With two seasons of The Masked Singer under its belt and one on the air right now, Fox has become the destination for over-the-top American versions of brilliantly pomo South Korean reality-TV singing-competition concepts. Coming off its excellent post–Super Bowl ratings, Fox has announced the newest series in this delightful niche: I Can See Your Voice, an adaptation of the South Korean series of the same name. Here’s how a press release from Fox describes the premise:
Each week on the show, one contestant will have the chance to win a cash prize if he or she can tell the difference between the good and bad singers, without ever hearing them sing a note. Helping the contestant navigate through rounds of lip sync challenges, hilarious hidden clues and true-or-false evidence will be a panel of celebrity comedians/experts and a musical superstar. In the end, the singer whom the contestant picks will reveal if they are good or bad in a duet performance with the musical superstar, resulting in an amazing musical collaboration or a totally hilarious train wreck.
The new chef-kiss emoji can’t come fast enough, because mwah. That premise is perfecto and delightfully convoluted. Basically, it’s a singing competition in which the person doing the judging is the one who wins or loses. Like The Masked Singer, there will be a panel of experts who have to decode clues leading toward a singer’s identity. Unlike The Masked Singer, there are no masks. Like The Masked Singer, there will be a mix of very good and very terrible singers. Unlike The Masked Singer, there are “rounds of lip sync challenges,” which The Masked Singer obviously cannot do because the masks don’t have moving lips.
Like The Masked Singer, Ken Jeong will be deeply involved in I Can See Your Voice, this time as the host, receiving an upgrade from his current panelist position. Jeong tweeted out the news, writing, “I Can Read This News.” Get it? Like the name of the show.
Here is a clip from the original I Can See Your Voice to give you a sense of what the final reveal format looks like, when the celebrity judges find out if the singers were good or bad all along. It’s fun to see people lose their minds at great singing — the potentially problematic nature of the show’s central premise of “judging people on what they look like alone” aside.