The road to the season 6 finals of The Masked Singer has officially been paved.
It was another week of stunning performances and duets coupled with a gut-wrenching elimination. For the first time in six seasons, panelists Robin Thicke and Nicole Scherzinger sang, performing with Banana Split and Queen of Hearts, respectively. But Banana Split got sent home, leaving Queen of Hearts to join Bull in next week's season finale.
Before the final reveal, the panelists had their most successful week yet — and possibly the best night they've ever had — with all but Thicke getting points for correctly guessing that the Banana Split was 16-time Grammy-winning composer and record producer David Foster and wife, singer-songwriter and actress Katharine McPhee. Scherzinger, Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg, and Ken Jeong all had them as their first impression guess, so they all got a point towards the Golden Ear Trophy. For those keeping track, this now puts Scherzinger and Jeong in the lead with two points each, and McCarthy-Wahlberg and Thicke are tied with one.
Ahead of the reveal on Wednesday, EW spoke with the couple about their feelings on missing out on the season finale, how the show was pitched to them initially, and how they really felt about their longtime family friend not guessing their true identities.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When the show's producers pitched this to you, did they come to both of you or was it your idea to do the show together?
DAVID FOSTER: You know, Craig Plestis, who is one of the producers, I think he pitched it to us a couple of times, and we said no a couple of times. But he's so convincing! And turns out the guy was right, because he said, "You're gonna have a great time." He actually ended up underselling it because we had even better than a great time.
KATHARINE MCPHEE: Yeah, we really did. I'm sure you hear the word "fun" a lot, but it really was fun. I mean, once I got past getting used to the giant, very heavy headpiece for me, and just getting to be in the little bubble with David — we're in our own bubble at home anyway — but just in that specific bubble, it was really a thrill. And we got to be creative and get our feet wet after we'd sort of been like everyone else with a lot of COVID restrictions for so long. So it was a really, really wonderful experience.
Was one of you more hesitant to do the show?
FOSTER: Yeah, Kat was. I was like, "I'm just a piano player in a Banana costume. No problem."
MCPHEE: He's like, "Let's do it!" I was like, "Oh no. I don't know." We don't really do interviews together. We try to keep some things private in today's age, but like David said, Craig was just so convincing. And David knew like half of the judges up on the stage, so we thought that would be fun as well. He's known Nicole [Scherzinger] for many years since he discovered her, and Robin Thicke since he was a little baby because David was best friends with his dad. So the whole thing kind of just did seem like a good time, but I was a little hesitant.
FOX The Masked Singer season 6, episode 12
Katharine, you mentioned how hard it was to get used to singing in the costume, but David, I am curious what your experience was like since you weren't singing.
MCPHEE: The poor guy was blind up there.
FOSTER: Yeah, it was tough to see out of it, but I have a claustrophobia issue. So they had to make it so I just knew that I could get it off really quick. So that made it easy for me, and I had little holes in the gloves for my fingers so that I could actually play the piano. The most fun part for me was getting to create songs for Kat and with Kat —
MCPHEE: Make arrangements.
FOSTER: Do arrangements that were sort of out of the box. Do everything from Lady Gaga to Gene Kelly's "Singin' in the Rain," and everything in between. And it was just fun that she could handle all that.
How did you guys feel about nearly all of the contestants guessing you, except for Robin, of course?
MCPHEE: Yes, I was honestly pretty surprised that they guessed us so quickly. Not so much that they wouldn't know who you are, I mean, obviously they would know who you are. But I was more surprised that they recognized my voice so quickly? Like I didn't think that my voice was so specific or recognizable. I just kind of thought that they wouldn't, I don't know, I just didn't…
FOSTER: Well it's kind of weird because even people like Chaka Khan [in season 3] and Seal [in season 2] have been on the show, and they have such recognizable voices. I mean, they're so unique, and yet I watched, and I went, "God, who is that?"
MCPHEE: See? My husband just said that my voice is not that unique.
MCPHEE: [Laughs] But it's true. I don't think of my voice as being that —
FOSTER: — When you can't see the person ...
MCPHEE: It's very different. But that's why it was so shocking. But then also my take on Robin [Thicke] claiming that he didn't know who you were, you might have a different take, but I think he knew exactly who we were, he just didn't want to — he wanted to do some good old fashioned TV acting and not make it such a home run for all the judges. So I think he knew. There's no way he wouldn't know who David is. He would just know the way David's mannerisms were. He's known you since he was a baby.
FOSTER: Yeah, but guess what? I'm a huge Ken [Jeong] fan. So Kat had already worked with Ken before, and I was just so happy to be interacting with him. He's so crazy but so good.
Katharine, how did this experience compare to your time on American Idol?
MCPHEE: It did bring back some memories. Specifically what it reminded me of was the difficulty of song choice. It really reminded me like, oh my gosh, the struggle and the constant battle of, "Okay, you made it past the next round, now what song are you gonna do?" The audiences at home probably don't care about this detail, but it's very hard to get certain songs cleared. Like I couldn't get Olivia Rodrigo's songs cleared at all, which was disappointing because I would have loved to have done a couple of her songs. So that was what it reminded me the most of, but I felt more like I was in a circus than a talent competition, to be honest. Because, you know, sitting backstage in these glittery costumes with the headpiece off, and you've got these black curtains all drawn, you can hear people warming up — I felt like I was in the circus.
FOSTER: Nobody could see each other. They're so strict. You would think it's one big happy family, but it's not. You're completely isolated the entire time. You have no idea who anybody else is. And they heavily guard that and I think that's one of the things that makes the show really work.
Were you guys sad not to make it to the finale?
MCPHEE: Are you kidding me? I was very upset.
FOSTER: She was.
MCPHEE: I was very upset that we got kicked off. My husband — you were looking at me like, "That's okay, baby" — and I was just so disappointed. I really wanted to take it all. You know, to speak of American Idol, I came in second on American Idol. I wanted to take this one home and it just didn't happen again. So maybe it's just not in the cards for me to be No. 1 but —
FOSTER: Maybe it's Dancing with the Stars next, the Mirrorball Trophy.
MCPHEE: That will definitely never happen.
FOSTER: She did great, though, on the show. And you know, we lost in the finals to Queen of Hearts, so if she winds up dead somewhere we definitely did it. Just saying. [Both laugh]
The two-hour season finale episode of The Masked Singer airs Wednesday, Dec. 15 from 8:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
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