Masked Singer a ‘nightmare’ for Gretel
Author, commentator and former Big Brother host Gretel Killeen is the first celebrity to exit The Masked Singer - but don't feel sorry for her.
Killeen told news.com.au today she was quite relieved to be sent packing after a filming experience that at times felt like a "nightmare."
The well-known Aussie held her own during last night's The Masked Singer premiere, performing a sultry slowed-down cover of the Irene Cara classic Fame, all while dressed as an octopus.
A reality TV veteran thanks to her years hosting Big Brother, Killeen said it was an odd experience taking on the role of contestant for the first time.
"It was really weird. And it's my nature to want to take control, so it was a bit frustrating for a character like mine," she told news.com.au.
Killeen said she felt "completely powerless" in her octopus costume, unable to see the audience, walk properly or see where she was going.
"It was vulnerable on every level. And of course, you don't just get up and start singing; it takes years to hone, like any skill. You can hear in my voice - this little nervous budgerigar!
"Your voice reveals every emotion. I thought, 'Well, you either do this or you don't, my friend,' so I just banged on with it, but I was vulnerable throughout the whole thing," she said.
The show's extreme security measures - in place to prevent the contestants' true identities leaking - also made Killeen's short stint as an octopus rather a lonely experience.
"I can't go into detail about the security, but you're not allowed to talk to anyone. You're completely and utterly covered at all times. You're not allowed to tell the people in your life. When you're in there, nobody sees you uncovered except for a tiny little group who help you get your costume on. But even the other people on set don't know who you are," she said.
"It's incredibly secretive - and for someone who loves a chat, the idea you couldn't talk for a whole day was a nightmare. So when I was the first one out, I thought 'Oh, good.' I was lonely! The octopus wanted to have a chat," she laughed.
Still, Killeen said she was pleased with her one-episode stint as a singing octopus.
"Really, you would not expect me to be doing something like that, because I am not a singer by ANY means. I'm a good singer for a writer. It's kind of like if an ostrich flew - you'd go, 'Oh, that's pretty amazing … for an ostrich'."
"Honestly, I was thrilled to bits to do it - and then thrilled to bits to get on with my life."
Killeen was one of the harder to pick contestants during last night's finale - across social media, viewers seemed to be in overwhelming consensus about the true identities of several of the other masked singers, with most picking the Unicorn as Deni Hines, the Alien as Nikki Webster, the Wolf as Rob Mills and the Robot as Cody Simpson. However, some mystery still surrounds the true identity of the Prawn.
The show was a ratings hit last night, averaging 1.162 million viewers across five cities, and 1.562 nationally.
The Masked Singer continues 7:30pm tonight on Ten.