Plus, why the Broadway actor and former boy bander feels the series is the best on TV.
Warning: This article contains spoilers from Wednesday night's episode of The Masked Singer.
The Masked Singer took a trip to funky town this week for Disco Night.
The mirrorballs, roller skates, and bell bottoms were out in full force for the evening, which was kicked off with a fitting performance of "Disco Inferno" by The Trammps. The episode also featured the first of three group final shenanigans for the season. As a reminder, each group final episode will feature two eliminations — one in the middle after each singer has sung their first song, and one after a final Battle Royale between the remaining two contestants to ultimately send one lucky remaining masked celeb to the finale. However, the panelists do have the opportunity in just one of the three group finals to save one contestant by using the Ding Dong Keep It On bell.
Disco Night was the first time we've seen Group A in quite some time, and S'more kicked things off with a choreo-heavy performance of “That’s the Way (I Like It)” by KC and the Sunshine Band, which was followed up with Cow's “Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward, and Gazelle's “On the Radio” by Donna Summer. Ultimately, it was S'more who got burned first.
All of the panelists leaned into the boy band vibes with their final guesses, which included Jordan Knight (Nicole Scherzinger's), AJ McLean (Ken Jeong's go-to), and Kevin Richardson (Robin Thicke's). But it was only Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg who successfully put all the clues together, and guessed former O-Town member, Wicked star, and health and wellness entrepreneur Ashley Parker Angel.
After saying sad goodbyes to the fan favorite, it was Gazelle and Cow's turn to battle it out in the, ahem, Battle Royale. Season 4's Popcorn, Taylor Dayne, returned to the Masked Singer stage to show them how a performance of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" should look, and then it was their turn to take a stab at it. In the end, Cow was determined the winner, but just before Gazelle could be unmasked, Jeong swooped in and saved her with the Ding Dong Keep It On bell, which is now unusable for the remainder of the season.
This means we'll see both Gazelle and Cow in the season 10 finale on Dec. 20, and next week will see Group B battle it out for their place in the final episode.
Before then, though, EW caught up with Angel to discuss his thoughts on the Wicked movie, his health and wellness company, why it was difficult being on stage with pal Lance Bass, and more.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why did you say yes to doing The Masked Singer?
ASHLEY PARKER ANGEL: I'm a huge fan of The Masked Singer and I've been addicted to watching it. Also, a lot of family and friends are obsessed with The Masked Singer, and I'd taken a break from performing for a little while and I actually passed on a lot of opportunities to do things. But being that I was such a fan of the show, it was the perfect thing at the perfect time and a great way to celebrate my past as a boy bander, as a Broadway performer. I honestly couldn't have thought of a better opportunity.
Does this mean we'll see you get back into performing more?
I love being a performer. It's always going to be a part of who I am. I'll never be able to, I think, fully step away from performing in some capacity, although I've been really focused on building my health and wellness company.
What would be a dream goal or dream project for you now, whether that's with your company or in the entertainment sphere?
I would say my dream goal is to come back as the S'more and make an encore performance at some point in an upcoming season. The S'more and I, we melted together, we became one, and it was so much fun. Honestly, I feel like it's the most fun I've ever had doing any production and entertainment. Everybody was so cool and the mystery of it makes it so exciting and I got to sing some of my favorite songs. They really work with you on helping you pick music you love, so I loved each one of the songs I got to do. But also I've been so excited to kind of start a new chapter — I was a live performer and primarily worked as an actor and singer for 20 years of my life. And then in the past five years I just kind of started this new path. And I think being a coach has been a calling. It's been something in me for a long time. I come from a family of teachers. My mom's a teacher, my brother's a teacher, and I've also had the opportunity to work with incredible coaches throughout the course of my entire entertainment career. And kind of taking all of that and now being a professional coach myself, it's just been super exciting for me to help people break through to the next level of success in their own lives and has been deeply rewarding and very satisfying for me on a human level. So I really love being a coach and really love what I've been focused on for the past couple of years.
How did you bring that experience of being a coach into your Masked Singer experience
Because I had stepped away from [performing] for so long, there was a lot of adrenaline, there was a lot of nerves, and a lot of what I teach as a coach is also mindfulness techniques, how to get centered, how to get balanced, and how to get into the present moment, which is really challenging when you're going live in front of a TV audience and you've got Robin and Jenny and Ken and Nicole and you're in this giant marshmallow costume. So a lot of what I teach people as a performance coach — you're spot on – they're tools that I used myself to really get back into the mode of being the S'more and bringing the best of myself as a performer.
What would we have seen from you in the finale, had you moved on?
I really wanted to do some alternative rock, and we had talked about doing Green Day next, and I was going to either do "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" or "When September Ends." Because when I went solo from O-Town, I did a solo album that was very kind of alternative pop-rock. So pop-rock's just always been something, like, not only was it the entire direction musically of my solo album, it's kind of naturally what I listen to a lot is pop-rock and alternative-rock. So that was what was going to be next was Green Day. So what I'm saying is, bring this S'more back for an encore at some point and let us do some Green Day. That would be so fun.
A lot of contestants do come back on the show in some capacity or other. Just look at Taylor Dayne in this episode!
Yeah, that would be so cool. That would be amazing. And when Lance Bass came out on stage during one of my clue packages, and we'd been in Hairspray the Musical together, we also have done voice acting together, but I couldn't, it was so hard... I wanted to tell him it was me, but you can't say anything. So it was just such a unique moment to have Lance on stage too. They do have some really fun people come back, so who knows? We'll see.
Are you going to reach out to Lance, now that you finally can?
I am going to have to send him a screenshot when I get unmasked. I'm going to send him a screenshot of him and I on stage together and I'm going to celebrate that moment. That was a really cool moment. But you're kind of like, it's just such an adrenaline rush, again, and people do start guessing you and you can't return people's text messages. You have to pretend that you just didn't get it.
As a Wicked alum, what are your thoughts on the forthcoming movie?
I can't wait. I've been waiting for so long for this, as we all have. I think the cast is fantastic and I love they're splitting it into two movies because Act I and Act II would be really hard to smash that into one movie. So I think it's really smart that they're splitting it up into two separate movies, and I can't wait.
What did you take away from your Masked Singer experience?
The opportunity to be on stage as a performer again in The Masked Singer was huge for me. And I feel like it was just a blessing and a privilege. I feel like the excitement of watching this unmasking or this reveal, I just can't wait to hear what people's thoughts are about the Disco Night performance because it's my favorite disco song, KC and the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way (I Like It)." I felt like it was the most amount of choreography I got to do. And my takeaway is just that everybody should be watching The Masked Singer because I think it's the best — I won't even say best reality show — I'm going to say best show. I think it's the best show, it's the most watchable show. Each season is so exciting because you don't know who the people are going to be, and that's what I would say: I think it's the best show on television.
Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.