JoJo Siwa can finally reveal the truth to her fans: Yes, the T-Rex on “The Masked Singer” was her. Plenty of viewers had figured it out — but per the rules of the show, the YouTube and Nickelodeon star had to keep her lips sealed.
“I think the hardest thing was the secrecy from my people and my friends,” Siwa told Variety. “The hard thing was social media. ‘The Masked Singer’ on social media, whomever runs the page is amazing. They’ll tweet and ask, ‘Do you think T-Rex is JoJo Siwa’ and they’ll tag me, ‘@JoJoSiwa, what do you think? Is it you?’ And you can’t like it, you can’t do anything. So that made it hard. And also, I film my life every single day and I’m posting online every single day. So to not post about this was so weird. I wanted to post, obviously.”
Making it doubly unusual: One of “The Masked Singer” dancers also works as a backup dancer for Siwa, who went on tour last year.
“But she didn’t know who it was, since you can’t know,” Siwa said. “I think after she heard me sing and saw me dance she my have figured it out, but we never talked about it because you can’t. I’m excited tonight to be able to text her and say it was me! We worked together for three weeks and it was fun!”
For her third appearance, Siwa-as-T-Rex performed “Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny),” by A.R. Rahman and the Pussycat Dolls (coincidentally, ‘Masked Singer’ panelist Nicole Scherzinger wrote part of that song as a member of the Dolls). In previous weeks she performed “So What,” by Pink, and “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa.
Ultimately, Scherzinger, Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg and Robin Thicke figured out it was Siwa, while Ken Jeong guessed Liza Koshy and guest panelist Will Arnett thought it was Tara Lipinski. In previous weeks the panelists also guessed Kourtney Kardashian, Maddie Ziegler, Rebecca Black, Lily Singh, and Mikaela Shiffrin.
“I have a really recognizable voice,” Siwa said. “And no one quite uses energy in their performance like I use energy, so I knew people were going to guess me. It was just a matter of how quickly they were going to guess me. It’s fun to be guessed.”
Siwa said she didn’t hesitate to join the show when she was approached: “I think if anybody was asked to do ‘The Masked Singer’ they’d be crazy to say ‘no’ to it,” she said. “I knew it was going to be fun before I did it, so as soon as I got the opportunity, I was like, ‘yes.'”
Siwa wanted to be a dinosaur on the show before she even joined, but didn’t tell the producers or costume designers. When they approached her with the T-Rex as one of her costume possibilities, she said it was an easy pick — even if the costume was a bit cumbersome.
“It was definitely hard and definitely tiring and the costume was tiring,” she said. “It definitely was tricky, it was about figuring it out. The tail was complicated and caused quite a bit of trouble. But aside from the tail, it was just really heavy and hot.”
Siwa was the third star to be kicked off in Group C, the final of three groups of six celebrities (making 18 total) competing in this year’s competition. Her exit this season follows Lil Wayne, Drew Carey, Chaka Khan, Tony Hawk, Dionne Warwick, Tom Bergeron, Sarah Palin and Bella Thorne.
Now that the Group C championships are over, next week kicks off the second phase of Season 3, with the final nine going at it: White Tiger, Turtle, Kangaroo, Frog, Kitty, Banana, Rhino, Astronaut and Night Angel.
Here’s a recap of the other contestants and their performances on Wednesday:
Song: “Shout!” by the Isley Brothers
Voice-over: “Becoming the Night Angel has been so therapeutic. I’ve been doing this since I was a teen, but I never felt free as I do under this mask. Here’s a friend from high school to tell you a little more about those early days.”
Night Angel’s friend: >: Night Angel always had to juggle school with chasing her dream. So she missed out on a lot. Like senior prom. But one thing she was determined not to miss was earning her diploma. Our graduation conflicted with a huge career opportunity for her. But she refused to miss that day that she worked so hard for. Because that’s just Night Angel. She stays true to herself despite the fame that has come her way.
Night Angel bonus clue: “Shhh… I’ve always had faith.”
Panel guesses: Taraji P. Henson, Janet Jackson, Mayim Bialik, Toni Braxton
Previous songs: “You Give Love a Bad Name,” by Bon Jovi; “Million Reasons,” by Lady Gaga
Previous panel guesses: Taylor Dayne, Monica, Lil Kim, Regina King, Jessica Simpson, Taraji P. Henson
Song: “Shape of You,” by Ed Sheeran
Voice-over: “When I started this journey, I never knew how at home I would feel in this space suit. It makes me kind of forget that I’m still only human. But here’s my bro pilot, who knows me better than anyone.”
Astronaut’s bro pilot: “Astronaut’s a great captain. He knows how to lead a crew. But sometimes he can be a total space cadet. One time in front of thousands of people, he took a huge nosedive and fell flat on his face. Anyone else would have said ‘bye bye bye’ and called it quits. But not our astro, he got right back up. No stumble can stop him from reaching for the moon. And the same goes for that golden mask.”
Astronaut bonus clue: “I’m all for horses.”
Panel guesses: Eddie Vedder, JC Chasez, Joseph Gordon-Leavitt
Previous songs: “You Say” by Lauren Daigle, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder
Previous panel guesses: Adam Devine, Josh Hutcherson, Lance Bass, Zac Efron, Donald Glover, Corey Feldman, Joseph Gordon-Leavitt
Song: “Tracks of My Tears,” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
Voice-over: “Despite rising to the top of my field, I’ve struggled with constant criticism. So, being here and receiving so much praise is beyond humbling. Few people have been by my side during the ups and downs quite like my college roommate.”
Rhino’s college roommate: “Rhino is the first person I met when I went to college. We both had never surfed before but wanted to check it out. We thought it would be a walk in the park. But when we hit the waves, we were terrible with it. For me, it was hopeless. But Rhino kept at it and became a beast out there. The babes couldn’t resist his sick moves. But, real talk, that’s just Rhino. When he wants to accomplish something, he’ll out work anybody. He might look like a tough beast, but trust me, he’s a total softie who wears his heart on his sleeve. I know how important this is to him, so I hope he rides this wave all the way to the end.”
Rhino bonus clue: “I do not enjoy long walks by the water.”
Panel guesses: David Hasselhoff, Will Arnett, Will Ferrell
Previous songs: “Have a Little Faith in Me,” by John Hiatt; “Nice to Meet Ya,” by Niall Horan
Previous panel guesses: Jason Aldean, Tim Tebow, Tim McGraw, Chris Pratt, Ryan Lochte