Coronavirus

'The Masked Singer' Unmasks Ladybug, Who Couldn't Tell Her Famous Dad Because He's Such a 'Gossip'

The ladybug on The Masked Singer.
Michael Becker/FOX

The ladybug on The Masked Singer.

Wednesday night's reveal was not the famous family celeb the judges thought it was.

[Spoiler alert: this story contains the identities of the eliminated contestant on Wednesday night's The Masked Singer.

The judges on The Masked Singer genuinely had no idea who was in the Ladybug costume. For weeks, they watched as the seeming Southern belle with some pretty impressive vocal chops hopscotched from covers of Lizzo's "Juice," to rocking takes on Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," Bonnie Tyler's urgent "Holding Out for a Hero" and Wednesday night's (Nov. 13) swan song, Five Seconds of Summer's finger-snapping "Youngblood."

The clues didn't help them either: She let her insecurities get in her way, she was an awards show host, was born into a well-known family and, just before her elimination, host Nick Carter rolled out a golf cart with an "all access" sign on it and the clue "she's not afraid to get mud on her tires." What?

Nicole Scherzinger was pretty sure it was Jamie Lynn Spears (the makeup tutorial clue was her tip); Robin Thicke and Ken Jeong would not budge from their assertion that it was maybe, definitely Lindsay Lohan; while Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg was certain it was Paris Jackson. Guest judge Triumph the Insult Comic Dog went with Nicki Minaj, or maybe the Olsen twins.

" image="9308459"]

They were all off the mark when Ladybug took off that cumbersome, sweaty head and revealed her true identity: Kelly Osbourne, 35, who spoke to Billboard about her journey on the show and why she absolutely, positively could not tell dad Ozzy what she was up to.

It’s been a minute since you sang in public. Were you nervous about doing it again under these circumstances?

Oh my God! I can’t even begin… I thought that it would make me less nervous because no one can see you. It had the opposite effect. I was way more nervous because you don't have your charm... anything else that makes you human is stripped from you. I couldn’t see, I couldn't hear, I couldn't feel anything. All of your senses are stripped from you. You're standing there in a costume -- and my costume was one of the heaviest ones -- I really should have thought about it a little bit more before going in it.

How did you get involved in the show? Were you a fan of the first season?

They asked me to do it the first season and I was in my first year of sobriety and I wasn't ready to go back to work yet. I wanted to spend more time on me, so I respectfully declined and then when they came to me for season 2, I said I was ready. I had been watching it and you know what I love about it? Which I hope doesn’t get lost in this show... I did not do this show because I want to revamp my singing career. That was done when I was 18 and I'm 35 now... I did this because it was fun. It is so much fun to be part of these costumes... what the people behind the scenes do to make that costume come together is unbelievable and to be a part of that is an honor. It's people just going up there and losing their inhibitions and taking a leap of faith and trying something and having fun with it. If it doesn't get turned into a singing competition and remains like that, this will be an amazing show for years and years on TV.

Your costume did seem cumbersome and restrictive. Was it hard to move around in it?

What it was hard on was I couldn't take a full breath of air because where the weight leaned on me was over my ribs. So if I moved around a lot in it, I couldn't get a full breath of air.

How do you rehearse for that?

You don't. You just pray that you can get a full breath of air and get through the song... I thought that it was very cool because it was kind of a ninja ladybug.

You talked about holding on to your new sobriety and not rushing back to do something on TV. What did your mom and dad [Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne] think of you returning to reality TV?

I think I don’t do well with idle time and I had done everything that I needed to do, so it was time for me to get back into it and it was a great show to do that with because you are behind a mask. It was slowly but surely getting me comfortable again. I won't lie, that first show I almost had a panic attack and passed out. I was like, "I can’t do this, this is not for me, why did I sign up to do this?" But by the third week with bruised ribs, well [despite] having bruised ribs, I ended up having the time of my life. One thing I realized that I didn’t like about it was I like doing shows where you get to meet the cast of people and make new friends and everybody can talk to each other and you otherwise make friends in places you never normally would. When you're on this show it's like being with the secret service. You do not speak to anybody, you do not hear anybody, you are never, ever, ever not escorted without a mask on. You pretty much sit in a trailer on your own all day. 

Who did you tell? Did Ozzy know? I assume your parents knew?

No. I couldn't tell my dad because my dad’s a gossip. He's like proud. He would say, "Have you seen my Kelly? Have you seen my Kelly?" We knew we couldn’t tell my dad because he would want to brag about it. So I didn’t tell my dad until recently and the concept of it kind of got lost [on him]. My mom knew, yeah, [and] my brother. That's it.

Did your family watch the show then while you were on it?

No, because I couldn't have him be too into it, because like I said, he's the kind of guy who would be like, "Have you seen my Kelly?"

He would have known it was you for sure?

Yes, he would have. For sure.

You talked in your clues about letting insecurities getting the best of you. Were you able to put some of those to rest by doing this show?

Yes and no. I think the competitive side of everything started to be like, "But I want to win." But then when I sat back [I thought] I never did this show because I wanted to win. It did it because it was fun. I had a good time and working with the team there... I really cannot stress enough how incredible the teams are: the choreography, stage management, the costumes... I've never worked with anything like it before. It's unbelievable.

It was funny that the guesses ranged from Nicki Minaj to Jamie Lynn Spears, Paris Jackson and a lot of Lindsay Lohans. The latter seemed to bother you, did it? Why?

Because I am not Lindsay Lohan! I was just joking, they tell you to joke with the judges. I wasn't bothered by it at all. It would be an honor to be Nicki Minaj, but no. I was amused by their guesses. Basically what happened was you have a voice modulator when you speak on the microphone and when I was talking... all of a sudden the first words that came out of my mouth I thought, "Oh my God, I sound English and they're going to know it’s me in two seconds!" So I switched out of nowhere to this Southern accent and I had no idea where it came from. It was the only way I knew I could hide my accent without them knowing it was me and I think that allowed them not to guess me. But literally the first word came out of my mouth and... I switched it and then everywhere I went backstage everyone would go [Southern accent], "Oh I'm just sooo happy to see you!" They were like, "Where the hell did that come from?" And I said, "I don't know!" And once I did it I had to stick to it for the rest of the show.

Did anyone in your life figure it out before the reveal?

A few people, but they take it so seriously about not saying anything. I'd get a text messages with a ladybug and a question mark and I'd be like, "Excuse me? Oh you do, you think I am?" But there was no way I was saying anything. They instill the fear of god in you.

Talk about the songs you did. How hard was it to do “Juice,” which seemed a bit out of your lane? Did you pick the Benatar and Bonnie Tyler songs because they were more your vibe?

They came to me with three songs and I would pick them each week and I really wanted to do "Juice" because I'm a huge Lizzo fan and I did think that it would throw people as to who I was. [Benatar and Bonnie Tyler] were more in my lane, yeah. They picked that Five Seconds of Summer song for me, but I do love that song. 

What was the hardest part of being Ladybug?

The hardest part for me was the secrecy and all your senses being stripped from you. ... I could not see anything. I couldn't feel anything because my whole body was covered. You can't see, feel, smell, touch, all of your senses are just stripped from you and it's like you're inside someone else's body. A  lot of the time I couldn't hear... I had 40 pounds of weight on my ribs. 

Did you figure out who any of the other eliminated contestants were?

Honestly, they kept us so far apart from anybody that even if you wanted to you couldn't. When I watched the first episode, I knew it was Laila Ali from her walk. I was like, "That's Laila Ali for sure." I don't even know why, but they keep us so separated. You honestly don't see anyone.

What’s next for you now that you're back in the spotlight a bit?

I'm developing a scripted series that is in the process of being sold and I also shot a non-scripted pilot for Fox. [The scripted one] has got a very modern-day Bridget Jones vibe to it. But I also did the Emmys this year to see if I wanted to go back to the red carpet and do that again. From the ages of 14 to 33 years old I never took any time off, so when I got sober at 33 I was like, "Now I'm going to really figure out who I am, what I am and what I want to do for the rest of my life. I really am taking it slow.


THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.