The Masked Singer season 5 quarterfinals ended with the reveal of the Russian Dolls. Famous boy band Hanson was behind the Russian Dolls. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Zac, Taylor, and Isaac Hanson about transforming into the Russian Dolls and how they always wanted to take things to the next level.
“There were a lot of things that were unique about performing inside the Russian Dolls,” Taylor told HollywoodLife. “I think in many respects, we had it easier than some because we actually did have some space in there. But what it meant was you really had to watch your step because, in a couple of cases, we just about walked off the stage. The line of sight was the biggest challenge because you’re looking through a mesh deal that’s painted on top of it, so it was definitely a challenge at the beginning. Because you’re also thinking about breathing and you’re carrying around that heavy thing around you. I think once we got through the first couple of songs, it became sort of like, okay, I know what this is, I can handle this.”
Zac added, “One thing we did do that didn’t make it easier, but it was really about increasing the fun was pretty much every performance was a different combination of brothers in different costumes or we added a costume element. In the last song ‘I’m Still Standing,’ we were finally feeling comfortable with the dolls, and then you add a 4-inch heel. Now your balance is weird again, and you’re trying to figure it out.”
Hanson’s appearance on The Masked Singer marked the first time a trio had been on the show. Isaac revealed that the plan was always for the Hanson brothers to do the show together. “We got a call through our team here that they were interested in having a group contestant, and they asked us if we were interested in it. Honestly, it immediately seemed like a really fun opportunity to do something we’d never, ever done,” Isaac said.
Hanson rose to fame in the 1990s and became one of the most popular boy bands of that era. Being anonymous in a sense on The Masked Singer was “enticing” to the Hanson brothers. “I feel like that was one of the most enticing and fun parts of this experience was having the liberty to just be that anonymous singer and just do your best to make these songs as great as you could possibly make them, whether it was a variety of leads switching, arranging songs, purely as singers for the sake of making them the best they can be,” Isaac continued. “It’s really fun to be in a situation where, no matter what people know about you or don’t know about you, you’re completely anonymous in that costume. You’re able to just be free to be the best singer you can be. It was a fun experience for us.”
Zac followed Isaac by saying, “You’re anonymous in the sense that you’re not who you usually are. But I feel like what happened for us, or what we were trying to do was actually create something that was this living character. You don’t have a lot of expression to work with. You don’t have arms, wrists, fingers. You don’t have knees. You only have ankles. But when you’re trying to create, essentially, a character that people get connected to where they go, ‘Oh, I like the personality of the doll.’ Part of that is the song collection, part of that is the body language, part of that is the choreography. It’s just sort of this bigger thing you’re trying to create.”
Taylor admitted that The Masked Singer allowed him and his brothers to “stretch different muscles than we’ve ever done before. Whether you’re singing modern pop songs or a throwback like Elton John or Michael Jackson, who is one of our favorite artists ever, it was a great way to just stretch muscles that we haven’t necessarily been able to feature as much as artists.”
Nearly 30 years after forming Hanson, the brothers are all grown up with families of their own. Between the three of them, they have 15 kids running around these days. “I would guess that we had the largest number of NDAs of anyone on the show ever. Because we do have a very large, just kind of immediate network of kids and wives…” Zac admitted. The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on FOX.