The masks are coming off and the stars are speaking out! The Masked Singer is once again dominating reality, and this time around, some of the unmasked A(?)-Listers are talking about their time in the costume. Johnny Weir was the man in the Egg costume, and hung out for a Cocktail Convo after getting poached in week one. And he’s totally fine with his early exit. “There are no hard feelings about getting kicked off the show. I was relieved when I got kicked off.”
Choreography performed in fab frocks isn’t new for Johnny. The show was a perfect fit for all the talents Johnny honed during his time as an Olympic skater. “It’s a lot more pieces that you really don’t think about. Hitting marks, remembering choreography, remembering the lyrics, which I wouldn’t forget anyway, it’s Gaga, she’s my queen.”
And this was a dream come true. “Well The Masked Singer gave me an opportunity to live out my childhood fantasies of being a pop star.” And the Egg wasn’t just a fabulous prop, Jonny says it gave him freedom. “The egg mask gave me the anonymity to really do my best. I didn’t even shave for my performance because I was so focused on my singing. I’ve always known I can hold a tune and hit maybe one good note while I’m singing in my car. But as far as putting together a whole performance, I would need help with that.”
And that helped him develop mad respect for the superstars who do this all the time. “There’s a lot to think about for these performers and it just makes me appreciate so much what people like Gaga and Shawn Mendes and Beyonce and all of our favorites do for us and how hard they have to work to get those concerts to feel like nothing.”
Life Behind The Mask
Johnny is giving us a glimpse of life on the show, and it doesn’t sound easy. First, there are the lies and deceptions for people close to you. “Well it’s really hard because they ask you ‘oh what are you doing these weeks,’ and I’ve obviously blocked out a lot of time in my schedule so that if I were to stay on the show I’d have time to do it.” Of course, turns out he didn’t need that much time.
Then there’s deciding who you can or must trust. And that brings a whole lot of paperwork and pinky-swears. “You then have to tell people that organize your life for you, my manager, my agents of course all had to know we were doing this. My manager actually came to set one day and they only way I could find her was by looking for her shoes.”
And while it’s not a life of isolation, there are plenty of security protocols that even the biggest stars have to follow. “We’re completely robed and everyone’s visor’d, even the family members that come. My parents had to both sign nondisclosure agreements as did my two best friends. So I did have people to talk to about the experience.”
Get A Clue
Johnny wasn’t just booted week one, he was also identified. Which he considers an honor. “It’s wild that the judges could guess and people at home tweeting and instagramming, they knew it was me before I even did anything. That means I’ve done a good job. I think the fact that I was quite easily recognized is great. Because it means I’ve done a fantastic job with not only my skating and my performances, but people also knowing my mannerisms and how I hold my hands.”
Of course, the clues dropped along the way helped. “The swan was thrown in my clue package because the swan is one of my favorite performances from my first Olympics. It’s pretty well known among my fandom. I grew up in the country, so my clue package was all in the countryside. There were lots of clues that were hard to get. I’m a semi-young person now. I’ve grown up in front of the camera and on social media for the most part, and it’s really hard to keep secrets from people.”
But the most meaningful moment came the morning after Johnny’s egg got scrambled — and left him sunny side up. “The text from my dad this morning saying ‘hey you didn’t embarass me, well done,’ that is kind of the best thing that came out of The Masked Singer. I had the best time. No regrets.”
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
Another unmasking goes down tonight at 8PM EDT on FOX, so I suggest you some Egg nog (spiked with brandy, of course).. in honor or our own egg head, Johnny.