(Warning: This post contains spoilers for Season 8 of “The Masked Singer.”)
“The Masked Singer” sent home its first round of contestants on Wednesday night, and Eric Idle was unmasked as Hedgehog. Despite leaving the show the first night, the actor said he’d already accomplished exactly what he came to do.
After surviving pancreatic cancer, the actor told TheWrap he was on a mission to prove to himself that he had what it took to step back out onstage.
“I thought, well, actually, this is rather a good opportunity for me to see if I can still do this,” he said. “I had a bit of an epiphany and I thought, ‘You know what? It’s time I came out to cancer and told people that this is good news.'”
That’s why he’s also chosen to partner with Stand Up to Cancer to fund research and treatment.
“I thought, instead of promoting a book or a movie or something, why don’t I do something good for a change?” he said. “It’s been really rather wonderful. It’s like a change of life for me. So that’s been something that the whole experience gave me.”
The process of performing on “The Masked Singer” has often been described by contestants as quite difficult, considering the size of the costumes they wear. Many can’t see properly or use a full range of motion — and some haven’t been able to walk at all. Idle detailed a similar experience, though he said he had a positive outlook on it all, considering all he’d overcome.
He was also quite impressed when judge Robin Thicke guessed his identity before his unmasking.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I was amazed, because your body shape is completely hidden in this costume. I couldn’t tell who anybody else was on stage.”
For his performance, Idle sang “Love Me Do” by the Beatles. In order to secure the copyright to the song, Idle said he personally reached out to Paul McCartney — who wrote the song when he was just 16 years old.
“He was very sweet and said, ‘Yes, absolutely. Please. There’s only one thing I request, if you could tell me what time the show is on so I can be sure to miss it,'” Idle laughed. “It was great to do that song. And I suppose people may have done it better, but nobody’s done it as a hedgehog.”