Spoiler alert: For anyone who hasn’t seen Episode 6, this article reveals the Orca’s identity.
The Masked Singer Season 5 has been filled with amazing talent and surprise reveals, and Episode 6 was no different. The wildcard contestants have given Group A and B a run for their money, especially the Orca. But the Orca’s rock vocals weren’t enough to make it into the Top Eight. While the audience was surprised by his elimination, the Orca wasn’t. The Masked Singer contest explained why he felt a bullseye on his back this season.
Since the Orca was introduced, the judges had thrown out every 1980s and 1990s rocker under the sun. But they failed to name one of the biggest rockers from the era. The decisive moment came as host Nick Cannon helped the Orca to take off his mask to reveal Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath. After his elimination, McGrath shared his feelings on how the show’s format change affected his experience:
Information on The Masked Singer is on a need-to-know basis whether you're performing or a judge, it doesn't matter. To me, being a wildcard means you have a giant bullseye on your back because the other contestants are going to hear a wildcard — at least I would in my brain — and think, ‘Oh, who's this, some kind of ringer?’ I was used to the format of the three groups, A, B, and C, so in my mind, I thought that's what we were going to be doing. So, at first, I was a little freaked out, because to be honest with you, I was freaked out to do the show because it's a singing competition, you know? Yes, I do make my living as a singer, but I was terrified to do the show to begin with. Then to have sort of a bullseye in the back as a wildcard, that was the thing I had to rectify in my mind.
Being one of the standouts from the wildcard competition, Mark McGrath was correct in his assumption. From the moment, he sang Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” the singer posed a threat to Group A despite the established group’s immense talent. He was looked at as a possible top contender. But that isn’t surprising considering McGrath is one of the top rock vocalists of the '90s. It was commendable of him to admit to EW his vulnerability about competing in a stacked competition.
During the interview, Mark McGrath also admitted to getting over that fear quickly once he was on set. He revealed the exact moment being a wildcard became an advantage:
But when I went out and saw the production [for my first performance], they had this sort of 1930s old Hollywood, old school production with all the dancers and they had an anchor coming down from the ceiling. I thought, 'Oh my God, I think I can do this wildcard stuff.' They gave me a lot of production to really justify being the wildcard, so it worked out. But it was interesting because I came in later in the show, I don't know if I would have done a ballad second if I had known the wildcard format was in play from the beginning. I probably would have done another up-tempo song because that was what I thought would at least get me along [further]. But there's no way I was ever gonna win a singing competition. LeAnn Rimes, Wayne Brady, the people that win these, they're unbelievable.
Mark McGrath’s song choice may have played a role in his elimination, but in some ways, the odds were stacked against him before he stepped on the stage. Having such vocal talent as Seashell, the Black Swan and the Piglet still in the competition I feel would’ve eventually led to the Orca’s elimination. But McGrath should be proud to have shaken up The Masked Singer so early. That threat made others step up their games leading to a more exciting competition. So, his presence was needed. To see who gets eliminated next, you can watch The Masked Singer on Fox Tuesdays at 8 pm ET.