[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Masked Singer Season 9 Episode 2 “ABBA Night.”]
Mamma Mia, here we go again.
The Masked Singer Season 9 continued with “ABBA Night,” and joining the returning Medusa were Night Owl and Rock Lobster, with all taking the stage to perform classics from the Swedish supergroup. Rock Lobster was the first eliminated, and under the mask was comedian and America’s Got Talent judge Howie Mandel. Also sent home was Night Owl, revealed to be singer-songwriter Debbie Gibson.
Here, Mandel opens up about his time on the show in his very Howie Mandel way.
You were very entertaining. I was sorry to see you go.
Howie Mandel: Me too. I was sorry to see me go. I thought I had a shot at this whole thing. I thought I was going to surprise everybody and take it all the way. I’m a huge fan of mine, of my singing and my dancing, and maybe that audience just isn’t up to par. I know good singing and dancing. I mean, I’ve been a talent judge for years and when I look at it, I go, “Why? Why?” But sometimes we make mistakes on AGT. I think they made a mistake on The Masked Singer.
It seemed like you were having a lot of fun on the stage.
I was. And I left it all on the stage. Well, no, inside the suit, I left most of it inside the suit. It was moist in there, but I think it’s good for a lobster to be moist on the inside, don’t you?
Was it an easy yes when you got the call asking you to do The Masked Singer?
Yes, because I love to sing and I love to dance. Anybody who watches me on TikTok knows I love to sing and I love to dance. And when somebody, specifically The Masked Singer, is going to give me an opportunity to sing and dance for more than 15 seconds, like TikTok, then I’m all in. And I didn’t even have to wear my own clothes. Then they were going to dress me. And I love that outfit. I want that outfit to be a superhero for Marvel. I want to be Rock Lobster, a villain — a singing and dancing villain.
What went into your song choice, “S.O.S.”?
Screaming help. I think it’s pretty self-explanatory. [Laughs] “Help, please, somebody. Help.”
How was it being on the other side of a competition show? Because you’re used to judging them these days.
It’s wonderful. As I sit on AGT, my empathy and my thoughts are always with the person on stage because that’s what I do. But that’s not what I’m known for. I’m known for standup comedy and I’m known for hosting from a stage, but people outside of TikTok don’t know — the TikTok audience knows, “Howie Mandel? Oh, you mean the singer-dancer?” They know that. And now the world, thank you, Masked Singer, knows Howie Mandel, singer-dancer.
Is there anything you’re going to keep in mind now as a judge after doing The Masked Singer?
Yeah. When I see people singing and when I see people dancing on that stage, I think I’ve set the bar. They’re going to have to rise to what I’m able to do myself in order to get a positive reaction.
Talk about the panelists’ guesses, because this is one of the few times that Ken Jeong was right when he said he knows exactly who it is.
I was surprised more people there didn’t know who I was. I feel that my voice is pretty recognizable. Even in the street when I’m out, people don’t approach me if I’m wearing a hat or wearing glasses and you can’t see my bald head, then they don’t know who [it is]. As soon as I talk, people know who I am and I don’t think my singing voice was very far from my speaking voice, which is the beauty of what I do. So I was surprised more people didn’t guess me. But yeah, Ken got me right on. Ken was like, boom, I know who this is. But I got a sense that [host] Nick [Cannon] knew who it was, too.
Yeah. He said that he had a feeling he knew who it was.
Yeah, I think he did.
I have to say I like the scrubs in the clues package for St. Elsewhere because I feel like people might not automatically think of St. Elsewhere with you, but they should.
Well, not everybody is old enough. It’s been almost 40 years.
What are you going to take away from the entire experience?
I had a great time, but they don’t know good singing and dancing when they see it, that audience.
What surprised you the most about being on The Masked Singer?
How much sweat can be dispersed over a two-minute song.
The Masked Singer, Wednesdays, 8/7c, Fox