‘The Masked Singer’ Mummies Reflect on Performing Together After 4 Decades
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Masked Singer Season 8 Episode 3 “TV Theme Night.”]
Here’s the story of … three Mummies who, unfortunately, only performed one song on this season of The Masked Singer.
The Mummies and Fortune Teller each took the stage hoping to send Harp, who has come out on top in two episodes already, home, but instead, they were the ones unmasked. The Mummies were The Brady Bunch‘s Barry Williams, Christopher Knight, and Mike Lookinland, while Fortune Teller was Shark Tank‘s, Daymond John.
Here, the Mummies open up about their time on the show. Plus, are more reunions coming?
What made you say yes to doing The Masked Singer? Did one of you have to convince the others?
Barry Williams: I was very excited to get this call. I thought it would be a really, really fun experience, but I knew that Chris would need some encouragement. This is not his happy place necessarily. And both Michael Lookinland and I gave him a lot of support and encouragement, and he was a real trooper for coming in and filling out the trio.
Mike Lookinland: I want to join Barry in that and just say right up front that first of all, it was like, wow, they’re calling us to be on that show, knowing it’s a giant smash hit. I was thrilled. Just adding to what Barry said, Chris really showed up and stepped up and carried his weight, and singing and dancing is more of a Barry Williams and a Mike Lookinland thing, not so much a Chris Knight thing. We all have our strengths. But boy did he pull it off. He was good.
Christopher Knight: Thank you very much for the support. I might add that my entire life has been led by being an unmasked singer, leading to potentially some scarring for music, but the fact is there’s a little Brady in this in that it was a family, at least part of it, a unified group, and finding that Barry and Mike were both very excited about the opportunity, I found myself in a place where I couldn’t deny them that opportunity. It was a great deal of fun ultimately.
It did look like you were having fun on the stage, especially in your performance. What went into your song choice [The Monkees theme song]?
Williams: There were several songs that were suggested by all of us, and then there’s the process of weeding through what would be appropriate, what wouldn’t be, what could be cleared. Eventually, it got whittled down from probably more than 20, but there was [the TV] theme that guided it. We just thought we should take on The Monkees.
Lookinland: When it was weeded down from that couple dozen songs to a handful, we started working on that whole handful — lyrics, what key the song would be in. what the temp would be. So the song you see is just the one that made it through the cut, but we had been rehearsing nearly half a dozen songs before we got to the one we performed. My life was pretty much about Mummies and The Masked Singer for a good two weeks, at least.
Knight: When it was finally decided that it would be The Monkees’ theme, there was some concern that it might have been too dated for the audience to remember or to know, and I’m still not sure that’s true. Obviously, it comes from our era and has a level of theatrics to it and fun that I’m sure played.
And after the unmasking, you spoke about not performing together in years and the fun of getting to do that here. What did you enjoy the most?
Lookinland: Having watched the show at home, I wouldn’t have guessed that the excitement in that room, with the panel and the audience and the celebrity guests, was as real as it was for us. The feeling you get when you’re watching the show on television at home is very much happening for real in that room, so the excitement.
Nicole [Scherzinger] guessed right early on.
Knight: Let me just jump in here and say something I think I observed because we were guessed, which is not altogether common on the show. I think that when you’re performing as a group, you’re slightly more identifiable than if you are an individual, clearly because it’s three people. What three people sing together or have? So you reduce the pool of all humanity down to that part of humanity that is a group. I wasn’t altogether shocked with some of the clues that were provided and then her ability to dial in and figure out who it was.
Williams: The biggest question I have about The Masked Singer is how the judges do their job. I wouldn’t have any chance of being able to identify anybody through these costumes, these amazing costumes that they create for us, and I was surprised that she guessed it because we’re not really known as a trio, we’re known as the six kids, and we’re not really known, even though we were Silver Platters for an episode or two, as singers, and it’s a singing show. And there are a lot of family acts — Jonas Brothers come to mind — or people that might be working together. So there were a lot of different guesses, but Nicole popped up with this one, and I don’t know how but not everybody gravitated to it.
Between this and the Emmys, fans have gotten quite a bit of a Brady Brunch reunion in recent months. Anything else coming up? Or more singing together after this?
Williams: Never say never when it comes to the Bradys.
Lookinland: I say stay tuned.
Williams: The Bradys are on a continual orbit.
Knight: All of a sudden, like a comet, comes back. So you never know.
Lookinland: I think we’re over the North Pole.
Knight: When you least expect it. It’s an eccentric orbit.
What are you each going to take away from this experience on The Masked Singer?
Lookinland: I would say it’s something I’ve known, and I’ve tried to express over the years, which is that for everything you see on the screen, there are dozens of talented, hardworking people who make it happen that you don’t see and just my thanks to them because in this case, especially, with the costuming and the production, my hat goes off to the people behind the scenes that make all this happen. They’re just amazing.
Williams: That’s so true, Michael. It was a wonderful opportunity for us, as TV brothers and basically brothers, to work so closely in something that was so unique. It’s an experience that, in all of the things in show business there are to do, this still stands out as singularly unique and fun. And as Michael was pointing out, the coordination of the production and of course the stars of the show, the costumes, but along with the music and choreography and an enthusiastic audience, I’m just going to put it right up there with one of the best professional experiences I’ve ever had.
Knight: I would boil it down to the technical component. Clearly we’re all masked, but what that ultimately means and what they’ve invented to pull that off very creative and absolutely unique. We’re not just masked to an audience; most of the day, we’re masked and not just masked, we’re not even in our costumes, we’re completely cloaked, gloves, no skin, masks, face shields, hoodies, so there’s a lot that goes into this. We also might be performing and/or rehearsing with another contestant somewhere on the lot, but we wouldn’t know that. We’re completely blind to who else might be there, as is much of the crew.
The Masked Singer, Wednesdays, 8/7c, Fox