She may have stumped half of the panel all season but TRUE fans recognized her signature powerhouse voice behind the mask. The ‘Night Angel’ and winner of season three of ‘The Masked Singer’ is the incomparable, Kandi Burruss!
Watch her crowd-rousing performance of Tin Turner’s ‘River Deep,Mountain High’!
Burruss, whose music bona fides include being a part of the 1990s R&B group Xscape and writing hit songs including Destiny Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills” and TLC’s “No Scrubs,” has become the first female winner of “The Masked Singer.”
Burruss beat out two more celebrities unmasked on Wednesday night’s finale episode: Second place went to singer and actor Jesse McCartney, who had been costumed as the Turtle, while third place was hip-hop star Bow Wow.
“I got on here, I represented for the ladies, I won this thing, and so to me that’s even bigger for me to be able to say that,” Burruss told Variety. “I was the first woman to win ‘Masked Singer’!”
Burruss even went as far as faking a British accent through the competition to throw the show’s panelists off.
“I felt like my accent wasn’t too bad, but my voice when I sang really gave me away,” Burruss said. “The fans would listen to it, they would be like, ‘if you cannot tell that it’s Kandi, then I don’t know what’s wrong with you!’ I’d laugh because the fans totally knew it, but the judges didn’t know until I was a few episodes in. I honestly thought that Jenny would have picked me out from day one, and Robin,, because Robin had guessed my name on Season 1 and Season 2 for other people.”
Burruss said she couldn’t contain her laughter when McCarthy-Wahlberg first brought her name up, and Thicke dismissed it. “He’s like, ‘Oh, no it’s can’t be her!’ I died! I was like, did he just totally dismiss me? That was so funny to me.”
For the finale, Burruss sang “River Deep, Mountain High,” by Tina Turner, a performance that clinched her win. The singer said “The Masked Singer” gave her a renewed confidence in music and singing, partly because of the anonymity of performing under a mask.
“The best thing about performing in a costume, is that nobody is judging you from preconceived thoughts they had about you from anything else,” she said. “They’re only judging your voice and what they hear that night. Obviously being on a reality show like ‘Real Housewives,’ I get so many people that are like, ‘I like her’ or ‘I hate her.’ It’s no judgement based off of that. It is just totally what they thought of me in that moment.
“It’s not even judging me based off of what I’ve done before in my group or anything like that,” she added. “It’s just me and what they think of me as a vocalist. I had lost confidence in my voice. For a while I started feeling like, maybe people don’t really want to hear me sing. But to be able to do this and get so much positive feedback, it felt really good.”
At the same time, Burruss said it wasn’t easy under that massive Night Angel costume. “It was hot!” she exclaimed. “I was about to pass out the first time I tried it on. It was crazy. At first I didn’t know what to do.”
To train, Burruss ordered ski masks and hockey masks online and started practicing everyday with those on so she could get used to singing “with being hot and sweaty. Once I got used to it, it ended up being a great thing… Now I can stop hiding and dodging people’s phone calls when they ask me about the show. It’s always weird when everybody’s calling you and asking, hey is that you? Or sending me text messages. Even my fan pages they post videos about this show and I’m not responding. So I’m so glad that finally I can say something.” [Variety]
Watch the other finale reveals below.
For his finale song, Bow Wow performed “Bad Boy for Life,” by Black Rob, Mark Curry and P. Diddy. Thicke and Scherzinger knew it was Bow Wow, while Jeong guessed Kid Cudi and McCarthy-Wahlberg named Lil Romeo.
“It’s a big step because hopefully you’ve got guys like myself and Lil Wayne who opened up that floodgate for rappers to feel comfortable, so that if they are ever approached to do the Masked Singer, that now they’ll do it,” he said. “That’s the win that I’m taking from this whole ordeal is the fact that I made it that far.”
Congrats to Kandi and the finalist again! This show is a movement! We can hardly wait to see what heights they will climb for season 4!