‘The Masked Singer’: Walrus Says ‘Everything Was Better’ in the ’90s
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Masked Singer Season 8 Episode 6 “’90s Night.”]
The Lambs once again took the stage to perform, and we were introduced to Walrus and Milkshake. But neither of the new contestants could beat the trio, and both were unmasked: Walrus as actor Joey Lawrence (Blossom, Brotherly Love) and Milkshake as football player Le’Veon Bell.
Here, Lawrence opens up about his time on the show, his love for the ’90s, and what’s next.
What made you say yes to doing The Masked Singer?
Joey Lawrence: Honestly, I have an ongoing relationship with Fox with my relationship with Tubi, their streaming service, and having done the first original movie they ever did, Swim, and that did so well for them that they allowed myself and my wife, we wrote a script for them, a big romantic comedy coming out Valentine’s Day of ‘23 called Frankie Meets Jack. We just got back from shooting that for two months in Boston and we’re in ongoing talks with Fox about a lot of things coming up for next year, too, really exciting stuff.
This was just part of that, being part of the Fox family and getting my feet wet over there. I’ve never worked for Fox — 41 years in, I’ve been able to have a lot of success on all the other networks, Fox has been the one, the elusive network, and it’s finally coming into fruition. It’s about being a team participant and it looked like a lot of fun. I had not sang and performed live like that in probably about 10, 15 years, even though I did a lot of singing in the ‘90s and we sold a lot of records and stuff. So yeah, it was fun.
Talk about that costume — I especially love the seagull on the hat.
I know. The costume was crazy. It’s extremely difficult to perform in those things, especially when you have an upbeat song, and they do the best they can. The costume department is fantastic and makes these things as applicable as possible, but you really can’t see out of ’em and you can’t breathe too good in them and they’re extremely awkward obviously, as you can imagine, to move around. But I guess that’s part of the fun of the show.
What went into your song choice [“Two Princes” by Spin Doctors]?
I just wanted something fun. Obviously I never take myself too seriously and I just wanted something that could get the audience up and moving and would be really energetic and fun and it’s got a great hook. That’s one of the iconic songs of the ‘90s and it just instantly, when it begins, people just feel good. As soon as that guitar lick kicks in with the [demonstrates], people are up and having a good time. And for the three minutes that you’re out there, that’s all you really wanna be able to do anyway.
‘90s Night made for a fun episode.
Yeah, it’s fun. Look, the ‘80s and the ‘90s, I’m so thankful I was a kid during that time. It was such an amazing time to grow up. I really feel bad for these kids today. I have two teenagers, and honestly, it sucks. I know they don’t know that, but they sort of know it because they’re like, why is the music so much better back then? But everything was better back then. I know there are certain things that are cool about today and all the technology and everything being at the tips of your fingers. There’s something to be said about enough technology, which is what we had in the ‘90s and still having to do some things like analog and working your brain and waiting for things and anticipating things, you know what I mean? And a lot of that’s gone.
So you hearken back to probably one of the last great decades for music and movies and it was just an amazing time. I think everybody’s realizing that now. Nothing’s perfect, but you don’t realize how great you have it while you’re living through it. And then when you look back, you’re like, wow, that was pretty dope.
Robin [Thicke] figured you out. Did you come into this expecting anyone from the panel to guess you?
It’s been weird because I get notifications all the time on Insta and everything like that where people have been guessing that it’s been me for four seasons and we haven’t been able to find the right time for me to come on there and do it. This just worked out with my schedule and Fox and we were able to find the right time for me to come on and do it.
But yeah, Robin had it figured out. We talked a little bit about it, but I guess he was a fan of mine growing up, which is kind of cool because we’re peers obviously and he’s had tremendous success in music and I had some success in music but obviously more in TV and movies and stuff. But yeah, we’re basically the same age. So it’s kind of cool to have somebody that musically has achieved what he did to go, “I listened to you growing up and I had your first single, and it was pretty neat.” But I think people have guessed me throughout the past because I get notifications: “Oh my gosh, are you in The Masked Singer?” And I said, “not that I know of.” So it’ll be fun to for everyone to finally, I guess, know that it’s me. But it’s so ironic that these people that have guessed me in previous seasons several times when it was actually me, they were guessing other people.
Speaking about the right time for you to come on, it feels like it had to be this episode for you with your ’90s shows.
Yeah, I think so. It just makes sense. There’s always this retro thing that goes on, right? Fortunately I’ve been able to go on and have a lot of success after the decade that I came into fame, but yeah, it’s all good, looking back to where you came from and it’s taken me to where I am today and where I am today is hopefully gonna take me to where I’m going tomorrow. So it’s all a cumulative thing when you are able to do this and be as lucky and fortunate as I am to be able to do this for 41 years.
Lance Bass came on stage to give a clue. Did you have any input in who would do that?
No, but I’ve known Lance for years. Just all part of the night. But seeing it was cool, you know what I mean? I know all those guys, so it was cool.
What will you take away from the entire experience?
Just how much fun it was. I always like to try new things. Sometimes I can’t do them — I always get asked to do things like this — but this one made sense. And like I said, it’s about an ongoing relationship with Fox that I’m very excited about. The brothers and I are working on something with Fox for next year. … The brothers and I are working on a brand new show so get ready for that, first time in 17 years, but we got it and it’s amazing. So stand by for that. … It’s really gonna be something cool. We’re really excited about it.
What surprised you the most about being on The Masked Singer?
That once you’re out there, it’s just a lot of fun. What I like about the show is they want everybody to do well and look good. It’s not about tearing people down, it’s about just building people up. And I appreciate that. So many times, failure is what everybody focuses on and this one is just about having fun.
The Masked Singer, Wednesdays, 8/7c, Fox