Robopine says he felt his clue about Paul Walker was too obvious on The Masked Singer
Warning: This article contains spoilers about Wednesday's episode of The Masked Singer.
As EW predicted, the quilled creature was revealed to be singer and actor Tyrese Gibson. The F9 actor spoke to a group of outlets, including EW, about why he did the show, why his clues were so misleading, his tribute to late costar Paul Walker, and more.
In your last clue package, there was a really touching tribute to your late Fast & Furious costar, Paul Walker. What did that moment mean to you?
TYRESE GIBSON: The thing is, I didn't necessarily want them to talk about things that are so obviously connected to me. I think what I really wanted was, I wanted them to go as far as they could to not have any clues and hints that people would be able to put two and two together. So if you said you had a really close friend that passed away that's a costar/movie star, they're gonna be like, "Well, clearly that's Tyrese." So I personally tried to throw as many people off as I could with my backstory. I said I was 60 years old. I said I had two grandkids and I was from Costa Rica. So I was trying to throw a haymaker in there and really throw people off. My fans and supporters, they know a lot of details about my life, because I've written two New York Times bestsellers, and I went into all of my childhood traumas and all the things that I had to survive growing up in South Central L.A. The goal here is to have everybody guessing who is Robopine.
The Paul Walker of it all, I didn't want to create any buzzkills you know, because it's such a tragedy, right? It's not necessarily something that you can go hee-hee-ha-ha after you talk about Paul. For me, it's, "Oh my god, I love him. I miss him. It breaks my heart. It is such a tragedy." So I respect the show, but I just kind of thought that particular hint was a little obvious.
What would you have liked to perform next if you'd made it to the next round?
My next song was going to be a Teddy Pendergrass song. 100%. So in my mind, let me go ahead and close it out. Let me go big. The Teddy Pendergrass estate and the Marvin Gaye estate, they cleared me to do these songs. And it was me that was coming up with the sequence — I want to do this first, I want to do this second, I want to do the Luther Vandross and do something with a little tempo. So, you know, it was me kind of navigating my way through the songs and the order in which I was going to sing them. It just kind of all landed the way it was supposed to land, I guess. I didn't think I would make it to the end, for some reason. I was like, I don't know who else is here. I don't know who else is performing. And I don't know what adjustments to make with the song choices. I don't know. Should I do more up tempo? Should I be dancing more? They just kept everything so private and exclusive and away from the other contestants. I didn't know what to do. I'm just kind of blindly out here, doing all these R&B soul records, and I just hope somebody appreciates them and hope I get to the next level, and I went as far as I could.
Was that costume as deadly as it looked?
It was good to have some additional muscles in my legs. And it was really good to have bigger arms, because I do work out, but my arms ain't that big. [Laughs] It really felt like escapism. It was just fun. It was interesting. I would do it all over again. I was in my dressing room, and some times I would have to wait 20-30 minutes before I came out to perform again. I would just look at myself in the mirror. And I'd be like, "Oh my God, what I'm wearing right now has nothing to do with what's on my mind or what's going on in the world." And then you just look at God. He just has a way of winking at you, and just reminding you to have a sense of humor.
How did your family react to you doing the show?
My daughter is the reason I did this show. This pandemic has made us all have to sit still, pause, and binge watch movies and TV shows, and a bunch of things that we just never even wanted to make time to see. And so I'm at the house, my daughter goes to Hulu, and she's been watching The Masked Singer, and she leans over on the couch and says, "Dad, you should do The Masked Singer." I looked at her and I said, "Shayla, get out of here." And she said, "Nah dad, I think you should do it. And I think you'll win it. The people on here can't even sing." So she was a real serious vote of confidence. And I told her, no, I didn't think I would ever do that. Then four months later, I got a phone call from my agent. And he said, "Hey, we just got an offer for you to do The Masked Singer. We know you're not gonna do it, but we have to tell you about all the offers that come in." And I said, "Actually, I want to do it." And they were like, "Really?" I say, "Yeah, man. I think it'd be fun. I think I'll end up being a super cool dad. I think my kids would feel really good about this." It's wild. And it was like, well, here we go. It happened, and I actually was surprised that I made it through as many episodes as I did.
What was the experience of the show like for you?
I mean, if I gave them a grade, it would be A-plus-plus, with how organized they are and the system that they have in place. It's like nothing I've ever seen. They've literally created a world within a world. It's really beautiful to see that they have such a well-oiled system in place for what they're doing. I would do it again, I would definitely encourage my friends to do it who would probably never think Masked Singer probably would ever fall on their radar. Because I kind of had my own moment of, "Oh, no, what is this?" You get to a certain point in your career, man, you just can't do everything and say yes to everything that comes across your desk. So my motivation became my daughter. I can't say it enough: My 13-year-old gets the credit for me doing this show.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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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?