‘Masked Dancer': Exotic Bird Was Totally Paranoid Over Paula Abdul’s Spot-On Guess

But latest unmasked dancer was ultimately “really happy” former “American Idol” judge was the one to figure her out

(Warning: This post contains spoilers for Wednesday’s “The Masked Dancer.”)

More than a decade after winning “American Idol” at age 17, Jordin Sparks once again found herself up on a stage being judged by Paula Abdul. But this time around, it was for her dancing, not her singing, and she was disguised in a head-to-toe Exotic Bird costume on Fox’s “The Masked Dancer.” Unfortunately, that didn’t stop Abdul from figuring out exactly who Sparks was.

“Honestly my mind was blown, because we didn’t know who the [‘Masked Dancer’] judges were until maybe a week into it, like rehearsing and stuff,” Sparks told TheWrap in an interview ahead of her big reveal on Wednesday’s episode of the celebrity dancing competition. “And when they said Paula’s name, I just was like, ‘Are you serious? I can’t believe I’m going to be on another stage with Paula sitting at the panel 16 years later, however long it’s been.’ I just was having such a moment, but I was so excited, very excited. And at the same time, I was like, she’s going to know.”

The “No Air” singer was totally paranoid over hiding her identity from Abdul during “The Masked Dancer,” knowing the judge had watched her perform throughout the entire sixth season of “Idol” and definitely had the advantage when it came to unpacking those clues.

“You know the TikTok challenge that’s going on where it’s like, ‘Nobody’s gonna know… They’re gonna know’? That’s how I felt about Paula, she’s going to know that it’s me,” Sparks said. “There is just the connection. I was so young when I did the show and she was so kind to me and she has been my entire career. And so there is just that bond and connection that we have and I was like, ‘She’s totally going to know. This is crazy.'”

Sure enough, Abdul totally knew. Actually, she threw out “Jordin Sparks” as a guess well before Wednesday’s episode, which featured the five remaining contestants out of the 10 “The Masked Dancer” began Season 1 with.

“So then when I was up there and she said my name, I’m happy I had that mask on because my jaw just dropped to the floor,” Sparks said. “I was like, I can’t believe she guessed me this early, I cannot believe it. But I was really happy that it was her, because it solidified the fact that we have a little bit of a bond. Even though we couldn’t even talk to each other. It was nuts. The judges didn’t see us at all, we were never around them or anything during the show. So it was just a really cool moment for me to have that with Paula, I really enjoyed that.”

“The Masked Dancer” airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on Fox.