‘The Masked Singer’: Knight on Why It Was Finally Time for Him to Come on the Show

Knight in The Masked Singer
Spoiler Alert
Michael Becker / FOX

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Masked Singer Season 8 premiere “A Royal Season Premiere.”]

The new format of The Masked Singer this season means double the unmaskings each episode — and the premiere teased another to kick off next week.

Harp was the only one to move on after the celebrities’ first performances with Knight, then Hedgehog unmasked: legendary actors William Shatner and Eric Idle. As for Hummingbird, the Fox hit left the audience, panelists, and unmasked celebrities to wait to find out who’s in that costume.

TV Insider caught up with Shatner about his experience as Knight.

In the clues package, you said you can’t believe it took you eight seasons to be on here. What made you say yes to doing it?

William Shatner: I found that The Masked Singer’s such a popular show that it seemed to be a good way of getting to talk to you, for example, not only about the show and how much fun it was, but also many of the things that I’m doing. [For instance, I have a] book coming up in the next couple weeks, and a watch I designed coming out very soon. And [I have] this series I do called The UnXplained, [which] has gotten more and more popular, trending on Netflix and the History Channel. And there’s two documentaries I’m making, one about me, one about my performance at the Kennedy Center, an album about [the Kennedy Center performance], and a new NFT coming out very soon. So there’s a lot of things I’m doing that I thought doing The Masked Singer and its popularity and how much everybody enjoys watching it would be a good way of helping get the word out.

Talk about that costume — especially the golden goose! What appealed to you about it? Did you have any input?

No, the only input I had was putting my left foot and right foot into it. It seemed like a good idea until I got into it to perform, and then, of course, as I heard everybody say, that thing was really awful. You can’t see, you can’t hear, you can’t talk, you can’t breathe, the costume is a hazard. I would think if you wanted to make a prisoner tell what they know, you put them in that costume for 15 minutes, and they’ll tell you anything. “Get me out of here, I’ll tell you everything you want to know.”

Knight in The Masked Singer

Michael Becker / FOX

What went into your song choice? That performance was quite the production!  

Isn’t it though? Incredible. Making the costume was a production. It’s a fun song, it’s got great syncopation, [and] the lyrics lend itself to what I do, so I thought it would be a good song to do. But I needed to work on it and rehearse it a lot to myself and with the music people, and then when I put the costume on, everything went to hell because you can’t move, you can’t see, you can’t sing. It was wild. It was a wild thing to perform in front of an audience in that costume. Somebody before me whom I knew said it was the worst thing that ever happened to him, and I agreed with him. As a performer, it may have been the worst thing that’s ever happened to me, getting that wardrobe on and trying to perform.

Did you have any songs in mind if you’d continued on?

No. I was singing “Woe Is Me” after the show, does that count?

You seemed to be having fun with Nick [Cannon] on stage. Did you plan that?

I had a great deal of fun. It was fun in that wild way, if you’re not looking to be judged for a performance and how much fun you can have and perhaps signal to that audience that we’re having fun, then that was a fun thing to do. […]I didn’t know what putting on the wardrobe would be like. It’s horrendous. Everything you planned and thought, “oh, that’s going to be entertaining,” I couldn’t do.

Talk about the panelists’ guesses.

Not only could they not tell it was me, I couldn’t tell it was me. But I think the costume did a very good job of disguising anything that you might say, do, walk, or hold your head. It was impenetrable.

Going back to that clues package, that was fun! Did you have any input?

No input whatsoever. My input was trying to perform the song and then the length of time — I started early in the morning to get that wardrobe on and finished late in the afternoon. It was a long process getting in and out of that costume.

What are you going to take away from the entire experience?

Bruises, skin that I’ve left, some adhesions that I never had before. A sore toe. A finger I can’t lift. I’m taking away a lot of that stuff. I’m using a cart.

The Masked Singer, Wednesdays, 8/7c, Fox