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‘The Masked Singer': How The Prince and Ringmaster Used Their Hidden Talents to Make It to the Finals

Even The Prince was stumped by some of his own clues

(Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Season 7 finale of “The Masked Singer”)

That’s a wrap on Fox’s “The Masked Singer” Season 7! All was revealed Wednesday night, as Firefly, Ringmaster, and The Prince went head-to-head for the top spot. 

The Prince was the first to be eliminated after a rendition of “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay. While earlier in the season the judges had assumed that the contestant behind the frog mask was an athlete, they were confident he had to be a performer by the end of his run. Guesses included Ben Platt, Ricky Martin and Matt Bomer — who are all good friends of the actual competitor, Cheyenne Jackson.

“Once they started honing in on the theatricality of The Prince, it was very funny to hear them kind of listing off all of my friends,” Jackson told TheWrap. “I was laughing inside my frog head.” 

In the 11th hour, judge Nicole Scherzinger was able to guess correctly, right before Jackson was unmasked. While he wasn’t necessarily surprised that he couldn’t stump the judges, he did wonder whether he had a recognizable enough voice for anyone to guess his identity. 

“I wondered at first like, ‘Is anybody even going to guess me?’ Because I’m known more as an actor and people know me as somebody who’s on TV,” he said. “So I thought what a great, really crazy bonkers opportunity to sing and not have people know it’s me.”

Some of his clues were pretty obvious, like the button that read “Glee Club Alumni” to signify his role as Dustin Goolsby, the coach of Vocal Adrenaline, who were the main rivals to New Directions on “Glee.” Or, the suitcases to hint that he starred in “American Horror Story: Hotel.”

Other hints were fairly confusing — even for Jackson himself. Like, what was up with that diamond ring?

“Somebody explained ‘Oh, you played Johnny Diamond [on “American Housewife”],” he said. “I never would have gotten that, but that’s fun to throw them off.” 

While he didn’t bring home the top prize, Jackson told TheWrap that he still felt pretty victorious about making it to the finals.

“Listen, all I wanted to do was not get kicked off first and be able to do some great music. The further I went in the competition, the more competitive I got, just because it’s really hard to sing in those masks,” he said. “When I made it to the finale, I was like ‘Okay, whatever happens from this point, I am totally fine because I feel like I won.’”

With only Firefly and Ringmaster left in the competition, both ladies had to bring their all to the final performances of the season. Before Firefly was revealed as the winner (and unmasked as singer Teyana Taylor), Ringmaster was unmasked as “The Goldbergs” star Hayley Orrantia.

As one of the few contestants to completely blindside the judges this season, Orrantia sang a variety of hits from Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity” to Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb.” The songs are some of her all-time favorites — and the latter even had a little bit of a hidden connection to her past.

About a decade ago, Orrantia sang background vocals on a Hannah Montana album. The fact made it into one of her clue packages in the form of a photo of the pop star herself, prompting the judges to assume that Ringmaster must be a Disney Channel star.

“I was definitely expecting them to never guess me,” Orrantia told TheWrap. “I don’t have any connections to the judges besides Nicole Scherzinger, who happened to be a judge on my season of ‘The X Factor’ but that was 10 years ago.”

That clue also made it onto the show, when Orrantia’s Ringmaster told Scherzinger “it’s good to see you again” wasn’t enough to tip off the judges. 

Orrantia auditioned as a solo artist for the first season of the U.S. version of “The X Factor” but was placed in the group Lakoda Rayne. Since Scherzinger mostly heard her voice blended with others, “I didn’t think she would ever pick mine out,” Orrantia explained. 

In addition to acting, Orrantia is still pursuing music. But, she didn’t expect fans of “The Goldbergs” to know that. Instead, she took “The Masked Singer” as the perfect opportunity to perplex not just the judges, but viewers as well (who are usually pretty good at guessing contestants). 

“I had no idea how far I’d get in the competition, but just the opportunity to trick people in that way and maybe surprise fans of ‘The Goldbergs’ who wouldn’t typically make the connection was really fun for me,” she said. “I’m not really on anyone’s radar and so it really benefitted me in this competition particularly to be able to hide underneath The Ringmaster that way.”

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