Masked Singer final sees ratings fall as 2023 winner is unmasked
The Masked Singer's final has seen a drop in viewing figures for the second year in a row as Rhino was crowned the winner and unmasked as Busted singer Charlie Simpson.
ITV1's surreal singing contest features mystery celebrities who perform in elaborate costumes, with their identities revealed as they are voted out.
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Simpson was unmasked as the series four winner on Saturday night to an average of 4.8 million viewers, a significant drop on previous series finals.
The final, which had a peak of 5.7 million viewers, saw Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson finish as runner up in his Phoenix costume, while third place Fawn was unmasked as All Saints star Natalie Appleton.
Viewing figures for the final were down on 2022, which had an average audience of 6.3 million.
This is the second consecutive dip, after the 2021 final episode had an average of 8.6 million viewers tune in – although viewing figures were generally higher during the first two national lockdowns.
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Last year's contest was won by Natalie Imbruglia as Panda, Joss Stone won in 2021 as Sausage, and Nicola Roberts was the first Masked Singer winner as Queen Bee - making Simpson the first ever male winner of the singing competition.
Spin-off series The Masked Dancer has been won by Louis Smith as Carwash and Heather Morris as Scissors.
Masked Singer judges Mo Gilligan, Davina McCall, Rita Ora and Jonathan Ross were joined by comedian Lee Mack as a guest judge for the final, following footballer Peter Crouch's return to the panel as a guest for the semi-final.
Crouch had replaced Gilligan on The Masked Dancer's most recent judging panel while the comedian was on tour.
Simpson, who had been guessed as Rhino by McCall early in the contest, said of his win: "My band mates in both Busted and Fightstar guessed it was me within the first two seconds of hearing Rhino sing. When you spend that much time on stage with people and spend so much time in the studio, it would be very hard for them not to get it pretty much instantly."
He added: "Rhino has its own emoji on most phones, so often I would get people just texting me that which I found really funny."