LeAnn Rimes shouldn’t be feeling “blue”: The singer shone on Wednesday night, as she was unmasked as the winner of season 4 of “The Masked Singer” – The Sun.
Also revealed: runner-up Aloe Blacc, who had been dressed as Mushroom, and third place Nick Carter, who had played as Crocodile.
“I never thought I would do something like this and I don’t think I would ever do something like this again,” Rimes told Variety. “It’s such a unique show. I had no idea what I was getting myself into and so glad I did.
Panelist Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg and Nicole Scherzinger got it right with LeAnn Rimes. Ken Jeong thought it was Mandy Moore, while Robin Thicke named Katharine McPhee.
Rimes said she was eager to appear in “The Masked Singer” after the COVID-19 pandemic left her without a stage to occur. “I haven’t been off the road or playing live since I was 13,” she said. “I really wanted to be on stage. And then when I thought about what I could bring to that dark moment in time, it was like perfect timing. This show in itself is so happy, unlike any show on TV.
“It was a million times better than anything I expected, and also a lot harder,” Rimes said. I didn’t expect the costume to carry so much weight. To play in that costume, it was a practice session. I came home every night so badly. But, she added, “I started so young and never really had the chance to play. And so for me, part of it was like, ‘I’m going to play in costume? OK cool.’ ”
Rimes has just released the new song “Throw My Arms Around the World” and also hosts the “Wholly Human” podcast. While performing in disguise on “The Masked Singer,” Rimes said she had embraced anonymity.
“One of the beautiful things about being behind the mask is that people got to feel me without any preconceived intrigue,” Rimes said. “This is the first time people have felt my essence, my voice and my uneventful gift. Especially as a woman, in this profession there are so many [focus on] how I look and what I wear.
For Mushroom, Scherzinger figured out it was Blacc, and Thicke used it too; McCarthy Wahlberg named Ne-Yo; and Jeong thought it was Pharrell Williams.
Like Rimes, Blacc told Variety that the pandemic and the forced tour disruption gave him the opportunity to do “The Masked Singer.”
“Usually I’m on the road, I travel the world,” he says. “It really gave me the opportunity to be at home. Also, I feel like at this time in the world, and especially in our country, where there is so much trauma from a pandemic and where there is so much political division, this show has been l ‘one of the times when we can all come together and celebrate life through music.
Blacc took the show’s secrecy so seriously that he didn’t tell his wife about it at first, and his children were kept in the dark until Wednesday’s reveal.
“I did not say [my wife] for weeks, ”he says. “Finally she asked, ‘Why don’t you come out with the family? Why do you have to work, why can’t you cancel? And so I had to tell him this very big secret of what was going on.
Blacc also went with the mushroom costume over broccoli (another option for him) because he thought his first name, which is also a green plant, might be too obvious.
Like most performers of “The Masked Singer,” Blacc said the costume was harder than expected to maneuver, but he found a way. “When I’m on stage I like to dance and I like to be physically active and groove with the audience and get them to sing 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 were not free to move. I had to sort of move around in the skirt. And it definitely reduced my mobility. Also, singing behind the mask was quite complicated. I’m used to having the mic a lot closer to my face. ”
As for the songs he chose, Blacc went with female ballads “just so I could use a completely different part of my voice. Because if I had just sang with the same tenor, with a little bit of a rasp in there, I think people would have guessed who I was right away.
For Crocodile, McCarthy Wahlberg was successful with Carter. At least the panelists were all in the boy band mentality: Thicke got close to 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 last season on “The Masked Singer” as Turtle. But then he had to give up, and the costume went to Jesse McCartney instead.
When COVID-19 forced the Backstreet Boys South America tour to be canceled, Carter decided it was time to revisit the show. He immediately turned to the crocodile outfit.
“I just loved the character and what is meant to be will be,” he says. “And it’s now set in stone. I will always be known as Croc. As to why I wanted to do it, it’s about leaning into the discomfort and leaning into a challenge.
Carter said he was also eager to try something new on his own. “I’ve been with the Backstreet Boys since I was 11. And I was the youngest brother in my group. I am a team player and I love being part of a group. But I always felt like maybe I hadn’t been really good on my own, that I didn’t establish myself as a solo artist. I tried to release records, 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 the idea of seeing how audiences would react when they didn’t know it was him. “There is no other additional extra noise. It’s just the performance itself and the voice. I was interested to see what people would think of it and I was actually pleasantly surprised how far I got.
Carter, who is releasing new solo single “Eighties Movie” on Friday, said the hardest part of the show was being away from her son and baby girl. “I felt like if there was someone out there who turns the show on and wants to escape a bit of the reality of what everyone is going through right now, if I could just do a little part of this story, bring a little bit of joy, that would be the reason why I would like to do it, ”he says.
This season’s costumes were Baby Alien, Crocodile, Broccoli, Gremlin, Mushroom, Jellyfish, Whatchamacalit, Lips, Squiggly Monster, Popcorn, Sun, Dragon, Giraffe, Seahorse, Snow Owls and Serpent.
Tori Kelly (Seahorse), Taylor Dayne (Popcorn), Chloe Kim (Jellyfish) Paul Anka (Brocoli), Lonzo Ball (Whatchamacalit), «Dr. Elvis ”Francois (Serpent), Clint Black et Lisa Hartman Black (Snow Owls), Bob Saget (Squiggly Monster), Wendy Williams (Lips), Mark Sanchez (Baby Alien), Brian Austin Green (Girafe), Mickey Rourke (Gremlin) et Busta Rhymes (Dragon).
New this season, the show’s panelists competed for a “Golden Ear” trophy based on their first impressions of each masked artist. At the start of the final, McCarthy Wahlberg led with three, while Thicke and Scherzinger had two points each, and Jeong zero.
For Sun, McCarthy Wahlberg first chose Demi Lovato; Jeong named 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 was Donald Glover; Thicke named Billy Porter.
For Crocodile, McCarthy Wahlberg took another point with Nick Carter; Jeong’s first impression was Bradley Cooper; Scherzinger was Nick Lachey; and Thicke was Jordan Knight.
With four first impression wins, McCarthy Wahlberg was the clear winner of the “Golden Ear”.
Here’s a rundown of the latest songs from the three finalists, along with previous issues and panel guesses.
Crocodile (third place)
Song: «Open Arms», par Journey
Previous songs: “It’s my life”, by Bon Jovi; “Toxic”, by Britney Spears; “Bleeding Love”, by Leona Lewis; “I don’t want to miss anything” by Aerosmith
The previous panel guesses: 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: Maxwell’s “The Work of This Woman”; “If I could turn back time”, by Cher; “Unconditionally”, by Katy Perry; “Valerie”, by Amy Winehouse
The previous panel assumes: 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” of Brandi Carlile
Previous songs: “Because I love you”, from Lizzo; “Pray”, by Kesha; “Piece of My Heat”, by Janis Joplin; “When the Party’s Over” by Billie Eilish
The previous panel guesses: Katharine McPhee, Demi Lovato, Madonna, Mandy Moore, Carrie Underwood, Jewel, LeAnn Rimes, Brandi Carlisle, Kate Hudson, Emilia Clarke
“The Masked Singer” returns in the spring for season 5. Meanwhile, the spin-off “The Masked Dancer” is released on December 27 on Fox.