BANGKOK — After a four-month wait, audiences were glued to their screens to find out who the man behind the durian mask was. The only thing they found Thursday night was disappointment.
More than 1.6 million people had tuned-in online to the live broadcast of what was supposed to be the season finale to Thailand’s No. 1 show “The Mask Singer.”
Many were drawn by the promised big reveal of which celebrities were behind singers Durian Mask and Black Crow Mask, a topic of hot speculation for the past week, only to become enraged when the promise was broken.
“New sensation in Thailand,” @MbGtog7 posted photos of people at a gym and internet cafe absorbed by the show.
After the most-awaited three hours and storms of SMS votes from the audience, the rocking Black Crow Mask revealed himself as solo pop singer Jirakorn “Ae” Sompitak. He was interviewed and proceeded to show off his singing skills before the show ended without revealing who was behind the spiky green fruit.
“Thais nationwide are now eager to know who you really are,” MC Kan Kantathavorn said in the final moments of the show. “We’ll see the face behind Durian Mask next week, because according to the rules, only one mask can be revealed a week.”
Prior to that, the MC had kept promising the audience would see all the faces behind the remaining masks of the reality television shows debut season.
The show ended in an eruption of boos from the nine referees and audience in the studio and apparently those watching from screens while angry rants on social media made #themasksinger the top trending Thai hashtag on Twitter.
It was an ignominious end to the debut season of Workpoint Entertainment’s latest hit show, and disappointed fans weren’t going to let it go easily.
“Workpoint is expert at making an unknown talent program become a hit within a month, and then bringing it down in nationwide complaints in two hours. Bitches!” infamous internet troll E Jeab Leab Duan wrote on Facebook, with an image of a character wearing a longan fruit mask, because “longan” sounds similar to “annoyed” in Thai.
Satire and commentary page Pim Thai Mai Dai revealed Durian Mask to be none other than Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha because they share similar cute gestures.
Workpoint Entertainment issued an apology at noon Friday and blamed its crew for production issues and for dragging out the live broadcast.
The Mask Singer is a music reality show import from Korea, where it is called “King of Mask Singer.” The show fields 32 talented celebrities to win the hearts of referees and audiences anonymously from behind masks and costumes.
Maybe #TheMaskSinger is directed by M. Night Shyamalan……
— Mr. K. (@engturam) March 23, 2017
— AA.134340 (@aabys_) March 23, 2017