The couple, who performed together as the Snow Owls, became the seventh elimination in Season 4, having performed “The Prayer,” by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion. (Scroll down to watch their unmasking below.)
Panelist Nicole Scherzinger was the only one to figure it out, naming the married couple as her pick.
“It took about three minutes to decide to do it,” said Black. “And then it was, ‘Oh my God what have we done?’ It starts to look like more than you can chew. We really didn’t have an idea just how challenging it would be. But it was fun. We’re glad we did it.”
Hartman Black said she was immediately drawn to the costume, two owls in a Faberge egg. But she and Black realized they’d have to learn how to operate it.
“On the first day on the set to see this egg and get inside the egg and see if we can operate it,” she said. “We had handbrakes and bars and I mean it was pretty intimidating… We tried to take little bitty steps and it had a mind of its own inside that egg. It didn’t want to go where we wanted it to go. I held Clint’s hand a lot, we kind of leaned on each other.”
The physical costumes also presented a challenge — “It’s like hot yoga without the yoga,” Black said — but Hartman Black was taken in by the design.
“When they walked in with these beautiful owls and I started to cry,” she said. “They were so beautiful. And then we put them on and it changed everything. Holy cow.”
Added Black: “My biggest concern was it was going to be weird, hard singing this way. But, you can hear the music really well. And I think that’s half of it. The producers, the engineers and music director they go to great lengths to make you comfortable and make sure you’re hearing what you need to hear.”
Had they continued in the contest, the couple planned to “hatch” and perform outside the egg next time. Instead, they left the egg before the panelists revealed their final guesses.
Black and Hartman Black said they were inspired by their time on “The Masked Singer” to record a new track, “Till The End of Time,” which will be released via streaming on Dec. 3.
“We thought for a minute afterwards, maybe we could record one of these songs that we did on the show,” Black said. “And I said, ‘Or I could write something.’ I’m banging my head against the wall for three days and thought I was gonna get nowhere and then on the fourth day. It started to happen and I wrote what I think is one of my best songs. It’s great to hear Lisa singing again. It’s not always easy to get her to record another song with me!”
Added Hartman Black: “It’s a goosebumps song, I call it.”
Black is also performing at Nashville’s Ryman, with Hartman Black as a special guest for part of the show. Their daughter Lily, who recently made her debut at the Grand Ol Opry, will also perform.
As for the other panelist guesses, Robin Thicke and Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg came close with Amy Grant and Vince Gill, while Ken Jeong went with a joke guess: Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman. Guest panelist Niecy Nash chose Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna.
New this season, the show’s panelists are also competing for a “Golden Ear” trophy based on their first impressions of each masked performer — and going into the episode, McCarthy Wahlberg was in the lead with three, while Thicke and Scherzinger had two points each, and Jeong so far had zero.
Thicke’s first impression was also Amy Grant and Vince Gill; McCarthy Wahlberg went with Maureen McCormick and Barry Williams; Jeong chose Derek Hough and Julianne Hough; Scherzinger chose Donnie Osmond and Marie Osmond. No one picked up another point.
This season’s costumes include Baby Alien, Crocodile, Broccoli, Gremlin, Mushroom, Jellyfish, Whatchamacalit, Lips, Squiggly Monster, Popcorn, Sun, Dragon, Giraffe, Seahorse, Snow Owls and Serpent.
Previously unmasked have been Bob Saget (Squiggly Monster), Wendy Williams (Lips), Mark Sanchez (Baby Alien), Brian Austin Green (Giraffe), Mickey Rourke (Gremlin) and Busta Rhymes (Dragon).
Sun, Popcorn and the Snow Owls opened the “Group A Finals — The Masked Frontier” by performing Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” as a group. The Sun won the night, moving straight to the next round — leading to a Smackdown round between Snow Owls and Popcorn.
The Snow Owls kicked off the Smackdown with “Because You Loved Me,” by Celine Dion. Popcorn then performed “(Everything I Do) I Do For You,” by Bryan Adams.
Here were the other contestants and their performances on night seven:
Song: “Piece of My Heat,” by Janis Joplin
Panel guesses: Katharine McPhee, Jewel, Demi Lovato
Friend clue: “The Sun is actually golden. She has at least one single that was certified gold.”
Friend voice-over: “Like so many people, the last few months of isolation have been challenging for me and Sun. We tried to make the most of our unexpected time off by taking our RV on road trips. Though I’m always wasting fuel blasting the AC because she’s always so dang hot! We realized we don’t need much to be happy, we just need each other. But I know Sun misses entertaining people. She’s never taken this long of a break from spreading her light to the rest of the world.”
Previous songs: “Cuz I Love You,” by Lizzo; “Praying,” by Kesha
Previous panel guesses: Katharine McPhee, Demi Lovato, Madonna, Mandy Moore, Katharine McPhee, Carrie Underwood
Song: “Domino,” by Jessie J
Panel guesses: Taylor Dayne, Cyndi Lauper, Anita Baker, Anika Noni Rose
Friend clue: “To my friends up there, not only have I been here before, but in the show’s history, one of you have guessed Popcorn.”
Friend voice-over: “I know Popcorn through a mutual friend. Technically, a queen associate. I don’t have to tell you, my BFF has an amazing voice. But I can never get her to sing at my famous karaoke parties. Such a royal pain. At least she’s singing for you all here, on a stage I’ve been on before. Now everyone can revel in her majesty. Popcorn, I’m always in your court.”
Previous songs: “What About Us,” by Pink; “Falling,” by Harry Styles
Previous guesses: Tina Turner, Carole Baskin, Mary J. Blige, Gloria Gaynor, Katy Perry, Vanessa Williams
Here is video of the Snow Owls’ unmasking: