The Masked Singer’s Anteater Is Revealed as Rock Icon: What Made Him ‘Really Afraid’ Onstage

Image Credit: FOX

Hall & Oates member John Oates was unmasked during the December 13 episode of The Masked Singer. The “Maneater” musician sang “Johnny B Goode” by Chuck Berry before his elimination. John, 75, was part of a double elimination, with Keyshia Cole being revealed as the Candelabra. Hollywood Life spoke exclusively with John about how he ended up on The Masked Singer.

“I was asked to do it, and I had a gap in my tour schedule,” John said. “I liked going to LA. I thought it was an excuse to hang out with some of my friends and do an interesting show. I really didn’t know what to expect, so I wanted to find out. We took some meetings, and the people were cool. To be honest with you. I didn’t like the Anteater costume when I first saw the drawings of it, but then I kind of put together that maybe it was a subtle clue to ‘Maneater.’ I thought, what the hell, I’ll just do it.”

The guitarist pointed out that he was actually a clue a few seasons back when Hayley Orrantia competed on The Masked Singer as the Ringmaster. “She asked me to be one of her clues, so I started watching the show when she asked me to do that,” he added. “I thought it was an amazing show. I mean, any show that’s on TV for 10 seasons with the amount of viewership it has is incredibly big. I thought, if I do a show like this, I can get a chance to talk about a lot of other things that I’m doing, get a chance to let people know that I have a whole other life. I do a lot of charity work, I’m releasing new music, all that kind of stuff. There was a little bit of an ulterior motive involved.”

(John D Shearer/Shutterstock)

John has been performing for decades, but he wasn’t totally prepared for The Masked Singer experience. He admitted that he didn’t realize “how hard it was to sing in that costume and do choreography when I couldn’t see out of the costume. It was crazy because I had to count my steps to walk around the stage. I actually couldn’t see where I was going. I thought I was going to fall off the stage at a few points. That was kind of the hard part.”

The musician explained rehearsals were totally different than when he performed for the cameras. “There are flashing strobe lights and confetti coming out of the ceiling, people screaming,” he said. “The audience is crazy loud. And then I couldn’t see, so I had to count my steps. I was really afraid I was going to walk off the stage.”

He continued, “The good part was that the production and the people involved were so great and so amazing. Everyone was super professional. They had their act together. Everything worked like clockwork. There wasn’t a lot of downtime. You went there, did your bit, and it was great.”

During his run on The Masked Singer, John sang a rendition of “I Want It That Way” by Backstreet Boys. John admitted that the song wasn’t really in his “wheelhouse as a singer. However, it was a good challenge for me to figure out how I could kind of make it my own, but not kind of spoil the original good vibe of that song.”

John Oates as Anteater. (FOX)

The Pennsylvania native has a new single coming out called “Get Your Smile On,” and he revealed the inspiration behind the track. “It’s a song I wrote during COVID when I really was trying to write something positive,” he told Hollywood Life. “I wasn’t leaving the house, so I wasn’t going to the recording studio. I did the whole song on my laptop. I recorded all the instruments and sang all the vocals. I was thinking about it like, well, it’s a cool demo that I did at home that one day maybe I’ll go into a recording studio and make a real record out of it. But the more I listened to it, it sounded really good. Recordings are a moment in time. They capture a moment in time. You remember where you were, the people you worked with the studio. For this song, I thought, this is like a moment in time. This is when I was stuck in the house. It’s COVID. But yet, it’s super positive.

He added, “We teamed up with Teen Cancer America, and we’re going to donate all the proceeds from the downloads of the song will go to Teen Cancer America. It’s a great organization with Roger Daltrey. I’m glad to be able to release a song like this that’s super positive.” For John, charity work is incredibly important to him in this stage of his life. “I think that’s something when you reach a certain place in your career it’s important to be aware of that and to do that. I’m all for it,” he said. The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays on FOX.

THE MASKED SINGER: Anonymouse. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. ©2023 FOX Media LLC.

THE MASKED SINGER: Royal Hen. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. ©2023 FOX Media LLC.


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