Greg Gayne / FOX
Just call her Sherlock Scherzi!
Halfway through The Masked Singer's fourth season, panelist, actress, and Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger — who is currently tied for second in the race for who among the panel can get the most first impression guesses correct — checks in with EW about solving the identity of one of this season's most mysterious contestants, and teases what's to come the rest of the season.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We're at the halfway mark for season 4. What can fans expect from the rest of the season?
NICOLE SCHERZINGER: Just some really strong competition. I mean, it's honestly anybody's season. That's the unexpected blessing from COVID this season, in that we've got the strongest talent we've ever had because no one can tour. Fans can expect some really powerful, moving performances. It's just a whole other level this season. [There are] also some really great fun surprises, unexpected things.
Were there any reveals this season that just blew you away?
Yeah, I really loved Busta Rhymes' reveal [as the Dragon] because I love Busta. He did "Don't Cha" with the Pussycat Dolls. He's like family in the business. And he is such a larger than life, unbelievable artist. So to have his credibility on our show was really awesome.
Fellow panelist Ken Jeong told EW previously that his worst guess ever happens on this season. Do you feel like you can say the same for any of your guesses?
No, Ken pretty much takes the cake for that one. Yes, I'll give him that one. We all get pretty close, but Ken… Yeah, we'll give him that one.
You were the only panelist who didn't guess that Bob Saget was under the Squiggly Monster mask. Were you embarrassed at all?
No, because I felt like I was kind of keeping it real. A lot of the times if I'm not really convinced, or I don't hear it and know them, I won't usually piggyback off of somebody else's guess. I'll just stay in my own lane, because you never know until the person is revealed, you know? Bob's super cool, and I know that was a great guess for Ken. I was happy for him because I know that him and Bob are very, very close.
Yes, Ken finally got one right this season!
I think he actually did pretty good this season... You'll just have to continue to stay tuned.
In last week's episode, Nick teases you about Mushroom's identity and says, "I'm surprised you don't know who this is." Will we find out later what he meant by that?
Well, at that point in the show, I didn't know who it was and it was driving me crazy, but I do eventually figure it out and I am actually the only one who does figure it out. So that did put pressure on me when Nick said that, because for him to say that — he knows me well and he knows the music that I like and I listen to — so I was like I need to put the Sherlock Scherzi hat on and figure this out.
Now that we've seen all of the contestants, do you have a favorite costume or a contestant you're really rooting for?
I think this season my favorite costume is the Snow Owls. I personally love owls. I just think that they're so majestic and they're actually really beautiful costumes. As for who I'm rooting for, I really feel connected with Sun. I feel that she just really pulled on my heartstrings and whenever she sings she truly emotes. There is a real gift of healing with her vocals. And then I'm just blown away by Seahorse's talent.
Yeah, I really feel like the female contestants this season are just so next level.
Oh my god, I tell you what, I'm such a competitive person. And after this season, I was like, I'm glad I'm not competing in this season. [Laughs.]
Do you have a wishlist of celebrities you'd like to see on the show in the future?
I think it'd be really funny to have someone like Will Ferrell or someone like that. You also have people like Jack Black who are really talented singers and have a great sense of humor too. But I'm a big fan of [Ferrell's 2020 film] Eurovision, so that's why it would be really funny to be able to have him.
He'd have to sing "Ja Ja Ding Dong" right?
Yeah, I know, right? And have Rachel McAdams rocking out.
When you signed up for the show did you have any idea that you'd get so emotional about people dressed in crazy costumes, singing their hearts out?
That's the beauty of it. I'm an artist, so I'm naturally emotional anyway. I wear my emotions on my sleeve. So with doing a lot of these talent-searching shows, I do get very emotional because music is the best way of communication and connection to me. So that already makes me emotional, but never in a million years would I have imagined looking at a big, furry, one-eyed monster, and then listening to them sing "Stay With Me" and that I would be so emotionally blown away by it. I think that's what's so bizarre and so special about our show is that you're looking at these crazy costumes and these faces that don't move. And yet you're moved by these contestants, you're moved by their performances.
You know what I think it is? I think it's that even though they're covered up, they feel like behind the mask they can reveal themselves more than ever, if that makes sense. It's kind of like a safety net for them. So it's like, if you think about it, they're like, "You know what, you don't know who I am. You don't have any preconceived notions, you don't have any stereotypes. Let me show you and share with you who I really am on the inside without you having any judgments on me." And I feel like with that mask on, it gives them the courage to let go more, but they're really revealing all from the inside out.
The show is four seasons in, and you've been on it from the beginning. What keeps you coming back to The Masked Singer?
Oh my gosh, I love it. Are you kidding me? It doesn't even feel like a job. It's the best job in the world. I get to go to work with the panelists, who are my close friends that I adore and love. I sit next to Ken, and he just cracks me up the entire time. Even when the cameras aren't rolling he's doing his own comedy show just for me. I love everybody attached to the show. I love that there's always new people behind costumes that we don't know that are telling their story. I love the human aspect of our show. Not only is it entertaining and bizarre and wacky and wild and fun and a mystery, but at the same time, it's the humanity in all of us that connects us, the storytelling of these people. They're these people telling their stories and their side of their stories. It's a real connection. And as we found with this season, it can be quite cathartic, quite healing, especially during this time. I mean, it's the best of both worlds.
And I imagine that's also why you've done Ken's other show, I Can See Your Voice. Might we see you on The Masked Dancer when that debuts in December?
You know, that would be really fun. I'd love to do that, because that would just be right down my alley, right? I'm not scheduled yet to be on it. But you never know down the line.
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