The Block wins the first round of the Battle of the Juggernauts

“These guys came up and they just couldn’t handle the pace after 48 hours, which to me is a bit un-Australian,” Cam said. “Try!”

Nine teased the controversy in promotions ahead of the season’s launch, no doubt fueling interest from viewers.

Add spice to MKR recipe was a new line-up of judges: Manu Feildel, who has been with the show for the previous 11 seasons, was joined by Nigella Lawson, with the former Chef judge Matt Preston is expected to join in the second round.

The new Masked Singer panel (left to right): Mel B, Abbie Chatfield, Dave Hughes and Chrissie Swan.Credit:Network 10

And while nuggets and specks made its long-awaited return last year with the original line-up of Adam Hills, Alan Brough and Myf Warhurst, this is the first season to be recorded in front of a live audience since their reunion after a 10-year absence .

There was also another first for the ABC show: it screened a commercial, or at least a snippet of one, to feature guest contestant David Novak of the band Polish Club singing a nerdy duet for Domino’s Pizza.

With the shows staggered into the early evening – The block and MKR started at 7 p.m. The Masked Singer at 7:30 a.m. and nuggets and specks at 7:40 a.m. – competition for viewers was fierce.

MKR drew 767,000 viewers nationwide to finish second in reality shows of the night, although there were some caveats. The unmasking segment of The Masked Singerbroken down as a separate program in viewership figures, beat it, with 791,000 viewers nationwide.

Longtime MKR host Manu Fieldel was joined by Nigella Lawson.

Longtime MKR host Manu Fieldel was joined by Nigella Lawson.Credit:Seven Network

And while the main section of The Masked Singer finished well behind MKR with 689,000 viewers, it nevertheless imposed itself on the crucial metro markets (522,000 to MKRis 503,000).

The Masked Singer was however down significantly from last year’s launch, when it opened to 642,000 viewers across the five capitals overnight (later increased to 709,000 after catch-up viewing).

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MKRon the other hand, was up on its final season in 2020, when it only pulled in 498,000 subway viewers for its launch episode.

nuggets and specks, meanwhile, drew 672,000 viewers nationally and 449,000 on the subway. That was a far cry from last year’s relaunch, which was watched by 953,000 viewers nationwide and 665,000 in the five mainland capitals alone.

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