On Wednesday, comedian Margaret Cho became the fourth celebrity eliminated on The Masked Singer. She follows Antonio Brown (the Hippo), Tommy Chong (the Pineapple), and Terry Bradshaw (the Deer). We asked Cho about why took part in the competition and her worst memory of wearing that mask.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You were very good at dragging out the moment when you pull off your headdress. Was it also because it was hard to do?
MARGARET CHO: It was hard because I had this hood on, this Pulp Fiction-like hood. It was quite a struggle to get all of the pieces off. There was some amazingly intense secrecy. There is a little bit of a psychological trauma because you had to be masked and hidden all through rehearsals and the competition, which was actually quite a long process. Even though we weren’t on site at the studio and in places far away, we still had to be masked. You would have to put the mask on way before our destination. It was kind of Bird Box way early, way before we even saw the movie [for Netflix that stars Sandra Bullock]. So taking the mask off for the first time in front of people was quite a big deal.
Could you see or hear in that thing?
It was impossible to see anything. You could make out shapes at times. When you are on stage, the bright lights gave a very weird glare. It was very hard to hear. I had an in-ear stereo system to help hear my music. The resonance inside the chamber of the head was a little bit odd, too. You could hear yourself but you weren’t really sure other people could hear you.
Did you have any say in your costume? Was there another animal or thing you wanted to be?
I had a choice between being the poodle and being the alien. I really responded to the poodle because I’m a dog lover. And I really thought this costume was so cute and perfect for me.
Did the world know Margaret Cho had a great voice?
I don’t know. I’ve been a singer for quite some time. I’ve made records with Fiona Apple. I really do love singing. It’s a real passion. It’s something I’ve done for a while. Because I’m a comedian, I’m mostly known for being a comedian. People didn’t realize that voice could come out of my face. I’m a lot like Susan Boyle.
Is that why you said yes to this show?
I love singing and I absolutely love Korean shows — any kind of transplant from Korea coming over here, I’m all about. It’s so fun. This one is really special. Once I was offered, I was like “oh yeah, of course there should be an American version.”
Were you insulted by any of the guesses by the judges? For “Heartbreaker,” Nicole Scherzinger guessed Jane Fonda.
I thought that was great! I thought that was a really great guess. I was really excited because nobody said me. They never really got close. I’m also really good friends with Ken Jeong. I played his sister on his show Dr. Ken, and he’s been my opening act as a comedian dating back 25 years. That was really scary for me. I thought if anybody was going to guess, it’s him. I was really surprised he didn’t.
Did you pick those songs?
Yes, “Heartbreaker” I actually sang before with another band. I knew the song very well, and knew I could do it. I also had worked with Cyndi Lauper before so “Time After Time” was a natural choice. She was somebody who actually helped me learn to sing. I was on tour with her for her True Colors tour in 2006.
Do you have prediction going forward?
I really love the monster. I think the lion is really special, also the bee I saw the most live. The bee is someone I can’t guess, I don’t really know. But the bee is legendary. And I love the rabbit! I love all of them. All of them have so many great things to bring to this. And really you could not tell. They kept us hidden from each other so well. I have even less of an understanding of who it is compared to the viewing audience.
One last thing. Did you ever feel claustrophobic?
I was claustrophobic the entire time. The worst part was that somebody, I don’t even know who it was, somebody was talking to me a lot in the mask, through the snout, and he had really bad breath which got stuck in the snout. So I would end up breathing recycled bad breath from somebody else for a long period of time. That was not something I signed up for.
The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.