The latest contestant unveiled on “The Masked Dancer” turned out to be — Elizabeth Smart?
Even Smart herself seemed somewhat surprised to be there when she took off the mask in Wednesday’s episode of the Fox series. And she was clearly emotional.
“Oh my gosh! Does anyone else cry? Is it just me?” she said backstage. “Am I the biggest baby in the world?”
But even as she teared up, she expressed her delight at appearing on the show. “Being on ‘The Masked Dancer’ taught me that having fun is a good thing,” she said.
Smart — who made international headlines when she was kidnapped in 2002 and rescued nine months later — was inspired by her grandmother, who “passed away very recently. But she was so much fun. She never let a moment pass her by,” she said. “And so when this opportunity came along, I thought — I live a pretty serious life. And I’m going to take this opportunity and just have fun.”
Smart has become an advocate, author and television correspondent.
“The Masked Dancer” disguises a variety of celebrities in fabulous costumes, and the celebrities perform for a studio audience and a panel of judges. The judges guess who is behind the masks.
The guesses by Ken Jeong, Cheryl Hines, Paula Abdul and Ashley Tisdale were all over the place in Wednesday’s episode — model Karlie Kloss, “Apprentice” contestant Omarosa Manigault Newman, former TV newswoman Megyn Kelly, former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, former “View” host Elizabeth Hasselbeck, comedian Kathy Griffin.
Brian Austin Green (“Beverly Hills, 90210”) was the only judge who correctly guessed the Moth was Smart, but there were, no doubt, viewers at home — including many in Utah — who had figured it out based on the clues the show provided.
One linked the Moth to Brigham Young University, and there was this in Wednesday’s episode: “It was my choice not to allow the traumatic details of my past not to define my future,” Smart said (her voice disguised). “So here is my headline — Survivor speaks! Be brave. Be smart. Be yourself. Build a new foundation and blossom into the moth you were always meant to be.”
The audience votes to eliminate one dancer each week, and it was Smart’s turn to go on Wednesday — and to remove the head on the Moth costume, which Smart gushed over.
“Usually when you get closer to things, I feel like you end up being a little bit disappointed,” she said backstage, “because it looks really great from far away, but then you get closer you see, like, the Scotch tape or, like, the Elmer’s glue dripping down somewhere. That’s not true of this costume. It only gets more and more beautiful as you get closer and closer.”