‘The Masked Singer’: Cyclops on Getting ‘Lost’ in His Costume
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Masked Singer Season 7, Episode 3 “The Double Unmasking — Round 1 Finals.”]
Round 1 of The Masked Singer Season 7 came to an end with a double unmasking, with only one contestant moving on.
Following solo performances, Cyclops, Firefly, and Thingamabob faced off in the Final Showdown with “I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown. Firefly is continuing on, while Cyclops and Thingamabob were unmasked as actor Jorge Garcia and football player Jordan Mailata.
Talk about getting the call for The Masked Singer. What made you say yes?
Jorge Garcia: I’ve been a fan of the show for a long time. I didn’t know exactly how they recruited people to be part of it. I just kind of put it out there to my representatives, “Hey, let them know that if they’re interested, I’m definitely interested.” Then some time went by and then all of a sudden the call came in that they offered me to be part of this cast and I was really excited. It was an easy yes.
Let’s talk about Cyclops. On the show you had said that you connect with monsters more than heroes, but talk about getting to know the costume itself and moving in it, because you talked about the limited field of vision. Then there’s the head itself, the eye…
That’s a good way of putting it — getting to know the costume — because the first fitting, it was just kind of the shell of it and just kind of seeing how the different parts would go on. Then [it was] coming back and adding that kind of plushy kind of skin to the character and how big the head was, and just kind of realizing, “Oh, there’s a lot of downward pressure on my shoulders and there’s a lot of extra stuff to think about,” just kind of being able to maintain my breath to sing in it and things like that. And then the fact that my hands are puppet hands, it kind of was like, “Oh, it’s going to be almost more like an interpretive dance to kind of put personality in this guy.” It was definitely a lot of just kind of exploring it.
My first choreography session, I was like, “Hey, what part of the costume can I have just to start working in? Because I need to practice in everything.” There’s stuff where I’m wearing the feet and I’m holding the hands and just kind of get as much [as possible] and start thinking about how to move my arms and what to do with my hands to kind of be expressive. Because it’s such a big costume, it’s really easy to kind of get lost in. You have to move a lot just to register a little bit on that big costume.
Speaking of the performances, did any of your song choices change as a result of the costume?
No, we stuck to those songs and it was me just trying to figure out how to do — I think sometimes the choreography may have been adjusted a little bit as far as what was the original ideas as to how much freedom of motion I have. But the songs we knew were going to stay the same and we were going to find a way to make ’em work.
What went into your song choices? Did you come into this with any songs you really wanted to perform?
It just became a brainstorm of throwing out ideas. They had ideas, I had ideas and I would just kind of keep going through my iTunes and just saying, what are the songs that I just enjoy? What are the songs I sing to myself? What are the songs I listen to when I’m on an elliptical trainer? Just little things like that, as songs popped up, I’d be like, “Ooh,” and then just randomly send out a note, “Oh, you know what would be fun? It would be this one or that.” We cast a wide net and then started narrowing things down and being like, “We like the energy of this song, but maybe a different song that has a similar kind of thing.” It just became this little kind of journey with the producers and finding what was going to be the Cyclops set.
You completely fooled the panelists, but did you expect any of them to figure out it was you, whether from something in the clues or something else?
There were definitely enough clues about Hawai’i and the compass. There were enough Lost clues on there that if that’s what they got — ’cause they definitely mentioned Hawai’i a few times, so Lost and Hawaii Five-0, Hawai’i’s a big part of my career identity — basically there’s a good chance there. And there’s a few times that the numbers from Lost showed up in the clue package. It’s interesting ’cause there’s so many clues thrown out at them, it’s just like if you get stuck on a particular one, it may lead you down a path that will basically misdirect. It’s definitely trained me how to look at the clue packages now when I watch the show as a fan.
Especially the 15 on the lottery ticket…
Pretty on the nose.
Did you have any songs in mind if you’d continued on that you really wanted to perform?
It would’ve been fun to do some kind of emotional ballad because it seems like there’s always a really kind of great response. If you can maybe bring a tear to a judge’s eye, that’s just always kind of fun to watch on the show, too. That would’ve been kind of cool.
You talked about rehearsing with the costume, but what about for the final showdown? Was that song chosen by production? Did you have any rehearsals?
Yeah, that song was chosen by them. I had to sing it at a lower octave, so that was a little harder for me. The choreography, we ran through it, not in costume, in our sweats gear, so I just kind of crossed my fingers that I remembered it, ’cause it was all done on the same day. It was simple, just like “you’re here, step forward.” I didn’t have to do as much, but just kind of hope that I didn’t screw it up.
What will you take away from this entire experience?
Oh, huge respect for watching people on the show in the future, for sure, especially the ones that are in the big bulky costumes and knowing what they have to kind of fight through to be able to sing and all that. Definitely going to appreciate that a lot more.
The Masked Singer, Wednesdays, 8/7c, Fox