Nick Cannon hosts a new competition series called ‘The Masked Singer’ on Fox and is developing his own late-night show for the network. He also reflects on the success of ‘Wild ‘N Out.’ (Jan. 8)
Spoiler alert: This story reveals the unmasked performer from Wednesday’s broadcast of ‘The Masked Singer.’
PASADENA, Calif. – The latest unmasked celebrity on “The Masked Singer” had to go against her own nature to keep her participation a secret.
Ricki Lake, the talk-show host and actress revealed to be the Raven at the end of Wednesday’s episode, joined the show’s star panelists, host Nick Cannon and producers at the Television Critics Association earlier in the day for an advance screening and Q&A.
“The hardest part of this job has been keeping my mouth shut. On Instagram, everyone’s like, ‘Hi, Raven. Hi, Raven. Hi, Raven,'” she said of fan guesses after earlier performances on the first-season hit. “I pride myself on my authenticity and being truthful, so it’s been really hard to keep it quiet.”
Lake also explained the lengths “Masked Singer” goes to in order to keep celebrity identities a secret.
“When the cars would pick me up (to head to tapings), they did not know my name. When I arrived, they did not know what I was going to. The minute we get close to the studio, I was covered – It was hot in the summer! – with a giant hoodie and a visor,” she said.
“We could go right into my little (trailer) area and I would stay there. I didn’t have anyone accompanying me. I was alone,” she said.
Executive producer Craig Plestis explained the extensive effort to keep celebrity identities hidden. Everyone involved in the production and the studio audience, which consisted mostly of friends and family members, had to sign a nondisclosure agreement.
“We did confiscate phones,” he said. “We did have every kind of piece of lawyer paper possible, as well.”
Rob Wade, president of alternative programming at Fox, said only he and two other network executives know the identities of the masked singers.
“Everyone above us didn’t want to know because they were terrified that they’d give it away,” he said.
Lake credited judge Robin Thicke, a fan of her Emmy-winning talk show, with guessing Raven’s identity. “From my gestures, you knew it was me,” she said to Thicke, who was joined by fellow panelists Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger.
Lake hasn’t been nearly as good at guessing identities and she attributes that partly to being separated from the other performers.
“I did not know who anybody else was. Whenever we were in the vicinity, we were completely covered – the hoods, the visors,” she said. “There was very little interaction, only on show day, where I could maybe see the Bee from far away,” she said.
Partly due to that sequestration, “I have not guessed anyone right.”
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