‘The Masked Singer’s Bull on That Britney Spears Moment & Almost Changing His Costume for the Finale
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Masked Singer Season 6 finale.]
Another season of The Masked Singer comes to an end, and another celebrity walks away with the Golden Mask Trophy.
In the Season 6 finale, Queen of Hearts and Bull competed in hopes of being victorious. In the end, Queen of Hearts — unmasked as singer-songwriter Jewel — beat Bull — singer-songwriter and choreographer Todrick Hall. And that guess panelist Nichole Scherzinger had been holding onto? She was right with her first impression guess of Hall. (He wasn’t surprised; they worked together on his latest album Femuline.)
“I love that The Masked Singer is not a competition that makes you feel like you are a loser if you don’t win. It’s an opportunity for a whole new audience of people to be introduced to you. It’s a chance to get a fresh, new start on your career,” Hall tells TV Insider, pointing to JoJo’s turn as the Black Swan (“she is one of the most iconic voices of our generation”). He also likes that he was able to showcase that he’s an “all-around entertainer, not just a singer [or] a dancer.”
The Season 6 runner-up tells us more about his experience on the Fox hit.
Talk about getting the call to do The Masked Singer. What made you say yes?
Todrick Hall: During the pandemic, [I realized there were] a lot of things that I took for granted up until entertainment was completely basically ripped from our fingertips and we were no longer able to sing and dance — the thing that I do for a living for money and to survive, but also the thing that I’ve been passionate about since I was eight years old. And so I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t take things for granted, because I definitely was guilty of that, and I wouldn’t say no to things that scared me. A lot of people don’t know that I’m just very, very mortified of singing in front of people publicly. There have been a lot of really amazing opportunities that I could have taken to sing.
It’s the absolute antithesis of what I usually represent as my brand because as a human being, I’m usually willing to try things, but when it comes to singing and the vulnerability that it takes to show your voice, especially someone who has a very unique voice like myself. It’s always been raspy since I was a child, and even just my speaking voice is quite raspy, so I was very nervous to do it. If they had asked me before the pandemic, I wouldn’t have done it, but I have so many friends do the show from Tori Kelly to JoJo Siwa, Wayne Brady, Kandi Burruss, and said what a great experience it was. So I was thrilled when they asked me to do it. I’m a competitive person, but I came in saying, it doesn’t matter how far you make it, just as long as you leave your mark and stay true to yourself.
I think I had a little PTSD from being on American Idol as well, if I’m being honest. At that time I wasn’t really super comfortable with who I was. So I promised myself that if I did this, I was gonna go into it wholeheartedly and just be 100% authentically me with the song choices. Each song had a backstory or something about it that felt very personal to me. So I’m really happy with how I did and really flattered and kind of shocked at how far I made it in the competition.
Talk about that costume because you certainly moved quite a bit in it. The split! The kick!
The costume was pretty restricting in the beginning, but as the weeks went on, I just got more and more comfortable wearing it. It just became something that I was like, well, I would like to try this. I produce a lot of my own content, and I was like, if I were a producer of this show, I would definitely want to have a picture of a huge Bull costume jumping and doing a split. I just tried things and asked questions and took the choreography I was given and asked if there was a way I could take it and make it my own. Luckily the creative team, the choreographers and the producers were all down for it and let me do wild things on the show.
Once I got to the Britney Spears moment where I yelled out “Free Britney!” in the middle of my number and I didn’t get in trouble for it, I said, OK, we’re gonna have some fun now. I got really comfortable and I felt like I became the Bull. I wasn’t just wearing him. He was me just like my shield or my Superman cape or something. I’ve always loved the costume characters at Disney World and Six Flags. I used to work at theme parks, and I always wanted to be one of them. I would study how they moved and how they brought the dances to life and how they exaggerated things to make their big costumes feel like they were full of life. I didn’t want to feel like the costume was wearing me. I wanted to feel like I was wearing the costume.
Nicole was so certain it was you and you worked with her on your album, so had you expected her to figure it out?
I did, because like I said, I have a very specific voice. If someone doesn’t recognize it’s me, then they probably are not in my direct demographic because most people who have heard me sing know for sure that it’s me. I tried to throw things off with singing a Train song, something that was a little bit more edgy and rock. But I just know that my voice is a very difficult voice to disguise. I knew she was gonna know, but I didn’t realize she was gonna know as quickly as she did. It was one line I sang, and you could tell she knew it was me.
Had you expected any of the other panelists to guess?
I wouldn’t imagine that Ken Jeong would be listening to “Rainin’ Fellas” or “Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels.” But I do know that Jenny McCarthy‘s husband, [Donnie Wahlberg of New Kids on the Block], used one of my songs, “Rainin’ Fellas,” to change for their most recent concert, so I knew that she was familiar with it. I’m a guy who caters to the LGBTQ+ community and I love, love, love women and young girls to listen to my music ’cause it helps make them feel confident and fabulous. I did expect Jenny to figure it out halfway along the way. I had not expected Robin [Thicke] to know. It was fun watching him scratch his head to try to figure out what it was, because if you don’t know, then it was probably very mind-boggling and I went from singing ballads to doing splits and falling off of 12 foot tall scaffolding.
Talk about what went into your song choices.
There were a lot of songs that haven’t made sense for me as an artist to perform in any of my concerts or shows. I’m not really a person who does covers. I was known more for doing parodies and then I mostly perform my own original music. So when I got on the show, I just wanted to sing songs I’ve always loved. I didn’t know how far I would make it, so I sang the song I wanted to the most [first]. I’ve always loved the song, “Drops of Jupiter.” My first high school crush made me a mix CD and that song was on it. Every time I hear that song, it immediately transports me back to being a high school kid falling in love with the only male cheerleader in the Arlington Independent School District.
I connected with it so much, even as a child, so listening to it as an adult, the lyrical genius that Train infused into that song, it’s just so otherworldly and feels euphoric and makes you just want to jump out on a ledge with no parachute and hope that love will catch you. It’s just such a beautiful song, and it creates and paints so much imagery, which I love when I’m listening to music.
Are there any songs you’d wanted to perform that you had to scrap for any reason?
Yes, so many, because low key, Jesse McCartney [as Turtle] sang a lot of the songs that I wanted to sing. I wanted to sing “Kiss From a Rose” because it’s just such a great song and I had roses all over my costume. I wanted to sing “Fix You,” “Say You Won’t Let Go.” There was a lot of ballads that I wanted to sing. I wanted to sing “Kiss” by Prince because I wanted to really do something in head voice and Prince songs and Justin Timberlake songs are really, really hard to clear.
I almost sang “Drag Me Down,” but have them make me a new costume where I would’ve been in drag for the finale, the One Direction song, because I love that song. I was torn because I was trying to keep my anonymity a little bit. I almost sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” because it’s just my favorite song of all time, and I’m the biggest Wizard of Oz fan ever, but I felt like it would be sort of expected. I decided to go with “Invisible” because that song means a lot to me. I said, how many times will I, as an out proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, be able to stand on Fox with millions of kids who might not have a role model that’s on television that speaks their language or shares their experiences? I’ve cried so many times listening to that song. I’m really happy with the decisions of the songs that I sang in the end.