Almost immediately after the trophy was awarded on the Season 3 finale of "The Masked Singer," Ellen touched base with the winner in their home to talk about performing in costume, why they did the show and more.
Despite what it may look like in the picture above, Ellen DeGeneres was not unmasked after winning Season 3 of "The Masked Singer." But she did have the opportunity to interview the winner immediately after their victory from their home.
Unfortunately, it looks like the trophy -- which the winner says producers did not allow them to have out of fear, perhaps, that they would reveal the results -- somehow wound up in Ellen's possession. But she did promise to send it along right away.
Video chatting from her own home to chat with Ellen in hers, Kandi Burruss was surely grateful that production on "The Masked Singer" was completed before the ongoing coronavirus pandemic shut down television productions across the globe.
In order to maintain its secrecy, "The Masked Singer" traditionally tapes its entire season before even airing the first episode. From there, it's just hoping that all of the participants, judges and even audiences keep their mouths shut (we suspect contracts help with that).
For Kandi it meant a long wait for that coveted trophy -- and now an even longer wait. But after waiting three seasons for a female to win the title, she's probably more than happy to wait a few more days to make it official with the hardware.
When asked how important it was for her to be that first female winner (T-Pain and Wayne Brady won the first two seasons, respectively), Kandi said that it was actually her goal "once I got used to everything that was happening on the show."
And that's a lot to get used to, as other unmasked celebrities have shared since the blockbuster show crossed the ocean from South Korea to become the biggest sensation in reality television, just in time for the world to shut down.
"It took me a minute to get used to that, because it's so hot," Kandi said. "What you don’t know, like, all of the costumes are really, really hot on the inside. It was challenging."
Other celebs have talked about restrictions in movement and even visibility that have hampered them on stage, though you'd never really notice it with the slick productions that hit the air every week.
Kandi also revealed that she was nearly cast in the very first season of "The Masked Singer," but that happened to be the same year that her girl group Xscape reunited. So why did she ultimately go back?
"After I saw that T-Pain did it I was like, hmm, I need to try to do this if the opportunity ever comes back up," she told Ellen. "And it did."
As for the famous faces during her own season, Kandi admitted she grew a little intimidated almost immediately after the first reveal.
"When I saw that Lil Wayne was revealed that first week, I was like, oh my god," she said. "It really made me kind of nervous, because I was like, Okay, if Lil Wayne is on here, no telling who else is on here."
Who else included legends like Chaka Khan and Dionne Warwick, as well as a variety of superstars including Bret Michaels, Drew Carey, Jackie Evancho, Barry Zito and Sarah Palin. Burruss would outlast them all, including her runner-up Jesse McCartney.
And out of all of the 16 contestants who participated this season, Kandi could only admit to knowing one of them almost immediately. "I'm not gonna lie, I did figure out who the Frog was early, because I know his voice," she said of Bow Wow.
As a rapper, there was less he could do to disguise his voice, and the internet was just as quick as Kandi in pegging him under that costume.
The panel eventually honed in on Kandi as well as the weeks dragged on, though she also got to enjoy being mistaken for people like Monica, Taraji P. Henson, Toni Braxton, Brandi, Vanessa Williams and so many more.
For someone who said the show helped her regain her confidence as a solo artist, that's some pretty lofty people to find yourself not only compared to, but have people think you are one of them.
One well-deserved "Masked Singer" victory later, and Kandi is feeling ready to explore her music again, releasing her first single in years in time for that finale. Feautring Todrick Hall, "You Used to Love Me" is available to stream now ... including right here: