Some bunny didn’t deserve to go.
But two eliminations had to occur on Wednesday’s installment of The Masked Singer, so Rabbit’s time had come. We asked the man behind the mask — the great Joey Fatone — to talk about why he did the show and how people guessed his identity very early on.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY Did it take much to convince you to do this show?
JOEY FATONE Not really. I love doing fun things like this. I forget when I got the first call on Dancing with the Stars. I was hesitant on that one. I know my left from my right, I know dancing but I don’t know dancing like ballroom and Latin style. It took me up to season 4 to go, oh let’s do it. With this one, I was like it’s fun, it’s in costume. At first, I didn’t know 100 percent what I was getting myself into. What actually is the competition about? We’re not trying to win a million dollars. It’s nothing like that. It’s more of a performance, a celebration of people who don’t get a chance to shine or they do shine and it’s fun to hear them in a different way. That’s something that appealed to me.
Did you specifically pick the rabbit?
There were two drawings that were sent to me. An alien, which was not the one you saw that was worn by LaToya Jackson. It was completely different. And there was concept art for the rabbit. They were limited in time because they already had 10 people cast on the show. I was No. 11. I was like, the rabbit is pretty cool, it’s crazy. It has a Donny Darko vibe with a straight jacket.
It looked easy to move in, at least. Was it?
Well the movement for my legs was somewhat easy. However, the top part was not! I was in some sort of straight jacket where the sleeves were 10 times longer, and I had these hockey goalie gloves on. Then, they literally locked me in the jacket. It legitimately had locks on it and I had a spare key with me in my pocket. I had a long fur neck that was attached to the rabbit head that had to be stuffed in to my T-shirt and the jacket. Then I was wearing another layer, as well. I had the monitor in my ears. Anytime I moved my arms, I had all those ribbons, all those things, that I was trying not to get caught in. Then, on top of that, you are sweating and running around and I didn’t have the best vision, I saw up and down and directly in front of me, but I had no peripheral vision.
What if you had to go to the bathroom?
The good thing was I had jeans so it was definitely a lot easier. Not to get too graphic, but if I had to pee, very easy. No. 2? The whole costume would have to come off, no doubt about it.
Would you get overheated?
For a couple of rehearsals, I would wear a hood and mask. That was hot in general because you were singing into your face. There was a shield, almost like a welder’s mask that would come down. And I tied the hoodie really tight, so you wouldn’t see underneath it. I wore this white mask that went around my chin and over my head, and then the shield. I literally wanted to yank that damn hood off afterwards. People were like, no no no! There were still other people around rehearsing. I had to go backstage, sweat my ass off, not breathe, to where they could lift it off or blow fans in the actual vent area. There were two or three people with fans and water. The hardest part was getting water because my neck was tucked into the fur of the jacket. During the actual show, I had to wait until after the performance and for the backstage interviews. I was in that costume for about 45 minute sometimes, just dying. I can only imagine what everybody else was feeling.
Which one of your songs did you enjoy performing the best?
All of them! I had a blast with every single one. They were all different types that I would not normally sing. People always ask, what’s my staple song when I go to karaoke. It’s “Jessie’s Girl.” I like doing “My Girl.” In fact the reason I did “My Girl” at the end was because people figured out it was me. Whatever. When I pitched certain songs, they said no because people could go online and see me singing those songs. That’s why I did “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” Same thing with “Isn’t She Lovely.”
Did anyone correctly guess you?
Everybody correctly guessed me from day one. I just denied, denied, denied! I felt bad, I had to apologize to everybody who I lied to.
Would you be willing to convince others to do this show?
I’m sure I would. I’ve already had people say, ‘ah man, I would love to do that show.’ It’s interesting. It’s not for the faint for heart. It’s a lot of sweating. If you are claustrophobic, that’s probably not a costume you want to be in. Who knows what other costumes they’ll do. I do keep yelling at them that I want to be a judge, though. It looks like fun.
The two-hour finale of The Masked Singer will air from 8 to 10 p.m. Feb. 26 on Fox.