Piñata on The Masked Singer Was Unmasked, and it Was None Other Than Rugby Legend Lote Tuqiri
Tuqiri is best known for representing Australia in Rugby Union and Fiji in Rugby League. Now, he works at a content marketing agency, which he co-founded.
POPSUGAR Australia: How did you come to be on The Masked Singer?
Lote Tuqiri: I think the producers were sort of looking for out there guests, to sort of stuff up and play with the judges — and they may have heard me sing before, probably not! But a few friends of mine have been on the show, so I think I may be able to sing, I don’t know, make up your own mind! I thought I didn’t go too bad.
PS: How did your kids respond when you were unmasked?
LT: Yeah not too bad, so I was actually away — I’m away at the moment — so I haven’t seen them yet, but I’ve spoken to them and they were like, “this is crazy.” Because they didn’t really know how I kept that secret from them. But I know they were like, “what the hell is going on.” I think they had a little bit of an idea, they obviously recognised the voice, but yeah, the reveal was amazing.
PS: The Masks look incredibly bulky. Was it difficult to manoeuvre around in the costume?
LT: Yep, definitely. I don’t know how some of the others go, but I couldn’t see my feet, I couldn’t see where I walking at times. You just need to trust where you’re going, luckily there weren’t too many big steps, but if I had to manoeuvre around backstage, I had to get escorted around by my security detail — the men in black as they are on the show.
So, I couldn’t really see too much, because it was through a thin, blue piece of material and I could only see straight and go from there. Yeah, it was a bit concerning but luckily I didn’t end up with too many injuries trying to hold that up. Because I ended up being around 8-9 feet tall because above my head was the costume.
PS: You mentioned on Instagram that it was nerve-wracking to get on stage along with learning the lines. How long did it take you to learn your performance?
LT: The lines took a fair bit, and I thought that was about it really, and I wouldn’t have to do anything else on stage besides stand there and sing. But then the choreography, they hit you with that one. So, I reckon it took me about a week, it was like doing homework again. Because it was just so nerve-wracking. It didn’t look choreographed but I had to be in certain parts of the space at different times.
And as a man, you don’t really multi-task that much, you just focus on one thing. I thought that’s all I needed to do was the singing, it’s The Masked Singer, not The Masked Dancer, so I struggled with combining the two. And if you can tell, after that last performance when I took the mask off, I was sweating up a storm. Just the relief from getting that done, getting to my spots and getting in the right places with the words going at the same time.
PS: One thing I’m curious about, when the panellists ask you a question, how do you come up with such smart cryptic answers?
LT: Yeah we came up with it with the team. Together. What got me was how they bring out the voice moderator, or whatever it is. I wanted to see how that sounded as well, so that was pretty cool. So, it was me and the staff that came up with what was going on.
PS: Who from your life knew you were taking part in The Masked Singer?
LT: My wife. That was about it!