Video Watch The Dalmatian (Adrianna Hicks) Sing ‘Take Me or Leave Me’ in Bonus Video From Broadway’s Masked Singer
Plus, more bonus videos and a Q&A with contestants Nic Rouleau and Jelani Remy.
Season 1 might be over, but fans can still enjoy a bit more of Broadway’s Masked Singer with several never-before-seen videos from contestants who were eliminated before all four of their filmed performances were presented on the show. Check out The Dalmatian (Six star Adrianna Hicks) performing “Take Me or Leave Me” From Rent above.
In addition, fans can watch The Flamingo (Mean Girls alum Kate Rockwell) sing “Love Story” here. Or enjoy The Elephant’s (The Skivvies’ Nick Cearley) take on “No Scrubs” here. Looking for some disco? The Potato (The Prom‘s Isabelle McCalla) shimmies in “I Will Survive” here. Finally, The Shark (Disney princess Patti Murin) channels KT Tunstall in “Suddenly I See” here.
Below, read a Q&A with contestants Nic Rouleau and Jelani Remy and show creators Michael Hull and Dylan Bustamante. Together, they talk about how Broadway’s Masked Singer came together, share hilarious behind-the-scenes stories, muse on how it introduced a new generation to Broadway Cares, and hint at what Season 2 might look like.
How did the show come about?
Michael Hull (Co-Creator/Host/Producer): Dylan and I were watching the FOX television show. We would have all of our friends over—pre-COVID life—and we’d hang these huge pieces of paper on the wall and take notes and connect dots. The way that we pitched it to a lot of our singers—and I know how insane this sounds because this is a stupid show about getting dressed up in a furry costume and making people laugh—but the reason we decided that this would be something super funny to do with our Broadway people is because, like or not, people are are often being asked to fit into boxes to do the same type of roles.
This is something about our industry that I don’t love so much. You’re getting called in to do the same thing again and again and again. There was something really interesting about asking stupidly talented people what they would do if no one knew who they were. What they would sing? How would they act?
I think that’s a cool thing to point out, because it becomes this wild visual fest of silliness, but if I could relate it to some art and purpose, that was where the impulse came from, we were sitting on the couch and we were like “this would be really fucking cool to let people not be their personas that they’re already starting to play on Broadway.”
Dylan Bustamante (Co-Creator/Host/Producer): All eight of our singers, when we said that, they were all like “Wow, now I’m really going to rethink my choices of what song I’m going to do, because now I can do whatever I want, and no one is going to be like, ‘that’s so-and-so.'”
Nic Rouleau (The Whale, 1st place): I just want to say how much these two boys blow me away. It’s important to recognize how much they did. Like we all had fun and we all put in our own effort but Dylan and Michael were doing that for all eight of us. I would catch up with them sometimes and be like “oh they’ve been working non-stop,” and the fact that the live stream went so smoothly. Of course, it went smoothly, because I’d seen behind-the-scenes how much work that those two boys put into it and like, it’s just incredible.
Jelani Remy (The Bee, 2nd place): I think the main thing for me was connection. We got to sing songs that we connect with and make people connect with and that’s something the whole community wants: something they can relate to or say “yes!” to or just relax or jam out to.
Rouleau: The cool thing about it all being virtual too was like yes, I did my videos and I knew I was on it, but I genuinely did not know anybody else. So me watching live was so cool, because I was playing just everybody else.
Jelani, were you watching?
Remy: My family was watching in another room and I was hosting a birthday party for a friend and they were watching it, too. So my mom was like ‘oh you’re doing great! They can’t guess! Oh my gosh, they said you were this, they said you that.’ So, I was getting commentary from her while I was watching with my friends. So it was a cluster, but it was high-stakes, and it was equally as fun.
How long did you have to prepare?
Remy: These were songs that I’ve had in my soul since high school. I’ve had these songs in my soul for quite some time. So when they gave me the green light, it was like “Let’s go!”
Rouleau: I like that you had that journey, because I had the opposite. If you look at the first email I sent Michael and Dylan with my song choices, I think three of the four were tossed out into the trash. I was changing my mind every five seconds. I’d sit down to record a song and be like, “I hate this. This is horrible. It has to be something else.”
Remy: That’s why you’re the winner.
Rouleau: The best part you missed …Michael was like ‘I need you to dip into the hot tub so that I can slo-mo reverse it so it looks like you’re emerging from the water as the whale.’
Remy: He gave you directorial notes? Not just going above and beyond, but into another galaxy and beyond!
Rouleau: And it did not work out as planned. It did not make the cut.
Hull: It was worth a shot. What you really should be asking about is Nic’s vault of unused vocals, because he went through so many songs. He’d send it and Dylan and I would be like “This is amazing!” And he’d be like “I can do better. Hold on.”
Bustamante: Both Jelani and Nic were two people that were very, very into it. And along with the whole line of everything, being like “This is what I’m going to do, This is what I want to do.” and I think that’s why they made it so far in the competition.
Hull: Jelani was one of our first yeses, and that came through on March 9. So he signed on at the beginning of March and almost two months later, people finally got to see what he was up to.
How did it feel to hear a panelist guess you?
Rouleau: The first time someone guessed my name, I was like “No!” And of course it was Kevin Metzger-Timson, who I went to NYU with so, of course, he knows my voice, right? But then I think they were throwing out other names. It’s all so ridiculous and fun, it doesn’t matter. It’s just for the fun of it all.
Remy: The first time, Natalie Weiss, Mary Thomas, said my name—these are people that I used to go pay to hear to sing. They know my voice? They know my name? What an amazing moment that they can hear that, or they can remember that. It was a totally humbling experience as well. And cool!
Rouleau: I think the cool thing about Broadway singers doing something like this is that we tend to have very specific, unique voices. We don’t just blend into a crowd, right? We all sound very distinct. Like Bernadette Peters, Ethel Merman, they all have a tone. Not that we are Bernadette or Ethel, but—
Remy: Oh, we are!
Rouleau: But we are! We all have a very specific tone to our voices. For me, it was Jessica Vosk as The Chicken. She fooled me in “Bad Guy”, but in “To Love You More,” there was no fooling, it was like “That’s Jessica Vosk.” You know that voice, you’ve listened to it on Instagram and YouTube.
Remy: It allowed us to have an artistry. It allowed us to break out of our box that you may think we are in and sing other music that we also adore and love, and music that we enjoy to hear and sing. It was a freeing experience for us too.
Hull: What i think was really cool about the two of you boys was, like, Jelani, I’ve heard you sing everything under the sun. So I was like “He’s going to knock this out of the park. I’m obsessed with his voice, let’s show off all of the different facets of Jelani.” But Nic, I was less familiar with you voice, because you’ve been doing The Book of Mormon for so long that everybody knows your [sound].
Rouleau (singing): I belieeeeeeve!
Hull: So many people in the comments, I don’t know if you read them, were like “Holy shit! We didn’t know he could sing like this!” This is a whole new piece of Nic that we have not been able to hear. So it was a cool moment.
Remy: That was what was so great about it! You didn’t focus on who was singing, you focused on the singing. And you got to listen to their storytelling and their voice and their timbre, and get lost in their story.
Rouleau: And to let your personality shine through. I mean, Jelani, look at the choreography you were doing in some of your numbers. Or Jessica Vosk as The Chicken. When you’re covered up in a mask, other things have to shine through. That was the coolest experience for me, was getting free reign from Michael and Dylan to do whatever we want and as out of the box.
Did you come up with your backgrounds/story?
NR: We got to give Michael and Dylan a lot of credit.
Remy: All of the credit.
Rouleau: I filmed remotely in California, so they sent me a green screen and I came up with ideas, but I gave them very raw footage and they just turned into Broadway magic.