Amber Riley and Wilson Phillips have officially been unmasked.
The season finale of “The Masked Singer” aired Wednesday night and the identity of the winner was finally revealed. The Lambs, who took home second place, turned out to be the band Wilson Phillips made up of Carnie and Wendy Wilson and Chynna Phillips. Meanwhile, the season’s big winner, Harp, was revealed to be Riley.
“I’ve always been a big fan of the show, so from jump I really wanted to do it, because everyone that went on there just talked about how much fun they had and how much they enjoyed it,” Riley told Fox News Digital. “I had a ball doing that show and the journey was a more emotional one than I actually thought that it was going to be.”
Carnie and Wendy had a blast as well, with Wendy calling the experience a “roller coaster” but that at the end of the day it turned out to be “the best experience ever.” Carnie explained to Fox News Digital “being on the stage in that costume with that mask on and the weight of it” was “surreal,” saying that with everything going on, “every performance was as exhilarating as the last one.”
It was hard for everyone involved to keep their participation on the show a secret, with Riley saying it “was pretty hard” to “win and have that huge moment” only to come back home and have to “pretend it didn’t happen.” Carnie and Wendy also found it challenging, especially when people would confront them with their guesses.
“You signed the NDA, and then those people that are like really kind of bold, they’re like, ‘I know it’s you’ and I have to go, ‘Well, you’ll just have to see about that’ or ‘How’s the weather?’ I mean whatever it was I did to divert the conversation,” Carnie told Fox News Digital. “Last night, I felt like I was vomiting. Pictures from behind the scenes and I could finally post stuff and let it all out. Let it all out, like, yeah, I yes, it was us.
Riley, Carnie and Wendy all had different experiences when it came to wearing the actual costumes they were performing in. The Wilson Phillips members found the costumes very difficult to perform in, saying they were very heavy, left them with little vision and that it was hard to breathe in the costumes. They went on to say “they never had us in the costumes for more than 30 minutes, so “it was doable.”
Riley’s experience, however, differed, saying that “it wasn’t as bad as people thought that it would be,” but the mask was difficult because she would get “claustrophobic.” She also had to get used to singing with a screen in front of her face. Overall, Riley loved it though.
“I really loved it. When they showed me the design first, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, this is beautiful,’ and then I saw it in person and I was like, ‘Wow, this is, like, better than I really even imagined,'” Riley said. “Every time I put it on, I felt like I was going to like the Met Gala or something. It was such a beautifully constructed costume.”
When it comes to the judges’ reactions once they were unmasked, Wendy said it was “heartwarming because they were happy it was us” and that they think the judges knew it was them the whole time, despite Jenny McCarthy guessing they were The Chicks, a comparison they weren’t mad at.
For Riley, getting validation from the judges was very encouraging, calling their comments very kind and “more than I can even ask for.” She added Nicole Scherzinger specifically told her she should feel validated.
“They talked about my voice and what it is that I did the whole entire season, and I just felt like, wow, like I finally am looking up and seeing my whole entire career that I’ve had and receiving my flowers,” Riley said. “That’s not something that I do often, or I don’t think anyone really does often. We kind of just put our head down, and we work. So, that was the moment for me to kind of lift my head up and be like, ‘Wow, what I did is pretty cool.’”
Riley continued: “This experience really has refueled me. I got to, you know, go out on stage and sing without anybody knowing who I am. That means no preconceived notions. That means no ideas in their heads about who I was, what my gifts can do and people got to listen to me with new ears and see me through a brand-new lens. I got to go out there with no pressure and just say, ‘Hey, this is my talent, listen, and hopefully you love it.’ I think I’m going to take that validation with me throughout the rest of my career.”
As far as “The Masked Singer” and “Glee” are concerned, Riley said “there is no comparison” and that “this was this light work compared to ‘Glee.'”
“Everything that I did on on on ‘Glee’ like that was like the hardest thing that I’ve ever done in my career. I’ve never been more tired,” Riley explained. “It was such a hard show. We literally put on many Broadway shows every season, every episode. It was such a great training ground.”
Wilson Phillips agrees there is a big difference between performing on “The Masked Singer” vs. performing on stage at one of their concerts.
“Well, you’ve got so many more elements going on with this show that you have to think about at once. When you’re in a regular concert, the only thing you’re really thinking about is your pitch. I don’t really have choreography in our shows,” Wendy said. “I just think it’s like the whole package, and it gives you respect for people who [do] dancing, singing, acting and all of those things at once.”
Carnie agreed, saying, “it really is remarkable” what artists like Lizzo, Pink and Lady Gaga are able to do when on stage. She explains they have “always relied on our instrument, which is our singing, our voices,” saying she believes the harmony between the three of them is what helped them get so far in the show.
As far as what comes next for Wilson Phillips, Wendy and Carnie say they are “hoping to do some original music,” but in the meantime, they just released a cover of Harry Styles’ “Boyfriends” they hope he will one day listen to.
Riley is also staying busy, having just completed a docuseries titled “The Black Beauty Effect,” which focuses on Black entrepreneurs who disrupted the beauty industry by creating skin, makeup and hair products that come in the proper shades and can manage various hair textures.
“People like Rihanna, who went from music into the beauty industry and tore it up, it’s giving them their flowers and talking about our journey,” Riley said. “It’s a journey of triumph, and it’s really, really inspiring. It’s a tear-jerker, but it’s also just funny, and at the same time, some great stories are being told. I’m also working on my second EP. My first EP really came out in 2020, so my second EP will be coming out next year, and I’m really excited for everybody to hear the music.”