‘The Masked Singer’s Piglet Says He’s Now ‘Even’ With His Brother With His Season 5 Win
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Masked Singer Season 5 finale.]
The Masked Singer has crowned another winner.
In the May 26 finale, the remaining three contestants — Chameleon, Black Swan, and Piglet — performed one last time in hopes of walking away victorious. Chameleon (rapper Wiz Khalifa) came in third, Black Swan (singer JoJo) was second, and Piglet won it all. But who was under the Piglet mask? It was, as panelists Robin Thicke and Jenny McCarthy (and guest panelist LeAnn Rimes, who won Season 4 as the Sun) guessed, 98 Degrees’ Nick Lachey.
Lachey tells us about winning, why he and his brother and bandmate Drew Lachey are now “even,” and more.
Congratulations on winning! How does it feel to now have a Golden Mask trophy?
Nick Lachey: It feels good. The show is a lot of work. I think anyone who’s ever done it will tell you that. It’s challenging in ways you don’t even expect, and it’s a lot of work, so to come out of it on top with the trophy feels really good. I don’t say this as just lip service, but my goal was to make it to the finals and then come what may, so I’d like to think that even if I’d come in as a runner-up or whatever, I’d still be proud, but it definitely feels good to have won. My brother claims the Mirrorball Trophy [after winning Dancing With the Stars Season 2] and rubs it in my face all the time, so now I can rub this in his face. We’re even.
Did he guess it was you from the beginning?
He knew pretty early on. We perform together and sing together, so he knows my voice probably better than most. And I’m not really good at disguising my voice, so I kinda knew that there would be some people out there who would guess it pretty quickly just because it sounds like me.
What about the rest of your bandmates?
What was funny is my kids recognized it was me super early on. I was holding my daughter and I think three notes into my first song, she’s like, “That’s Daddy.” So it’s funny the people who are in your life who hear you sing all the time, it was not lost on them. It was my kids, my bandmates. Obviously, my wife already knew, but yeah, they all knew it was me pretty quick.
Talk about saying yes to doing this season? You’d mentioned on the show that you found out you were doing it only four days before the first performance?
Yeah, I was kind of a last-minute addition to the show. I was actually on a ski trip with some friends and they’re like, “Can you get back and do the show?” I’d contemplated doing it the second season, and then I had another TV show come up and I couldn’t make it work with the schedule. But it was always something that I was intrigued by and my kids have always loved the show, so I thought it’d be a lot of fun to do it — not for them, but to experience it with them. When the opportunity came, I said, “You know what? Let’s do it, let’s jump at it.” And I’m glad we were able to able to make it work.
Did you have any choices in the costume or was Piglet it due to timing?
Piglet was the first one they presented. I’m sure if I would have said, “Hey, I absolutely can’t stand pigs, it’s a deal-breaker for me,” then they would’ve come up with something else. But coincidentally, I’m from Cincinnati, which is known as the Porkopolis and the city of the flying pig, and my production company is called Flying Pig Productions. So when I saw the pig costume, it was kind of like, “This is meant to be, I’m supposed to be doing this show because what are the chances?”
What was your approach to your performances? Was there anything you specifically wanted to do with your song choices, especially since you mentioned not being good at disguising your voice?
I just wanted to show range. I didn’t want to do one particular type of song, so I tried to throw in a little bit of everything from country to rock to soul to even opera a little bit there at the end to just give kind of a musical journey. And my wife Vanessa and I took a lot of time sitting together going through songs. I give her a lot of credit for helping me pick the songs as we went along. I didn’t want to be one-dimensional. I wanted to show that I had range and have some fun doing different types of stuff.
Which performance are you the proudest of?
If I had to pick one, probably the Lukas Graham “7 Years” performance, just because it’s a really super meaningful song to me. I’m very close with my dad and it’s a song about your father and your son and family and life. It’s always just resonated with me. I was really, really psyched to be able to do that song and glad that we did it proud. It’s a great song and that’s the beauty of this show is you know you’re going to go out there every week and have a chance to do great songs. You can just go out there and sing people’s hits. As a performer, that’s a lot of fun, to be able to do things you love.
Are there any songs that you had to scrap?
Towards the end, it was, “Do I do Lewis Capaldi or do I do Bruno Mars?” I was more familiar with Bruno’s “When I Was Your Man.” I wasn’t that familiar with [what ended up being the semifinals performance] “Bruises,” and then the more I listened to it, the more I was just like, “I love this song.” That actually ended up being another one of my favorite performances, but not one that I really saw coming, if that makes sense. But once I started getting into that song, I really loved performing it and love seeing it.
At one point, it seemed like the panelists were just going to name every single boybander. Robin, Jenny, and LeAnn did correctly guess you, but who had you expected to figure it out? Robin because he wrote a song on 98 Degrees’ debut album?
Because he wrote a song maybe, but also because he’s a male singer and, as a male singer, you know other male singers’ voices. I know what Robin sounds like, he knows what I sound like. I worked with Nicole [Scherzinger] on The Sing-Off for two seasons and I performed on an episode of I Can See Your Voice with Ken [Jeong] and then Jenny and I were together when I was out with New Kids [on the Block] and she was with Donnie [Wahlberg]. I knew everyone on that panel, so I figured that at some point they were going to recognize my voice.
I tried not to worry myself too much with that part of it and just told myself, “It doesn’t matter if they know who you are. Go out there and kill it and do a great performance. Don’t worry about necessarily trying to trick anybody.” Don’t give it up, but at the same time as a performer, you can only worry about one thing and that’s giving a good performance.
Looking back on the entire experience, what were the most challenging parts other than singing in that costume?
You nailed it. That’s the most challenging part: Even as a singer who’s done it his whole life, being in that costume changes everything. It changes the way you move, the way you breathe, the way you perform. It’s really, really, really tricky. It definitely takes some getting used to, and it takes some work. That’s probably the thing I’m most proud of is finding a way to overcome all those challenges and still give good performances.
The other part is just it’s a tough schedule, so not losing your voice, keeping your voice together. Because it’s a lot of singing, a lot of rehearsals, a lot of going through it and it’s a pretty quick schedule. So learning new songs, keeping your voice together and then you’ve got one shot basically to go out there and give it everything you got and it’s a lot of pressure. But that’s what makes it such a special thing, something you can be proud of: You’ve found a way to rise and meet those challenges.
What are you going to take away from the entire experience?
It was just a lot of fun to go through with my kids. They figured out early on it was me, but then they still don’t know if I won, so every week, “Hey, is this the week that Daddy gets unmasked and goes home?” And a chance to share something with your kids and take this ride with your kids is pretty fun and pretty special.
The Masked Singer, Season 6, Fall 2021, Fox