Watching the “The Top Viral YouTube Videos of 2017” the number one video, was one I had never seen before. I listened to a man, wearing an oyster mask and headpiece, sing in a Thai, and found myself enjoying the performance, and began to binge watching more performances from the same show.
The “King of the Mask Singer”, is a popular show that originated in South Korea, but expanded to China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia. The format of the show is simple and could apply to American television. The mask conceals the signer’s identity to for the audience’s votes to not be waved by career success or looks. The American show “The Voice” has a similar concept, however, the identity of the masked singer is not revealed until the contestants lose one of three elimination rounds. Contestants will sing one song together, each a solo song, and then a panel of judges, as well as the audience, select a winner. The winner then challenges the reigning king of the mask, and if they win, they become the new masked king.
As unusual as it sounds, it made me wonder why American culture one, does not have a singing show involving masks, and two, how many other captivating shows we don’t have in America. If “King of the Mask Singer” has hid away from American culture, what other reality shows are popular in the world? I did some research, so here is other popular reality TV shows from around the world based on a random country generator.
United Kingdom – Love Island
A group of contestants live in an isolated location in an attempt to find love to win £50,000. Like the Bachelor, but contestants are voted off through audience vote, as well as, if a contestant is left uncoupled by a couple swatch challenge. The show raked up 1.8 million views in its first season in 2015.
Canada – Battle of the Blades
A figure skater and an NHL player paired together in this Canadian version of “Dancing with the Stars”. The show aired for four years before taken off the air, but it’s still an all time gem. The winners of the competition donate the winnings to a charity of their choice, but all contestants guarantee a $25,000 donation while the winner donates $100,000.
Nigeria – Gulder Ultimate Search
Like “Survivor”, the show places 10-30 contestants in a wild nature setting, with the objective of finding hidden treasures that can be exchanged for money. Unlike the American counterpart, the contestants are on their own, and thus caused a death of one of the competitors in 2004. The show suspended shortly after, but reappeared with more safety protocols. The most someone has ever won on the show was a contestant from 2012 who won 10 million naira ($28,000), and an SUV.
Belgium – Peking Express
As a lover of “The Amazing Race” this show is one I definitely want to see produced in America. Instead of pre-booked flights, “Peking Express” has the contestants hitchhike through Eurasia. In the first three seasons contenders had to travel to or from Beijing, all by the luck of their thumb. In the following seasons, the travel destinations varied throughout the world. The show has been adapted by 11 countries, and remains one of the most successful European reality TV shows.