Sanchez, now a college football analyst for ESPN, was the fourth celebrity to be revealed this season on “The Masked Singer.” But he wasn’t just wearing a normal disguise: Sanchez was “Baby Alien,” the very first costume in the series that came with a puppet.
“I think it required someone who was tall enough and strong enough to support the weight of the costume,” Sanchez said. “Because after wearing it for a while it wears off on you a bit.” It’s like 40 pounds. And it fits on your upper chest and lower back and shoulders, so they needed someone with broad shoulders to handle it. I was their guy and it worked out well.
Sanchez said he trained by getting a little short of breath and exhausted before singing, to mimic what his experience on stage would be like, wearing the costume.
“I also carried a very heavy backpack when I was practicing at home,” he said. “Just put dumbbells in and put on 35 to 40 pounds and start making music around the house. Everyone’s like, why are you doing this? And why do you practice?
Sanchez said he wasn’t quite sure what he was at first, and assumed the “puppet” would be a small hand toy.
“Then I realized I was going to have to put my hand in this weird position, move my mouth, and then with my other hand, move the hand of the puppet,” he said. “And then hit some dance spots, then sing along. I was like, ‘Whoa, this is going to take some practice.’ ”
To prepare for “The Masked Singer,” Sanchez said he used some of the skills he had learned after a decade of playing for the NFL: “I learned to do that, to create a routine for whatever. I did. And to be successful on Sunday, it starts the previous Sunday by reviewing your past game and then preparing for the next game with the proper preparation. And that’s exactly how I proceeded with it. I would compartmentalize everything, whether it be the choreography, the sung part or the puppetry.
“I practiced with other songs, read books, listened to stuff on the radio,” he says. “And it was that sort of thing that brought the puppet to life. It was all part of the diet and I had a great time doing it.
Sanchez also put on a fake Eastern European accent to confuse the ‘masked singer’ panelists – and it worked. None of the show’s panelists understood it was Sanchez. Guest panelist Joel McHale first approached, name verifying Tom Brady, before choosing actor Eric Bana.
The rest of the panel were equally stumped: Ken Jeong went with Freddie Prinze Jr., while Nicole Scherzinger guessed Jeff Dunham and Robin Thicke landed on Jason Biggs. Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg’s guess was Nick Kroll.
New this season, the show’s panelists are also vying for a “Golden Ear” trophy based on their first impressions of each masked artist – and McCarthy Wahlberg, Thicke and Scherzinger each have one point, while Jeong has none until. now none.
Nobody collected points this week with their first impressions: Matt LeBlanc (Ken Jeong), David Schwimmer. (Nicole Scherzinger), Ralph Macchio (Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg) and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (Robin Thicke).
Sanchez left the show Wednesday night after performing “It’s Time,” by Imagine Dragons. He joins Season 4’s unmasked contestants Brian Austin Green (Giraffe), Mickey Rourke (Gremlin) and Busta Rhymes (Dragon).
Wednesday night’s episode was “Group B Play Offs – Cloudy with a Chance of Clues.” Here are the other competitors and their performances in week four:
Song: “The Bones,” by Maren Morris
Childhood index: Bottle in the shape of a car. “This bottle should spin your wheels.”
The panel assumes: Taye Diggs, Jesse Williams et Brian McKnight
Voice off: “Singing like a snake was like a childhood dream come true for me. You see, I took an unorthodox path to get here. Initially, I could barely earn rent. To get by, I sold clothes. I did manual labor. I had patience. But all I heard from the guards was no. But I stayed motivated. And finally pierced. In a way, these initial failures were a gateway to “The Masked Singer”. The hard work that I have built over the years is finally paying off. And I never want this dream to end.
Previous song: “I’ll be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers
The previous panel guesses: John Legend, Daveed Diggs, Leslie Odom Jr.
Song: “Toxic”, by Britney Spears
Childhood index: Piñata with little dolphins inside. “I just broke the case in a big way, because this clue has an important character.”
The panel assumes: Adam Lambert, Lenny Kravitz, Harry Connick Jr.
Voice off: “Becoming the crocodile really rekindled my love for the stage. Something that I haven’t felt this passionately since I was a kid. When I was young, I was just a poor person with a dream. I remember standing in my garden playing every herb and rose petal. But my own dad didn’t believe in my talent. When I got my first paycheck for $ 100, I gave it to him directly. He was so proud. He cried real crocodile tears and believed in me. A few years later, shazam, I feel dreams come true. Tonight I’m putting the toxic parts of my past behind me and delivering nothing but love on this stage.
Previous song: “It’s my life”, by Bon Jovi
The previous panel guesses: Jon Hamm, Nick Lachey, Donnie Wahlberg
Song: «Moneymaker», de Ludacris (feat. Pharrell Williams)
Childhood index: Book: Hairy Tales of the Whatcha Family, by Doodad Doohickey. “I love a bedtime story and I’m an open book. So Ken, you should know exactly who I am.
The panel assumes: Cam Newton, Terrell Owens, Kyrie Irving, Armie Hammer
Voice off: “Here at ‘Masked Singer’ I can really let my hair down. Shout out to my glamorous team. It takes 36,524 brush strokes to prepare the Watcha camera. But I love this hairy situation that I found myself in. I am free, free, free. But it took some difficulty to get here. Like when I was at the peak of my career, ready to dance like never before. And I have the watchamacall that rocked my world. The news was blazing. My mother was in bad shape. I wanted to be by his side. But she wanted me to continue the ride. She made me realize that her dream was my dream. So I pushed for it. And now she’s going to freak out when she finds out I’m the big wig on stage tonight.
Previous song: “I wish”, by Skee-Lo
The previous panel guesses: Swizz Beatz, Dame Lillard, Tyler the Creator
Song: “My heart will continue”, by Céline Dion
Childhood index: Balloon with feathers inside. “Light as a feather, heavy with clues, that should help you not to be confused. “
The panel assumes: Bebe Rexha, Camilla Cabello, Jessica Simpson
Voice off: “I am a little tame in my normal life. But when I step into this costume, my inner diva, Fierce Seahorse, comes to life. But this is not my first rodeo. As a baby seahorse, I acted so hard to be a hero and make a name for myself. But that only led to rejection. Heartbroken, I posted in my room for what felt like a thousand years, spilling my soul across the page. And while I feel like I’ve come a long way since then, like a lot of people lately, I feel like I’ve experienced unimaginable loss and pain. I want my performance to remind all of us that no matter how dark the sea is, we just have to keep swimming.
Previous song: «Only Girl (In the World)», par Rihanna
The previous panel guesses: Halsey, Hailee Steinfeld, Bebe Rexha