'The Masked Singer's Kitty Opens up About Reinventing Herself
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Masked Singer Season 3's "A Quarter Mask Crisis: The Quarter Finals."]
Kitty had her last meow in the quarterfinals of The Masked Singer Season 3.
With only five contestants remaining, it was Kitty who was scratched from the lineup before the semifinals, after a performance of Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black." And the celebrity under the mask was America's Got Talent Season 5 runner-up Jackie Evancho.
Here, the classical crossover singer discusses her time on The Masked Singer and her goal of showing people a different side.
Why was it the right time for you to do this show?
Jackie Evancho: I was a fan of the show to begin with, but what really drove me to want to do it was the fact that this could be my chance to really reinvent myself because you're completely anonymous so all the stereotypes that come with who I was before don't follow me. I could really just start from scratch and show people that I'm more than just that girl from America's Got Talent who could sing at 10 years old.
Speaking of your time on AGT, is there anything you kept in mind for Masked? The two are very different.
Not at all because this competition was a totally different process. I wanted to get rid of everything I've ever known and learned a lot from this experience.
What were some of the biggest challenges singing in this way other than doing so in costume?
One of the biggest challenges was learning more about that part of my voice, because I am mainly familiar with my classical crossover stuff. As I'm doing each of these episodes, I'm learning more and more about my pop voice and the way I can control it, the songs I can pull off, my range, and it was actually so fulfilling to learn that through the show.
What about the Kitty costume appealed to you?
I really loved how pretty and intricate the character was. I loved that she was a bit more sexy and sultry, which is the complete opposite of me. And of course the goal of the show is to distract people from who you are under the mask, and so I really wanted to think of who people know me as publicly and just throw them. Kitty was the perfect way to do that. I loved how sexy and sassy and diva-ish the character was.
Did you have any other options?
Yeah, there was a list of photos sent to me for these characters I could choose from, but Kitty was really the one that stood out to me.
You chose songs that really highlighted your vocals. Did anything about your plan and the songs you had in mind change from performance to performance?
Some of them, yeah, we had in mind from the beginning, but a lot of them came as we progressed through the show. It was a team effort of me and the producer just throwing ideas around trying to figure out songs that both of us would really love. All of them ended up being songs I really love, but it was definitely a process you had to go through as you went through the show.
Were you especially proud of any of the performances looking back on your time on the show?
Honestly, I'm proud of every one of the performances because as the show went on, I got more and more comfortable in the mask and more comfortable in my body and in the part of the voice I was using. Each of them was taking a step up and really proving to myself that I can do this.
Did you have any specific songs in mind if you'd continued on?
Yes, there were some songs I had in mind, but a lot of the times, I'd just shoot them out of my brain because the goal of the show for me was just concentrate on what I'm doing in that episode and that one song so I wouldn't be distracted. But I definitely had ideas if I were to continue on.
What'd you think of the panelists' guesses? You completely stumped them!
I thought it was really fun to just hear their guesses. All of them were big compliments to me, but I was like, "Dang, they are really far off." The whole time I was doing it, I was thinking how far off they were. My favorite that they thought I was was Vanessa Hudgens. I'm a huge fan of her, and she's so talented that when they said her name, I was like, "Wow, what a compliment."
You said you're being somebody no one's seen before and has always been inside you as Kitty. What are you going to take away from this experience in terms of that?
What I took away from the experience was the fact that now that that part of me is out in the world, I shouldn't be afraid to show it and I should really embrace who I am. I always talk about living truthfully, but there's a lot of fear that holds me back from that. This show really took away a lot of that fear so that I can be more genuine to myself. I'm really excited to embark on that journey once this episode airs.
What are you most looking forward to in terms of the reaction once your unmasking airs?
I'm really excited to see just what people say because I know there's going to be tons of comparisons to me when I was 10. I'm also really curious to see if they'll make memes about me because memes are really funny. I'm excited to see if I'm going to be as supported as I hope.
How many people knew you were doing this?
It was pretty much just my mom and dad and then my publicist and manager. I'm sure my siblings figured it out along the way, but that was the biggest challenge, not telling them.
Have you heard from anyone saying they know it's you?
Yeah, pretty much all my family. We love watching the show, and I've gotten so many texts from my cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, saying, "Wow, did you watch that Kitty? She reminds me of you."
The Masked Singer, Wednesdays, 8/7c, Fox