Fox says he came to The Masked Singer to win — and he did
Warning: This article contains spoilers about Wednesday’s season finale of The Masked Singer.
Sorry, but it has to be said: Wayne Brady outfoxed them all.
The host of Let’s Make a Deal just become the second winner of The Masked Singer, and he’s talking to EW about how he came to the show to win and why his mother never suspected he was Mr. Fox — even though she believed it sounded like her son. And above, check out the music video for “Flirtin’ With Forever,” the first single from Brady’s new album, which drops in January.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You just won The Masked Singer! Is the outcome you wanted or did you just do this to have fun?
WAYNE BRADY: As I’ve said to other people in my life, I don’t have time to just do stuff for fun. When I do something, it’s with the full intent and my intention was winning. Whether I won or not, that’s up to someone else, but my intention was absolutely to win. I wanted to have people not be influenced by my face or that I make them laugh on TV to just to listen.
Because your day job doesn’t always require you to sing, did you not have to worry much that folks would recognize you or was that always in the back of your mind?
Well, I disagree with you. On my day job, if you ever watch, I sing a lot. So the small worry was, yeah, people might guess me but because it was out of context, they may not put two and two together. I’m the only game show host to ever win an Emmy for a song. So all of the stuff I do is musically influenced.
There were some viewers who thought you tried to disguise your voice. Did you?
No, not at all. When singing certain styles, you sound differently. I wish I could take credit for trying to disguise it. When we were briefed by the show, they said don’t try to disguise your voice when you’re giving the clues because they do that with an effect. So I didn’t want to try to “This is me, I’m giving you a clue” because then it would’ve sounded weird. And I never tried to disguise my voice during a song. It’s just how some of the songs came out.
Now it seems like most viewers still figured you out, though there was a good contingent who still held out hope that you were Jamie Foxx. How did that make you feel?
It felt great because it’s a win-win, right? So if a bunch of people watching the show said, “No, that’s Wayne Brady” then that’s awesome. People know my voice. And they like my voice and more so, than I thought. And then the fact that they think that it’s Jamie, that’s a win because I love him and I think that he is an amazing musician.
My favorite performance of yours was “Tennessee Whiskey,” but I definitely heard Wayne Brady in there. Was there one song that you worried it would really expose who you are?
No, because I had no choice but to just sound like me. I think if I would have tried to go, “Okay, I’m going to sing this song like this guy,” then I would’ve messed myself up. You know what I mean? Instead of really singing the song and giving it the emotion that it needed, then it would’ve become a comedy performance of me like when I was on Whose Line Is it Anyway. So I think I just sang the song and let it go. I was very impassioned about that song.
Are you going to cover it later?
Oh, that’s coming. That’s coming. Trust me.
Now let me ask you the requisite costume question: How heavy was that headdress?
Heavy was the head that wore the headdress. It wasn’t super heavy, but if I tried to swing my head any way, it definitely took some getting use to.
Were you ever actually able to hear your competition during taping?
It was cool in certain circumstances because they do a really good job at sequestering you backstage so that you can’t really hear anyone else. But towards the middle of the competition, once you were blended into a group, that’s when you got to hear each other, when you’re passing each other doing sound checks. So I had my suspicions and I’m glad to see that I was right. I was like, “Miss Patti. Oh my God, what an honor.” And I know Patti and I love her and I think that it was just the coolest thing to say that I performed on the same show as Patti LaBelle. And watching Seal be unmasked! I knew it was him because his voice is so… I mean you can’t really disguise that voice. But at one point I thought it’s either him or it’s Terrence Howard pretending to be Seal. And then watching, seeing that it was Michelle Williams, that’s when I went, “Oh my God, Michelle was on the show and she’s amazing and she’s a third of Destiny’s Child and I’m still here.” So some of the reveals really, really let me know that I was in the right place.
How many people in your circle signed the NDA?
I kept my circle very tight. Let’s put it this way, my mother didn’t know. What’s hilarious is, she would give me a text every week and her and her husband would say, “Wayne, you know that Fox? He’s trying to sound like you sometimes. I know your voice.” But then she’d say something like, “But I know that’s not you because you sing better than he does.” I’m like, thanks, Mom.
Do you think she’s going to get mad when she finds out it’s you and you didn’t tell her?
No. I think that everybody will go “See? I knew it!”
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Celebs compete in this reality-singing TV show while wearing elaborate costumes to conceal their identities. Can you guess the celebrity behind the mask?