The judges on The Masked Singer were caught off guard when John Oates was revealed as the Anteater on the singing competition reality show on Wednesday night (December 13th) — despite the obvious “Maneater” reference staring them right in the face.
Prior to the big reveal, Oates performed a rousing rendition of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B Goode,” though his weighty costume prevented him from doing any dance moves besides flailing his arms around. Watch a full replay below.
None of the members of the judging panel — comprised of Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg, Nicole Scherzinger, and Robin Thicke — were able to guess who was under the costume. McCarthy Wahlberg in particular was beside herself after having previously interviewed Oates for SiriusXM.
In an interview with Variety, Oates said he agreed to do the show as an opportunity to perform apart “from the image of who I am in Hall & Oates, the ’80s, the pop hits, all that kind of stuff.” He added, “Also, I realized that it was a huge platform. It’s such a successful show. I’m doing a lot of charity work and things like that for some great organizations. And I thought, if I can get the word out, I can reach a lot of people.”
The singer went on to talk about the difficulties of singing and doing choreography in the massive costume. “You have the Men in Black lead you through a dark backstage corridor where you can’t see a thing,” he said. “And they put you onto the stage and there’s strobe lights and confetti falling and flashing video screens. It’s crazy and the people screaming, the audience’s insane. I’m wearing these giant size 15 work boots that they had to literally strap my feet into. It was it was a challenge for sure.”
R&B singer Keyshia Cole was also unmasked as the Candelabra in this week’s episode. Oates and Cole join Sebastian Bach as Tiki, Michael Rapaport as The Pickle, Ginuwine as Husky, Anthony Anderson as Rubber Ducky, Metta World Peace as Cuddle Monster, and more as Season 10 eliminations.
Oates is currently tangled in a legal dispute with his longtime Hall & Oates bandmate Daryl Hall, who has accused him of “the ultimate partnership betrayal” for planning to sell his share of their joint venture to Primary Wave without permission. For his part, Oates described Hall’s accusations as “inflammatory, outlandish, and inaccurate.”