The Masked Singer’s Mustang Blames Last-Minute Changes For That Early Elimination, But Says ‘No Hard Feelings’

Warning! The following contains spoilers for The Masked Singer's Season 9 premiere. Read at your own risk!

The Masked Singer is back for Season 9, and boy, this was the greatest premiere since Season 3 kicked things off with Lil Wayne in a robot costume. The Fox series really pulled some star power for the episode as audiences saw two big stars sent home. The Gnome was unmasked and revealed to be actor Dick Van Dyke, and The Mustang ended up being country singer Sara Evans. Evans lost a very close showdown to Medusa, and later told CinemaBlend that she wasn't even supposed to be there. Furthermore, the singer made a case that she would've advanced had it not been for some last-minute changes. 

I had the opportunity to speak to Sara Evans ahead of The Masked Singer Season 9 about her experience during the premiere. I told Evans I was surprised to see her perform Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again" rather than a country ballad once I learned her identity and asked why she chose to sing that rather than something from her genre. Evans explained to me that she actually originally wasn't supposed to sing Whitesnake or even be there: 

I was supposed to be on the second episode, and the first time I was going to be seen was for Abba Night…Well, somebody had to drop out, I don’t even know who it was, so they asked me to step in and take that person’s slot and be on episode one. I had to learn the Whitesnake song the night before, but I mean, everybody pretty much knows that song.

The Masked Singer's viewers should give Sara Evans all the credit in the world for hopping in at the last minute and making it to the final round, given all she had going against her. Not all performers might feel comfortable or would want to perform a song on television they only just learned the day prior, so kudos to her for making it as far as she did. 

While Whitesnake wasn't her choice to perform, Sara Evans did say that she wouldn't have chosen something more comfortable like a country song to perform on The Masked Singer. Evans talked about her interest in singing all sorts of songs from different genres and how performing "Here I Go Again" was an "opportunity" for her: 

I would’ve never sang a country song anyway because I love to show people I can sing any genre of music. Jazz, rock, pop…Any opportunity that I have to show people that I’m not just a country singer, although I’m proud to be a country singer, I love to do that. So, singing a Whitesnake song just ended up being amazing.

Sara Evans was proud of her performances, the other of which was part of Rihanna's "Diamonds." The panel admitted it was a tough call to decide who would stay between the dueling performances of Mustang and Medusa, but ultimately Medusa edged out a win and advanced. Unfair eliminations are nothing new in The Masked Singer, and Evans should at least be grateful she didn't lose her mask or something during her performance. 

Had The Masked Singer saved Sara Evans for its upcoming episode dedicated to the talented music group Abba, things might've been different. I asked Evans if she felt she would've advanced further had she started the competition under the original plan of Mustang making her debut in Episode 2, and the singer confidently believed that would be the case: 

I do. I think so. And like I said, there are no hard feelings or anything like that. I do think that because we all would’ve been singing Abba songs. Medusa sang like a current popular song, and there were a lot of young people in the audience and I don’t think a lot of people knew the Whitesnake. You have to be like 30 and over to really know that song. Everybody was so sweet and they loved me and they were clapping for me. But I think they gravitated toward that song that was current.

Win or lose, Sara Evans has nothing to be ashamed of after The Masked Singer's Season 9 premiere. This was one of the most competitive season premieres the show has had in a very long time, so I think those watching live or on streaming with their Hulu subscription are in for some wild singing showdowns as the weeks continue. I'm not too psyched about the polarizing double-eliminations returning, but that's not going to make or break my overall enjoyment of the season. 

Catch new episodes of The Masked Singer on Fox on Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. This season is already off to a great start with shocking reveals, so I'm really hoping to see even more big names as we continue. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.