Reality TV

EXCLUSIVE: Dave ‘Hughesy’ Hughes spills on Jackie O, Urzila Carlson and Dannii Minogue leaving The Masked Singer

''The other panellists last year had their reasons.''
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This season of The Masked Singer Australia is bound to be fresh, fun and full of intrigue.

With three new celebrities on the panel, we can’t wait to see what Mel B, Abbie Chatfield and Chrissie Swan bring to the larger-than-life reality show.

The trio take their spots beside Dave Hughes, who has been guessing who’s in the elaborate costumes since the show’s first season in 2019.

Dave Hughes with the last panellists, Jackie O, Urzila Carlson and Dannii Minogue.

(Image: Ten)

While the departure of Jackie O, Urzila Carlson and Dannii Minogue made headlines last year, Dave assures TV WEEK there was nothing untoward about their departure.

“I don’t think it’s right to say I’m the last man standing. The other panellists last year had their reasons for leaving,” Dave, 51, shares.

“I love the show – and I have a very understanding wife who does the lion’s share of the work at home, so maybe gender plays a role there.

“Maybe I have less parental guilt than the mums on the panel.”

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This time around, Dave is certain we’ll be blown away by not only the incredible talent on the stage, but the new line-up too.

“I was given the opportunity to keep going, and I was really happy about my decision to stay on the show when the new panel turned up,” he says.

“They were really energetic, enthusiastic, super-invested and fantastic.”

Four seasons in, Dave still adores his role on the show. But, having said that, he says he’s never been tempted to put on a mask and costume and belt out a tune himself.

Abbie Chatfield and Mel B will be joining the panel this year.

(Image: Getty)

“For one thing, I don’t think I can hide my voice,” he says with a laugh.

“The second thing is I’m absolutely tone deaf – a terrible singer. Listening to my voice, you might find that hard to believe, but it’s true.”

The Masked Singer Australia premieres on Sunday, August 7 at 7.30pm on Channel Ten.

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