(Warning: This post contains spoilers for tonight’s episode of “The Masked Singer.”)
The artist formerly known as Robopine — and formerly, formerly known as Porcupine — was unmasked on Wednesday’s “The Masked Singer” to reveal actor and singer Tyrese Gibson. And before he took his spiky head off, judge Nicole Scherzinger and guest panelist Chrissy Metz were sure Robopine had to be the “Fast & Furious” franchise alum, due to the episode’s clues about him being a blockbuster film star who had lost a dear friend, a reference to the late Paul Walker.
But Scherzinger and Metz weren’t the only ones to decipher Robopine’s true identity, as some “Masked Singer” Season 5 viewers had been guessing he was Tyrese ever since he appeared on the season premiere. Gibson told TheWrap he was worried that would happen from the moment he signed on to the Fox singing competition, given how much is known about him and how “obvious” some clues would be.
“I told them, if you do some of the most obvious ones, it’s going to be a dead giveaway,” Gibson said. “My fans and supporters, they really know my story. And I’m an open book.”
That’s why Gibson said he “loved it” when Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy and Ken Jeong all gave incorrect guesses (Terrence Howard, Jamie Foxx and Wesley Snipes, respectively), because at least he managed to fool some of them with his Robopine persona.
“For one, my goal was to throw them off with my clues,” the singer said. “I said to the producers, if you guys are willing to work with me, I have a lot of information out there about my life. I’ve written two New York Times bestsellers, I’ve put all my business out there about my childhood, my backstory, who I am, the challenges that I’ve had to survive growing up in South Central LA. So I said, a lot of artists, they are not as much of an open book as I am, so if you start going into your usual clue packages, everybody is going to know it’s me. And they listened — but in certain areas they didn’t listen.”
He continued: “If anything, I’m considered a person who overshares. And I said, guys, there’s a lot of people that are on this show that are more mysterious than me, they keep a lot of their personal stuff close to the vest. I said, I am not that guy, so if you start hinting at anything that’s too obvious, my fans and supporters are going to know it’s me. And every time they put some obvious stuff up there, my Instagram and Twitter just went crazy. And I could not post about Robopine, nothing.”
As we mentioned before, Robopine wasn’t always Robopine — a name change that came directly from Gibson, who decided to take a more creative approach to being the robot porcupine.
“That was me being innovative. I want to figure out a way to entertain,” he said. “I think sometimes people do these really fun shows that are very fun and for kids, ‘American Idol,’ ‘The Voice,’ this and that. I think a lot of times people will do those type of shows and then they go out there and take things way too seriously. And I wanted Robopine to be fun. That was my goal.”
“And so when they came out and said Porcupine, I was like, ‘I’m sorry. That is not my name, my name is Robopine,'” he added. “I saw all the dancers and the dudes with the little men in black suits, and it felt like an M.C. Hammer moment. That’s why I came out dancing to M.C. Hammer and I had to correct them on what my name was, because I wanted to make it fun. I didn’t want to go in there taking things way too serious. And hopefully Robopine, even though I didn’t win, hopefully Robopine is a memorable character because they’re going to say, ‘Man, this dude was a lot of fun.'”
“The Masked Singer” airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on Fox.