Kandi Burruss slayed every single week on The Masked Singer as the Night Angel. The 44-year-old wowed with performances of hits from Andra Day, Donna Summer, Tina Turner, Lil Wayne, and more. It came down to the Night Angel, Frog, and Turtle, but Kandi’s Night Angel ultimately walked away with the season 3 victory. The FOX series finished filming months ago, so Kandi has had to keep the news about her win under wraps since then.
HollywoodLife talked EXCLUSIVELY with Kandi about keeping this huge secret from the world. She even had to hide it from her Real Housewives of Atlanta co-stars! Even though she couldn’t confirm anything, some of her co-stars told her that they knew she was the Night Angel. Kandi also revealed the difficulties she had with performing in that massive and elaborate costume. Read our full Q&A below.
Congratulations on being the first female winner of The Masked Singer! How does it feel?
Kandi Burruss: That is the part that makes me super excited because there will never be another first. I feel really, really good. I have been holding this in for months now, and I’m finally able to really talk about it. It’s a great feeling. I was super excited when it actually happened, but I feel like it’s even more exciting now because I can share my excitement with my friends and family and the people who show me love.
What was it like keeping that a secret? It’s tough for everyone, but it must have been really hard for you.
Kandi Burruss: It was hard because obviously I’m not allowed to talk about it. We’re not allowed to let it get out. There were so many people texting me and calling me, even my family members and stuff. I didn’t want to tell any of them because I didn’t want them posting it on social media. I always had to either ignore their calls, ignore their texts, and not reply. My fan pages were posting the videos every week. Normally, I would comment under the post. I wasn’t commenting. I was trying to follow the rules.
Did any of your Real Housewives of Atlanta co-stars guess that you were the Night Angel?
Kandi Burruss: Yeah, a few of them did. They didn’t know for sure because I never confirmed it with them, but a few of them were texting me. Kenya [Moore] texted me multiple times. She was like, “I know you can’t say anything, but you killed it last night!” Cynthia [Bailey], Eva [Marcille], and Marlo [Hampton] would send me a text or say something, but I just wouldn’t reply.
You had so many incredible performances over the season. Which one stands out the most to you as your favorite?
Kandi Burruss: I had a couple of favorites. I would definitely say “Rise Up” because I was a bit nervous to tackle that song. I really felt strongly about that performance. The other one that I really loved was Lil Wayne’s “How To Love.” I wanted to flip a hip hop record or something from a rapper. I wanted to do something different to set me apart.
The Night Angel costume was very elaborate. What was it like for you to perform in that?
Kandi Burruss: The wings were huge. They couldn’t really put the wings on me until I was almost ready to walk out on stage because they were so big. Some areas like little hallways I would have to go sideways. The other thing was they strained my movement a little bit because when they put them on my shoulders, they were keeping my shoulders pulled back. It took me a minute to get used to it because I couldn’t breathe and perform with those wings on. I remember when I first started rehearsing for it, I had all these dance moves. I was like, “I’m about to kill it.” The first day of dress rehearsal, I couldn’t even breathe. I cut out all those dance moves. I had to just focus on the vocals. Also, it was so hot up underneath that costume. I was sweating so bad. I was like a mop each time. Sometimes they would like to put fans in front of us so that we can get a little air because all the costumes were hot. They would try not to keep us in them too long so nobody would get overheated. But I was like, “Please get that fan out of my face.” Because that would dry me out when I would try to sing, so I was just sitting there hot and sweaty.
How has this show helped you as a performer?
Kandi Burruss: I definitely feel like the great thing about being a part of this show is that it definitely made me more confident in my performances and my vocals. Another thing was the vocal coaches on the show. A lot of times when we sing other people’s songs, we try so hard to sing it like them and sing it in the key that they sing it in. Sometimes that doesn’t fit us, so the vocal coaches were so great about telling me to drop the key and fitting the songs to my voice. What I took away from that is I am going to stop trying to make my voice fit what other people want it to be and just do my thing. Just do my thing and be distinctive and just do Kandi instead of trying to make myself sound like anybody else.
You just released a new single “Used To Love Me.” Is this the beginning of a new album down the road?
Kandi Burruss: Yes. I definitely intend on releasing like a full album or EP in the coming months. I’m super excited about it. I decided to put out a record that was just more upbeat and something that makes people dance. As soon as it comes on, it just makes you want to move. It is something that everybody can dance to. It’s hard for me because I like all types of music, and I think I kind of showed that on the show. I tried to do something in every genre. I wanted to do a record that felt like a dance record, but it kind of could play anywhere in the pop world. I just feel like it’s the kind of record that anybody would want to dance to.