“The Masked Singer” Showed Sisqo He Could 'Market Me Without Talking About the "Thong Song,"' He Says (Exclusive)

The R&B star tells PEOPLE he found competing as Lizard on the Fox series "way more difficult than I thought it would be"

<p>Dave Simpson/WireImage;Michael Becker / FOX</p> Sisqo

Dave Simpson/WireImage;Michael Becker / FOX


The Masked Singer marked one of the rare occasions on which Sisqo didn’t have underwear thrown at him during a performance — because the “Thong Song” singer hid his identity under the Lizard costume.

“I'm out here at Wembley Stadium because we performed there, over 12,000 people, sold out, and they're throwing thongs on the stage,” Sisqo, who unmasked on Wednesday, April 3’s episode, tells PEOPLE of a recent Dru Hill concert in London.

Related: 20 of the Wildest Rules You Didn't Know Contestants Have to Follow on 'The Masked Singer'

<p>Paras Griffin/Getty</p> Jazz, Nokio, and Sisqo of Dru Hill performing in Georgia in July 2022

Paras Griffin/Getty

Jazz, Nokio, and Sisqo of Dru Hill performing in Georgia in July 2022

The Fox singing competition showed Sisqo, 45, he didn’t need to rely on his 1999 hit for recognition. Judge Rita Ora suspected Sisqo could be the Lizard early on after hearing him sing, and Robin Thicke agreed.

“With Rita and Robin being musicians, I think once I hit a note, they was like, ‘I know who that is,’” the father of daughter Shaione, 29, and son Ryu, 11, says. “I learned how to market me without talking about the ‘Thong Song.’ You couldn't even see me — they had all of these clues with stuff I had even forgotten.”

As a result, Sisqo hopes appearing on The Masked Singer will make viewers more receptive to his new music, including his upcoming album, Exodus. “I think people hearing me sing different types of music, maybe they'll be a little bit more open to hearing what I got to do now,” he says.

Sisqo shares how it felt performing as a reptile, how his kids influence the music he releases and why he considers losing The Masked Singer a win in the long run.

<p>Michael Becker / FOX</p> Sisqo as The Lizard

Michael Becker / FOX

Sisqo as The Lizard

PEOPLE: Were you disappointed to be eliminated before the quarterfinals, or did you just come on the show to have a good time?

I'm not used to losing. I'm the kind of person that you go bowling with, and I just announce that I'm going to win before anything even starts. And then it happens, and then you get in the car, and you're like, "How'd you know you was going to win?" I'm like, "I totally didn't know I was going to win, I just spoke it into existence.” So coming on the show, initially I got too hung up on the singing part because the mask thing is so much more than just singing. Once I was off the show and I was sitting in the car on the way back to my hotel running through everything in my head, I came to terms with losing. Because when you lose on The Masked Singer, you win as an artist. Now I got a third alter ego, The Lizard.

How was it performing inside the Lizard costume?

The mask was extremely difficult to breathe in and extremely difficult to see in. And I kind of became my own worst enemy because we were doing the tribute to Billy Joel, I picked “Uptown Girl” thinking, “I know ‘Uptown Girl.’” Turns out, I don't know “Uptown Girl.” I was singing all the wrong words and then I can't see the teleprompter. So now, I'm struggling to breathe, struggling to move, struggling to see. I got to read and sing. It is way more difficult than I thought it would be.

Did any famous friends or family members suspect you were on the show?

After they heard me sing, everybody knew who I was, even my kids. They knew automatically.

Are your kids fans of the show?

My kids watch the show. They asked me 1,000,000 times was I on the show when I wasn't on the show. But as soon as they saw me moving, before I even sang a note, they knew which one I was.

You performed Evanescence's "Bring Me to Life" on Shower Anthems Night, which is not the genre people typically expect from you. Why did you choose that song?

I've always loved that song. I was just elated that I had an opportunity to kind of show people Sisqo's range, you know? Some people think I'm a rapper, and I can't rap to save my life. So it was a great experience being able to sing, just have people literally see me in another light.

Viewers also may have been surprised to learn that you liked to draw and turned down an offer to work as an animator for Disney.

Turning down the opportunity to draw for Disney did not go over so well with my parents. So I had no choice but to make one of these talents work because they wasn't going to let me forget how I fumbled that bag. However, ironically enough, the second movie that I had ever shot in my entire career was a movie with Disney called Snow Dogs, so we ended up working together anyway.

Do you still draw for fun?

I had something to do with my logos.

Related: Where to Watch Every Season of The Masked Singer

Would you be supportive of your kids if they told you they wanted to go into the entertainment industry?

I'd be as brutally honest as they are with me. They are my whole A&R team. If I play a song, they leave the room or start asking me about a different song, then I know that that one ain't dope.

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The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

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