‘The Masked Dancer’s Moth on Who Almost Revealed Her Identity Ahead of the Unmasking
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Episode 3 of The Masked Dancer, “Group B Playoffs – These Masks Don’t Lie!”]
Another masked contestant takes off their dancing shoes ahead of the Super Six.
In the January 13 episode of The Masked Dancer, Zebra, Cotton Candy, and Sloth move on to the next round after the Group B playoffs, but Moth’s wings are clipped after she takes the stage to “Sway” by Michael Bublé. And after the panelists’ final guesses, Moth unmasks and reveals Brian Austin Green is right: She’s child safety activist Elizabeth Smart.
Here, Smart opens up about saying yes to The Masked Dancer and those other guesses from the panelists.
You get a call that Fox wants you to wear a costume and dance and your reaction is …
Elizabeth Smart: “Are they kidding me?” “Do they know who they’re calling?” “Are they sure they really want me?” Followed by, “I’m thinking no.”
What made you say yes?
I had lost my grandmother just right around the time they had asked. She certainly took life as it came. She did a lot of really amazing things, but she also had a lot of fun. She — I don’t want to say at the beginning of her death but I’m not really sure there’s any other way to put it — was trying to dance and she fell down and broke her hip. She was almost 90 years old. It felt like it wasn’t by accident that then this opportunity fell into my lap.
And 2020, I think, most people would say was a pretty hard year, and I certainly would be among them. 2020 was the year I do not care to repeat and when this opportunity came, after getting over my initial “Are you serious?” thinking, I thought, “Why not?” I live a pretty serious life. I work in an incredibly serious and frightening field and I think it’s OK to have fun, to do something that’s purely light-hearted.
As I was doing it, it just felt like a tribute to my grandmother because she would have loved it. She probably would have wanted to be up on stage dancing with me and if not dancing with me, she would’ve been in the front row, probably screaming at everyone, “That’s my granddaughter! Do you know who my granddaughter is? That’s her!” She would’ve loved it.
Did you have any say in the costume?
They showed me a sketch and they asked what I thought about it. I’m actually a pretty easygoing person and so I just thought they have a vision of what it should be, so I was like, “Yeah, that looks good.” Then when I saw it in person, my breath was taken away. It was so beautiful. They continued to — bedazzle it makes it sound cheap — bedazzle it even up until my final episode.
It was just so beautiful, all of the details were amazing and all of the handwork — the hand-gluing of all the crystals and the hand-stitching, I’ve never had an outfit so custom to me. I think they measured every possible measurement you could take on a person. That was more customized to me than my wedding dress was.
After the first dance, was there anything you adjusted or changed about the plan for the second one? What was the process of coming up with the routines?
I have zero dance background. When I’d go dancing with my friends in college, I usually was the one that they laughed at, in the best way possible. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed to admit it. I’m not a talented dancer on any level. So when they were talking me through the dance routines, I put my faith and my trust in them because I have no experience and the choreographers and my dance partner — oh my goodness, that being said, my dance partner, sometimes I just thought, “Maybe if you weren’t so good, you wouldn’t make me look quite so bad.” He’s so talented. H was so patient and so kind with me. It’s amazing how you can move your body.
Brian guessed it was you and he looked happy when you unmasked. Were you expecting someone to figure it out?
Initially, when they first asked me to be on the show, I remember thinking, “No one is ever going to guess who I am short of a clue being given as ‘kidnapped in 2002’ or ‘her last name is Smart’ or ‘her first name is ‘Elizabeth.'” But then actually when I was there that day and they went to the clues and they were saying, “No, this person’s from Salt Lake,” I just remember thinking, “Someone should definitely get this.” The first episode, I was thinking there’s no way anyone’s ever going to guess me.” The guesses were Monica Lewinsky, Marla Maples, they were pretty far-removed from who I am. But then after tonight’s episode, I just remember thinking, “If they don’t guess me now, then they’ll never guess me.”
Who knew you were doing this? Have you heard from anyone guessing it’s you?
I didn’t tell anyone except my husband. When we sat down and watched last week, my 5-year-old was with me and I showed her, “That’s me on the stage.” But then we went out to the grocery store the next day, and my sweet little girl, she’s like “Have you seen my mom on TV before?” to the person standing in the checkout line, and I was just like, “No, please don’t say that.” But no, nobody has guessed it’s me that’s family and friends.
What are you going to take away from this experience? Is dancing something you’re looking to do more?
Overall, I look at it as something I’m so glad I did. It was so fun. I got to meet some amazingly kind and talented people. It pushed me far, far outside of my comfort zone, and going back and watching the episodes, it does make me want to try dancing. Now the question is, can I get my husband to come join me? I guess I have to work on him a while.
The Masked Dancer, Wednesdays, 8/7c, Fox