The Masked Singer sent home two celebrities Wednesday night during the second season's semifinals, putting an end to the Thingamajig and Leopard's runs. Fans were shocked to see Indiana Pacers player Victor Oladipo behind the Thingamajig mask, but even more surprised to see four-time Grammy winner Seal as the Leopard.
Seal's version of "Big Spender" by Shirley Bassey wasn't enough to send him to next week's finale, something he was disappointed by.
"All truth be told, I'm feeling a little sad going home tonight," he admitted after being unmasked. "I had hoped to make it to the finale, but all good things come to an end."
He added that he had a "wonderful time" on the wacky reality competition, despite consistently appearing in the bottom two, having to fight his way to the semifinals. He said he decided to join the series because of his four kids at home are "fans of the show."
The Masked Singer showrunner and executive producer Izzie Pick Ibarra told Variety that even Seal's kids didn't know that he was behind the Leopard mask. "Leopard wanted to do the show because he wanted to surprise his kids. They still didn’t know that he was on when the episode reveal aired," Ibarra said.
"He did the whole thing to surprise his kids and make them laugh," she continued. "I really wanted to send a camera, the moment that his kids see that it’s him, but we couldn’t, unfortunately, for various reasons."
Ibarra explained that the process of concealing the singer's identities begins with producers asking the celebrities for a list of every person they want to tell about their involvement before filming begins; those few people are then giving nondisclosure agreements and sworn to secrecy.
"No one else is allowed, unless they've been pre-approved with an NDA, so it's not like they can bring people in and out of the production," Ibarra explained.
"We encourage them to not tell as many people as they can. We tell them not to tell their kids a lot because it’s hard for kids to keep secrets, and it’s not really fair of them, obviously — when you are 7 or 8 years old, you don’t necessarily understand not telling people something," she said.
As far as Seal's whimsical and flamboyant character he took on throughout the show, he said, "I couldn’t really break character because, number one, I’d look ridiculous being Seal and being serious in this outfit, and number two, it was just such a kind of rare opportunity to have fun with it and to be something completely different and outside the realms of what I do on a day to day basis."