‘The Masked Singer’s Eagle on Getting Into Character & the Smackdown

Michael Becker/FOX

Another week, another Masked Singer unmasking.

In Week 3 of the hit Fox singing competition, Eagle, Flower, Fox, and Penguin battled in hopes of moving on. Eagle and Penguin faced off in the Smackdown, and it was Eagle who was eliminated. And that meant it was time to find out who was under the mask. It was none other than Dr. Drew Pinsky.

“It was pure fun,” Pinsky told TV Insider of the experience. “And the production was a great operation. It was a relief to get out, but the one thing I miss is hanging out with those people, being part of a really great production.”

Here, Pinsky discusses preparing to take the stage, his costume, and more.

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What was the biggest challenge for you? Did hiding behind a mask help with the nerves?

Dr. Drew Pinsky: Yes, it did. You sort of have a cloak of invisibility going and you just let the character, the costume drive everything. You just have to become that character, which is weird, uncanny, but it does make it a little easier.

Speaking of the character and the costume, why do you think the Eagle was the right mask for you? You didn’t choose it, right? It’s the producers’ choice?

It’s kind of a long story. Your first meeting with the producers, they want to talk about costumes and what you’re likely to be. They ask you to think about it, and as I was thinking about it, I thought, “I do national anthems at sporting events for the Dodgers and the Kings.” I thought an eagle would be okay and then I could probably stay in anthemic songs or maybe some Frank Sinatra. When I got to the meeting, before I said anything, they said, “We’re thinking about making you the Eagle.” And so I said, “Perfect, let’s do it.”

(Michael Becker/FOX)

I went and started learning a bunch of songs and immediately got into some trouble [with] a vocal injury. I had to get some medical care, and then I had to see a vocal rehab specialist and it was just a big mess, but I got through it. Learned a bunch of songs and then put the costume and it was about three weeks before air, and I thought, “Oh, no, this is totally different. We have to start over. This is a rock eagle. We have to have rock songs, which I also don’t know how to sing.” So we had to re-train all that. I had to do it because that was the character.

Regarding the song choices, do you have any regrets there since you were eliminated?

I knew the Smackdown was vulnerable. In fact, after I didn’t make it through on the first round, I called my team in, I said, “Look, I think I’m vulnerable. If I don’t go through, I’ve had a great experience, don’t feel bad.” They were like, “Don’t worry about it, you’re going through, don’t even think about it. … You’re not going to be in a Smackdown.” Famous last words.

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What did you think of the identity guesses? Did you expect any of them to instantly know it was you?

No, that was part of the fun and why I was doing the show. I’ve known Ken and Jenny for years, and I knew this would screw with them and I knew no one would have any idea who I was under the mask. I was surprised that Jenny got as close as she did. She got all the way to Adam Carolla but then didn’t make the leap to me.

Then Ken — who I used to have sit in for me on Loveline back in the day, before you knew him, before Hangover, before anything, when he was still practicing medicine — the part you didn’t see on TV during some of the guessing, he goes, “You know, I know exactly who you are. You’re somebody I used to sit in for on your talk show. You’re Craig Ferguson.” So funny.

(Michael Becker/FOX)

Did you talk to them after and call them out on not getting you?

No, but I did a lot of that from the stage. You didn’t see it on TV. That whole interaction at the end is about 10 minutes; they cut it down to one minute. I was giving them a lot of grief. Something else you didn’t see was Robin and Nicole were very kind to me. They were very complimentary, and I really appreciated that.

How do you think this experience has changed you?

It’s a stretch. This is not anywhere near anything I’m comfortable doing and to be able to do it and have fun with it was extraordinary. I’m grateful to live in a world where I can do this kind of crazy thing. I’ve not put a costume on since I was 7, and I’m here to tell you, you can still do it as an adult.

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Other than winning, was there anything you wanted to accomplish during your time on the show?

I wanted to screw with Ken and Jenny, and I think mission accomplished.

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