The Pepper tells EW she hopes she made Harry Styles and Ariana Grande proud, and reveals her pick for who is going to win it all.

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Warning: This article contains spoilers about Wednesday night's episode of The Masked Singer.

This week's episode of The Masked Singer was no laughing matter for two contestants.

That's right: For the second time this season, there was a shocking double elimination, and fan-favorite Pepper and the show's scariest costume yet, Jester, were sent home.

The episode — which featured Will.i.am as a guest panelist — was full of twists and turns though, as it was also the first time someone (finally) used the Take It Off Buzzer. After Pepper's performance, her special Bling Shot Clue was the word "train." To panelist Ken Jeong, Pepper said, "Ken, not even gravity could stop that train from getting to you," and a lightbulb went off in his head. Taking the clue to mean it was someone he knew, he reasoned it had to be singer Sara Bareilles, who guest-starred on his show Community. (Her song "Gravity" was also used on the series.) Jeong also reasoned that it had to be Bareilles because she did a song called "The Train" with Common.

Unfortunately, all of that surprisingly good logic didn't do him any favors, and Nick Cannon told him he was wrong, and would have to fully detail and wash all of the host's cars as punishment. This prompted Jeong to rush the stage, which resulted in him hilariously getting carried off by the Men in Black as if he were a small child. Ultimately, Pepper kept her mask on.

The Masked Singer
'The Masked Singer' sent both Pepper and Jester home in a shocking double elimination.
| Credit: FOX

Jester, after an entertaining rendition of Soggy Bottom Boys' "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow," was given the boot first. No one got a point for the Golden Ear trophy, as the creepy character was not Roger Daltrey (Jeong's guess), Sammy Hagar (Nicole Scherzinger's), Alice Cooper (Robin Thicke's), Dee Snider (Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg's), or Joe Elliott (Will.i.am's). Instead, he was unmasked to reveal legendary Sex Pistols rocker John Lydon (a.k.a Johnny Rotten), who had some sage words of wisdom when asked about why he did the show. "We've only got one life, and you must explore all the possibilities and be limited by no one for no reason," he said.

Next up was poor Pepper, who eluded unmasking earlier in the episode but apparently couldn't escape it for long. In one of the hardest season 6 eliminations yet, the red-hot vegetable was nixed and unmasked to reveal Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Natasha Bedingfield. Only Scherzinger got a point for correctly identifying Bedingfield right off the bat (other first impression guesses included Carly Rae Jepsen, Lana Del Ray, Kesha, and Sia). And, because Jeong earlier got his Buzzer guess wrong, he lost two points, putting him at -1 and taking away his lead in the race for the Golden Ear Trophy. Scherzinger, with 1 point, now has the lead while everyone else sits at zero points so far.

Ahead of the big reveal, EW caught up with the "Unwritten" singer to dish on her surprise elimination and who she thinks is going to win it all.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How are you feeling about the elimination tonight?

NATASHA BEDINGFIELD: It was weird because I was gonna do a clue package for the next day. And I was going through what the next song would be, going with the producers and just really talking it through, and making calls to publishers and things like that. And there were supposed to be the clue interviews, and then suddenly they were like, "Oh, don't worry, we'll do that tomorrow." Then I went out on stage and it was just me and one other person. I was like, "Oh no!" I was surprised. I just didn't expect it actually, that day. I really loved that song [Harry Styles' "Sign of the Times"], and I thought it was really emotional. So I wasn't expecting it. Yeah, that was a bit of a bummer. But, you know, you just keep going. Then, I knew as soon as I took it off, I'd have to sing the song again. Did they show that as well or not?

Yeah, they always show a snippet at the end of the episode.

Yeah. So then, it's just like, "Oh, now I've got to try and remember the words again." [Laughs] Because, you know, I'm a singer-songwriter, so I write all my own songs. And I don't sing other people's songs that much. So the main challenge was really I came in as a Wildcard last minute, so I didn't have a long time to plan. I don't sing karaoke and I don't sing other people's songs, but it was so fun to step inside these incredible songs, and to really appreciate them, because I think when you actually sing them, you can appreciate them more. The Harry Styles song I think is so perfect for our times right now with cops, with the environment, everything. It's like, "Come on, stop crying, let's move forward. Let's not get depressed but actually have action." And I love that the next generation really feels much more inspired than the previous one to actually do something and say, "This is urgent, let's do something about it." That's what I kind of read into that song.

Since you came in so last minute, did you have any hesitation or did you just jump right in?

You know, it's really a fun show, isn't it? So as soon as I got the call, I was like, "Yeah, all right, let's do this." And then second thought is like, "Oh, s---. Now I have to actually find some songs to sing." Then it was trying the costumes on and I found out that I was a Pepper, and I just felt like I really went into some acting kind of, like becoming this caliente, hot, spicy Pepper. And choosing songs that were really emotional, because I felt like the Pepper must be a really emotional character that helps you feel stuff and helps you cry in a good kind of way, a good cry, you know?

Did you have a favorite performance?

I like them all. I haven't seen the most recent one yet. I think that was pretty good. I only sang three songs, but each one really showed a different side and was unique and a challenge of its own. I think with the Ariana Grande song ["No Tears Left to Cry"] you just really see what a great singer she is, because it's really got a lot of range. It's very low and very high. I had to move it up, make it a little bit higher, because my voice is quite high. And I couldn't sing as low as she does.

You almost got eliminated earlier in the episode with the Take It Off Buzzer, after you gave some clues that Ken thought meant you were really Sara Bareilles. His logic was actually pretty sound, but obviously he got it wrong. So how did those clues relate to you?

Oh, I was on tour with Train the band. It's probably that.

And the gravity reference?

I don't know actually. I don't know about that one.

Did you go into the show hoping to win?

I kind of went in thinking I'm not going into it to win, this is really just a really fun show. But then, when you get in, and the competitive side kicks in, then you think maybe you could win. But the other people are so brilliant. They're truly great. It's very hard to compare who is better with singing. It's such a subjective thing. Like who's better, Tracy Chapman or Beyonce? Obviously, you can't watch the other performances there, but now I've watched the last episodes and I would happily lose to both of those guys. Skunk and Bull are both exceptional singers. You know, I went up to the Skunk, and I said, "You're gonna win this." Her voice is just wonderful.

The fandom guessed you really early on. Did you keep up with the theories online?

It's so hard! My fans and people are just like sending me pepper emojis on Instagram. And I can't tell and it's killing me! I haven't told family. I'm just being so sneaky. So it will be nice to tell everyone. Some of the comments are kind of genius like, "I will bet my family home that it's Natasha Bedingfield." A lot of people are guessing it's me. Some people are sending me texts going, "Come on, come on." I'm like, "Maybe it's Jessie J out here. She sounds like me." I just want to make sure I don't give it away.

What did you take away from this experience?

Oh, I really love singing on stage. I love that. I'm so lucky that that's what I do. I love singing songs I wrote and having people singing along with me. And so doing a fun show like this, it's challenging, because I'm doing it in a different way than I'm used to. It's kind of like how athletes go and they go to high altitudes and work really hard, where it's a lot harder. And then when they actually go to a lower altitude, suddenly it's so easy, and that's how I feel. After singing within the Pepper mask, I'm like, woohoo, I'm totally free!

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I hope I did Ariana Grande proud. I hope she likes it. And also Harry Styles. I've never met him, but I think that song's brilliant. And it was just really fun to step inside those songs and embody them, you know? And thanks to everyone for watching and all the amazing comments.

Related content:

Episode Recaps

THE MASKED SINGER
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?

type
  • TV Show
seasons
  • 5
rating
genre
airs
  • Wednesdays at 08:00 PM
status
  • On Hiatus
network
  • Fox

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