Sunday Territorian


TheMaskedS­ingerAustr­alia returns for a third season with more dazzling costumes to delight audiences, writes Siobhan Duck


COSTUME designer Tim Chappel is the creative genius who has been transformi­ng Australia’s famous faces into furry monsters, enormous snack foods and celestial beings for the past three years on popular reality TV show The Masked Singer Australia.

Chappel, who made the Oscarwinni­ng ensembles donned by Guy Pearce, Hugo Weaving and Terence Stamp in The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, acknowledg­es that making these elaborate outfits for The Masked Singer is no mean feat. Each costume takes up to 12 weeks to construct. This season, Piñata proved the least time-consuming, while Volcano – with its four LED light circuits and built-in smoke machine – was the most labour-intensive.

“We start coming up with ideas almost immediatel­y after we fi nish the [previous] season. We come up with 60 different ideas,” Chappel explains.

“Then we will vote on which ones to progress until we end up with about 20. And this is all well before anyone has even been cast.”

It’s important the costumes are diverse so that they appeal to different people.

“So we have Mullet this year. That’s our sort of blokey costume. Then I like to do some sexy girls, some sexy boys. Some kooky boys and some kooky girls, and a few that are gender neutral.”

Not all of Chappel’s ideas make it to the stage. Among those on the scrap heap are a popcorn machine, a Swiss Army knife, a witchetty grub and a turnip.

Of course, the costumes can’t just look fabulous, they also have to be user-friendly for the performer and completely disguise their height and size to ensure anonymity. Through trial and error, Chappel says they’ve learnt tricks to make costumes lighter and easier to wear for the performers.

That wasn’t the case for poor Kate Ceberano in season one.

“Lion’s headdress actually sat on her head,” Chappel explains.

“I just wasn’t super experience­d then. It weighed about 12kg – and [Ceberano] never complained.”

But not everyone is as much of a trouper as Ceberano.

“Some of them just absolutely hate their costumes. They just hate them right to the end,” Chappel divulges.

“These are [the] people who thought they were signing up for The Voice and not for

The Masked Singer. And they didn’t even have difficult costumes. They just weren’t happy campers.”

Every year, Chappel admits he tries to up the ante on what he’s done before. As such, this year’s Kebab (his personal favourite) is the tallest he’s ever made, standing at a whopping 3.8m.

“They actually had to rebuild the entrances on the set so that Baby and Kebab could make it out on to the stage,” he says, laughing.

“And I got in a bit of trouble because Volcano was 3.2m wide… so it had to come through the doors sideways!”



 ?? TheMaskedS­inger. ?? FISHY BUSINESS: Mullet is one of 12 costumes concealing a famous face on
TheMaskedS­inger. FISHY BUSINESS: Mullet is one of 12 costumes concealing a famous face on

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