Mahalia Barnes Hit All the Right Notes on The Masked Singer, But It Was Time to Head Home

Network Ten

She won the hearts of everyone watching The Masked Singer on Tuesday night with her stunning rendition of Rise Up, hitting every note flawlessly.

But alas, Pavlova’s time on the show was up, and despite many feeling devastated over the decision, they did want to know which celebrity was behind the beautiful voice.

Of course, it was none other than Mahalia Barnes, vocalist and daughter of Jimmy Barnes. The star was mentioned in every single season up until this point, where no one, not even the panellists, suspected it was her.

POPSUGAR Australia caught up with Mahalia to find out why she took part in the show, and what her dad had to say about it.

POPSUGAR Australia: How did you come to be on The Masked Singer?

Mahalia Barnes: Well, funnily, every year since The Masked Singer started I’ve been messaged, tweeted, called and people asking me if I’m on the show thinking that I’m one of the masks. This year when they asked me to be a part of the show I jumped at the opportunity because I thought “why not?”, it’s such a hilarious and funny show. So clever and it’s all about entertainment and music so that’s a good thing for me.

PS: You’re a complete natural on stage, but what was it like performing in costume? 

MB: It was a little bit challenging, to be honest. I LOVED the costume and I thought it was beautiful, but it was big, it was heavy, it was very different for me as a singer. I’ve sung my whole life and I never really have to think about what I’m doing physically because it’s just such a natural thing for me. So, being inside the giant pavlova was definitely a little bit of a challenge, I had to work out how to sing and how to move and make it work. But It was also sort of fun to be hidden and to be in this costume, and to not be completely yourself and find new ways to perform. 

PS: How long did it take you to learn the entire performance?

MB: Not that long. You don’t have a whole lot of time to prepare, you learn the songs. You get a bit of a heads up as to what song you’re going to do, and then you get out there and you get a couple of run-throughs. The hardest part for me was working out the movement on stage because your sightlines are restricted, you’re physically a very different shape than normal so I had to work it out, which made me nervous than the actual singing.

PS: Who in your life knew you were taking part in The Masked Singer?

MB: My dad! I basically had to tell my dad because he was meant to be doing a tour and he wanted me on the shows. We’ve worked together my whole life but I also do his tour management and booking, and he had a big tour coming up around the same time as we were filming.

So, he was promoting an album that he just put out called Flesh and Blood, which is all about family. So he really wanted me there, and I wasn’t available and I couldn’t tell him why, and he was getting really offended. So I had to tell him: “Listen, I can’t tell anybody because it’s top-secret, but this is what I’m doing!”

So I had to confess, but he knew and I managed to keep it a secret from pretty much everybody else in my life, which was remarkable.

PS: Do you think your dad would ever take part in The Masked Singer?

MB: *Laughs* I don’t know if he would! But I mean he’d be pretty hilarious on there, but I think he would be a dead giveaway from the first note. Y’know, I don’t think he could possibly hide himself.

PS: There are so many people saying you were robbed and you should have won the show. Did it come as a shock when you were voted out?

MB: To be honest, the whole thing was such a whirlwind and such a crazy experience that I didn’t know what to expect at any point. So nothing was surprising to me, and I didn’t get to see any of the other performances. I didn’t know what else was happening around me.

So I guess I was in my own little bubble doing my thing, so I was grateful that I got to sing a couple of songs, I would have loved to sing a few more. And watching it back I was like, “oh come on! I could have stayed in, it would have been good” but you know, it is what it is. It’s just a fun entertainment show and I think while it is a competition of sorts, it’s really more just about laughter and fun and bringing some joy into people’s homes and it certainly was that for me. So, I really enjoyed being a part of it.

Watch The Masked Singer at 7.30pm on Channel 10 and 10play.

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