The Masked Dancer champ Cotton Candy on her scary fall and emotional final reveal
Warning: This article contains spoilers about Wednesday's season finale of The Masked Dancer.
Week after week in the inaugural season of The Masked Dancer, Cotton Candy spun her magic into riveting routines, and it paid off. On Wednesday's season finale, the colorful confection danced (and flipped!) her way to victory, beating out Sloth (who was revealed to be Dancing With the Stars pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy) and the Tulip (Dance Moms star and actress Mackenzie Ziegler) in the process. The champ herself was revealed to be none other than three-time Olympic gold medalist gymnast Gabby Douglas. EW caught up with Douglas to chat about her time on the show, her scary fall, and what winning it all means to her.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was your reaction when the producers reached out about you being on the show?
GABBY DOUGLAS: Well, first of all, I'm a huge fan of The Masked Singer. And I love being a little detective guessing who's under the mask. And I've been guessed before on Masked Singer. So then when Masked Dancer rolls in my inbox, I'm like, I have to do this. So I was a huge fan of the show and the production already.
Did you approach this like you would the Olympics or a gymnastics competition, or was it just all good fun for you?
I honestly was like, let's go out there and have fun. But at the same time though, I was super-competitive. I'm like, "Okay, what are we doing? How can I make this better? What details can I throw in there? How can we up our game?" So I kind of went in there with both of those mindsets.
You had a really bad fall rehearsing for the first episode. First of all, were you okay, and what happened there?
Yeah, all is well. I was so fortunate for Cotton Candy's outfit, because she has a huge, fluffy skirt, and also her head shielded me, and it softened the fall. But I was okay, I was fine. I only got a bruised chin and a bruised knee. What happened was, the ring was spinning really fast, and it's interesting how your perception of gravity is just thrown off a little bit. My left shoulder got too much outside of the ring, and that's literally what happened and why I fell.
What was your favorite dance routine you did on the show?
I honestly can't pick! I loved each and every performance because I got to add a different style, a different genre, and different characteristics to the performances, so I can't even pick.
Was there one that was more difficult for you?
I would say that cheer step number was just a little bit challenging with the footwork.
There were a lot of flips and gymnastics-type moves in your final performance. Did you try and convince them to let you do more of that throughout the season? Or were you happy to sort of keep it more simple?
Well, for the cheer stuff and a few other performances I asked my producer — I absolutely love him — but I asked him, "What do you think? Should we flip?" And he's like, "We want to save it for the finale." And then the finale rolls around and I'm the one who's like, now do we want to not? But we both agreed let's go out with a bang, literally leave everything out on the dance floor. This is the last performance, so let's flip here, flip there, and let's flip over there, too.
Were you nervous about doing that in that costume?
A little bit. The costume was a bit heavy, but I was like, okay, C.C. Let's run faster. Let's punch harder. We got this together. I actually was starting to embody Cotton Candy. I love C.C. Honestly, I would practice with the head and the skirt because that was the heaviest thing — the head wasn't too heavy, but the skirt was. But I wanted to make sure I could still see and everything with the mask on with the flipping, and I could, everything was fine. It was just a lot of practice.
I love that you had a nickname for your costume. Did you just love her? Do you miss her a little bit?
I loved it. They showed it to me on paper and I just fell in love. I was like, "No changes to be made here!" I absolutely adore her. I love it. When can I try her on? I do miss her. I miss her every single day. I love C.C.
I noticed that in your first performance, you obviously had the aerial stunt with the ring. And in your last performance, there was a bit of aerial work there at the end with the balloons lifting you in the air. Was that sort of full-circle imagery on purpose or am I reading too much into it?
That's so interesting that you noticed that because that was exactly the thought behind it. We thought, all right, how C.C. started, that's how she's going to end: up in the air.
Where are you going to keep the diamond mask trophy?
It's going to go in a very important spot because I had such an amazing time on this show. The overall experience was so, so fun for me. And the people were amazing. It was family on set, family off set, anything that you've ever needed they were totally right there.
You got a little teary-eyed during the reveal. What did that moment mean to you?
I was emotional the whole entire day because I just can't even express enough… It was just such a fun experience for me, and just being able to develop very close relationships with everyone, and with the road ending and the journey coming to a stop… I didn't want this journey to end. So like I said, I was very emotional that day. Words can't even express how much gratitude I have, and honestly, respect for all of the dancers. They're so amazing.
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