‘The Masked Dancer’s Exotic Bird on Her ‘Full-Circle Moment’ With Paula Abdul
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Episode 6 of The Masked Dancer, “Top Five — Mask the Night Away!”]
The circle is closed for Exotic Bird.
The Top Five on The Masked Dancer take the stage again in the February 3 episode, and while Zebra, Sloth, Tulip, and Cotton Candy are continuing on, the celebrity who danced to panelist Paula Abdul‘s “Opposites Attract” is heading home. And when she unmasks, it turns out Abdul guessed right: American Idol winner and singer-songwriter Jordin Sparks. (Abdul was a judge in her season of Idol.)
“I realized I can do anything I put my mind to. That’s an encouraging and beautiful thing to feel when you’ve looked at something as ‘I wish I could do that,'” Sparks tells TV Insider of her time on the show. “Now I did the show, it’s ‘I did that.'”
The talented artist under the Exotic Bird mask discusses dancing, her “full-circle moment” with Abdul, and more below.
You said you’ve been made fun of for your dancing in your clues, so was wanting to prove yourself a factor in saying yes to Dancer?
Jordin Sparks: It was about proving to myself I could do it. I’ve always enjoyed dancing. Any time music comes on, I can’t help but move, but I also love going to a club every once in a blue moon and dancing the night away. It was nice to be up there and be free. Behind that mask, nobody knew who I was and I could just go out there and do what I wanted to do and not have to worry about people automatically assuming something.
What jumped out at you about the Exotic Bird and the colorful costume itself that made it the right one for you?
I loved it. All of the colors were my favorite — orange, purple, hot pink, that really pretty deep blue. As soon as you saw the costume, you knew it was about to be fun because it was so bright. That’s definitely my personality. I love bright things. I’m very smiley and have a funny disposition. Every time I looked at it, I was ready to get into it.
Did you have any input on the dances?
There was a skeleton of the routine and then I would figure out how it felt in my body and if there were things I could do or couldn’t do. If something wasn’t feeling right, we would modify it. It was really fun and it was a relief to be able to know the choreographers were there to help us be the best that we could. Dancing with the mask is really nerve-wracking because you’re worried about your actual vision. The choreography was the least of my worries. I was more scared about my head being too heavy. [Laughs]
What went into the decision to dance to a Paula Abdul song?
When they told me we were going to be doing her song, I was very, very excited. You can’t help but groove when “Opposites Attract” cones on. I love Paula and it was amazing to know she was going to be one of the panelists. I didn’t know until I started rehearsals. I was like, “I cannot believe this is happening again!” When they told me about “Opposites Attract,” it was a really cool full-circle moment for me to be able to dance to her song and her being out there. She’d already guessed me a couple episodes ago and I had a feeling she was going to know it was me. I was happy when she [did]. I felt like, “We have that bond.”
Were you ever contacted to do The Masked Singer?
No. It’s been cool to watch and guess along with my friends who aren’t on there. Last season, a couple of my friends were convinced it was me and I couldn’t say anything because I didn’t want to give it away. It actually was Tori Kelly [as the Seahorse], which was hilarious. We’ve been friends for a long time. I do think people would have expected me to do that over Dancer — I haven’t gotten as many texts from people guessing me on it as Singer — so when Dancer approached me, it took me a second to say yes because I was nervous — it’s so outside my element — but once I dove in head first, I really enjoyed my time.
You won American Idol, which is a very different show from The Masked Dancer.
It would be nice if we could just do all these shows with masks on because I had no idea who else was on the show except for the ones that have been revealed. It takes the pressure and comparison away. It was awesome because backstage they had us thinking about our own performances and not so much anybody else’s. We didn’t know who anybody was and weren’t in anybody else’s rehearsals. We couldn’t talk because it would give it away.
The Masked Dancer, Wednesdays, 8/7c, Fox