SPOILER ALERT: Don’t read ahead if you haven’t watched the two-hour finale of Season 4 of “The Masked Singer,” which aired on Fox December 17.
LeAnn Rimes shouldn’t feel “blue”: the singer shone on Wednesday night when she was unmasked as the winner of season 4 of “The Masked Singer” – the sun.
Also revealed: Runner-up Aloe Blacc, who was dressed as Mushroom, and third place Nick Carter, who acted as Crocodile.
“I never thought I would do anything like this and I don’t think I would ever do anything like that again,” Rimes told Variety. “It’s such a unique show. I had no idea what I was getting into and I am so glad I did. “
Panelist Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg and Nicole Scherzinger got on well with LeAnn Rimes. Ken Jeong thought it was Mandy Moore, while Robin Thicke called Katharine McPhee.
Rimes said she was eager to appear in “The Masked Singer” after the COVID-19 pandemic left her without a stage to perform. “I haven’t been off the road or performed live since I was 13,” she said. “I was really looking forward to being on the podium. And when I thought about what I could bring in this dark moment in time, it felt like perfect timing. This show itself is just so joyous, unlike really any show on television. “
“It was a million times better than anything I could have ever expected, and a lot more challenging,” said Rimes. I never expected the costume to be this heavy. To perform in this costume was training. I went home so painfully every night. But, she added, ‘I started out so young and never really had a chance to play. And so for me, part of this was like,’ I can go play in a costume? Okay, cool. ”
Rimes has just released the new song “Throw My Arms Around the World” and also the podcast “Wholly Human”. In appearing in disguise in “The Masked Singer,” Rimes said she embraced anonymity.
“One of the great things about being behind the mask was that people could feel me without a preconceived storyline,” Rimes said. “This is the first time that people have learned to feel my essence, my voice and my gift that has no story attached. Especially as a woman there is so much in this industry [focus on] how I look and what I wear. “
Before Mushroom, Scherzinger found out it was Blacc, and Thicke took that too; McCarthy Wahlberg called Ne-Yo; and Jeong thought it was Pharrell Williams.
Like Rimes, Blacc told Variety that the pandemic and forced hiatus from touring gave him the chance to do “The Masked Singer.”
“Most of the time I’m on the road and traveling the world,” he said. “This really gave me the chance to be at home. I also feel in the world right now, and especially in our country, where so much trauma is happening with a pandemic and where there is so much political division, this show has been one of the moments when we can all come together and celebrate life through of music. “
Blacc took the show’s secrecy so seriously that he didn’t tell his wife at first, and his children were kept in the dark until Wednesday’s reveal.
‘I didn’t tell you [my wife] for weeks, ”he said. Finally she asked, ‘Why don’t you come to be with the family? Why do you have to work, why can’t you cancel? And so I had to entrust her with this very great secret about what was going on. “
Blacc also chose the Mushroom costume over Broccoli (another option for him), thinking his first name, which is also a green plant, may have been too obvious.
Like most performers in “The Masked Singer,” Blacc said the costume was more difficult to maneuver than expected, but he figured out a way. “When I’m on stage I like to dance and I like to be physically active and groove with the audience and have them sing along and clap,” he said. “But in this particular case, I was limited by this mushroom head, and the mushroom has a stem so my legs couldn’t move freely. I had to shuffle a bit in the skirt. And it has definitely reduced my mobility. Besides, singing behind the mask was quite complicated. I am used to having the microphone much closer to my face. “
As for the songs he chose, Blacc went with female power ballads “just so I could use a whole different part of my voice. Because if I just came up with the same tenor, with a little bit of that rasp in it, I think people would have guessed who I was right away. “
For Crocodile, McCarthy Wahlberg got it right with Carter. At least the panelists were all in the boy band mentality: Thicke got close with another Backstreet Boy, Howie D .; Jeong thought it was Nick Lachey; and Scherzinger went with Jordan Knight.
Carter told Variety that he originally signed up to appear on “The Masked Singer” last season as the Turtle. But he then had to drop out and instead the suit went to Jesse McCartney.
When COVID-19 had to cancel the Backstreet Boys tour in South America, Carter decided it was time to revisit the show. He was immediately drawn to the Crocodile outfit.
“I just loved the character and what is meant to be will be,” he said. And that is now set in stone. I will forever be known as the Croc. As for why I wanted to do it, it’s about leaning against the inconvenience and leaning against a challenge. “
Carter said he would also like to try something new for himself. “I’ve been in the Backstreet Boys since I was 11 years old. And I have been the younger brother of my group. I am a team player and I love to be part of a group. But I’ve always felt that I haven’t been really good on my own, haven’t come into my own as a solo artist. I tried to release some records, but they failed, and I just felt like it was a way to maybe grow a little bit more as an artist. For my group and also individually. “
Like Rimes, Carter said he also liked seeing how the audience would react if they didn’t know it was him. There is none of the other additional noise added. It’s just the performance itself and the voice. I was curious what people would think of that and I am actually pleasantly surprised how far I have gone. “
Carter, who is releasing new solo single ’80s Movie’ on Friday, said the hardest part of the show was getting away from his son and little daughter. “I felt like if there was someone who put the show on and wanted to get away from the reality of what everyone is going through a little bit, if I could only be a little part of that story, for a little bit of joy, that would be the reason are that I would like to do it, ”he said.
This season’s costumes included Baby Alien, Crocodile, Broccoli, Gremlin, Mushroom, Jellyfish, Whatchamacalit, Lips, Squiggly Monster, Popcorn, Sun, Dragon, Giraffe, Seahorse, Snow Owls and Serpent.
Previously exposed were Tori Kelly (Seahorse), Taylor Dayne (Popcorn), Chloe Kim (Jellyfish) Paul Anka (Broccoli), Lonzo Ball (Whatchamacalit), Dr. Elvis ”Francois (Serpent), Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black (Snow Owls), Bob Saget (Squiggly Monster), Wendy Williams (Lips), Mark Sanchez (Baby Alien), Brian Austin Green (Giraffe), Mickey Rourke (Gremlin) and Busta Rhymes (Dragon).
New this season, the show’s panelists competed for a ‘Golden Ear’ trophy based on their first impressions of each masked performer. Going into the final, McCarthy Wahlberg was in the lead with three, while Thicke and Scherzinger each had two points and Jeong zero.
For Sun, McCarthy Wahlberg first chose Demi Lovato; Jeong mentioned Gwyneth Paltrow; Scherzinger thought it was Katharine McPhee; Thicke thought it was Natasha Beningfield.
For Mushroom, McCarthy Wahlberg named Maxwell; Jeong chose Justin Timberlake; Scherzinger’s was Donald Glover; Thicke called Billy Porter.
For Crocodile, McCarthy Wahlberg took another point with Nick Carter; Jeong’s first impression was Bradley Cooper; Scherzinger’s was Nick Lachey; and Thicke’s was Jordan Knight.
With four wins on first impression, McCarthy Wahlberg was the clear winner for the ‘Golden Ear’.
Here’s a recap of the three finalists’ last songs, as well as previous songs and panel guesses.
Crocodile (third place)
Song: “Open Arms”, by Journey
Previous songs: It’s My Life, by Bon Jovi; “Poisonous”, by Britney Spears; “Bleeding Love”, by Leona Lewis; “I don’t want to miss anything”, by Aerosmith
Guesses from the previous panel: Jon Hamm, Nick Lachey, Donnie Wahlberg, Adam Lambert, Lenny Kravitz, Harry Connick Jr., Jared Leto, Jordan Knight, Justin Guarini, AJ MacLean, Nick Carter
Mushroom (second place)
Song: “I Wish”, by Stevie Wonder
Previous songs: “This Woman’s Work” by Maxwell; “If I Could Turn Back Time”, by Cher; “Unconditional”, by Katy Perry; “Valerie”, by Amy Winehouse
Guesses from the previous panel: Donald Glover, Usher, Frank Ocean, Adam Lambert, Jaden Smith, Jaden Smith, Taye Diggs, The Weeknd; Jordan Fisher, Leslie Odom Jr., Keegan Michael Key
The Sun (first place)
Song: “The Story” by Brandi Carlile
Previous songs: “Cuz I Love You,” by Lizzo; “Pray,” by Kesha; Piece of My Heat, by Janis Joplin; “When the Party’s Over,” by Billie Eilish
Guesses from the previous panel: Katharine McPhee, Demi Lovato, Madonna, Mandy Moore, Carrie Underwood, Jewel, LeAnn Rimes, Brandi Carlisle, Kate Hudson, Emilia Clarke
“The Masked Singer” returns for Season 5 this spring. In the meantime, spin-off “The Masked Dancer” will launch on Fox on December 27.