Will Young has become the latest celebrity crooner to be unveiled after being eliminated from The Masked Singer.
The singer, who rose to fame on Pop Idol 20 years ago, was unmasked as Lionfish on the ITV programme after he found himself in the sing-off against fellow contestant Firework.
Young, 42, who sang Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You for the movie-themed week, was correctly guessed by panellists Jonathan Ross and Rita Ora.
— The Masked Singer UK (@MaskedSingerUK) January 8, 2022
After being revealed, the singer admitted he was concerned about Ross noticing his voice, saying: “It was really hard to try and disguise it.”
He added: “It’s been the most incredible opportunity and such a brilliant challenge to take on.”
Young also joked that as someone who is agoraphobic, the fear of being in situations where escape might be difficult, that was the “perfect show”.
Panellist Davina McCall asked for a clarification on a clue from earlier in the show about the singer making a “royally big mistake”.
Young said that this hint referred to the time he accidentally swore during a soundcheck for his performance at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee concert in 2002.
Speaking after his exit, Young said: “It’s very liberating taking to the stage when no-one knows it’s you.
“I even shut my eyes when I sang Nessun Dorma. No-one’s looking at your face, it’s amazing.
“I would highly recommend it. Particularly when you’re dressed as a fish in this amazing outfit.”
The Pop Idol star explained that he had joined the show as he thought the challenge of disguising his voice would be “fantastic” and that he “loved the idea of playing a character”.
The singer also said it had not been “too hard” to keep the secret of him performing on the show as he did not want to ruin the surprise for anyone.
However, he admitted he had mixed emotions about being finally revealed, saying: “I’m excited and weirdly nervous.
“I think my nephews and nieces will be very surprised.”
— Will Young (@willyoung) January 8, 2022
After Young sang Houston’s classic ballad during the show, the panellists did their best to decipher who was behind the mask.
Comedian Mo Gilligan guessed it was actor and comedian David Walliams, while TV presenter Davina McCall thought it might be US R&B singer Macy Gray.
Pop star Ora initially guessed Drag Race star RuPaul and comedian Ross considered both British drag queen Bimini Bon Boulash and singer James Blunt.
However, just before the mask reveal, both Ora and Ross changed their final guess to the correct celebrity.
Young also performed against the masked contestants Mushroom, Doughnuts and Robobunny.
The ITV show opened with the masked celebrities all performing the opening track Another Day Of Sun from the 2016 musical movie La La Land
The Masked Singer, which is on ITV and ITV Hub, continues on Saturdays at 7pm.