The Masked Singer’s Scarecrow Explained Surprise Decision To Withdraw, And The ‘Crisis’ They’re Needed For Instead

Warning! The following contains spoilers from The Masked Singer’s Season 8 episode “Fright Night.” Read at your own risk!

The Masked Singer is definitely a show that keeps viewers on their toes, and can always deliver some unexpected twists. Such was the case during “Fright Night” when just before host Nick Cannon announced the results of the first round of singing, Scarecrow put a stop to the competition. She announced her intention to voluntarily withdraw, which shocked both the audience and the celebrity panel. Now, the unmasked Scarecrow, otherwise known as Exorcist actress Linda Blair, shared more with CinemaBlend about why she left in that way and the “crisis” that required her attention instead. 

Linda Blair spoke to CinemaBlend ahead of the release of her elimination episode, which also saw Sir Bug a Boo unmasked as singer Ray Parker Jr. Bug a Boo and Snowstorm received a free ride to the Battle Royale round when Scarecrow pulled out, and while she laid out some details on her decision during the episode, I was curious if she plotted out this exit in advance or it was a spur of the moment choice. Blair opened up about her initial offer to join the show, and how it divided her time with her animal welfare organization, The Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation

When they offered the show – I was such a fan of the show – it would give me an hour of reprieve every week from the rescue and from the sadness and I loved it. And I thought, ‘Wow, I don’t know if I can get away for that much time to compete.’...So we kind of all made an agreement that if that’s what I felt at the time [to do it]. It’s really, really an amazing show but it is hard work. And to be away from the dogs, I felt like my commitment needed to stay to them.

Linda Blair had fun on The Masked Singer, but her attention these days is more on working to educate against animal cruelty and helping shelter dogs and rescue pets find new homes and loving families. Blair’s appearance on The Masked Singer worked as a platform to help raise awareness of her work outside of acting, much like it did when actor Eric Idle used his performance to help raise cancer awareness

It was a shame to see Linda Blair leave so quickly, but it’s certainly understandable why she withdrew. Blair expressed her thanks to all that worked to get her on The Masked Singer, and talked more about her work and the crisis happening with dogs in the United States right now:

My appreciation to Fox and the show for letting me come on and letting me have fun and entertain people. It’s been about fifteen years. I’ve been in a reprieve from work just helping the dogs because the crisis is so bad. It’s an emergency. So, I appreciated the time but I felt like I needed to bow out and let the real performers who really wanted to win [perform]. I didn’t need to win, I need to win for the animals.

Linda Blair is not the first contestant to willingly withdraw from The Masked Singer. Actor Mickey Rourke famously unmasked without warning in Season 4, which resulted in a self-elimination. Blair’s self-elimination wasn’t quite as jarring as Rourke’s, and just about the best route that a contestant could take when choosing to step away from the competition. 

By the end of The Masked Singer’s “Fright Night,” Snowstorm was on top and will now help make history as part of the singing competition’s first all-female semifinals and finale. These ladies stand on the shoulders of all the eliminated Season 8 contestants, many of whom were quite talented. This will certainly be one of the more exciting semifinal rounds in recent memory, even if the polarizing format change made this season progress at a breakneck pace. 

The Masked Singer is back with another episode on Fox on Thursday, November 24th, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Fans can also celebrate the holiday by revisiting Season 8 with friends and family with a Hulu subscription, and relive some of the epic performances that led to this exciting semifinals round.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.