7:00pm PT by Jean Bentley
'The Masked Singer' Week 7 Eliminated Celebrity Speaks
[This story contains the identity of the celebrity eliminated from Tuesday's episode of Fox's The Masked Singer.]
Two different groups of celebrities have been competing every week on Fox's The Masked Singer, but the show's seventh episode brought the final six singers together for a faceoff between the Rabbit, Alien, Lion, Bee, Peacock and Monster.
The unmasked celebrity in the first combined episode saw the Alien sent home. It turns out that fans at home (who were extremely vocal about their guesses on social media) were correct: The red bodysuit-clad Alien is La Toya Jackson.
In an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Jackson discusses the song-selection process, the judges' guesses, what gave her identity away and which singer she definitely recognized when she watched the premiere.
(Editor's note: Jackson would not address her late brother Michael and/or questions relating to HBO's controversial Leaving Neverland documentary.)
Why did you ultimately decide to do the show?
Jackson: I was very hesitant, actually, to be quite frank with you, because I didn't know who the other contestants were going to be. It's so funny, because I didn't tell anyone about it except my mother, and I said, "But mother, what if Gladys Knight is on the show or someone that sings like Aretha Franklin because these girls, they're just incredible." They're incredible singers. So I was a bit hesitant and I was also juggling things at the same time. At the end of day, I said, "You know what? It'll be a good experience and you'll get a chance to do whatever you feel you're doing." That's that and move forward.
There was a lot you had to do to prepare, like learn the songs and choreography, right?
I enjoyed doing it. And yes, you work with the dancers and the choreographers and then, of course, the song.
Did you pick your songs or did they give you a list of songs to choose from?
In the very beginning, I thought of a list of songs I could sing and then they said, "Give us the list," and then after that they decide if they can get them cleared or not. And the ones that they could get cleared are the ones [you choose from], and if they couldn't then you have to choose something else.
When you started performing, the judges were really convinced that you were Kendall Jenner or Gigi Hadid. What did you think of their guesses?
It was so funny to me because they also thought that I was Paris Hilton, and Nicole Richie and I was happy that they weren't guessing it was me. That's what I was happy about.
Fans on Twitter thought it was you, though. Did you hear from them?
Oh, are you kidding? Constantly. Everybody was saying, "Oh, it's La Toya, it's La Toya," and if I would tweet something not pertaining to the show whatsoever, a picture, whatever, "Yes, you're definitely the Alien." "You're the Alien, aren't you?" And I would just always ignore those.
Robin Thicke made a lot of comments about your body in the costume. What did you think about those comments?
Oh I thought it was such a compliment. It was like, "Wow, thanks." Because you live with yourself, you see yourself all the time, you think nothing of it, so it was, "Wow, jeez, he thinks I'm a model. He thinks this, oh, great!" I'll take it.
Nicole Scherzinger had said she didn't think you were a professional singer, which obviously you know you are, but then the next week she said maybe she was wrong. What did you think about that?
Well, these are their thoughts and I just accepted it and you just move forward. You don't let that affect you. Those were her thoughts at that moment, and the first show for me was just — I couldn't see anything out of the mask. I didn't know where I was walking. I thought I was going to fall off the stage, and then you couldn't hear me really because the mask was so big and I had to have the microphone either under or on top of it. So it was challenging, the first show, for me. So I get it. It was challenging. I said it can only get better, and the second show got a little better for me.
Did you help the producers brainstorm the clues?
That was very interesting because I didn't want the clues to be so obvious so people could guess it. The minute they asked for an object and the person that was working with me said, "Give them me your badge," it slipped my mind to tell the producers don't say the badge is from Indiana. And sure enough that's exactly what happened. And I go, "Oh, no."
What was the secrecy like, having to be masked and gloved at all times and not being able to talk to anyone on set?
The show was so great at putting everything together and sequestering everyone from each other. It was just amazing the way it was done because you do get picked up, the driver signs a non-disclosure agreement and you're covered, and then they come in the car the minute you get there and double cover you before you go through the gates at CBS. It was just amazing — not really showing your clothes or hands or anything. I thought that was very clever the way it was done because I didn't see anyone. I didn't have a clue who was on the show. Except for one person I thought it might be because I could tell by the voice, but yeah.
Have you been watching? Do you have guesses of your own?
I have been watching. I've been spending time in Europe, but I have been watching when I get back. And yes, I've so far, I think I've guessed — well, I already know who the Peacock is. But no, I think I got one person right. Just one. Margaret Cho, she was the Poodle. Because of the clues.
Have you talked to anyone else who has been eliminated? Have you gotten to talk about your experience with anyone else who had it?
No, I haven't. No, not at all, because I've been so busy. But that would be very interesting. I've never even given that a thought. I think I will after anybody else I think I know, after they're voted off.
After the whole experience, would you do it again?
You know what, I think I would. During the time I was juggling two different projects. It was very difficult for me, but I think I would give it another try. I would if I could. This time I would make sure they didn't have any clues or anything if I were to do it somewhere else.
What are you working on right now?
I'm working on projects with someone else, a show that we're putting together and producing. So I'm really excited about that. And then I'm doing a lot of work over in Europe at the moment on a show that we're also putting together over there as well. That's coming along really great, I'm very proud of it.
Scripted or reality or live show?
One is reality and the other one is sort of semi-reality, if that makes sense to you. And then there's a project that is scripted, for sure. A third project is definitely scripted. Yes.
The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.