The sixth celebrity unmasked on Fox’s reality hit The Masked Singer was in “a lot of pain during this process,” she told reporters at a Television Critics Association’s winter press tour panel for the series ahead of its airing on Wednesday night.
That pain was both mental and physical for the Raven, who was revealed to be actress, singer and ex-talk show host Ricki Lake — not only was she healing from the death of her husband in 2017, she was also experiencing painful sciatica that left her barely able to walk. She decided to do the show, though, in an attempt to get on the road to recovery.
“It was for the fun of it. I went through a really rough couple of years and this was about joy,” she explained to reporters.
Lake revealed a few granular details that many fans had wondered about: First, though each week’s reveal makes the actual unmasking process seem like an incredible physical feat, her mask wasn’t actually that hard to get off. Host Nick Cannon has had to help a few contestants, but not her. Second, the celebrities aren’t necessarily competing in full glam.
“I did get to have hair and makeup [before the reveal],” she said. And while it’s hard to believe the singers’ identities have remained a secret for the months since the show filmed, it turns out that the audience members who were present at each reveal really are adhering to their NDAs.
The disguise process wasn’t exactly fun — “It was hot, it was the summer, and I had to wear this giant hoodie with the visor,” she said (not to mention the fact that she was alone and couldn’t talk to anyone on set) — but she had a blast.
The judges didn’t have access to Google to aid their guessing like viewers at home do, but Lake was still amused that so many people were able to guess.
“I kind of knew the clues seemed like a dead giveaway,” she said, and “the hardest part of this job has been keeping my mouth shut.” But hopefully those who were able to guess — including judge Robin Thicke, who knew from her gestures that it was her — feel happy they solved the riddle.
Joked Lake, “I think I did the audience a favor by making them feel so smart because they knew it was me. I took one for the team.”
Now that six of the celebrity contestants have been revealed — NFL star Antonio Brown, Tommy Chong, Terry Bradshaw, Margaret Cho, Tori Spelling and Lake — it wouldn’t be surprising if the axed singers got together to commiserate. But Lake revealed that there is no ex-Masked Singer group chat.
“I haven’t been in touch with anybody,” she said. And furthermore, “I have not guessed anyone right!”
The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.