would you choose to wear it to? 

I would definitely wear my flamingo costume for one of the gay prides or Mighty Hoopla. Somewhere where I know it would be greatly appreciated! 

--

Show 1 - Saturday 29 May - Viper was the first to be unmasked. Revealed to be Jordan Banjo

Tonight, The Masked Dancer started and viewers met Zip, Knickerbocker Glory, Beetroot, Llama, Viper and Scarecrow.

When all the dancing was done, Viper was the first to be unmasked. Revealed to be Jordan Banjo, the Diversity dancer told the panel that "this entire experience was worth it just to be called Anthony Joshua" as he referred to Davina's incorrect guess. Mo Gilligan guessed Jordan correctly, as did Oti Mabuse who was making her detective debut.

Tomorrow night the remaining characters will follow in the footsteps of tonight’s dancers as Squirrel, Carwash, Flamingo, Rubber Chicken, Frog and Beagle all make for the dance floor.

Please see below a Q&A with Jordan Banjo (Viper) for immediate release. Should you use any of the content in this Q&A please credit as follows:

The Masked Dancer on ITV and the ITV Hub continues at 7.30pm on Sunday

***

What made you decide to take on the challenge?

After the past year we all need to have some fun! 

Had you watched the Masked Singer and how do you think this compares? Did dancing appeal to you more than singing? 

I had watched parts of Masked Singer but, as a dancer, this was better for me.

How hard is it to keep the secret? 

Super difficult, especially from friends and family.

How was the secrecy at filming?

Beyond secret, felt like a spy.

What did you think of your mask, your overall look and the character you got to play? 

Loved it, super cool.

Do you have a signature dance move?  

Viper bite.

Does the mask/outfit give you the confidence to dance like no one’s watching?

It makes you take on a different person.

Have you seen some of the other costumes? If so, other than yours do you have a favourite?  

I’ve only seen a couple but, like you’d expect, they’re INCREDIBLE!

Did you have any nerves and do you prefer dancing with or without the mask on?  

Easier without the mask but definitely scarier with the mask!

What are your thoughts on the panel and what did you think of their feedback and guesses? 

I love the panel, I love that it’s not treated like some super serious dance show but as a fun, feel good guessing game.

Looking back at your costume and performances is there anything you would change? 

Nope!

What was it like performing in a mask and having complete anonymity?  

Very different, freeing in a way.

Who would be your own personal dream performer to see behind one of the masks?

Will Smith.

How did it feel to leave at the point you left in the competition?

Of course, part of me was gutted but also relieved! 

What has been your personal highlight of taking part in The Masked Dancer? 

The team are lovely.

If you could sum up your experience in three words what would they be?  

Absolutely flipping crazy!

If you could wear your mask and costume just one more time what occasion would you choose to wear it to? 

My son’s third birthday!