Taylor Hicks has always looked like a natural look for “The Masked Singer”, a FOX reality show featuring celebrities performing in elaborate costumes.
Hicks – an Alabama native, country-soul singer and “American Idol” winner – has yet to compete in that TV series. But he made his “Masked Singer” debut on Friday, courtesy of the national tour. Hicks, 45, was unmasked during a tour stop at the Orpheum Theater Memphis, after acting as the character of Boom Boom Box.
Several well-known guests have already turned up at tour stops and adopted this particular character. Clues to each celebrity’s identity are provided in advance on social media accounts for the tour.
Watch Hicks’ actions and unmasking in the video below.
The “Masked Singer” tour featured Hicks’ guest appearance via Instagram on Saturday, saying that his performance “dropped the house in Memphis”.
Hicks also referred to his guest post on Twitter, posting a photo and a message saying, “Get it in #Memphis. @Masked SingerFOX.”
Hicks chose to sing a Garth Brooks hit, “Friend in Low Places,” for the show in Memphis.
“It was either that or ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ by Britney Spears,” Hicks said, laughing during a phone interview with AL.com. “It was just a fun summer show. I seized the opportunity – a big hit, a fun look and no strings attached. “
The Boom Boom Box costume was “super hot” and cumbersome to wear, Hicks said. But he has experience with such things and has remained fearless through the outfit.
“It was very similar to the Easter Bunny costume I wore at Century Plaza in the early ’90s,” Hicks said, referring to a pre-fame job in Birmingham that appeared on “Idol” in 2006. “My performance as the Easter Bunny was much more difficult.”
As you might expect, Hicks’ clue on the “Masked Singer” tour’s social media made reference to his “Idol” past. It said:
“I can not tell you how excited I am to see you all tonight. Being on stage, I feel most at home, and singing to you all is my happy place. There is nothing better. And even though I know a thing or two about winning, tonight is just really about having an amazing time!
“Today Boom Boom Box has become my idol. I feel like the stars are in line tonight and together we go magic on stage! And ohhh there are going to be surprises, so if I were you I would not even miss 5 seconds … because here on the Masked Singer Tour you never know what to expect!
“If you see me later, make sure to say hello, but if we do not get a chance to meet, catch me out of the way. I always crave a good time!
“All right, I better warm up. See you all soon! ”
Hicks said he would appear at the “Masked Singer” tour stop in Huntsville on Thursday, but that was contrary to his performance at the opening ceremony of the World Games in Birmingham. His guest place was therefore moved to Friday in Memphis.
“What’s great is that we were able to record an harmonica as a clue (for the show),” Hicks said. “I thought it was fun.”
Audiences apparently recognized Hicks on stage, even in the voluminous costume, and sang his name for the grand unveiling.
“I think the accordion and the singing and the boots gave it away,” Hicks said.
Other celebrities who appeared on the tour as Boom Boom Box included radio hosts, TV news anchors, athletes, competition winners and reality stars.
Another “American Idol” winner, Maddie Poppe, was unmasked in May after acting as Boom Boom Box during a tour stop in Omaha, Nebraska. Singer Drew Lachey of 98 Degrees also adopted the character in May and is in St. Louis. Louis unmasks.
The “Masked Singer” tour lasts until July and is presented by Natasha Bedingfield, a British singer-songwriter who participated in the FOX series as The Pepper character in Season 6. Other characters on the tour include Queen of Hearts, Taco, Alien, Robot, Baby, Monster and Thingamabob. (Frequently asked questions on the tour website provide details on how the tour works, compared to the TV show.)
On the TV series, celebrities sing in costumes for a panel of judges who evaluate their performances and try to guess their identity. Celebrities are eliminated and unmasked every week until a winner is announced. Winners on the program include T-Pain, LeAnn Rimes, Wayne Brady, Jewel, Nick Lachey and Teyana Taylor.