The artist formerly known as the Orca, a.k.a Mark McGrath, is speaking out after being unmasked on The Masked Singer Wednesday night. The Sugar Ray frontman is reflecting on his time at the Fox singing competition and told TheWrap that he didn't think for a minute that he would win the whole thing — saying that he doesn't even think of himself as a professional singer without using quotation marks around the word.
“I was supposed to do the show and initially I said no way. To be honest with you, it scared the heck out of me because it’s a singing competition,” McGrath said. “Now I know you’re saying, ironically, ‘But Mark, you’re a singer?’ Now, I use the word singer in quotation marks, always, when you refer to me. I have a tone, let’s say. You know, Bob Dylan has a tone. Anthony Kiedis has a tone. I’m not comparing myself to them, but there are people who have tones in this business that aren’t technically five-octave Mariah Carey singers.”
But eventually, McGrath said that he changed his mind and took a chance on doing the show. "How many times in your life do you have a chance to be challenged?" he said. "To scare yourself? And also be in a mask, and you have a chance to have some anonymity and maybe finesse your way a few inches in the show? Now, Mark McGrath was never going to win The Masked Singer, not in a million years. It's a singing competition — world-class singers win it, as they should. But Mark McGrath — and I don't know why I'm speaking in third person — but I certainly thought I could have a lot of un. It's one of my kids' favorite shows. And like I said, it scares me, it's a hurdle, it's a challenge."
He explained that he learned a long time ago how to use the tone of his voice to his advantage — specifically when his producer on Sugar Ray's "Fly" told him he's more musical in his speaking voice. "Our producer said to me, 'Listen, Mark, you don't have that great of a singing voice. You're musical in your speaking voice. So let's stay in that margin. If you do, I think we can sell 2 million copies of this single alone,'" McGrath recalled. "And I'll be darned, I listened to our producer and then it happened."
McGrath even said he lobbied to sing a Sugar Ray song on The Masked Singer — but was shut down by producers. "I said please. I begged them to do a Sugar Ray song. I beed them because no one had ever done it before," McGrath said, explaining that he heard Seal also tried to do the same thing when he competed on Season 2. "I said, 'Guys, please, I promise I can fool them. I know it.' They entertained the idea for a little bit but it slowly went away, along with some of my other bad ideas."
McGrath joins Kermit the Frog (Snail), Caitlyn Jenner (Phoenix), Danny Trejo (Raccoon), Logan Paul (Grandpa Monster), and Nick Cannon (Bulldog) as Season 5's eliminated contestants. You can watch The Masked Singer live on Fox on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET or the next day on Hulu.