It’s easy enough to tell if someone can sing by listening to them belt out a tune, but can you identify a great vocalist just by looking at them? Fox’s I Can See Your Voice, hosted by Ken Jeong, puts its contestants to the test — if they can correctly identify who among a group of six lip syncers can and cannot sing, they win $100,000. If not, well, they at least got to meet a few celebrities on the show’s panel along the way.
Season 3 of the series, which is based on a hit South Korean game show, premieres on September 19. In this exclusive clip, Fox reveals this year’s celebrity panel includes stalwarts like Cheryl Hines and Adrienne Bailon-Houghton along with Lisa Ann Walter, Ron Funches, Porsha Williams, Cheyenne Jackson, Joel McHale, and more.
Each episode features six “secret singers,” each of whom is identified by a profession or hobby. While it may seem like a helpful hint, viewers shouldn’t read too much into it. For one, mountain bikers and pharmacy techs can be good singers, too. But even that doesn’t matter here, because these jobs aren’t always accurate descriptions of the secret singers — just because someone says they’re in a tribute band, doesn’t mean that they really are in a tribute band. And even if they really are in a tribute band, that doesn’t mean they can sing; they might be the drummer.
So what does it really take to decipher whether or not someone is singing without hearing them actually sing? There are some clues along the way to help decipher whether or not each secret singer is who they say they are — contestants can ask some singers a single question, receive “evidence” of each secret singer’s life, and in one round, listen to the singer’s real voice for 15 seconds straight (though not necessarily singing) in a recording booth. But it still all really comes down to watching the performance, during which singers may or may not be lip syncing to their own voice.
In past seasons musicians have proven to be the most helpful on the celebrity panel aiding each contestant. While the secret singers lip sync, mouth movements, breathing patterns, and something as simple as how far away each person holds the microphone from their face can reveal whether or not they know proper singing technique. Three seasons in, knowing what to look for can be a blessing or curse — contestants may have a better idea of how to win that $100,000 prize, but now the secret singers may also be a little more savvy, keeping the money just out of reach.
I Can See Your Voice Season 3 premieres September 19 on Fox and streams on Hulu the next day. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.
Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R.