‘The Masked Singer’: California Roll Says It Was Honestly ‘a Compliment’ That Fans Immediately Recognized Them

Both Robin Thicke and Jenny McCarthy correctly guessed the group’s identity on the Fox competition

California Roll competes in the “Semi-Finals” episode of "The Masked Singer" (Courtesy of Michael Becker/FOX)

The semifinals have come and gone on “The Masked Singer” and sadly, California Roll did not make it to the final two slots. Still, they’re pretty pleased with their run, even if fans knew who they were almost immediately. In fact, it was actually “a compliment” to them that that was the case.

Wednesday night’s episode saw Macaw, Medusa and California Roll face off for a trip to the finals, with the giant sushi characters first performing Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway.” Then, in the night’s battle royale, they performed Bruno Mars’ “Runaway Baby” with the other contestants. But, in the end, California Roll was unmasked, and revealed to be… Pentatonix.

Of course, judges Robin Thicke and Jenny McCarthy knew that, having guessed correctly well prior to their reveal. The same can be said for fans, who picked up on Scott Hoying’s vocals in particular. And admittedly, Hoying was initially surprised by that.

“What’s so funny is for our first performance, we didn’t have any harmonies for the first like, minute and a half,” he told TheWrap. “And also I genuinely thought that I was disguising my voice so much”

Hoying’s bandmate Kevin Olusola is quick to jump in at that point though, and find the upside to being bad at hiding.

“What’s also awesome about that is that your voice is that recognizable, and that people know you which is a very special thing to have in the industry,” he said. “Like that’s something that you definitely want. So honestly that’s also a compliment to Scott and also just our bandmates that we have that recognizable voice.”

Hoying agreed that it was “really, really special” to realize that not only his voice, but Pentatonix as a whole, is so recognizable to fans.

Now, the quintet is headed back on tour once more, joined by country star Lauren Alaina, and they are certain that “The Masked Singer” only elevated them in preparation.

“We’ve been in the industry now 12 years and we’re still wanting to grow,” Olusola said. “We’re still wanting to learn, we’re still wanting to know ‘what do we have inside us?’ and challenge ourselves. So ‘The Masked Singer’ was the catalyst, I think, in a lot of ways to open up a new era of sound for us and bring that to the stage.”

The season 9 finale of “The Masked Singer” will air on Wednesday, May 17, on Fox.