Interview with Jamie Berard

TV Interview!

 

Jamie Berard of "LEGO Masters" on FOX

Interview with Jamie Berard of “LEGO Masters” on FOX by Suzanne 9/27/23

This was a fun interview. I didn’t know what to expect when I agreed to this because I don’t normally watch any reality or game shows, and I’ve never played with LEGOs before. I watched the season 4 premiere and found that it really drew me in. It was entertaining. I hope you enjoy the new season and this chat with judge Jamie.

 

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LEGO Masters key art

Hosted by actor and producer Will Arnett, LEGO® MASTERS brings imagination, design and creativity to life when teams of LEGO enthusiasts go head-to-head, with infinite possibilities and an unlimited supply of LEGO bricks. Once again, teams of two will compete against each other in even more ambitious brick-building challenges – including an earthquake tower challenge, a demolition derby, a LEGO fashion show and more – to be crowned the country’s most talented amateur LEGO builders. In each episode, Arnett, alongside expert Brickmasters and LEGO employees Amy Corbett and Jamie Berard, will encourage the builders, introduce incredible challenges and put their creativity and skills to the test. The competing pairs who impress the judges the most will progress to the next round, until the finale, during which the top teams will face off for a $100,000 cash prize, the ultimate LEGO trophy and the grand title of LEGO MASTERS.

Endemol Shine North America, Tuesday’s Child and Plan B Entertainment produce LEGO Masters, under license from The LEGO Group. Showrunner Anthony Dominici executive-produces with Arnett; Sharon Levy, DJ Nurre and Michael Heyerman from Endemol Shine North America; Karen Smith and Steph Harris from Tuesday’s Child; Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Christina Oh from Plan B; and Jill Wilfert and Robert May from The LEGO Group.

Meet the contestants!  LEGO Masters Renewed!

Jamie Berard is Senior Design Manager and Creative Lead at The LEGO Company, where he is responsible for working on the LEGO Architecture and LEGO Ideas lines, as well as a variety of products for adults, teens and super fans. He is a life-long LEGO fan and has been an employee of The LEGO Company for more than 14 years.

Before joining LEGO, Berard was part of the local group New England LEGO Users Group (NELUG), where he worked on several larger-than-life projects, including a 100,000-piece LEGO mosaic of the Boston skyline. He served as a foreman on the Millyard Project, which, at its completion, was the largest permanent minifigure scale display in the world.

In 2004, Berard was a finalist to become the next Master Model Builder for LEGOLAND California and served as a Technical Judge for the FIRST LEGO League World Finals in Atlanta, GA. He was hired to work for the company in 2005, after displaying functional amusement park rides at a LEGO fan event in Washington, D.C.

Since joining LEGO, he has been responsible for designing dozens of complex LEGO models, including the 4,000+ piece Big Ben and the 4,000+ piece Assembly Square Modular Building sets, which are available for purchase to fans worldwide.

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LEGO MASTERS: L-R: Judges Amy Corbett and Jamie Berard with Host Will Arnett on Season Three of LEGO MASTERS, premiering Wednesday, Sept. 21 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2021 Fox Media LLC Cr: Tom Griscom/FOX

 

MILF Manor on TLC

TV Article!

MILF Manor key art from TLC

In Defense of MILF Manor (Or is it Rubbish)? by Jonathon M.

There’s a new show on TLC called MILF Manor. I am the furthest thing away from a reality TV watcher that you can find, but I’ll probably give this a watch. I’m a sucker for hot guys.

Let’s do some thought experiments:

What do you think that the reaction would be if the gender roles were reversed? I am guessing that certain groups of activists would have something to say. But nobody cares about much younger guys being in such a situation. I am not lecturing, because I am eagerly going to watch. But it’s probably a double standard. I always take the approach that consenting adults can do what they want.

What if everyone was gay and male? I would actually like to see this. On a side note, most dating shows are heteronormitive. Although perhaps this would be less popular, since most people aren’t gay.

Perhaps you can make a case for this; it’s different.

I think that all reality TV shows are absolute garbage, so is this much different than the rest of the trash out there? I don’t think so.

Isn’t it time that older women who like younger guys got some representation in dating shows? OK, I’m making up absurd angles to justify this show’s existence. It’s fun to do this!

This concept probably generates TLC some publicity. Fewer news articles would be written about a dating show about similarly aged heterosexual couples.

There’s a twist, but I don’t know what it is yet. I’m just assuming it’s each other’s sons who are participating. Meh, as long as there’s no incest, then I don’t really see a problem. Again, this would be done to stir up controversy, and gain publicity.

MORE INFO:

NEW DATING SERIES “MILF MANOR” SET TO OPEN ITS DOORS 

MILF MANOR premieres on Sunday, January 15th at 10PM ET/PT on TLC and is available to stream the same day on discovery+.  Weekly episodes to follow.

From cities all across the country, eight confident and strong-minded women leave home for the chance to find love at a paradise destination in TLC’s brand-new, love and relationship dating series, MILF MANOR.

Although they may be a few years older than the average dating show contestant, these women are not out of practice.  Ranging from 40 to 60 years young, this vibrant group brings their unique life experiences to the game.  They have decades of dating experience and will use it to find a lasting connection with men half their age.  However, nothing can prepare them for a jaw dropping surprise that will greet them at the front door.

Set in an exquisite location along the beautiful beaches of Mexico, not everything is fun and games as these women get serious. Tensions run high when eight women and eight young hunks come together to find love. The women include a competitive 47-year-old fitness studio owner from Mexico currently living in Miami, a spontaneous 50-year-old “disco mommy” from Orange County, a 44-year-old Jersey girl currently living in Los Angeles, a 59-year-old fitness instructor and singer from Los Angeles and a 50-year-old event planner who used to be the B-Girl back in the day, just to name a few.  Each episode features challenges that will prove whether a connection is genuine or if it’s time to leave the manor.  Will the young gentlemen be able to win over the MILFs with their charming good looks or will their behavior prove them under-experienced and land them on the chopping block? Chemistry, jealousy and top-notch drama keep it steamy in the manor.

 Follow TLC on FacebookInstagramTwitterTikTok, and YouTube for the latest on all things MILF MANOR. Join the conversation using #MILFMANOR.

TLC Website

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The men of "MILF Manor" on TLC. Photo by True Photography.

Interview with Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn

TV Interview!

Jerry O'Connell and Rebecca Romijn, hosts of "The Real Love Boat" on CBS

Interview with Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn, hosts of “The Real Love Boat” on CBS

by Suzanne 9/15/22

CBS 2022 FALL TCA PRESS TOUR
THE REAL LOVE BOAT
Rebecca Romijn, Host
Jerry O’Connell, Host
Captain Paolo Arrigo
Matt Mitcham, Cruise Director
Ezra Freeman, Bartender
Jay Bienstock, Executive Producer
Virtual via Zoom September 16, 2022
© 2022 CBS. All rights reserved.

They played a great preview of the show for us. The hosts, Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell, performed the theme song. They are certainly multi-talented. They also reminded us that “The Real Love Boat” premieres Wednesday, October 5th, on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

Executive Producer Jay Bienstock addressed us with these opening remarks:

So when you hear “The Love Boat” theme song like we just did, you cannot underestimate the power of nostalgia. You can hum that theme all day long, and it will make you smile. So our new series “The Real Love Boat” caps into that nostalgia. So when you hear the theme song and when you see Ted Lange show up dressed up in that famous red bartender’s outfit that he wore when he played Isaac, when we see Jill Whelan, who played Captain Stubing’s daughter, Vicki, arrive on the ship, I mean, you feel like you are in the middle of a mist of friends. It feels like you are coming home. “The Real Love Boat” has this great sense of adventure. Now, the ship, the Regal Princess — which, by the way had 3,200 paying customers on board when we were shooting, no less. The ship visits these beautiful ports around the Mediterranean Marseille and Santorini and Crete it’s really magical, and it’s the perfect environment to fall in love. It’s fun to imagine that, at any port, at any given time, our singles may find the love of their life. And our singles, these are regular people who have great stories, have been in love and fallen out of love. We have a firefighter and a nurse, a youth basketball coach, real people looking for real love. So not only do we have the real ship and real singles and we have a real married couple as our hosts, Rebecca and Jerry, all we needed was the secret sauce. So, like the original series, we needed real crewmembers to be our matchmakers. So we have our captain. We have our bartender. We have our cruise director. And they are the real deal. I mean, those roles are their day jobs. They are not TV people. They are ship people, and over the years, they have made matches for many people on their cruises, and they did so on ours. It was sort of this interesting combining of roles of television and real life. So you take these real singles, take the real Princess Cruise Line, take real crewmembers, and you add them all together, and you throw in one of the most iconic theme songs ever, and — you heard Rebecca and Jerry — it’s amazing. I can listen to that all day long. It’s so fun the way they sing it together. You put that all together, and we have a really, really fun show, and that is “The Real Love Boat.”

I don’t normally watch any kind of unscripted or non-fiction TV shows. I would rather watch great acting and writing. However, I was very happy to speak with Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn, my favorite celebrity husband-and-wife team. At first it was just these two, and they brought out the crew later.

I’m not embarrassed to say I had a huge crush on Jerry from when he starred in “Sliders” on FOX back in 1995-2000. He was a child actor who got his start in the movie “Stand by Me” when he was only 12. Both he and Rebecca are now in different “Star Trek” series, which I love because I’m a long-time Trekkie. She stars as Number One in “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” and he does the voice of Commander Ransom in “Star Trek: Lower Decks.” I told them that I think they’re “amazing actors” and asked them what made them want to do this project. Rebecca answers that they “love watching reality television” and “watching love stories,” so they’re very excited to do it in person rather than from their sofa. They also enjoyed the “beautiful locations.” Jerry agreed, saying, “We as a couple consume an unhealthy amount of unscripted television.” They joked for a few minutes about how they shouldn’t be admitting that. They should, instead, say that they only watch “premium streaming shows” with “people with accents who live in manors.” They love the CBS competition shows and jumped at the opportunity to host this show. Rebecca had previously hosted “Skin Wars,” but he hadn’t hostead before. Since they’re actors, “This is a muscle we had not flexed before,” Rebecca said.

Jerry talked about how the show drew him in emotionally. Someone got eliminated in their first episode. He started to say something, but Rebecca interjected that he “cried.” He denied that, saying he was just “emotional,” but she repeated that he “cried.” It was a very funny moment. They have a great rapport that’s fun to watch. Jerry said that his “superiors” let him know that he can’t be so invested in what’s going on with the “singles” on the show. Rebecca agreed that being neutral is hard for Jerry. He gets “very caught up in the emotion” because he’s an actor. He added that when he watches at home, he definitely takes sides and shares his strong opinions on social media. Jay jumped in to say that this all proves how real the show is, that the singles wnat to find love and how real it is for them. He thinks that watching them do this is great TV. Jerry shared that he was shocked at how “emotionally attached I became to our couples and how much I was rooting for them.” When they’re acting, they know it’s pretend, but with this, it’s real.

Other members of the press asked their questions as well. They asked if the singles on the show remember the original “Love Boat,” since they’re so young? Rebecca assumed that they probably didn’t know about it. She thinks that the one of the show’s strengths is the nostalgia for people who grew up in the 80’s. Jerry wonders if some do have awareness of the show because of the Princess cruises, where there is a “Love Boat channel” and you can watch all of the episodes there.

This reminded him that he had asked Jay and their other boss, Eden, what he should do to prepare for the show. They just told him to watch the original “Love Boat” because it was all about people trying to find love. Rebecca agreed that both the old and new shows are about “people whose hearts have been broken, who are looking for a second chance at love.” Jerry hopes that people will watch the new show and get that same “warm, fuzzy feeling.”

Jay reminded Jerry that he’s not his boss. He talked about scouting to find the people for the show, and he met the ship’s captain, Captain Paolo. He explained how it worked to film on the ship. He impressed them all with how charming, good-looking, and well-mannered he was, so they decided they wanted him to be their captain on the show. They had to find someone else to actually drive the ship instead of him. He related that the Captain and others are the “matchmakers” on the ship. They “bring people together,” along with Jerry and Rebecca. At that point, they brought out their crewmembers and introduced them.

Captain Paolo Arrigo; Matt Mitcham, Cruise Director; and Ezra Freeman, BartenderCaptain Paolo was asked if he’d had any acting experience, but he hadn’t. He said he was just playing himself in the show, so he doesn’t consider this acting experience, but he said it was “incredible.” He was asked whether the singls on the show really talk to the captain about how much they want love and whether he believes their stories, and how did he help them. He confirmed that the cruise director, Matt, and the bartender, Ezra, gathered info about the singles and what happened with them, and they all worked to help them out, “to either fortify or strengthen their bond or maybe try to open themselves up to other opportunities out there with other singles until they find the real love.”

Jerry and Rebecca were asked if they’re good matchmakers in real life. Jerry claimed that he was responsible for two couples getting married. Jerry went on to talk about how the setting for “The Real Love Boat” is made for couples to get together and find romance because it’s in the Mediterranean and other beautiful locations. Jerry mentioned that he and Rebecca have been together 15 years. He also admitted that he’d never been on a cruise before. He thinks it’s a very romantic place. Rebecca added that “Water is sexy” while Jerry went on to say that “time stands still.” He understands it now. He compared it to other traveling, like by airplane, which is stressful and not romantic. Rebecca also admitted that she’d never been on a cruise before, either. She said she loved sleeping on the boat, “I have never slept better in my life, like, rocked like a little, gentle baby, oh, so beautiful.”

Bartender Ezra was asked how long it took her “perfect the iconic Isaac finger point to your liking” and what it was like to meet Ted Lange (who played Isaac, the bartender, on the original “Love Boat’). Ezra replied that the finger point is a lot harder than it looks and Ted helped her with it. You have to tuck the thumbs in but point the fingers out. She said that it was “amazing” working with Ted. She was already a huge fan of the original show because of working on the Princess cruise line. She had always joked “that it should be required viewing for crewmembers to watch Season 1.” So she was very excited about the show and to meet Ted. In fact, she said, “Jay told me to stay away from him until we got the cameras rolling because I was so excited to see him and work with him.” She gushed about great he’s been to her. Jay also shared with us that Ted is working behind the bar in some scenes.

Jay was asked whether their partnership with the Princess line was to help promote it and get the cruise industry to be popular again, since it took quite a hit during COVID and via several revealing documentaries. Jay denied that and said that it was just about being “The Love Boat” and nothing else. Jay was also asked whether anyone else besides Ted and Jill (Whelen, who played Vicki on the original series) were going to be on the show. He let Captain Paolo talk about Jill. He had meet Jill on a previous cruise. He used to watch the show with his grandfather who was on the original as an executive chef. They were discussing this before they show the new show, and “all of these nostalgic things.” It was a great conversation for both of them.

Rebecca said a few closing words about how much they love the show and enjoyed traveling to the various beautiful locations. “We are very proud to be a part of it, and we hope everybody enjoys it as well.”

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The Love Boat key art

REBECCA ROMIJN AND JERRY O’CONNELL COME ABOARD AS CO-HOSTS OF “THE REAL LOVE BOAT”

The Dating Adventure Series Premieres Wednesday, Oct. 5, as Part of

CBS’ All-Reality Wednesday

CBS announced today Rebecca Romijn (Paramount+’ STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS) and Jerry O’Connell (CBS’ THE TALK) as co-hosts of THE REAL LOVE BOAT. The husband-and-wife team will take the helm guiding viewers through the dating adventure series inspired by “The Love Boat,” the hit scripted series in the ‘70s that used Princess Cruises ships as its setting. The series sets sail Wednesday, Oct. 5 (9:00-10:00 PM, PT/ET), following SURVIVOR (8:00 PM PT/ET) and leading into THE AMAZING RACE (10:00 PM, PT), to create the Network’s all-reality night.

“After years of consuming, arguing about and dissecting unscripted television, hosting a reality series where a group of singles look for love while aboard a Princess Cruise ship, seemed like a dream come true,” said Romijn and O’Connell. “When we heard it was aboard THE REAL LOVE BOAT, that dream got an iconic theme song – ‘we promise something for everyone.’”

Rebecca Romijn continues to maintain her leading lady status in Hollywood since famously starring as Mystique in the FOX X-Men franchise. Currently, Romijn stars in the Paramount+ series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS, reprising her role as the iconic character Number One, whom she also portrayed in STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. As co-host of THE REAL LOVE BOAT, the former Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover model returns to familiar territory – she served as the host of MTV’s iconic “House of Style” and as host and executive producer of the GSN bodypainting competition series “Skin Wars.”

Actor, director and television personality Jerry O’Connell serves as host of THE TALK, CBS’ Daytime Emmy Award-winning talk show that examines topical events and contemporary issues. O’Connell began his acting career at age 11 when he co-starred as Vern Tessio in “Stand by Me,” spawning a career of roles in critically acclaimed films and televisions series. O’Connell currently voices Commander Jack Ransom in STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS for Paramount+ and he can now be seen in the thriller “Endangered Species” opposite his wife, Romijn, and Philip Winchester.

THE REAL LOVE BOAT brings singles together to sail the Mediterranean on a luxury cruise ship while looking for love. Destination dates, challenges and surprise singles will test the couples’ compatibility and chemistry. Like the beloved original scripted series, the indispensable crew members, including captain and cruise director, will play pivotal roles in the matchmaking and navigation of the romantic (and sometimes turbulent) waters ahead.

After nearly one month at sea, one winning couple will dock in the final port and take home a cash prize plus a once-in-a-lifetime trip courtesy of Princess Cruises, the series’ exclusive cruise line partner.

THE REAL LOVE BOAT is produced by Eureka Productions in association with Buster Productions. Chris Culvenor, Paul Franklin, Wes Dening and Jay Bienstock serve as executive producers for Eureka.

Jerry O'Connell and Rebecca Romijn, hosts of "The Real Love Boat" on CBS

Biography

Jerry O’Connell is an actor, director and television personality. He serves as host of The Talk, CBS’ Daytime Emmy Award-winning talk show.

O’Connell began his acting career at age 11 when he co-starred as Vern Tessio in Stand By Me. Born and raised in New York City, O’Connell graduated from New York University with a BFA before returning to feature films. He received critical acclaim for his role as quarterback Frank Cushman in Jerry Maguire.

Most recently he appeared in the film Endangered Species, with additional credits including Scream 2, Can’t Hardly Wait, Mission to Mars, Tomcats, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced comedy Kangaroo Jack, Yours, Mine and Ours, Man About Town, Obsessed, Piranha 3-D, The Lookalike, Deep Murder, and The Secret: Dare to Dream. O’Connell was also seen in the big screen follow-up to the cult hit television series Veronica Mars. In addition to his film work, he has been seen in multiple hit television series, including Scream Queens (FOX), Mistresses (ABC), The Big Bang Theory (CBS), Billions (SHOWTIME), The Mysteries of Laura (NBC), Carter (OWN) and currently voices Commander Jack Ransom in Star Trek: Lower Decks (PARAMOUNT+.)

Additionally, O’Connell hosted his own daytime talk show Jerry O in 2019 and starred in the Broadway play A Soldier’s Play in early 2020.

O’Connell resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Rebecca Romijn, and twin daughters. His birthday is Feb. 17. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mrjerryoc.

Rebecca Alie Romijn was born on November 6, 1972 in Berkeley, California. Her father was Dutch-born and worked as a custom-furniture maker. Her mother was American-born, with Dutch and English ancestry, and was a teacher of English. Rebecca attended Berkeley High School where her nickname was the “Jolly Blond Giant”, then she attended the University of California at Santa Cruz where she majored in Music, but left in 1995.

She was a natural for modeling, and has posed for Sports Illustrated, Christian Dior and Victoria’s Secret, to name but a few. Rebecca first met John Stamos in 1994, at a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and had her first date with him at Disneyland. They married in September 1998, but have since gotten divorced.

Rebecca’s favorite foods are fillet mignon, tuna sashimi and Häagen-Dazs Cappuccino Commotion ice cream. But to keep her weight at a svelte 130 pounds, she stays fit with a rigorous stretching and strengthening routine (her firm body tone is evident when compared to photos of her earlier modeling, where she was very slim but not toned). Rebecca’s most famous movie role, so far, was as the shapeshifting Mystique in X-Men (2000), based on the long-running comic book series about teenage mutant superheroes (that Jack Kirby and Stan Lee created in 1962). To play Mystique every day, Rebecca had to start out nude, and then two female makeup artists would apply blue body paint and other stick-on parts for 8 hours a day. Rebecca told Jay Leno on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992) that things like tissue paper would stick to her hips; and, one day, the long hours of wearing sticky paint makeup made her so upset that director Bryan Singer told her to have a glass of white wine and relax. Notwithstanding those technical difficulties, X-Men (2000) was a box-office bonanza, and Rebecca’s future in films was assured.

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Jerry O'Connell and Rebecca Romijn, hosts of "The Real Love Boat" on CBS

Interview with Sophia Wilson, Claude Shwartz and Ben Hard

TV Interview!

 

 

Sophia Wilson, Claude Shwartz and Ben Hard of "The Come Up" on Freeform

Interview with Sophia Wilson, Claude Shwartz and Ben Hard of “The Come Up” on Freeform by Suzanne 8/29/22

I don’t normally watch any “reality shows,” or as they’re often called now, unscripted programs. But this one sounded more and more interesting than the previous ones I’ve watched. These young people are mostly not actors, and they’re living their best lives in New York City. I watched the episodes they sent me, and I found myself drawn in. I would advise you to watch it!

I interviewed these three from the show as well as another three. They were all fun and pleasant to talk to.

 

MORE INFO: Trailer

The Come Up

SERIES PREMIERE: Sept. 13 (9:00-9:30 p.m. EDT)

Freeform Introduces Eclectic Cast of Icons on the Rise for New Unscripted Series ‘The Come Up’ (FKA ‘Day to Night’)

Cast Includes Taofeek Abijako, Fernando Casablancas, Ben Hard, Claude Shwartz, Ebon Gore and Sophia Wilson

‘The Come Up’ Set To Premiere on Freeform on Tuesday, Sept. 13, Next Day on Hulu

PRI_TheComeUpTCA_8_1_22

*Freeform/Sophie Hur

Freeform announced the new unscripted series “The Come Up” (fka “Day to Night”) as one of three original nonfiction series the brand is releasing this year, all targeted at the network’s young adult audience.

“The Come Up” is a glimpse into the wildest feelings and vibrant moments that define coming-of-age in a post-pandemic New York. The series follows six young disruptors as they emerge from downtown New York to follow their dreams and pursue love and art on their own terms. The show follows the creative NYC underground, giving viewers an exclusive look into how the next generation of icons define themselves and how culture is created.

The cast comprises a group of ambitious, action-oriented and diverse Gen Z New Yorkers whose careers are on the rise, including Taofeek Abijako, Fernando Casablancas, Ben Hard, Claude Shwartz, Ebon Gore and Sophia Wilson. Each person is thriving in their respective fields: modeling, fashion design, photography, acting and nightlife organizing. Their bios are below:

  • Taofeek (He/Him) – At 24, he is the youngest designer to have ever shown at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) with his fashion line, Head of State. Earlier this year, he was invited to dress two celebrities, Danai Gurira and Evan Mock, at the renowned Met Gala, and his career is taking exciting turns as he is now branching out into costume design for feature films. Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Taofeek immigrated to Albany, New York, at age 11 after his father, also a fashion designer, won the American visa lottery. Taking nothing for granted, Taofeek launched his first pieces out of his bedroom as a high schooler, deferred all acceptances to fashion schools, and earned a spot on the stage of NYFW and into the pages of Vogue. For Taofeek, fashion is a vehicle for supporting his community. In addition to his fashion collections, he has spearheaded several initiatives to build schools in Nigeria or support local vendors in Albany. Taofeek is on the precipice of becoming the next household name in fashion and beyond.
  • Fernando (He/They) – Brazilian-born Fernando Casablancas is on the cusp of becoming the modeling world’s next international star. In less than one year of his emergence on the modeling scene, he appeared in campaigns for top brands Balmain, Charlotte Tilbury, Wales Bonner and Chrome Hearts. During the fashion week season of fall 2021, Fernando took to the catwalk for Balmain and Bottega Veneta, and most recently, he walked for cutting-edge designer Ludovic de Saint Sernin. Fernando is breaking the mold as a non-binary talent by modeling both menswear and womenswear. The world quickly took notice, and he was invited to attend the 2022 amFAR Gala in Cannes, an internationally acclaimed event to raise money for AIDS awareness and research. Beyond modeling, Fernando recently wrapped production on his first feature-length film and has been working on DJing and multimedia art projects.
  • Ben (He/Him) – Coming from San Antonio, Texas, Ben is quickly making New York his home. A rising performer, he is honing his skills as an actor, comedian and dancer. The stage is where he wants to be, and New York is the place to take chances. In spring 2022, he starred in Eastine Theater’s adaptation of “Cyrano de Bergerac,” did his first stand-up comedy performance at The Broadway Comedy Club, and has acted in short films by friends. Ben can also be found behind the camera, taking street photography in New York and doing live videography and music videos for local musical artists.
  • Claude (She/Her) – A Tribeca native, Claude is a true New Yorker. She is a rising actress who studied the practical aesthetics technique at David Mamet’s Atlantic Theater Company, the Meisner technique, and graduated from Tufts in 2020. Recently, Claude appeared in an off-broadway production at the Tank in February 2022, directed by Alton Alburo. A lover of fashion and a downtown fixture, Claude walked for Batsheva in NYFW Spring/Summer 2022.
  • Ebon (She/Her) – A budding entertainer on her way to becoming a multihyphenate in the public eye, she is a staple in Brooklyn nightlife as a sought-after party host and fixture of the rave circuit. She most recently threw a party for Pride 2022 and is a member of Nosferatu collective, known for their show-stopping Baroque Ball in Summer 2021. For Ebon, the well-being of the Trans community is paramount. As an active and crucial organizer of queer nightlife, she has recently participated in town hall panels to discuss club safety and accountability. Beyond nightlife, Ebon’s modeling career is quickly gaining momentum as she models for the likes of Milk Makeup, Parade and Ganni.
  • Sophia (She/Her) – A photography prodigy who has been behind the camera since age 13. She’s shot campaigns for major brands like Google, Nike, Peloton, Converse, Fenty, Instagram and Pepsi and established publications like Vogue, Elle, New York Magazine, i-D, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Hypebeast, Highsnobiety, Nylon and more. Sophia shoots analog only and develops and prints all photos by hand in the color darkroom, a highly technical process that imbues her images with a signature look. Continuing to chart her own path, Sophia deferred her senior year at NYU to focus full time on her artistic pursuits and career in true trailblazing Gen Z fashion. Sophia is committed to changing the face of working photographers by being front and center in rooms that young Black women traditionally have been kept from. She is also pioneering work in the NFT space, including creating the first NFT for Instagram.

“These six creatives emerge from downtown with a vitality and magnetism that’s infectious,” said Tara Duncan, president of Freeform and Onyx Collective. “They are pursuing love and art on their own terms, redefining what success means, and I am so excited for our audience to have a front row seat to it all.”

“The Come Up” is produced by Cousins. Megan Sanchez-Warner (“The Real Housewives of Orange County,” “Love and Hip Hop Hollywood”) serves as the showrunner, and Jessica Chermayeff, Ana Veselic and Anne Alexander executive produce. Chermayeff and Veselic also serve as series directors.

“The Come Up” premieres on Freeform on Tuesday, Sept. 13, with the first four episodes airing back to back. From there, two episodes will air each week. All episodes will be available to stream on Hulu the day after they air.

About Freeform
Freeform’s distinct brand of coming-of-age programming helps to position it as the No. 1 primetime cable network in entertainment among Adults, Women and Men 18-34 in the 2021/2022 TV season to date. Connecting to audiences with its bold original programming and immersive social engagement, Freeform channels the force and momentum of its young adult audience in its quest for progress with authentic, groundbreaking original series such as Emmy®-nominated “grown-ish,” “Good Trouble,” “Motherland: Fort Salem,” “Single Drunk Female,” “Everything’s Trash” and “Cruel Summer,” which was the No. 1 new cable drama of 2021 among Women 18-34. Last year, Freeform aired four of the Top 15 scripted cable original series among Women 18-34 — more than any other network, with “grown-ish” ranking as cable’s No. 1 live-action comedy series of the year in the demo.

*COPYRIGHT ©2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

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"The Come Up" on Freeform key art

Interview with the “Alter Ego” Judges and Host

TV Interview!

 

Judges and host of "Alter Ego" on FOX

Interview with judges Nick Lachey, Grimes, and will.i.am, host Rocsi Diaz, executive producer Matilda Zoltowski, and FOX’s President of Alternative Entertainment & Specials, Rob Wade of “Alter Ego” on FOX Suzanne 9/8/21

Alter Ego is the new FOX music competition show. It’s very unusual in that the singers create an avatar of themselves to perform through. The judges and audience see them not as themselves, but as their avatar.

2 NIGHT SEASON PREMIERE WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 22 & THURSDAY, SEPT. 23

I attended the FOX TCA panel for the show. Normally, they give us “screeners” – an episode or two of the show to watch ahead of time. Instead, we got one compilation episode. I’m not sure why. It was interesting, though. I don’t really watch non-fiction shows, but I might have to tune in to some of this to see what it’s really like.

On the panel, they told us “lost dreams and second chances are reignited when singers become the stars they’ve always wanted to be. However, these contestants won’t perform as themselves, rather, they’ll help create their dream avatar alter ego, reinventing and transforming themselves like never before. Talent and technology come together, creating a singing competition unlike anything the world has ever seen.” Then we saw a clip.

The panel consisted of judges Nick Lachey, Grimes, and will.i.am, host Rocsi Diaz, executive producer Matilda Zoltowski, and FOX’s President of Alternative Entertainment & Specials, Rob Wade. I’d only heard of Lachey and will.i.am, but that’s fine because I only was able to ask one question.

My question was admittedly a little lame. I should have asked about the technology behind the avatars because no one really asked that, and I’m curious. On the TV screen, we see the judges and audience looking at the avatar, which lookes like a real person on the stage. Is that how it looks in real life, or is it all special effects? I would love to know. Instead, I asked Nick Lachey a question about being a judge. I made an error because I thought he had been a judge on another reality show. My mistake because he was a contestant, not a judge. Whoops! I should have done more research. My bad. But he gave a great answer, anyway.

The first journalist asked the producers about the idea behind the show and what they hoped people would take out of having avatars perform. The answer was basically that they have this amazing technology that they can use now, and that they could get performers with amazing voices that we wouldn’t necessarily see on other competition shows. I guess he means, people who are not very attractive. What else would she mean? I mean, we’ve seen plenty of plus-sized people, and people of all different colors, races, genders, ages and orientations competing. The only thing left is unattractive people. From what the clips are showing, all of the contestants are choosing avatars much thinner than themselves, and some much more light-skinned than themselves. I wonder what criticisms people will have of the show. It’s, of course, also a way for those who are gender-fluid to have avatars to reflect who they feel like inside. I don’t know if that will be enough to counteract the other problems, though. We shall see!

The next press person asked about the design of the avatars and whether body diversity came into play. The producer answered that they have a real mix of different types of people and “huge diversity on every level.” She revealed that they have 20 different alter egos, which is something I didn’t know from watching the clips. It appears that the contestants are able to change what their avatars are wearing and other features. The producer maintained that they wanted to have alter egos that would appearl to a wide audience – people of all different types. She concluded, “I think there’s something there for everybody.”

Another writer asked why the alter egos look “fantastical” rather than just looking like regular humans. Hmm, here’s someone who probably hasn’t played a lot of video games or done online role-playing. That’s kind of the point – to look different than we are, dude. Producer Wade admitted that trying to make the avatars look like regular humans didn’t really look good. The avatars looked “creepy.” They thought that having them more colorful and fun would be better and people could connect to them. He also added, “why do a show called ALTER EGO with avatars if you’re just going to replicate human beings? They should be something a little bit more fantastical, a little bit superhero like, in a way.”

Judge Grimes interjected that she thought that since so many people are into video games, that they’re used to connecting with the “crazier type” of characters. will.i.am also added his input by comparing people dressing up in different colors, expressing themselves, or wearing costumes for Comic-Con, or various artists who look “fantastical” like these alter egos. He said, “This is beyond makeup. This is beyond, you know, a hat and glasses. It’s beyond freaking tailored suits that fit you perfectly. This is your spirit tailored, whooo. This is, like, your passion tailored. This is putting makeup on your spirit.” He got very excited, and everyone laughed. Nick Lachey advised us to tune in to the series because this is just a small taste of what will.i.am commentary is like.

The next interviewer ask about how genders will be changed, which was a variation on the body diversity question already asked. will.i.am put it well when he declared that “the imagination is genderless and it’s beautiful.” He went on to explained that when he writes songs, sometimes it’s from a female point of view (especially if he’s writing it for a female singer, such as Fergie. He’s “dialing into my inner femininity.” He once again indulged in hyperbole about the show and its performers in this regard. Lachey chimed in to talk about it from the POV of an entertaining – how it can be “truly liberating” to step into an alter ego. He says the way it came together in the show blew his mind. Grimes noted that the show makes “gender fluidity more casual”. Diaz pointed out that what will make viewers really invested in the stories of the performers is that they get to live out these experiences in such a liberating way and really be themselves for the first time. It was touching for them, and she believes it will be for the audience at home as well.

Then it was my turn to ask a question. Bear in mind that I was already a middle-aged adult by the time “98 Degrees” became a big hit, so that wasn’t my music. I had completely forgotten that Lachey was in that group. I had mostly seen him in “Charmed,” where he played Leslie St. Claire in 2004. He modestly replied, “To call me an actor is a liberal use of the word “acting.” After graciously correcting me that he’d never been a judge, he said that he had been a host before on music competition shows, so he was excited to step into the role of judge. He admitted that he was a bit of a skeptic at first (about the alter egos) because he doesn’t play video Alter Ego fairy avatargames and isn’t really into technology tha tmuch. He thought it was really cool to be asked to be part of it, though. In the end, “what I took away from it was, there’s such a humanity, despite all the mind blowing technology, and it’s incredible, and you’ll see it when it premieres on the 22nd. I mean, it’s incredible technology, but there’s still a humanity that comes through in these performances. These are real emotions. These are real people behind the alter egos, and that life experience, all the things that you channel as an artist, all those things you channel into your performance, those things come through in a very real way through the technology, which is a beautiful, beautiful thing to see. And again, I always use this word, but, you know, confluence of technology and artistry, and the way those things came together on this show is something unlike we’ve seen on TV ever. And so, I’m so excited. I mean, I got to watch it firsthand. I’m so excited for (my dog, Brandy, barked here) come together. And, apparently, that dog agrees with me. They’re excited.” Everyone laughed because it was very funny.

They joked around about how Lachey told a lot of “dad jokes.”

The next journalist asked Nick if there were logistical complications, since he lives in Hawaii and the show is in Los Angeles. Lachey confirmed that he does have a lot of frequent flyer miles. However, he was able to be back in L.A., bringing his son Charlie with him while he filmed the show and spent time there. He admitted, “I’ve done a lot of great things in my career, and I’m truly appreciative of each and every one of them, but this was one of the unique and special things I was able to be a part of. So, I’m glad it was able to be worked out, and I’m glad I was able do it.”

The same person asked him being a contestant on “The Masked Singer” and how that informed him for this show. He compared being in the “Piglet” costume to having an alter ego because it frees you to create a character and be whomever you want to be. He told us that the singers in “Alter Ego” are all incredible, but they all have struggled in some ways, but the show allowed them “truly feel liberated, and let their true talent shine through. And we all were lucky enough to be witnesses to that, and I think that’s a beautiful thing. That’s the real … humanity of this show. These are all humans with real emotions, and real struggles, and real experiences, and they bring all that to their performances, and they bring all that to their alter egos. And to watch all those things come together on this is a beautiful thing.”

Another journalist asked will.i.am about the current technology available (and being used on the show), and how he would have used that back when he was in the Black-Eyed Peas. Will gave a very long answer where he basically said that it would have freed them all to be different characters – and play different instruments- within their band.

That same man asked Graimes, who’s a producer as well as a performer, how she judges the show’s performers. Grimes didn’t really answer his questions. She did admit that she has “huge stage fright” and was already looking into this sort of technology to use in her own performances.

There many more questions, but these were the most interesting. Check out this unusual show!

Here is the audio version of it.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

MORE INFO:

ALTER EGO is the world’s first avatar singing competition series and the next iteration of the musical competition show. On ALTER EGO, lost dreams and second chances are reignited when singers from all walks of life become the stars they’ve always wanted to be. However, these contestants won’t perform as themselves. Rather, they’ll be given the chance to show how they’ve always wanted to be seen, creating their dream avatar ALTER EGO to reinvent themselves, while showcasing their unique performance style via motion capture technology. The judges table features some of the biggest names in music, including iconic singer/songwriter and seven-time Grammy Award winner Alanis Morissette; actor, singer and television personality Nick Lachey; acclaimed Canadian producer, songwriter, singer and visual artist Grimes; and multi-Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, producer, entrepreneur and actor will.i.am. Emmy Award-winning personality Rocsi Diaz will host the musical spectacle. In ALTER EGO, talent and technology come together to create a singing competition unlike anything the world has ever seen.

Grimes, a judge on "Alter Ego" on FOXGRIMES

as Judge

Bio

Claire Boucher is the producer of the alter ego Grimes and an award-winning music video director, as well as a music writer, artist, producer, engineer and singer-songwriter. The world got its first glimpse of this vision on her 2010 full-length debut, “Geidi Primes,” which drew its inspiration from the David Lynch adaptation of Frank Herbert’s “Dune.” Her sophomore outing, “Halfaxa,” followed the same year. Over the course of three weeks, 2012’s “Visions” came to life in her apartment and would be recorded solely on Garage Band. 2015 marked a commercial breakthrough on “Art Angels.” It appeared in the Top 5 of year-end lists by Pitchfork, Billboard, Consequence of Sound, The New York Times and Rolling Stone, in addition to being named Album of the Year by Stereogum, NME and Exclaim! In 2018, she made another conscious evolution, turning back to formative influences, such as Tool and Nine Inch Nails for inspiration — a style first hinted at on 2016’s “Suicide Squad” soundtrack contribution, “Medieval Warfare.” In 2020, she released “Miss Anthropocene,” a concept album about an anthropomorphic goddess of climate change, which received rave reviews. The album title stems from the words Misanthrope, “a person who dislikes humankind and avoids human society,” and Anthropocene, “the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.” In 2021, she set the NFT world on fire with the release of WarNymph Collection Vol 1 By Grimes x Mac. The collection contains 10 artworks, including a unique video work set to original music composed specifically for the project. Through the character of WarNymph, Grimes explores the fluidity of identity in the virtual age: the ability to create, augment and splinter ourselves into unlimited avatars.

NICK LACHEY as JudgeNick Lachey, a judge on "Alter Ego" on FOX

Bio

Singer, actor and television personality Nick Lachey rose to fame as the lead singer of the multi-Platinum boy band 98 Degrees, selling more than 10 million records. He also has released four solo studio albums. Currently, Nick can be seen co-hosting “Love is Blind” with his wife Vanessa Lachey. In 2021, Lachey won the fifth season of THE MASKED SINGER as The Piglet. Lachey has had a long hosting career, serving as host on “The Sing Off” and “Big Morning Buzz Live.”

In addition to his work in music and television, Lachey remains a constant advocate for children’s and humanitarian causes through his work with organizations including Autism Speaks, Feeding America, Make-a-Wish Foundation, The Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), VH-1 Save The Music, The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and The Cincinnati School for Performing Arts. He is also founder and President of The Nick Lachey Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping children, families and communities in need throughout the United States.

Lachey was raised in Cincinnati, OH, and attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA), Miami University and University of Southern California. Lachey currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife Vanessa and three children.

will.i.am, a judge on "Alter Ego" on FOXwill.i.am

as Judge

Bio

Seven-time Grammy Award winner will.i.am has been at the forefront of the contemporary American hip hop movement for more than 20 years. He is best known as a songwriter, producer, actor and entrepreneur, and globally recognized as a founding member of Black Eyed Peas, one of the best-selling groups of all time. He has released four solo albums and eight studio albums with Black Eyed Peas. The act was one of the first to recognize the mainstream potential of electronic dance music and held the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100 for a record 26 consecutive weeks after “I Gotta Feeling” replaced “Boom Boom Pow” atop the chart — more than any other act in the history of the Hot 100. The Emmy and CLIO Award-winning music video, “Yes We Can,” mobilized a generation during the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. He has worked with countless Grammy Award-winning artists as a producer and currently serves as a Coach on “The Voice UK” and “The Voice Kids.”

He has starred in several animated feature films, including “Rio,” “Rio 2” and “Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa,” as well as the live-action “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” Founded in 2009, will.i.am’s i.am Angel Foundation supports in-class and after-school STEAM education programs for disadvantaged youth in grades K – 12. The Foundation also funds the Boyle Heights STEM Magnet High School in Los Angeles, and the i.am Scholarship program that provides gap funding to college-bound program students.

ALANIS MORISSETTEAlanis Morissette, a judge on "Alter Ego" on FOX

as Judge

Bio

Since 1995, Alanis Morissette has been one of the most influential singer-songwriter-musicians in contemporary music. Her deeply expressive music and performances have earned vast critical praise and seven Grammy Awards. Morissette’s 1995 debut, “Jagged Little Pill,” was followed by nine more eclectic and acclaimed albums.

She has contributed musically to theatrical releases and has acted on the big and small screens. Outside of entertainment, she is an avid supporter of female empowerment, as well as spiritual, psychological and physical wellness. In 2016, Morissette launched “Conversation with Alanis Morissette,” a monthly podcast that features conversations with a variety of revered authors, doctors, educators and therapists, covering a wide range of psycho-social topics, extending from spirituality to developmentalism to art. On December 5, 2019, the Broadway musical “Jagged Little Pill” debuted at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York City, and was nominated for 15 Tony Awards. Most recently, Morissette released her ninth studio album, “Such Pretty Forks In The Road,” to rave reviews. For more information see www.alanis.com.

Rocsi Diaz, host of "Alter Ego" on FOXROCSI DIAZ

as Host

Bio

Emmy Award-winning television host Rocsi Diaz is best known as the former co-host of ultra-popular mega music show “106 & Park.” She has interviewed everyone from Lady Gaga to Barack Obama. As a co-host and daily correspondent on “Entertainment Tonight,” Diaz was known for setting the tone for what’s hot in music, movies and entertainment. She reached 85 million homes worldwide during her time with “106 & Park,” and has since gone to host “The Daily Share,” “Dating Naked,” “Behind The Movie,” “Chatter” and “Cannonball.” With a massive social media presence, Diaz reaches millions of followers across all platforms.

Executive Producer Matilda ZoltowskiMATILDA ZOLTOWSKI

Executive Producer/Showrunner

Bio

Matilda Zoltowski is a talented producer who has worked on some of the biggest and most successful properties in unscripted television. She began her career in the U.K., where she worked on “Big Brother” and “Strictly Come Dancing,” the inspiration for “Dancing With The Stars.” Her work on “Strictly Come Dancing” gave her the opportunity to develop and produce “Dancing With The Stars” in the U.S., on which she was a co-executive producer for eight seasons.

Zoltowski has developed and produced many different types of unscripted series that have attracted major talent, including cooking series “The Taste,” starring Anthony Bourdain; “Off Their Rockers,” with Betty White; “Bring The Funny,” with Kenan Thompson and Chrissy Teigen; and “I Can Do That,” with Marlon Wayans. Most recently, she served as executive producer for all four seasons of “World of Dance,” starring Jennifer Lopez.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Interview with “The Masked Singer” panel and host

TV Interview!

The Masked Singer cast at the FOX Winter TCAs

Interview with “The Masked Singer” panel and host on FOX by Suzanne 3/2/21

This was a very fun panel at the FOX Television Critics Association. The panel is filled with comedians and they were all being hilarious (especially Ken Jeong).  There was a lot of laughing.

The panelists included Host Niecy Nash; panelists Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg, Ken Jeong, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke; and executive producers Craig Plestis, James Breen and Rosie Seitchik.

I’ve never heard Robin Thicke speak before. I was amazed at how much he sounds like his dad, Alan Thicke! For those of you who are younger folks, Alan Thicke starred in the hit 80’s sitcom “Growing Pains.” He passed away about 5 years ago.

I didn’t get a chance to ask a question, but I was there watching it with the hundreds of other reporters.

I’ve put in quite a bit of quotes here because the cast was just so funny, and I wanted to share with you how they joke around and make fun of each other. Normally I would just summarize it a lot more.

Introduction: The smash hit competition series THE MASKED SINGER returns for its game changing fifth season with major format twists and all new costumes you really have to see to believe. The season premieres Wednesday, March 10th, with our fabulous guest host, Niecy Nash, serving as ringmaster of our very weird and wonderful three ring circus. We are excited for you to be the first to see this show stopping performance from the new season of THE MASKED SINGER.

The first question asked about the wild card. The questioner said that “one of the appeals of the show is connecting with the masked celebrities” but the wild card just jumps on stage. Would there be any connecting with a wild card?

Producer Plestis answered that yes, they do connect with the wild because of the story and clue packages, where they find out a little. He said that it just adds some freshness to the show. They’re excited by it and think the viewers will be, too, and be able to connect with them. Wahlberg added that she thinks that the wild cards have had some of the “most moving stories.” She thinks that the audience will expect that they’re “coming too late in the game” but they’re not. She thinks they’ll be surprised. Producer Breen agrees with that and added that one of them gives a very emotional performance.

The second questioner asked about whether there was any concern about too much franchise spinoff and posited two possible examples as “The Masked Chef” or “The Masked Athlete” Jeong said, jokingly, “I mean, look, we are getting the message out to wear a mask, guys. If you want to wear a mask out in public, if you want to wear a mask on broadcasting, on television, I mean, how better than to get the message out and profitability, you know, than to wear a mask, so no.” Everyone was laughing at his dry humor. He said seriously that the Masked Chef was exceptional and the Mother Ship (implying that any spinoffs would not be a problem). He praised the production team. Thicke added that, although they love the Masked Dancer as well, he feels that the “level of star power in Season 5 in THE MASKED SINGER is at another level.” Scherzingers said, “We also love your gold chains, Robin.” Thicke joked back, “Thank you. You know, I figured I’d shower and put on some clothes this time.” Nash said, “Very good.” Jeong joked, “Oh my goodness. Talking about Mr. T, literally.”

Wahlberg was impressed by the high caliber of celebrities they had on the show this season. It shocked her. Nash and Thicke agreed with that. Plestis added that they had so many celebs that wanted to be on the show, but they had to ask them to “Come back for a future season.” They felt very lucky this season to have so many.

The next questioner asked if there would be more competition between the judges this season. Thicke replied succinctly, “Yes.” Wahlberg said, “Well, I’m a very competitive person.” Thicke joked, “Ken and I will be doing bare hand boxing.” Jeong joined in on the joke, “Yeah. It’s really great.” Nash put in her two cents, “Listen, let me just say, as somebody who was blessed and honored to show up and stand in the gap, the competition between these judges is a real — they go hard because–” Scherzinger interjected, “What are you talking about, Niecy?” Nash couldn’t believe she said that. She went on. “Oh, you know what I’m talking about. The competition is real.” She said they put pressure on themselves to get it right. Wahlberg agreed that they get harangued on social media if they don’t get it right. She continued, “But I will say this: The game changing in terms of the panelists is Ken Jeong went from Ken Jeong wrong to Ken Jeong strong.” Thicke added, “Ken Jeong is competitive.” Wahlberg said, “He comes as a real competitor this year with the Golden Ear.” Nash joked, “Ken Jeong is not so wrong.” Jeong kept the joking going, “Yeah. I go ‘Queen’s Gambit’ on this, guys. I go ‘Queen’s Gambit.’ I really just… it’s just a whole new look for your boys over here.” Wahlberg said, “He stares at the ceiling just like, ‘Shit.’ It gets crazy.” There was a lot of laughter. Scherzinger had been pointing, gesturing, so Jeong said, “Great pointing, Nicole. Great pointing.” Scherzinger agreed, “I get to point my finger. I was, like, wait a minute.” Jeong joked, “You have to find your finger first. Yeah, no. That’s how you make a point, by pointing. That’s how you do it.” They were clearly having a good time.

The next question was a two-parter. First he asked if the judges are getting better at picking up on the clues, or are the producers finding new ways to challenge them.

Thicke jumped in to admit that it’s gotten more difficult with each new season and that in this one, they’re “pretty much inadequate in most ways.” He said that Wahlberg studies the clues hard. Then he joked,”Ken gets lucky because every dog has their day.” He bragged that he and Scherzinger usually can get it after a few times listening and also admitted that the new “first impression guess” had really been challenging them. Scherzinger said that the new character Cluedle-Doo makes it difficult. She has difficulty saying that name, but the others helped her out. Wahlberg said, “And he messes with us. So even when we think he’s going to give us an amazing clue, sometimes he does, but sometimes he’ll steal it or not tell us or turn it around.” Thicked agreed, “A lot of the clues line up, and a lot of them are misdirects,” and Wahlberg agreed.

The second question was for Niecy Nash. The questioner asked if there was anything she noticed, as a viewer, when watching the first 4 seasons, that she brings as a host? Nash answered her part of the question. She was able to sit with the judges and be a guest, which was very different from hosting. When she’s hosting, she can’t be guessing about who’s who like the judges do. She’s supposed to “lead the charge, lead the circus.” Whenever she wasn’t hosting, though, she tried to figure out the clues. She felt like one of the home viewers even when she was hosting.

Executive producer Rosie Seitchik joined the call late, so they welcomed her.

The next question asked about the various changes they make in the game each year and whether they’re worried about messing with success. Plestis answered that their challenge every season is to make it fresh and making things a little different without really varying the format. He added, “And, honestly, it was fun filming it. And I know with the panel, you know, the twists and turns, they had a ball doing it, and I think America will as well.” Breen agreed. Scherzinger added, “Keeping them guessing.” “Exactly,” Plestis agreed. Jeong joked, “Point again, Nicole. Just point again, please.” Scherzinger said, pointing, “Let me find it.” Jeong replied, “There you go.” Scherzinger said, “There it is. Is that good?” This brought more laughs.

The next question asked about the fake audience (that they use during the pandemic) – whether it changed at all this season and whether they’re worried people at home might think it’s a real audience (and thus breaking protocols). Breen thinks that people are more sophisticated than that and know that it’s not a real audience because of what’s going on in the world, so they don’t worry that people will think it’s real. Breen added, “I also think big, communal events are what everyone’s missing right now, and we wanted to keep that atmosphere and that fun for everyone at home. I mean, I think it would be a very different show without any audience. So, yeah, this season is going to be the same as Season 4 in terms of there’s a virtually created audience and there’s audience cutaways from previous seasons, but I think that’s the best we can do, unfortunately, right now.” The panelists agreed with that, and Thicke said that they like giving people something to celebrate and give them hope that good times are coming soon again. “It’s all about positivity,” he said.
Scherzinger shared her praise, “Yeah. I think it’s really cool how you producers did that and used old footage to make it feel like a real audience as opposed to just doing what a lot of people are doing with a Zoom and just this screen behind everybody.” Thicke mused, “When I watch basketball games, I miss that intensity. You miss that crowd. You miss the crowd’s reaction. You miss seeing how they would jump up and down to something, and that little bit of fantasy is necessary for us to fully dive into the experience.” Wahlberg said, “Right. And cardboard cutouts just don’t cut it.” Seitchik: “To each his own. … I was going to say, for such an interactive show, the premise of this show is so much guessing and so much participation that, without that element, it would be a very different show. So, we were really keen on holding onto that selling point and everyone’s ability to engage on that level and see everyone on the floor, engaging with the panel’s guesses and guessing who is under the mask. It’s so much a part of what this show is.” Thicke said, “Yeah. A lot of times, when we are watching it at home, we feel those emotions that rise and fall of oohs and ahs. We feel those emotions, and so you want to see that represented in the people in the audience also. I think it’s wonderful how they figured that out.”

The next question was to Robin Thicke about whether the singers try to sing in a different style to throw him off, since he tries to guess by singing style. Daughtry mentioned that, so he wondered if others did that, too. Thicke replied, “In fact, it’s become part of the game. They want to go as long as they can into the competition, but they don’t want to be guessed. So, they want to throw us off, and the producers want to throw us off so we get to go on this adventure with the performers. But sometimes Nicole and I will look at each other from across the table, like, ‘We know who this is, right?’ And then some of the clues will take us down another path. And then Jenny will say something that now, all of a sudden, we are thinking an athlete. And then Ken goes on some rant, completely unnecessary, that won’t help us at all.” Jeong, mock-angry, replied, “How dare you.” Thicke joked, “And somewhere in the middle, we don’t get it right even after all of that.” Wahlberg said, “Very true.” Thicke added, “That’s pretty much what happens, and it’s a lot of fun the whole time.” It’s clear that this cast has a lot of fun with their job.

The next press person asked, “When you make your guesses, how much of it do you think is based on the clues, how much is based on what you just heard, and how much is just a gut feeling?” Jeong joked, “I’m all gut. I mean, you really have to just not think and just don’t listen. I’m not trained. I don’t have any musical talent. I’m not a recording artist. I’ve never been signed to any label, my choice, which is why I feel I’m the most authentic voice because I only listen to my gut and nobody else, including my peers, producers, network, studio, and that’s why I’m very necessary, Robin.” Everyone laughed because it was very funny. Wahlberg shared that she was “90 percent clues except when I get the first impression,” because she loves clues. “I love going to escape rooms on the weekends. I love to figure things out. So, I really lean heavily on those because it makes it even more fun for me. ”

The next question asked about the condensed filming for the season, and how often we’ll see Niecy Nash hosting and how often Nick Cannon will be hosting. Breen replied, “Well, Nick rejoins towards the second half of the season. I won’t be too specific about how many shows, but Niecy kicks things off. And I did want to say, actually, we got incredibly lucky there because Niecy just stepped in… it was pretty last minute… and immediately had her own chemistry with the panel.” He kept praising her, and the cast agreed. Plestis also replied, “She is part of our game changing season,” which Breen agreed with. Scherzinger praised, “Niecy is the boss. She’s a queen. She’s so fast but fun, relatable. And she took over from Nick’s spot, and she put her son in his place, Ken.” They all laughed. Nash was thankful for all the praise, saying, “You guys, I have never felt so welcomed. You know, it’s not like we all started together or we… do you know what I mean? I just walked in the door, and every single person supported me and was so kind. And the producers, I have to take my hats off to you because they gave me such a beautiful surprise.” She went on to reveal that the producers surprised her with a video message of her new wife, which made her cry.

Jeong also praised the producers and how safe they make them feel. “We’ve never been on a set where we’ve had so much love and support and especially during COVID. Even before we’ll do episodes, the producers will do a completely edited package for each panelist, and, you know, whether they’ll bring in friends and family and highlight old clips, it’s just for us. It’s not for public consumption. It really is. And it’s not just for shallow morale. It really is just how much we genuinely love and support each other and especially during these times. It’s the best TV job I’ve ever had. It’s just been incredible.” Wahlberg agreed, “A hundred percent. Well said.” Nash joked, “Well, if y’all need anything, an extra grip or somebody to hold up, like, done.” Breen also joked, “Done. You are hired.”

The next question from the press was asking how COVID impacted the filming and whether they got bigger stars than they would normally get because people aren’t out there performing. Plestis replied that they definitely got people whose schedules would not normally be free and that they were “really blessed this season to get some exceptional talent.” He added that the premiere is phenomenal and we won’t believe it. Scherzinger said, “There’s been celebrities who have said to us that they… oh, wait. What was the question again?” Everyone laughed at that. Jeong joked, “Just point. Just point, Nicole.” Thicke added, “Welcome to THE MASKED SINGER.” Jeong also said, “We told her backstage “Just point.” Scherzinger said,”When you looked at me, all I kept thinking was “Premiere energy, premiere energy,” and then I forget what the question was.” Jeong joked, “Good point.” Wahlberg agreed that there were “amazing celebrities” this year. Scherzinger said,”No. Wait. Celebrities have said… I know what I was going to say. Celebrities have said… oh, my gosh, yes, to what you are saying! Their schedules are more free but also that they want this platform, that they miss performing, that they miss the stage, and this is the perfect opportunity to get back out there. So, a lot of people aren’t touring, like me and Robin. So they are, like, ‘Get me out there.’ Yeah, even LeAnn Rimes said that the other day.”

The next questioner said that “Jenny is very good at figuring out who is behind the mask. Do you guys have to have conversations with her about slowing it down in terms of the guessing?” Jeong replied jokingly, “Yes. I’m glad you brought that up. I really do, on and off camera, just really slow it down.” Nash confirmed “that conversation isn’t planned.” Plestis praised cast for being so smart and that they have find tougher ways to trick them. He made sure that everyone knows that “no one knows who is behind the mask. There’s only a few people on our production who does. Our director doesn’t know. Most of the crew doesn’t know, definitely not the panel. We don’t tell the host. So, it is a big secret.” They make the clue packages to just give a little “nugget” of truth for them to play with. Wahlberg agreed and added, “They’ve never approached me to say, “Slow it down,” because all they do, like he said, is just change it up to make it more difficult.” Jeong added, “But slow it down, please.” Plestis joked, “Let Ken catch up, Jenny. Come on. Let him catch up.” Wahlberg joked, “He can slow it down.”

Another person asked a very good question about whether there had been “an accidental reveal? Like, somebody tripped on a wire, and their costume might have come off, or someone walked in a room at the wrong time? And then, for the judges, who to this day has been your most shocking unmasking?” Wahlberg replied, “Well, I’d love to answer both of those questions, which is Mickey Rourke, because he just decided ‘I’m done. I’m hot. I want to take it off.’ We were, like, ‘What?’ So that was a true unexpected surprise.” The person who asked the question was amazed. “That was genuinely unplanned?” Wahlberg confirmed it, “Yes.” Jeong agreed, “Yeah, that was unplanned.” Breen also agreed, “Yeah, absolutely. That was all legit, real, and we were–” Thicke cut Breen off by accidentally. “Yeah. Mickey Rourke was tired. He wanted to go.” Jeong said, “He wanted to go, and we were being told, ‘Just go with it. Just go with it.’ And we were, like, ‘What is going on?’ That was a hundred percent real.” Wahlberg said, “He just didn’t want to be in it.” Thicke agreed, “Yeah.” Jeong said, “It was crazy.” Scherzinger joined in, “He did whatever he wanted when he wanted. I think, for me, the biggest surprise, I was really impressed with my guess. I guessed the Ying Yang Twins when it was Bob Saget.” Jeong joked, “They do get confused, to be fair.” Scherzinger added, “The biggest surprise for me was Lil Wayne, and I think it was, for all of us, when Lil Wayne took the robot mask off.” Thicke agreed again, “Yeah.” Scherzinger continued, “We were, like, “What?”” Wahlberg added, “That was embarrassing.”

The last questioner asked, “Whose skills have gotten sharper? Whose have maybe gotten less sharp? And feel free to talk about each other.” Of course, this set them up for more joking. Thicke remarked, “Oh, I can answer this loud and clear. Well, Ken has definitely finally shown up.” Wahlberg agreed, “Yeah.” Jeong joked, “How dare you.” Scherzinger pointed out, “Ken is not so wrong Jeong.” Thicke answered, somewhat seriously, “Nicole and I started off stronger the first couple of seasons. Now we are just more confused than ever.” Scherzinger agreed, “Yeah.” Thicke continued, “I think we try to trust our guts, and then the clues take us on another path. Nicole and I need help. We need help in whatever way you can send it to us.” Wahlberg countered, “That’s not true.” Scherzinger chimed in, “I think our ears are pretty golden because we have good ears, but our clue master is definitely Jenny.” Jeong agreed, “Yes.” Thicke said, “Yes. I’ve decided to just have a good time this season.” Scherzinger said, “You sure have.” Wahlberg agreed, “And because of it, we all have a good time.” Thicke said, “Yeah. I’ve never had more fun and gotten…” Jeong interrupted to say, “Robin really is just… if you look at his attire and unfortunately his chains today, it really has been amazing to see his evolution on the show, and he is so funny this season and is just a ray of light, just pure sunshine. I think we can all say that.” Thicke added, “I think Ken and I kind of switched places. Ken is getting more right now, and I’m just going for the jokes.” Nash joked, “Let me just say this: Being able to come and host this season, I don’t know how well I would have done on the panel because everybody who stood next to me in the costume I thought was somebody I dated. I’m, like, “Did we go out?” Scherzinger added, “Just like Nick Cannon. It was the same for him as well.

Conclusion: As a reminder, THE MASKED SINGER will premiere on Wednesday, March 10th, at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific. New episodes of the show will be available on Tubi shortly after the linear premiere, and all prior seasons of THE MASKED SINGER as well as more than 30,000 other titles are currently up and available. So, we encourage you to download the app and check it out.

characters from "The Masked Singer" on FOX

MORE INFO:

FOX BET SUPER 6 TEAMS WITH
TELEVISION’S #1 ENTERTAINMENT SERIES, “THE MASKED SINGER,” FOR SEASON FIVE,
PREMIERING WEDNESDAY, MARCH 10, ON FOX

 

Free-To-Play App Introduces Awards
Totaling More than $250K Throughout Season Five

Players Try to Predict Six Outcomes Per Episode For a Chance to Win Cash Prizes

When the fifth season of the hit singing competition series THE MASKED SINGER debuts Wednesday, March 10 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX, the FOX Bet Super 6 app will offer viewers an enhanced entertainment experience, by making predictions about what they think will happen in each episode throughout the season.

In advance of each episode of THE MASKED SINGER, viewers who download the FOX Bet Super 6 app will be presented with six questions to predict what will occur in the show that night. For every correct answer, users of the app will receive an entry into a prize drawing where a total of $20,000 will be given away each week. There will be multiple winners each week. Users who enter the sweepstakes every week will receive an extra entry into a grand prize sweepstakes with a $100,000 grand prize, which could be awarded to a single player following the show’s season finale in May.

Starting Monday, March 8, in advance of the season premiere episode of THE MASKED SINGER, FOX Bet Super 6’s weekly contest will launch each Monday at 8:00 PM ET, and entries will be open until the end of Act 1 of the East Coast airing on Wednesdays at 8:00 PM ET.

“We are thrilled with the opportunity to build on the app’s popularity with sports fans and expand the fun and excitement into an entirely new audience,” said FOX Bet CMO, Andrew Schneider. “The app has proven to be an engaging complement to live events and, through this partnership, will help to drive viewership and enrich the experience of MASKED SINGER fans.”

This season’s #1 entertainment series among Adults 18-49 in Most Current ratings, THE MASKED SINGER is hosted by Nick Cannon and will feature guest host Niecy Nash this season, along with panelists Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke. Celebrities who have performed on the show include T-Pain, LeAnn Rimes, Gladys Knight, Donny Osmond, Seal, Patti LaBelle, Drew Carey, Lil Wayne, Mickey Rourke, Rob Gronkowski, Wayne Brady, Tori Spelling, Dionne Warwick and many, many more!

Beyond the sports arena, the versatile FOX Bet Super 6 app grew exponentially with contests during the 2020 Presidential Debate and Election. The first Presidential Debate in September generated over 479,000 entries, followed by October’s Presidential Debate with more than 678,000 entries, and culminated with November’s Presidential Election contest registering over 1 million entries. Additional pop culture contests include FOX Bet’s Super 6 Stock Market Challenge and Quiz Show.

Since launching in September 2019, the FOX Bet Super 6 app boasts a user base of 4.4 million with more than 90 million contest entries and has awarded 22,000 nationwide winners with approximately $4 million in prizes.  Since the return of sports at the end of July 2020, FOX Bet Super 6 has garnered the most downloads in the free-to-play category of Sports Prediction Apps (includes Fantasy). For the Super Bowl LV Super 6 contest last month, the app scored more than 1.4 million entries – the most entries for a single contest ever.

THE MASKED SINGER is produced by FOX Alternative Entertainment. James Breen, Craig Plestis, Rosie Seitchik and Nick Cannon serve as executive producers. James Breen serves as showrunner. The series is based on the South Korean format created by Mun Hwa Broadcasting Corp.

FOX Bet Super 6, is a free-to-play prediction app under the FOX Bet umbrella, which is a division of Flutter Entertainment. No betting or wagering of any kind is made on the FOX Bet Super 6 platform. No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the U.S., excluding WA, 18 and over. Each contest closes at 8:15pm ET. See terms and conditions at FOXSuper6.com. Sponsored and prize supplied by TSG Interactive US Services Limited.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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