The Masked Singer unmasks legendary soul singer as first celebrity eliminated from new series

‘I can never try and disguise my voice,’ said legendary American singer

Ellie Muir
Saturday 30 December 2023 21:19 GMT
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Soul legend Dionne Warwick unveiled as Weather on The Masked Singer

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Masked Singer UK viewers have dusted off their magnifying glasses and detective coats because the singing competition is back to turn viewers into a nation of sofa investigators.

Presented once again by comedian Joel Dommett, the singing competition shows 12 mystery celebrities singing familiar songs on stage, while dressed up in a costume obscuring their identities. Guessing along with the in-studio audience and the viewers at home are the judges: Mo Gilligan, Davina McCall, Rita Ora and Jonathan Ross.

A new set of six celebrities in their disguises performed on the ITV programme on Saturday night (30 December), with Weather being voted off by the studio audience and judges for the grand unmasking.

Almost immediately after Weather’s performance, the judges were unanimous in thinking it was a legendary American soul singer, but they struggled to settle on one name. All of the judges but Mo Gilligan were eventually confident that it was the “That’s What Friends Are For” singer Dionne Warwick hiding behind the bejewelled costume decorated with clouds and sequins.

It then was revealed that their suspicions were correct: it was indeed the soul icon Warwick, 83, behind the mask.

Warwick, who is the cousin of the late singer Whitney Houston, has three songs – “Walk on By”, “Alfie” and “Don’t Make Me Over” – inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time.

Dionne Warwick on ‘The Masked Singer’
Dionne Warwick on ‘The Masked Singer’ (ITV)

With a warm voice so widely known and instantly recognisable, it was difficult for Warwick to alter her voice to throw the judges off the scent.

After being unmasked, Warwick said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure. I said I can go on the show and have some fun but I can never try and disguise my voice.”

Dionne Warwick in disguise as ‘Weather’ on ‘The Masked Singer’ UK
Dionne Warwick in disguise as ‘Weather’ on ‘The Masked Singer’ UK (ITV)

Meanwhile, ITV viewers have been reflecting on Warwick’s performance on the show, with one fan writing: “As soon as she started singing I knew it was Dionne Warwick.”

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Other viewers were displeased to see that Warwick was voted off so quickly.

“I KNEW Weather was Dionne Warwick!” wrote one viewer. “Why would you kick off one of the greatest female singers of all times in the first episode?”

Another theorised: “Dionne said i’ll do 1 show and 1 show only!!”

Earlier this month, Warwick announced she will perform at eight special shows in the UK.

Dionne Warwick photographed in Febuary 2023
Dionne Warwick photographed in Febuary 2023 (Getty Images)

The Don’t Make Me Over tour will begin its UK leg at Gateshead’s The Glasshouse on Sunday 5 May, 2024, with tickets going on sale earlier this month via Ticketmaster.

The “Walk on By” singer will then travel across the UK visiting Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, Salford, Bristol, and Southend before concluding at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London on Tuesday 14 May.

Warwick said in a statement: “I’m so thrilled to be coming back to the UK and bringing a brand-new show to my fans. I’ll be sharing stories & personal anecdotes from my life along with footage from my recent documentary, Don’t Make Me Over. And of course, I’ll be singing some of my favourite songs from my career.”

The evening will feature hits from across Warwick’s decades-long career, including a selection of classic Warwick/Burt Bacharach/Hal David songs such as “I Say A Little Prayer”, “Do You Know The Way To San Jose” and “Walk On By.”

She will be joined on stage by interviewer Dave Wooley, her band plus a multimedia set up with an LED screen showing highlights from her recently released documentary, Don’t Make Me Over.

You can find her UK tour dates here.

The Masked Singer UK airs on ITV and ITVX on Saturday evenings, with the final expected to take place in February.

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