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Oti Mabuse to 'replace' Rita Ora on The Masked Singer spin-off show

The Strictly pro is a firm favourite to join the new dancing competition

Eve Crosbie

Oti Mabuse has been tipped 'to replace' Rita Ora on the judging panel of upcoming ITV show, The Masked Dancer.

MORE: The Masked Singer: Future of the show revealed

According to reports, the Strictly pro is a firm favourite to join judges Jonathan Ross, Davina McCall and Mo Gilligan on the new The Masked Singer spin-off show which is set to air later this year.

While Rita has appeared on both series one and two of The Masked Singer, her spot on the panel for the new sister series is said to be open as she will be filming abroad for The Voice Australia when filming is scheduled to take place this summer.

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WATCH: Have you been watching The Masked Singer?

However, sources have suggested that the recent controversy surrounding her 30th birthday party which broke UK lockdown rules has also put her out of favour with ITV bosses.

Instead, they hope that Oti, 30, who last year became the first dancer to win Strictly for the second time in a row, will bring some much-admired dance expertise to the show. It won't be the dancer's first time on a judging panel - in 2019, she appeared on the judging panel for The Greatest Dancer alongside Matthew Morrison and Cheryl.

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Similar to the original show's format, The Masked Dancer sees a number of celebrities take to the stage in elaborate costumes - but instead of singing, they'll be showing off their dance moves. It is then up to the panel and viewers at home to work out which celebrities are behind the masks using a series of clues.

The show has already proved a huge hit in the US, where panellists Paula Abdul, Ken Jeong, Brian Austin Green and Ashley Tisdale have been unmasking the likes of Jordin Sparks, Bill Nye and Ice-T in recent weeks.

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The Masked Dancer has been a huge hit in the US

Meanwhile, The Masked Singer UK was recently renewed by ITV for a third series following the success of the second series. The wacky singing contest has proved hugely popular over recent weeks, pulling in an average of eight million viewers each Saturday. It is not known whether Rita Ora will return to the judging panel for the third series.

It is believed that the spin-off series has been ordered by ITV as a replacement for the 2021 series of Britain's Got Talent, which was cancelled last month due to health and safety concerns.

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