Knight Talks ‘Masked Singer’ Exit, Calls Costume ‘Murderous’ & Stands By ‘Signature’ Delivery

Spoiler alert: This story contains information about contestants eliminated on Wednesday’s (Sept. 21) episode of The Masked Singer.

Not everyone who appears on The Masked Singer are known for their vocal chops. In fact, the hit costumed Fox reality singing show is known for throwing some decidedly vocally challenged underdogs onto the stage. That’s why the season 8 premiere on Wednesday night was a classic mix of perfect ‘fits and puttin’ on the ritz.

As a part of new formatwhere only one contestant advances from each episode, the “Royal” season opener kicked off with Harp royally romping through P!nk’s “Perfect,” followed by Hedgehog, who kindly kicked up to The Beatles’ “Love Me Do.”



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The Brilliantly Colored Hummingbird did a decent job on Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Want to Be,” but it was the Salty Knight that really got the judges panel – Robin ThickeJenny McCarthy Wahlberg, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger — out of their seats, thanks to his royally weird antics.

Although it is sometimes difficult to make out who is underneath the complicated set-ups, anyone who has watched television or been to a movie theater in the last 50 years would immediately know who the man was behind the crooked, more spoken-than-sung rendition of Fred Astaire‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’. Riding a golden goose and barely moving around the stage, the armored crooner joked that he had endured the hosting gig, said he had worked in TV and film – as well as Star warsGeorge Lucas – and was on several walks of fame. Oh, and he has released albums, although you might wonder where in the universe that was based on his unique vocal delivery.

Could… it… be… why he was 91 years old of course Star Trek legend William Shatnerwho is known for his halting, acting recordings of rock classics such as “Lucy in the sky with diamonds“and”Rocket man,” not to mention a no. 1 album on Billboard’s Blues album chart with the 2020s The Blues and a No. 16 place on Top holiday album chart in 2018 with Shatner Clause: The Christmas Album. While the judges guessed everyone from Warren Beatty to a “male version of Betty White,” Jerry Springer and the still-always-wrong Jeong were certain it was uber-thespian David Hasselhoff, in the end it was William Shatner (aka Star Trek‘s Captain James T. Kirk) under the unwieldy helmet.

The always busy Shatner – who fervently plugged new episodes of The inexplicable on the History Channel from Oct. 7 as he works on a new autobiographical documentary with Legion M, a series of Shatner NFTs in collaboration with Orange Comet, due out in November, and the upcoming memoir Go boldly — teleported before his elimination to talk to Billboard about his vocal chops, the warning he got from a former Masked contestant and why he kept trying to pick a fight with host Nick Cannon.

Check out our chat below:

I’m always curious as to why people choose the costumes they do. So what was the idea behind the Knight and what was it like in there?

I don’t know if logic even comes into it, but perhaps silly is the apt word. In the past they have asked me [to appear on the show] and this time, knowing I had a lot of stuff coming, I wanted to do it to publish [those projects]plus it’s a very popular show so how could I deny it?

It seemed like you had a little trouble moving around in that setup.

I think if you had been an Olympic athlete in your prime and you put that costume on, you would have been as sore and as awkward as I was! It was killer! I know an athlete who was on the show and he said it was the worst thing that ever happened to him. Worse things have happened. I almost drowned once and I got off a horse that pulled me, it was worse. The fun of the show for the people watching, this wardrobe that you put on is this incredibly awkward, deadly costume that in my case I couldn’t see, I couldn’t hear, I couldn’t breathe. And my breath misted up my mask. It was a testament to my strength, resourcefulness and perseverance.

It sounds like a lot Star Trek-y…

See? It all combines. It all vibrates together! Which is the subject of my book, Go boldly.

Why the Fred Astaire song?

First of all because it’s a good song. The rhyme and the syncopation… it’s a really clever song and I really enjoyed learning how to do it. There I was doing Fred Astaire and thinking, “this is pretty cool.” Then I put on the wardrobe and I can’t move and I can’t see, so everything I had planned performance-wise went out the window. If I could have crossed my fingers, I would have.

Why is this showing now? Have you seen it before?

I caught a glimpse of it. Like I say, my friend who was on the show, when they asked me to be on, I was talking to him and I said, “how did it go?” And he said, “The worst thing I’ve ever done. The worst experience I’ve ever had.”

So of course you thought, “I’m in!”

Well, what does he know? He is an athlete, he is not a performer.

With great respect, I would say that you are known for…let’s call it your unique vocal delivery. And it didn’t seem like you were trying to mask it on the show at all.

That’s my signature. That’s what the track lends itself to – that pattern – and the lyrics are clever enough to warrant a listen.

You’ve done it before on “Lucy” and “Rocket Man,” so I’m curious where that signature chatty singing style comes from? It almost feels like an extension of Captain Kirk in a way.

Well, it’s not Captain Kirk, but it’s poetic, I hope. I can’t sing and I love music and long to make music. Even on Billboardmy Christmas album went to No. 1 [No. 18, but who are we to argue with Lt. Kirk?], my blues album went No. 1. I’m starting to get an idea of ​​how to do that. It started slowly over the years and I’ve gotten more knowledgeable and had some success doing it. Coincided with Ben Folds, which I did one [2004] album called Has beenwhich was very successful and so the non-coincidental – which is what Go boldly, the book, is about – is that Ben Folds ends up being the artistic director of the Kennedy Center. And he invited me to perform and I had all these songs that I had written with Robert Sharenow for an album called Bill… we had these 20 songs ready to go, so Ben asked me, “do you want to do them at the Kennedy Center?” [An audio and video performance from April 2022 with the National Symphony Orchestra with Folds will be released later this year.]

Nicole said your performance was “a vibe” and she said she wanted to squeeze your thighs. How did it make you feel?

Squeeze my thighs? I thought she said she was “full of sighs.” Well, I don’t know why she didn’t offer what I needed to be squeezed at various times over the past few weeks.

Why did you keep attacking Nick Cannon? Was it planned?

He is just very attackable!

Were you offended by the Betty White comparison?

Well, she’s dead!

But she lived to be 99, that’s not too shabby.

But she’s dead!

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