The Masked Singer Australia is back for 2023, and so is host Osher Günsberg. A fixture of Australian television for years, Osher was there when Guy Sebastian was named the first-ever winner of Australian Idol on the Sydney Opera House stage back in 2003. He’s played Cupid to several of Australia’s long-lasting reality TV couples on The Bachelor (and quite a few who didn’t last, as well). And, of course, he’s been hosting The Masked Singer Australia since 2019.
Chatting to The Latch, Osher tells us all about what’s in store for us on The Masked Singer Australia this year, reflects on his career thus far, and talks about quantum mechanics, the Matildas, climate deniers, and more. Strap yourselves in!
What We Can Expect From The Masked Singer Australia 2023
Since its debut in 2019, The Masked Singer has been a fan favourite for Australian audiences, and Osher says the fans are in for a treat this season.
“You wanna be able to give people more of what they like,” he tells The Latch over the phone. “You know, I don’t think in this gig, ever, you can get away with complacency. It’s like, the secret to —”
He pauses, laughs. “Here I go! The secret to any good relationship is to reinvent the relationship every time you see each other. That’s how you’ve gotta do it, in any relationship. You’ve gotta keep things fresh, whether it be with your partner, with your kids, or with your audience!”
As for how they’re keeping things fresh this year, Osher says it’s “the most emotional season of TV [he’s] been a part of for years”.
“It really is!” he exclaims. “I didn’t expect that, you know. I work on a show where people fall in love and get married and have babies, and there’s a lot of emotion and love and heartbreak and all of that happening, but this one is… every night is another thing.”
Osher says that the reveals this year are both mind-boggling and “so delightful”.
“I reckon, there’s more than 10, but if we take off seven masks, I’ve got tears in my eyes for seven of them, because I’m just so overwhelmed with emotion that this person’s even there,” he says.
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What Keeps Osher Coming Back to The Masked Singer
Osher Günsberg is one of the most booked and busy figures in the Australian media and entertainment industry, so what is it that keeps him coming back to The Masked Singer each year?
“The moneyyyy!” he exclaims with a laugh. Of course, there’s more to it than that.
“Also, look,” he says. “Yes, I choose to say yes to the job, but I also work very hard at making sure that I am the only choice for the job. Because they have other choices, they always have other choices!”
Osher’s goal, he says, is to make sure that he remains “the undeniable choice” for the network when it comes to hosting opportunities. When he gets asked back each year, it’s “confirmation that [he] has been doing all the other work” he needs to do in order to stay at the top of his game.
“Constant improvement is… I mean, every software gets updated, right?” he says. “Every car you’ve ever driven is better than the last model. It’s no different from what I provide. Essentially, I provide a product-slash-service to the network, and I try as hard as I can to… continue to add value every time they say, ‘Yeah, we want you to host this thing’.”
Beyond Osher’s drive for self-improvement, the other draw of hosting The Masked Singer Australia is, of course, “that it’s so much fun”.
“It only works if 115 people are all doing the exactly the right thing at exactly the right time, and it is really something to be a part of that,” he says. “If you watch some of those incredible Matildas goals from the World Cup… you’ll see 11 people just doing everything at once, perfectly, like it was a choreographed move.”
To be a “small, small part” of this perfectly choreographed show, Osher says, is a wonderful thing.
“If the other 114 people aren’t doing the right thing, none of it works,” he says. “And it’s beautiful that I can’t do my job without them and they can’t do their job without me. It’s beautiful, to be a worker amongst workers. I love it.”
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On Confirmation Bias, Climate Denial and The Masked Singer
If you’re a Masked Singer fan, you’ve probably been had one of those moments where you’re absolutely convinced about a singer’s identity, only to find yourself completely surprised when it’s not them. Osher says it happens to him as well.
“Like, more often than not!” he says. “When I get it right, I get it really right, but when I don’t know, I get it down to about two or three names.”
Osher says that he finds the whole experience to be a “fascinating” example of how our brains work.
“It’s the same as how our brains interact with news, for example,” he says. “You know, we have a primacy bias, which is where the first thing that we get exposed to becomes the thing that our brain latches onto, because our brains are pattern-seeking machines.
“And then, we have this cognitive bias where our brain wants to reinforce that, by making facts and figures and situations twist to morph and shift and reinforce that first thing that might not be true!” he continues.
“But we kind of try to crowbar these clues and guesses into it! It’s the same thing with climate denial, or whatever,” he says. “We will twist and mould actual facts to where they fit the narrative that our brains have decided is true, rather than going, ‘What if I’m wrong?’”
Osher’s advice for making your Masked Singer guesses is “to have two or three names going at a time”.
“You can feel super, super sure, but ask, ‘Well, what if I’m wrong? Who else could it be?’,” he says. “And that’s the way to get around that.”
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On Quantum Mechanics and The Masked Singer
If you’re wondering how quantum mechanics comes into a conversation about The Masked Singer, that’s fair!
As we chat about the upcoming season of the series, and the costumes in store, Osher says that the character of the Grim Reaper is “just amazing”.
“It’s absolutely stunning how much the person inside brings [the costume] to life,” he says. “It’s really, really fun.”
I tell him that I think the Grim Reaper is Darren Hayes.
“Everything’s a guess until the mask comes off!” Osher replies. “If anyone ever says any name, ever, all I say is that, just so you know! I’ve said that line about a thousand times this morning! Everything is a guess until the mask comes off.”
“Do you know what I love about this show?” he says. “The thing I love about this show is that … what we’ve managed to do, into primetime television in Australia, [is] basically snuck in an hour-long, shiny explanation of the quantum superposition, because you are both correct and incorrect at the same time, until the moment of observation.
“It’s perfect!” he continues. “There just happens to be fireworks and dancers and a big LED mask! It’s quantum mechanics. It’s simple!”
Tune in for all the excitement every Monday at 7:30pm when The Masked Singer airs on 10 and 10 Play on Demand. Miss an episode? Watch it when you want on 10 Play.
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