(Warning: This post contains spoilers for Wednesday’s Season 2 finale of “The Masked Singer.”)
The Fox contestant won Season 2 of the Fox network’s “Masked Singer” Wednesday night and was revealed to be comedian Wayne Brady. And Brady — who beat out fellow finalists Chris Daughtry (who was Rottweiler) and Adrienne Bailon (Flamingo), as well as the 13 other contestants from the singing competition’s second season — told TheWrap his ability to outfox everyone else for the Golden Mask trophy means more to him than scoring an Emmy.
The “Whose Line Is It Anyway” alum, who was nominated for a Grammy for a song off his debut album in 2008, says that the oddball competition is, “at its heart, it’s a singing competition.”
“It’s a singing competition and winning that means the world to me because I am a singer,” Brady told us. “It’s not something that I play at, this isn’t one of those stories where I never sing or I’ve never sung on TV and no one knew and all of a sudden, ‘Oh my god, Wayne is doing that. That’s so cool!’ I think that there’s been a schism between all of the disparate things that I do and what I’m known for that, what I was hoping would happen with this show, having the visibility that it did, is that people really would just be focusing on this mask and this Fox jumping around doing his thing and the singing quality — the fact that this dude is actually singing.”
“And that means a lot to me, because I’ve worked for years as a singer,” he continued. “My comedy, most it is musical comedy. I’ve done Broadway. But to actually be recognized as, ‘Oh yeah, this guy gets down and we liked him enough as a singing performer to have him win this,’ that means the world to me. That’s probably bigger than winning any Emmy. It’s the closest thing to the joy I felt when I got nominated for a Grammy. It’s a pat on the back.”
But Brady, who worked closely with his ex-wife Mandie Taketa, 16-year-old daughter Maile Masako Brady, and “Masked Singer” co-executive producer Nikki Varhely-Gillingham to choose his songs and perfect his performance, knows that winning this kooky contest wasn’t just about hitting the right notes, “it was also about being entertaining.”
“Really be honest– Patti. Damn. LaBelle. was on the show,” he said, referencing LaBelle, who was The Flower contestant that was eliminated and unmasked a few weeks ago. “And Miss Patti is one of the paradigms and paragons of singing. But at the end of the day, you needed to be able to bring the voice, and bring the entertainment factor, and be able to make it something that the audience could look and listen to.”
The comedian told us he picked the Fox costume because he feels the animal is “often underestimated” and he himself feels he’s “definitely” underestimated sometimes.” But he’s hoping this win will turn that around for him in the singing department and that this is “the perfect time to do a relaunch.”
“This show being the biggest thing on TV for this particular second, I think it’s a wonderful way to just expose people,” Brady said. “I also have very real expectations. Do I think that I’m gonna become Usher? Do I think that I’m gonna go multi-platinum? No. Now, anything is possible, but that’s not what I’m expecting. All I really want is I just want people to hear it and then to go, ‘Oh yeah, Wayne sings.’ Cool, I’m good. And I want to be able to release more music next year and for the rest of my life.”
To coincide with his win tonight, Brady dropped “Flirtin’ w/ Forever,” the first track he’s released from his upcoming album, which you can watch the music video for here.
While Brady won the whole thing tonight, Daughtry told TheWrap he felt “honored” to be picking up the second-place title as The Rottweiler tonight. Oh, and he was glad his secret identity didn’t get revealed early, given how hard it was for the “American Idol” alum to disguise his distinctive voice.
“That was certainly tricky,” he told us. “I did change the keys to a lot of the songs, so it didn’t put me up in my super-high register, because I felt like that’s where the dead giveaway is and a lot of people are used to hearing me sing up in the range. So it was nice to be able to kind of dial it back and just really sing, which also made it a lot easier, considering I was under this huge costume and it’s so easy once you get out there to get extremely winded.”
“I remember losing my breath quite a bit,” he continued. “It’s all great in rehearsal when you’re just in the mask and you’re not in the full costume. And then you go out there and it’s like wearing a weight suit and it’s 10 times harder than I ever anticipated. I was expecting it to be so easy. I thought I was just gonna get hot and I’m used to being hot on stage, whatever, no big deal. But it was challenging on so many levels, which in hindsight made it more fun. I wasn’t phoning it in, I had to really work for it.”
Daughtry says to fool you, he “tried to sing with less grit and just really cater to the song as much as possible.”
“There were certainly songs where I’m watching going, ‘Oh, that’s me, that’s so obviously me.’ And I was getting phone calls and texts from friends that I’d grown up with since high school and they’re like, ‘You’re not fooling anybody.’ And it was fun and frustrating at the same time cause I could say nothing,” he said, laughing. “I’m like, ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about, but you’re right, this dude sounds a lot like me and it kind of pisses me off, because whoever this is, he is trying to steal my thunder and I can’t wait to find out who he is.'”
Well, we all know now.