Donnie Wahlberg pulled off one of the biggest surprises in Masked Singerhistory last week, and he wasn’t even a contestant! The unmasking left his wife, panelist Jenny McCarthy, in complete shock, and the couple are opening up to ET about how it call came together — and how McCarthy didn’t know her own husband’s voice.
“There are a lot of things that you have to put in place before you judge me,” McCarthy told ET’s Kevin Frazier. “First is he tricked me! He would actually facetime me from the Masked Singer set dressed as [his Blue Bloods character] Danny Raegan and say, ‘I’m on set of Blue Bloods.'”
“Then he posted on Instagram a picture of him in New York,” she added. “So my brain is not thinking.”
During the semifinals last Wednesday, the a character named Cluedle-Doo — who looked like a giant, well-dressed rooster, and served as a sort of clue-master and antagonist to the panel throughout the season — delivered a surprising performance of “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison.
After the number, the panel — including McCarthy, Robin Thicke, Ken Jeong, Nicole Scherzinger and guest panelist Darius Rucker — all made their final guesses on who might be under the rooster mask. Not one of them guessed Wahlberg. However, McCarthy suggested Cluedle-Doo’s voice sounded like Akon.
Needless to say, she was more than a little embarrassed when it turned out to be her own husband under the costume.
According to Wahlberg, his wife was probably thrown because of how differently he danced as Cluedle-Doo than when he’s performing as himself.
“l couldn’t really move the way I like to move typically, on stage,” he shared. “Like, I did a little butt wiggle and got my hips going and stuff, but I had a little slight tear in my calf muscle from wearing those talons on my feet and tryna dance.”
“I also had a big tail that weighed about 10 pounds and a rooster head that weighed about another 25 pounds, so I don’t think my moves were as precise and quite the moves that she would recognize,” he added.
As for her Akon guess, McCarthy explained, “There’s a little bit of a tone [in his voice]! Also, when you’re sitting in the panel seat, the ambience, they kind of change the sound a little bit so that way it’s a little harder for us to guess.”
“I’ve worked with Akon, I am a huge fan of Akon’s, so it was the greatest compliment I could get,” Wahlberg chimed in. “One of the reasons I chose ‘Return of the Mack’ for the song is that I know that I could disguise my voice a little bit. And, you know, I spoke to Mark Morrison who recorded the song in the first place, and got his blessing and I said, ‘I’m just going to try to sound as much like you as I can.'”
According to Wahlberg, the season-long deception only worked because of their conflicting shooting schedules, which meant they were both shooting on opposite coasts — which provided the perfect cover for his lack of communication to not seem suspicious.
“We talk 24 hours a day, so when she was working and when I’m working, it gave me enough windows of time to sort of sneak around and do what I had to do,” he explained.
As for the reveal itself, McCarthy recalled, “I was waiting for when that rooster head came off and then I saw Donnie, and I was waiting for one of those James Bond-like Donnie masks to come off and for it to be another celebrity. Because there’s no way I thought it was him!”
“I lost my footing my knees started to buckle and I fell on the ground and I was shaking for about an hour” McCarthy recalled.
Now, The Masked Singer is gearing up for the big Season 5 finals, where The Chameleon, The Black Swan and The Piglet are all facing off for a big musical showdown to earn the Golden Mask trophy.
“I know every season we’re like, ‘It’s the most difficult finale ever!’ But it truly is. The three that are left are all professionals. Like, these are some iconic pros,” McCarthy shared.
Tune in to Wednesday’s Entertainment Tonight to hear more from McCarthy and Wahlberg on their unexpected Masked Singer surprise. Check here for local listings.
The Masked Singer season finale airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.
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