‘The Masked Singer’s Banana Knew He Was ‘In Trouble’ When He Saw Sharon Osbourne
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for “The Mother of All Final Face Offs, Part 2” on The Masked Singer.]
The ap-peel of the Banana ended in The Masked Singer Season 3 with Wednesday’s episode.
After facing off with Kitty in the Smackdown, it was the fruit who was unmasked, and it was Poison lead singer Bret Michaels.
“Honestly, I really had a great time. Not just physically, [but also] mentally and going on the show,” he told TV Insider. “Everyone there treats you as great as a masked Banana can be. Everyone who works on that show gives 1000 percent.”
Overall, he found it “very positive,” admitting that some of his experiences in reality TV have been “tougher” than others. He also discusses being on The Masked Singer and trying to throw people off of his identity in his upcoming Auto-Scrap-Ography.
Here, Michaels opens up about the experience of being the Banana and reveals why the timing of his exit — and song choice for the episode — is so “surreal.”
I’m sad to see you go.
Brett Michaels: I am sad to go. It’s bittersweet, and ironically, this is the universe lining up in a really surreal way. Ten years ago, on this very day — tonight as the show airs, I’m singing “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” — I was in the emergency room having my brain operated on. How ironic is that, right? How ironic is life?
It is surreal, and I am beyond grateful to be on the good side of the stage, the good side of the dirt, and singing “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” I had no idea this is when I would be exiting the show, on this very night. But I’m grateful to be talking to you and just having fun on this show as a human Banana.
What was your initial reaction to doing this show?
I watch the show and like to consider myself a part-time detective, so I would always be trying to figure people out, looking at stuff with my kids, going, “No, wait, look at that, look at the arm size, look at the height, look at the legs.” So to be on the show, honestly, I was excited and honored to do it.
Then I started my work on how I could throw people off because I didn’t want to be discovered. I didn’t want to go. I wanted to stay and have a great time doing the show, so I did my best that I could do. But I noticed the boards lit up, the first night of doing “A Little Less Conversation” and Elvis. I felt like I really threw people with the voice and the moves and the dancers did a great job, everyone’s done a great job, but I noticed right away, it was a 99 to 1 it was me. So I’m like, “uh-oh, we better start pulling out some other stuff, try to put them off a little bit.”
Obviously music and performing in front of crowds aren’t new to you. But what was the biggest challenge doing so in this way?
My number one biggest challenge was figuring out in the clue package how to throw people off, throw my voice off, get a little bit outside of my comfort zone, and then to sing as a human Banana.
What was crazy is this show is a lot of fun, but they take very seriously your identity. I’m a handshake-hugger-how-you-doing kind of guy, and that was my biggest challenge backstage on this show. I was walking by people that I have known for years and years, and they had no clue it was me. I felt like I was a moving ghost. Going through that, I was like a real-life Peter Parker, Bruce Wayne. I could not shout out that I am Batman. [Laughs] You’re completely ignored. You’re completely covered head to toe. It is truly surreal.
Why the Banana? You mentioned your daughter in one of the episodes. But what about this appealed to you?
As we’re speaking, being a lifelong diabetic, banana is part of my everyday diet, and it brings up some natural sugars, keeps my blood sugar levels right when I work out. … And I love the color because I’m from Pittsburgh, a blue-collar city, but the color yellow is part of my growing up as a Steeler fan and as a Pirates fan, Penguins fan, Pitt fan. The color works for me, too.
Talk about your song choice for this episode and the smackdown.
I tried to do a really different version of [“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”]. I sat down at a grand piano; it’s the first time they’ve ever done it. As I’m unmasked, I’m bringing fans up on the stage, prior to the coronavirus and the concern of it. People are like, “Wait a minute, we thought it but didn’t know it.”
And I’m going up against Kitty, who just broke my heart. I’m in love with Kitty, and we’re back and forth playful, literally on my life, having no clue who that is. Still don’t know. Very talented. I divulge my deepest, darkest, I should say feelings, but peelings, everything, and then they just broke my heart. The smackdown, I had no clue in my soul, I was like, I haven’t rehearsed this, really outside of my wheelhouse. I was just winging it and having fun.
Then you keep your fingers crossed that you’re going to stay, but the second — and this is the first time I’ve talked about this — I walked out there and on the panel is Sharon [Osbourne]. I’ve known Sharon forever. We’ve done a lot of stuff and shows together, from Grammys to The Apprentice, and real-life shows, like touring together. I’m going, “Uh-oh, I’m in trouble.” I knew it. I’m like, “If there’s ever someone who’s going to know who this is, who Banana is, it’s Sharon.” And she’s like, “1000 percent, I know who that is.”
You mentioned the detective in you looking at contestants, and the panelists did that with you. What were your thoughts on their guesses?
It was making me laugh. Ken and Robin and Nicole and Jen are great, and I think honestly, Ken was completely going down. I was selling him on blue collar, and so I was doing everything I could. I’d shake my head, and when [Jenny] said my name, I’m not going to lie, inside that Banana outfit, my heart was pounding, because fans out there were going, “Yeah.” They’re looking right at me going, “Bret.” A couple people in the front row — and I’m sure they’ll edit this stuff out as they go — they’re like, “It’s Bret.” And I’m going [no].
Here’s the irony, you don’t want to overdo it either because then it looks like — I just shrugged my shoulders like, “Nah, that’s not who it is.” Then I realized how tough it is to be inside those costumes but not being able to speak. My pantomime is not real good. I’m trying to act stuff out and feel the peel and do all these things that’ll throw them off, but I didn’t want to go. I was really having a good time doing the show.
And it’s hard to act things out when you’re in a costume.
Yeah, in real life, when you go to a theme park, and people are acting things out, until you truly walk in someone else’s shoes … I’ve always been the guy that is grateful. I’m always the guy that’s respectful, but it took my level up of respect for what they have to do in those costumes at theme parks, especially when it’s about 110 degrees and then let’s add humidity level to those outfits. I lost, real-life, five pounds. It trimmed me down real quick.
Are there any songs you had in mind if you’d continued on?
Oh yeah, I wanted to do “What I Like About You,” the Romantics song. I had a full-on selection. I go into everything 1000 percent, and never knowing I’m going to be there ’til the end, but I go in with the attitude that I would like to be there at the end. You want to win. Having a great time, but also competitive. I had a whole bunch of songs selected, but my next one, I wanted to throw them off with “Brick House,” but I rather would have done “What I Like About You.” I would have just had fun doing that.
But I’m the first ever Masked Singer to ever sit down at a grand piano and play a song, I believe. It was a little nerve-racking to just sit there because I had so much energy and my heart’s pounding and I wanted to do a very different version of it. I wanted to try to do the grand piano and throw people off, but then when I saw Sharon, honestly, I was like, “Uh-oh.” I did not know that’s who it was going to be. You never really know who the guest panelist is going to be, and when I started walking out of the tunnel, I saw her, I’m like, “Uh-oh, this is going to be a tough one to get around.”
The Masked Singer, Wednesdays, 8/7c, Fox