The Masked Singer

Gretel Killeen on being the first singer revealed in wildly popular The Masked Singer premiere

''It's not about who is the best singer or who isn't, it's about the intrigue!''

By Tina Burke
More than one million viewers tuned in for The Masked Singer Australia premiere on Monday night - 1.162 million, to be exact.
For the first 'unmasked' contestant Gretel Killeen, the show's early success comes down to one key thing: fun.
"I think because it's not a competition between us, the performers, it's a game for people. It's a game to play along!" Gretel tells TV WEEK. "So many people in there can sing, so it's not about who is the best singer, or who isn't, it's about the intrigue.
"Which character do you like, and which one do you support, and all of that business."
Though the 56-year-old star admits it was "completely and utterly daunting" to perform, she says she chose to take part because she loved the "essence" of the show.
"I do believe in pushing boundaries and I think that's how you determine who you are, by being brave and stretching yourself like that," she says.
Though she "couldn't walk or see" in her octopus costume, Gretel says the anonymity gave her an added confidence boost.
"I had no idea what I was doing!" Gretel says, revealing she could only rely on YouTube tutorials for singing tips.
"So I think for the people who are non-singers doing that show, I think we all need a hug basically. But, also, I applaud us because we're stepping so far out of our comfort zones."
Gretel Killeen, unmasked!
When asked about the security measures that kept her identity a secret behind-the-scenes of the show, Gretel is keeping mum.
"I can't really reveal much because they'll need to do it on the show in the future," she says, laughing when we point out Dave Hughes has already spilled some of the techniques the security team employed.
"Well, Dave should probably not be talking about security measures [laughs]. Typical Dave."
Though she wouldn't spill on the secretive tactics, Gretel does confirm she was "completely covered" at all times. Even when rehearsing with the 11 other contestants.
"From the moment you're picked up you're completely hidden and you don't talk to people," she says. "Even when we were all singing together, rehearsing, we were completely covered up. So even though someone might be half a metre away from you, you don't know who they are."
Like the rest of Australia, Gretel will now be playing the guessing game each night to try and figure out who is behind the mask.
"I still don't know who they are!" she exclaims, adding there's "only one" contestant she is sure of. "It's quite a hard thing to do, to recognise a voice."
Gretel enjoyed performing as the octopus.
On Monday night, viewers were introduced to Gretel as the octopus, along with five other still yet-to-be unmasked contestants: the alien, prawn, robot, unicorn and wolf.
Some popular guesses with viewers so far have been singer Cody Simpson as the robot, Neighbours star and singer Rob Mills as the wolf and Australian treasure Nikki Webster as the alien. See all the latest clues here.
On Tuesday night, viewers will meet an additional six singers in mysterious costumes - and we can't wait!
The Masked Singer Australia airs Monday and Tuesday, 7:30pm, on Network 10.

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