He used to present small fruits on “Tutti Frutti”, now he was a big potato himself: presenter Hugo Egon Balder was exposed on the ProSieben show “The Masked Singer”.

The 74-year-old received too few votes from the audience in Cologne – and therefore had to take off the costume under which he had hidden himself in the music puzzle show. It was a couch potato – a pretty cozy, overweight giant potato who likes to watch TV. Two helpers had to help Balder out of the massive masquerade. “I’m 74 now,” he said afterwards. “I’ve already noticed what it’s like in the coffin.”

Guessing takes practice

No one had previously guessed that the multi-talented man – Balder is a presenter (“Tutti Frutti”, “Brilliantly Next”), musician, actor, pub bar – was in the Runzel outfit. Moderator Palina Rojinski (38), who has recently joined the show’s advice team, guessed actor Florian David Fitz (49), who is 25 years her junior, and her colleague Rick Kavanian (53) guessed the even younger Matthias Schweighöfer (43). Only musician Max Giesinger (35) went in a completely different direction as a guest on the guessing team and guessed ex-football manager Reiner Calmund (75). Maybe that was also due to the couch potato’s impressive mustache, which was reminiscent of the mustache of “Callis” of earlier years.

Balder was the first celebrity to be eliminated from the regular competition of the tenth season of “The Masked Singer,” which has now started. There are seven other masks in the running – including a baby lion, a large flip-flop, a crocodile and a cotton candy with googly eyes. As an innovation, there is also a mask (“The Mystery”) that is revealed in every episode and under which there is always a different celebrity. In the first episode on Saturday it was opera singer Rolando Villazón (52).

On “The Masked Singer” celebrities appear as singers but hide their true identities behind large costumes. Only her voice and mysterious clues give any idea who is on stage. Normally they are exposed if they get too few votes from the audience – or end up winning the final.