During Wednesday’s episode of “The Masked Singer” Season 2, Laila Ali — NOT Homer Simpson — was revealed to be hiding behind the Panda mask. This undefeated boxing champion faced off against Flamingo in the initial vote and Leopard in the Smackdown, losing both head-to-head match-ups on Fox’s wild and wacky reality show. In her “The Masked Singer” exit interview, the famed daughter of Muhammad Ali proclaimed, “I was a ball of nerves out there, but it was so much fun.” Watch the video above.
“This entire experience has been amazing,” Laila declared. Of course, she’s no stranger to reality TV, having hosed the revival of “American Gladiators” and appeared on “Celebrity Apprentice.” That’s why it’s a surprise none of the panelists — Nicole Scherzinger, Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy and Robin Thicke — picked her as their official guesses. Robin at one point threw her name out, but in the end he changed his mind and went with Loni Love instead.
Laila continued, “It’s been so much fun to be able to sing, do something that I’ve always wanted to do but was too shy to do because I didn’t have confidence in my voice. I’m someone that always tells people to face their fears, that you have to get uncomfortable before you get comfortable sometimes. I think that that’s all that you can ask for. I don’t ever wanna walk away feeling like I didn’t try and do my absolute best.”
The boxer also took a swipe at the panel, saying it was “even more fun” that they had no idea who she was. “I felt the clues were so obvious,” Laila revealed. “I was standing there saying ‘fighter, stronger, all I do is win, win win.’ I’m the undefeated boxing champion, but they still didn’t put it together.” Her two performances on the show were “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson and “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled.
Finally, Laila expressed her thanks for getting the “opportunity to perform without feeling like I was being judged.” Her strategy for the season was to keep singing “female empowerment songs, to come out as the Panda, be timid, be shy, and show people that no matter what you can be strong and believe in yourself.”