Lips talks almost spoiling her Masked Singer reveal during late-night TV appearance
The latest Masked Singer contestant to get eliminated talks to EW about Nick Cannon knowing exactly who she was and how some fans guessed it was her before the show even aired.
The Lips are going to go talk the talk elsewhere — literally.
Talk show host Wendy Williams was revealed to be inside the red mouthed costume on this week's edition of The Masked Singer, which is back after a one-week hiatus courtesy of the World Series. Here, Williams dishes on why she chose to do the show, what she thought of her performance, and fans figuring out her identity well before the episode aired.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You once described the show as "clownery, but in a good way" and you were a bit critical of the decision to send Chaka Khan home last season. So, why did you want to do the show?
WENDY WILLIAMS: Well, once I got to L.A. after going to the studio lot, I said, "Why did I do this? This is way too much for me. I am way out of my comfort zone." But, you know what, The Masked Singer is a very popular show. I knew all the judges, except for Ken [Jeong], and now I know Ken. And I know Nick Cannon. I've known him for years. They were so nice, with their calls from L.A. to New York. It was just so nice. And I said, "Let me just do it. How difficult could it be?" So, they asked me what song I wanted, my musical selection. And when we got out there, it seemed all right. It's a little weird because we had to hide under street costumes the whole time. I had all black leggings, all black socks, all black sneakers, all black hoodie — where you couldn't tell whether I was a man or a woman if you didn't like bump into my breasts. [Laughs.] I got gloves to hide my fingers. They said pull your hair back so they can't see whether you're a man or a woman. I had the mask around the nose and mouth on, which was black. They also provided a big giant shield man that would also be pimpin'. And knowing that these other people got cut, like if they can cut Chaka Khan, then I don't feel bad about getting cut. I'm gonna go out here, and have a good sense of humor about the whole thing. And when I get back home, ah, I can just take a big sigh of relief.
In September you were on Late Night With Seth Meyers, and it came out that you had been in L.A. recently, and he showed a picture of you with a visor over your face. Some fans recognized it as the visor the show gives contestants to wear. Did the Masked Singer producers say anything to you about that?
No, they didn't say anything to me. But you know what, when I wore it the first day, I said to myself, "You know what? I'm gonna keep all this Masked Singer stuff until after the big reveal. I'm not gonna wear this anymore." But it was just so cool! I was in love with the visor.
How did you feel about your performance?
It was a typical me performance. You know, I'm not a singer, or a dancer. I'm just Wendy. And I think people will have a good smile and laughter when they see it.
And why did you choose the Lips costume?
It was the most beautiful thing. They sent me a few choices, and immediately I said, "Nope, I want to be the Lips." I have very long legs, and I have really long arms, and I talked for a living all my career, that's what I do. So, when you're supposed to give hints, I don't know how many hints I could give without giving it all away. If I say I'm from Jersey — oh, that's Wendy. If I say well, when I'm not here in L.A., I'm back in New York talking on my set — oh, that's Wendy. It was weird that they even chose the Lips and they presented them to me because I said immediately, "Let's go." But Nick [Cannon] guessed me right away, I must tell you.
Yeah, right after my performance of Odyssey's "Native New Yorker," Nick comes out and he sits on the couch and talks to the contestants with the costumes on, you know? And he came out laughing. He's like, "I know exactly who this is." That's it. I don't even remember the questions he asked me. Because it was just, you know, "Oh, Nick. Just stop. Oh, Nick. When are you gonna get back with Mariah [Carey, his ex-wife]?" I liked them together. You know, stuff like that. For some people, there's really no disguising anything.
So you weren't disappointed that so many people figured out it was you?
No. Well, I am shocked that they knew about the visors. Those must be L.A. fans of The Masked Singer because people in New York don't walk around with that mask or that visor. That's more like an L.A. vibe.
Did you have anybody sign the NDA with you or did you keep your secret about being on the show all to yourself?
No, because everybody that I know, my family, even though they mean to be kind, even though they mean to be secretive, they end up going to Walmart and saying, "Oh yeah, my sister's gonna be on The Masked Singer." My family has a big mouth. I didn't want to chance it, because this is a chance of a lifetime to be invited there and do this and they're not going to ruin this for me.
Any advice for someone considering being on the show?
If you get the call, pick up the phone and say yes. Just say yes. The show's a whole lot of fun. It's a major production. It's not some cheesy, stupid show. They put a lot into it, and they take very good care of their contestants. So if you get the call, just say yes. Just go on the show, and have fun.
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The Masked Singer
Celebs compete in this reality-singing TV show while wearing elaborate costumes to conceal their identities. Can you guess the celebrity behind the mask?