The Masked Singer‘s Butterly loved her costume, even though she knew it helped give away her identity.
As the hit Fox singing competition continued and the number of contestants dwindled, Butterfly was unmasked and went home Wednesday. As some suspected, the person under the mask was Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams.
“I take with me, ‘Girl, do what you do. Do what you were born to do,'” she told TV Insider. “‘Of course pace yourself, have fun, be free, do you, and the people that are for you, that’s who you will attract.'”
Here, Williams discusses her costume and song choice and reveals which guest panelist made her cry.
Why was the Butterfly the right costume for you, in terms of the costume itself and what the butterfly represents?
Michelle Williams: The Butterfly was just super-sexy. I was like, “That is one fierce costume,” although when I think about it, a lot of people were like, “Those are Michelle’s long legs.” Maybe I should have had Patti LaBelle’s costume [the Flower] instead and let her be the Butterfly.
I also chose it because as long as I’m breathing, I’ll always be transforming and evolving, hopefully for the better, hopefully into something beautiful, even though some of the most beautiful things have flaws and some imperfections. I’m not striving for perfection, but to always be evolving. And I have a butterfly tattoo.
You’ve performed onstage in a few different venues, but this was a very different experience.
The Masked Singer was probably one of the top things I’ve ever done in my life because of how I was made to feel. You can be on some of the biggest stages in the world, but it doesn’t mean nothing if you didn’t feel good afterwards. I’m not saying that’s the case with other stages I’ve been on. I’ve felt great.
But I felt really, really good, especially solo-wise, something by myself, being on a show week after week on mainstream TV with an audience. I’m mostly known for gospel, and a lot of gospel isn’t really on mainstream networks, so it was really cool to have that experience.
And what was the biggest advantage for you because you have experience on stage?
Knowing about production, when they would send me sketches of the stage and what choreography would look like. I’m friends with the music director, and it was so cool to work alongside him and his arrangements. I was back to doing what I love doing, especially behind-the-scenes stuff, and putting on the costume is a slow sliver of what actually goes on to make it happen.
Did you have fun listening to panelists’ guesses? Did any of them surprise you?
I chose “Don’t Know Why” because 2003-ish, I had my very first debilitating heartbreak. While it was going on, [that song] was playing in the background. So, every time I would hear “Don’t Know Why,” I would think of that breakup and so now when I think of [it], I can think of a beautiful performance on The Masked Singer where it evoked some great emotion out of people. I was just like, “Oh, this felt great.”
Was there a song you’d wish you’d gotten the chance to perform, whether instead or in addition to the others just because you would’ve been doing it under the mask?
I wanted to do Beyoncé’s “Love on Top.” If I’d stayed on a little longer, it’s a possibility that I would’ve been able to perform that song.
Speaking of Beyoncé, obviously there are some people — like family, the other members of Destiny’s Child — who would have known it was you because of how well they know you and your moves and your voice. Was there anything you were trying to do or not do in your performances to throw them off?
That was the thing. When I wouldn’t try to do it, it would just come out because it’s so natural. You’re talking about some of the same choreographies, even the outfit — of course without the wings and the head — I was like, “We would’ve rocked something like that.” It just came out. The very first time, I was like, “Don’t stand with your hip like that, don’t sit in the hip, because that’s what you’re known for, don’t do that,” so I was trying to be very conscious. Then at one point, I just gave up, like, “Girl, just go up there, kill it, have fun.”
I also want to add I grew up with the choreographer for my last performance, “Sorry Not Sorry,” in my hometown of Rockford, Illinois, and he was my very first kiss. So, to see him be this world-renowned choreographer and he’s danced with legends, that was so cool to come full circle. We were like, “Wow, we finally got to work together after all these years.”
Now that you can talk about it, have there been any amusing reactions you’ve gotten from people who did or didn’t know it was you now that you don’t have to lie?
I’m so glad I have unlimited texting because the text messages that have been coming in. I’d been lying since September, [even] to my aunt and my mother. One phone call, I was actually in the trailer during Masked Singer, and I’m sitting up there lying to my own mom.
The Masked Singer, Wednesdays, 8/7c, Fox