The Masked Singer universe no longer includes The Mermaid. On the Andrew Lloyd Webber-themed performance night, the enchanted garment was the second item to leave the stage following the Maize mask. Mario Cantone, an actor and comedian from Sex and the City, was identified as that glam ear of corn.
This meant that Robo Girl and Mermaid were sent to this week’s Battle Royale, which included their distinctive interpretations of “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” the infamous ballad from the film Evita. In the end, Robo Girl won to advance to the programme of the next week, and Mermaid was revealed to be famous two-time Grammy winner Gloria Gaynor.
In the interview that follows, EW speaks with Gaynor about her thoughts on those improbable predictions, what she would do differently if she were to compete again, and her favourite version of the song “I Will Survive.”
The Masked Singer Season 8 Michael Becker/FOX Mermaid
What sprang to mind when you were asked to participate in the show?
GAYNOR, GLORIA: I enjoyed doing it. I mean, I’ve seen it a tonne of times. Due to my travels, I don’t get to watch it as frequently as I’d want to, but I still find the show to be a lot of fun. I was curious about the costume they would design for me. Would my voice sound familiar to anyone? Those kinds of stuff. I merely wanted to participate.
I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but on the show, people guess you all the time. And of course, when you actually appeared on TMS, Andrew Lloyd Webber was quite certain that you were a different famous Gloria, Gloria Estefan. Behind that mask, were you just giggling?
I feel like Gloria and I sound so different! Who has a chance, for example, if his trained ear didn’t catch it? [Laughs]
In the end, judges Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke did accurately guess you. How did you feel at that precise time?
In any case, I was feeling really conflicted. I was going to leave earlier, but I figured you’d like to know that people can recognise your voice. There were so conflicting feelings around that. That Robin [Thicke] recognised my voice didn’t surprise me. mostly because he attended my concert. He was also absolutely nuts at the show. [Laughs] However, doing it was simply for fun. Really, it was.
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Did you feel any fear when you sang a song by Andrew Lloyd Webber in front of him?
It wasn’t, I assure you. No, I didn’t feel threatened. The opportunity made me happy, of course. I believed I could handle it well. And I had hoped he would be satisfied with the work I did with it, and I believe he was. Just performing that song was enjoyable. I enjoyed it. It had a catch. It was a musical. It wasn’t anything I normally do. It was a privilege to perform that in front of him and for him, and it was a lot of pleasure.
An underwater mermaid mask has long been in demand. What comments did you have about the costume and did you offer any input?
Although I knew there would be a mermaid, I had no clue what that mermaid would look like. As soon as I arrived and saw it, I fell in love. In fact, in my opinion, the costume is the best they’ve ever had. I adored it utterly. And when the audience enjoyed it too, I was so, so happy.
Your iconic single “I Will Survive” has been reinterpreted numerous times and in countless different ways. Have you got a preferred rendition of it?
The one by Chantay Savage is my favourite. She made it feel like her own, and I adore that. After that, I watched someone recite it only last week on, I believe, TikTok. And my goodness, she put so much effort into it that I thought, “If this girl isn’t an actress, she needs to be,” because I believed that she expressed the lines so… I believe she is British. But she did it so wonderfully, in my opinion. It was simply excellent.
Do you have any recommendations for aspiring contestants now that you’ve completed The Masked Singer?
You should strive to mask your voice if you wish to survive more than one episode and are well-known. Considering how competent these folks are. They are quite adept at speculating and are well-versed in a wide range of performers and musicians. So, if you don’t want your identity to be discovered, you should strive to conceal your voice in some way. That wasn’t really what I did.
Would you have liked to have?
Yes, I did want to continue because I wanted to.
If you had continued in the competition, what song would you have performed?
Two songs were on my list to sing. Unstoppable was one among them. The second was “Stand Up” by Cynthia Erivo from the movie Harriet. I genuinely desired to carry out that. To begin with, I believe the music is fantastic. The second problem is that I never have the chance. I don’t perform those kinds of songs; they are not part of my repertoire. And that style of music truly highlights your vocal prowess. It’s just an amazing tune. I regret not being able to do it. Maybe I’ll include that in my programme.
What lessons have you personally learned from this experience?
It was a pleasant thing to do, and the audience adored me. Therefore, I wasn’t looking forward to drawing any philosophical conclusions from it, but as I said, had I given that occasion careful thinking, I would have muted my voice. The only drawback is that it’s enjoyable. Just unwind, take it all in, and enjoy yourself, you know?
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