The Masked Singer 2021s new characters, judges and what happens on screen

The wait for the third series of The Masked Singer is almost over with 12 mysterious celebrities ready to take to the stage in a whole host of new costumes.

TV presenter Joel Dommett will be hosting the popular ITV show which is set to launch on New Year’s Day at 7pm as the performers battle it out to be crowned the next winner.

Joining him will be the star-studded panellist of judges, singer Rita Ora, talk show host Jonathan Ross, TV presenter Davina McCall and stand-up comic Mo Gilligan.

Last year, it was Joss Stone who stone the crown with her epic rendition of Rise Uo by Andra Day while dressed as a sausage.

All episodes will run for 90 minutes and are available to watch online via the ITV Hub and BritBox.

Fans will eagerly be trying to figure out who is behind the mask and whether they recognise any – and some remain unforgettable.

But before the stars take to the stage, here's everything you need to know about the show so far.

Who are the Masked Singer characters?

With a new series on the horizon comes a whole host of new characters and it’s fair to say the costumes are out of this world as each of the 12 celebrities warm up their vocal cords ahead of the opening night.

This year’s masked singers include: Lionfish, Chandelier, Bagpipes, Doughnuts, Traffic Cone, Panda, Rockhopper, Mushroom, Firework, Poodle, Snow Leopard and Robobunny

Celebrity judge Jonathan Ross has remained tight-lipped about any clues behind the identities of the characters.

However, the TV star ensured viewers that they will be in for a surprise when they watch the new show and learn who some of the celebrities really are behind the mask.

Ahead of the new show, he spilled hinted how producers have pulled out all the stops to make this season even bigger and better than ever.

He said: “There’s a couple of real surprises. One person who disguised their voice so much, because their voice is normally so distinctive, that we didn’t get it.

“There’s another person who is, shall we say, I think probably the oldest person we’ve had on the show so far and I managed to guess that person correctly.

How does The Masked Singer work?

The premise of the show sees 12 famous faces go head-to-head to put on an epic performance while keeping their identities a secret under the outlandish costumes.

Before they take to the stage to sing their hearts out, the producers will air a sneaky behind the scenes clip from each contestant in costume with subtle hints as to who the singer could be.

Each week the celebrity contestants will prepare a new number and the judges will vote out the weakest performance and put forward their guesses as to who is behind the mask.

The new characters will be hoping to join the winners list of former The Masked Singer contestants which includes Nicola Roberts’ Queen Bee and Joss Stone’s Sausage.

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