‘The Masked Singer’s Crocodile on What Gave Him Away to One of His Bandmates
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 4 finale of The Masked Singer, “Last Mask Standing.”]
With three remaining in The Masked Singer Season 4 finale, the scales could only align for one to walk away with the Golden Mask trophy.
But third place is still impressive, and while Sun (LeAnn Rimes) wins and Mushroom (Aloe Blacc) comes in second, Crocodile — who’s really Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter — still enjoyed his time on the series.
“It was a ton of fun, a lot of work,” he tells TV Insider, noting, “We condensed it into a really small time frame to get it done,” during which time he had to be away from his family.
Here, Carter discusses his time on The Masked Singer and which of his bandmates figured it out.
You said this was the chance for you to be a superhero dad for your kids, so was it just perfect timing that this happened for this season?
Nick Carter: It was funny because I was almost on the last season and I was involved in the design of the Turtle that Jesse McCartney actually eventually performed in and he did great with it. I was on tour with the boys and was like, “This is not going to work,” and obviously everything happened with COVID and everything got put on hold. Then I got the call, again, and was interested, and that’s when we decided to do it.
As far as being a superhero and having it in the can and them watching it every day and seeing me in this mask and this super-fun show, yeah, it’s definitely one of those things my son is absolutely in love with. He is just over the moon, doesn’t know his daddy’s the Crocodile. But it’s just such an entertaining show and I didn’t realize it but it’s going to be one of those things I’m going to look back and be like, “Your daddy was on that show.” Maybe he’ll be proud of that, my daughter as well.
You were on involved in the costume design last season, but what was the process of arriving at the Crocodile design?
They already had Croc ready to go as well as another one. When I looked at it, I knew, “That’s it.” When I saw the pink vibrant color, it made me so happy. It was just so attractive and I felt like if I was able to perform in this thing — it was at the same time being Crocodile but then lightening up the Croc. Then they did the cartoon characters and it just became super cute and I thought it would pop on stage and it would be something people would really, really like, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to choose it. I’m actually happy that I chose the Croc more than I chose the Turtle and that it ended up that way.
Your performances were a surprise each week. What was your goal vocally for each?
I always felt as if, when it comes to Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys, there’s this sound that I have married myself to over the years, but I’m a fan of music and songs and I love all genres. I felt like maybe I could tap into a little bit of that — rock, pop, R&B, just mix it up — and then be able to sing in those styles and manipulate my voice in a way that would throw the judges off every single week.
There were times when our die-hard fan would say — I was watching on social media — “Oh, that’s Nick.” They knew. But the majority of the people were still thrown off. Whether it was singing falsetto, in a grungy rock voice, in just the typical R&B or a pop-type song, for me, it was definitely always about having fun with it and trying everything.
For the most part, you fooled the panelists, though you were Jenny’s first impression guess, but they settled on AJ at one point because of that switch to your vocals. Did you expect them to figure it out sooner once they arrived at boyband?
Yeah, I feel as if they know sometimes but then it’s like, how do you really know? That mask is what it’s all about: the incognito, the anonymity. That’s the brilliance of the show, you think you know but then you don’t know and then your mind plays tricks on you. By switching it up, it kept them off balance and even if they were to narrow it down to a boybander… When I started doing too many dance moves, especially during the Britney Spears’ song, I might have actually given it away a little too much there, because there are only certain artists that dance and sing.
Did your bandmates know it was you? Were you getting messages from them that you had to play coy about?
I tricked AJ as long as I could because he was on Dancing With the Stars, and he was super busy and going through it on that show — I know what that’s all about — and then he kept asking me. I’m like, “What are you talking about?” and he just let it go.
And then Kevin called me and he goes, “You know what, Nick? Congratulations, you sounded great on the show.” I’m like, “Yeah, how’d you guess?” He goes, “There’s nobody else out there who has those thighs that you have.” [Laughs] I guess I got some linebacker thighs, some quads, and he recognized them.
Was there a specific song that after you performed it, you thought you could make it far in the season?
I had no idea that it was Tori Kelly as the Seahorse, and the truth is the mere fact that I’m in the group of these incredible singers is an honor and I’m just so grateful because these are Grammy Award winners and nominees. When I did “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” and I watched it back, it was the first time I actually said, “Holy crap, wow, you did a good job, Nick.” I felt as if that really showcased that perfect area where my voice can sit and I just was really happy with that performance.
Clearly the Backstreet Boys are conquering singing and dancing competitions, with you on here and like you said, AJ on Dancing With the Stars. So what do you think you or your bandmates should tackle next in that field?
What I’m hoping for is obviously the world to heal and to come out from the darkness to the light during this time. We were right in the middle of a tour — we were down in South America, we were getting ready to come back to the States — and we’re entertainers and performers and my dream would be that once this gets better and everything and everybody is safe and everybody’s to a place where they want to come out again and enjoy entertainment, that we’re there again for them.
There’s nothing like a live atmosphere where people are congregating together and enjoying their favorite artist or music out in the world. That’s the next thing for the Backstreet Boys, is to just be there when people are ready to be entertained again.
So not The Masked Dancer?
[Laughs] No, maybe I’ll go send Kevin to go do The Masked Dancer. That’s a good idea.
The Masked Singer, Season 5, Spring 2021, Fox