The Masked Singer said goodbye to Broccoli on its special Thanksgiving episode, revealing rock and roll legend Paul Anka behind the green veggie mask. The 79-year-old said he's thankful for his time on the hit reality show as it was the perfect creative outlet for him while he records his latest album during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I was really locked in a studio and with COVID-19, not socializing or getting out, obviously," he told Variety upon his unmasking. "Once I talked to my son and my girlfriend and then some people in my staff, I said, yeah, I got to get out of here and I think it'd be a lot of fun."
Anka's big reveal was somewhat of a surprise for viewers and judges, as Robin Thicke was the only panelist to guess his identity correctly. Thicke credited his Canadian heritage with nailing Brocooli's identity. "It's a pretty close-knit community," Anka said of Canadians in the entertainment industry. "There was a lot of diversity in who they guessed, from Bill Murray to Wayne Newton. I suspected Robin would [figure it out] because I wasn't really changing my voice that much, other than I was doing a lot of movement. I don't really suspect a lot of people watching or even on the panel have ever seen me in person other than maybe Robin."
As for the other panelists, Nicole Scherzinger guessed Wayne Newton, Ken Jeong guessed Ringo Starr, Jenny McCarthy guessed Neil Sedaka and guest panelist Jay Pharoah thought it might be Paul Simon. Thick was sure Broccoli's mention of "The Big Cheese" in his clue package was a reference to Frank Sinatra, as Anka wrote Sinatra's hit "My Way."
As Broccoli, Anka sang "Old Time Rock & Roll" by Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band; "House Is Rockin' / Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jerry Lee Lewis; and "Hello" by Lionel Richie. "That was the point, to have fun and a lot of movement," he said of his uptempo songs. "By putting the energy and songs I don't normally do, I felt it could throw them a little bit."
But why the Broccoli costume? Anka said he chose it because he's a "health nut." "I was going with the flow, I don't exist with expectations, most things in life," he said. "So I was just going along with the flow of it. I think I went further than I thought I would, frankly. I wasn’t really ready to be in a costume for three weeks, but those costumes are amazing. I think the big turn on for a lot of fans is those costumes are unbelievable."0comments
A common gripe among Masked Singer contestants is the bulky and hot costumes; Anka was no exception, saying it took a bit of getting used to. "I'm a guy that's old school in the sense that there's no tricks," he said. "I don't have in-ears and I work a certain way. And I come from the Rat Pack group and we had certain execution when we sing. But once you get in a suit, that's not really fitting you in a form of normality, and then the heat, and then the visual's very tough because of the screen. And then you've got a hand that's five times the size of yours. But once you get past the first [performance], and the heaviness of everything, then you just deal with it, you apply yourself and do it."
Anka was just the latest big name to take his bow on The Masked Singer. Previously unmasked celebrities have been Lonzo Ball (Whatchamacallit), “Dr. Elvis” Francois (Serpent), Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black (Snow Owls), Bob Saget (Squiggly Monster), Wendy Williams (Lips), Mark Sanchez (Baby Alien), Brian Austin Green (Giraffe), Mickey Rourke (Gremlin) and Busta Rhymes (Dragon). Heading into the final six are Crocodile, Mushroom, Jellyfish, Popcorn, Sun and Seahorse. The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays on Fox at 8 p.m. ET.