Serpent Talks Being the First Non-Celebrity to Compete on ‘The Masked Singer’

Latest unmasked contestant tells TheWrap how he managed to get away from his day job for Fox singing competition

Last Updated: November 18, 2020 @ 6:16 PM

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

“The Masked Singer” hit another milestone this week with the unmasking of Serpent, who was revealed to be Dr. Elvis Francois, the show’s first-ever non-celebrity contestant. Well, a non-celebrity by Francois’s, a.k.a. the Singing Surgeon, own standards.

“If before this pandemic you told me, Hey Elvis, someone’s going to record a minute-and-a-half video of you singing, it’s going to go viral on the internet and then you’re going to end up on a show doing covers and then you’re going to end up on ‘The Masked Singer’ as a Serpent — if you said that to me seven months ago, I would go, ‘Wow, this person needs to be admitted to a psychiatric unit, because they’re probably crazy,'” the orthopedic surgeon, who went viral in March amid the coronavirus pandemic for his inspirational covers of songs like “Imagine,” told TheWrap.

Following Francois rise to fame in the spring, he appeared on “The Masked Singer’s” Season 3 aftershow, “After the Mask,” a few times and even performed a cover of “Rise Up” with judge Nicole Scherzinger. But he never thought he’d do the actual show, especially because being a real-life doctor during a pandemic doesn’t allow for much time off.

“I will say when Fox initially approached me about the idea of considering being able to do ‘The Masked Singer,’ my first response was, it’s like, practically impossible, because I won’t have enough time to leave the hospital,” Francois said. “But the more I talked to them and realizing that they were willing to be accommodating with time and schedules, it was just amazing to see things quickly fall into place. And that’s the cool thing about life. When something’s meant to be, the universe makes it happen. It was a true honor to even be asked because I’m not a celebrity, I’m not an entertainer, I’m not a professional musician, so it was really, really cool that they extended that opportunity.”

As we mentioned before, Francois performed virtually with “The Masked Singer” judge Scherzinger on an episode of “After the Mask.” This made her the only person he was concerned might guess his true identity. And props to Nicole, because tonight, she did.

“As the clue packages were rolling out and I was thinking about each of the judges, going in and as they gave their guesses, it was pretty obvious that if anyone is going to know, it’s going to be Nicole. She would probably be the only one who, in her mind, would make the connection between music and medicine … And I’ve never met her or spoken to her at any length before the show. But both of our voices were on that cover song for ‘After the Mask’ last season. So I really knew that out of anyone, she’d be the only one to come close. And, lo and behold, I was right.”

Francois said that doing “The Masked Singer” was a surreal experience that he will always treasure.

“While I was on the show and getting ready to perform for the first time, I thought to myself, ‘This is not where I’m normally, and how did I get here?’ So 100%, I was probably the one who stuck out like a sore thumb,” he said. “I was out of my element completely. I’m not an entertainer, like a professional singer, or a celebrity. But it was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to kind of step outside of what I do normally for a living and step on stage. It was really cool.”

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