“I’m excited for my family to see this. I had to keep this a big secret, but of course [my son] Brandon [Jenner] knew because he was helping,” the former Keeping Up With the Kardashians star, 71, told Us Weekly exclusively on Wednesday, March 17. “Kendall and Kylie, when I told them I was doing The Masked Singer, they gave me this strange look and said ‘Dad, why are you doing this?’”
Caitlyn added, “I told them, ‘I need a challenge! I’ve just been sitting around, I want to do this.’ They said, ‘You are crazy.’ I’m interested for Kendall and Kylie and the rest of my family to see it.”
The Olympian, who shares Kendall, 25, and Kylie, 23, with ex-wife Kris Jenner, was unmasked as The Phoenix during Wednesday night’s episode. Ahead of her elimination, eagle-eyed fans began speculating via Reddit that Caitlyn was a contestant after she was spotted on March 3 wearing a black hoodie that read, “DON’T TALK TO ME.” The sweatshirt is often worn by the show’s celebrities when they step out while also donning a full face mask to further conceal their identity.
The reality star had been asked to be on the show before, but she turned it down due to scheduling issues. As the world slowed down amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, Caitlyn had a change of heart.
“I go months upon months with nothing to do with no challenges out there, and I’m just sitting on my butt I had nothing else going on,” she explained to Us. “I come from the world where I run fast, jump over things and throw things far. I didn’t come from the singing world. I’ve always told my kids, ‘The ability to grow is directly related to the amount of insecurity you can take in your life.’ And boy, was I insecure about singing. So, I thought, ‘Let’s try this and put myself out there and try something I’ve never done before.’ If I’m telling my kids this, the least I could do is take my own advice. This was so out of my element, when I said yes, I was nervous. They gave me a vocal coach and we worked on three songs to get down.”
The former athlete revealed that her son Brandon, who is a musician, helped train her for the show. “He has a studio in his house, so I went downtown to his studio where I could record it and I worked on the songs with him. It was really great,” she shared. “Brandon got really into it and it was a big bonding moment for us. It was fun working on the songs with him.”
Caitlyn admitted that it was “a little disappointing” that she was cut early since she wanted to perform a Temptations song she prepared. However, despite her brief time on the series, the I Am Cait alum still learned a lot along the way.
“I worked for two months on these three songs,” she said on Wednesday. “I did ‘Tik Tok’ and I was going to do The Temptations song, ‘I Know You Wanna Leave Me,’ and I had a John Denver song. It was tough to get those down. If I were to go [and do] all the [songs] at the finals, I would have had to learn eight songs. It took me so long to get a couple songs down.”
Now that she’s done with The Masked Singer, she is awaiting a pilot that she shot to be greenlit for a series order.
“Most of the things that I do are centered around crowds, telling my story and living your life authentically,” she told Us. “I’ve been doing that for the last 50 years. I’m excited to get back on the road.”
The Masked Singer airs on Fox Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Travis Cronin