Oscar nominee under The Masked Singer’s Scarecrow mask reveals why she eliminated herself


Warning: This article contains spoilers from Wednesday’s episode of The Masked Singer.

The Scarecrow is done spooking The Masked Singer crowd — on her own terms.

After her rendition of “Abracadabra” by Steve Miller Band, the Halloween-worthy contestant pulled somewhat of a first for the show, by deciding to unmask herself before the first vote of the evening. Previously, season 4’s Gremlin, who was revealed to be Mickey Rourke, abruptly took off his costume when it all got to be too much, but in Scarecrow’s case, she knew she wanted to eliminate herself and it all was for a good cause.

When she was finally unmasked, it was none other than Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-winning The Exorcists star Linda Blair under the giant jack-o-lantern. Below, she opens up to EW about her work rescuing animals and why she unmasked herself.

THE MASKED SINGER

THE MASKED SINGER

Michael Becker/FOX Scarecrow performing on ‘The Masked Singer’ season 8

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You mentioned on the show having a special reason for being there. Can you tell me about that?

LINDA BLAIR: So I came to purchase this property, the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation Rescue and Wellness Center in 2006. After rescuing in Hurricane Katrina, I was brought down to get the remaining animals out because most of them were pit bulls, and that’s my specialty. I ended up with 51, as there was no place else for them to go in the country, and we were able to get everybody else out. It was incredibly overwhelming and pretty much gave everybody a form of PTSD that experienced Hurricane Katrina and any of the emergency events that have happened since. It’s heart wrenching. So I built this property to be an emergency rescue center for a period of a few years. But as the economy changed, as pets were in need, we kept going. I found it difficult to run the foundation and work in the industry. So I stayed on temporary hold as far as working, because I can’t leave, when California has gone through so many environmental changes — rains, fires — we’re an emergency center to help the shelters and rescues and try to help the shelters as much as possible.

We are now coming into my 16th year, and we are asking everyone across America to understand the shelters are so overcrowded. With people coming out of the pandemic, they’ve lost loved ones who had pets. People have lost their homes and don’t know where to go. The homeless overpopulation in California is due to the weather being a little easier than other parts of the country and with them are animals, and living on the streets, and so the connection between the homeless population and the animal overpopulation of homeless pets has come to a crisis level that no one is noticing or talking about, because everyone’s in such a state of shock coming out of the pandemic. There was less spay and neutering, because the vets were closed. People were trying to help animals, but they were starting to breed. There were not enough inoculations and vaccinations given because the vets were not open — I spoke to all the veterinarians and begged their community to step up. There were some that went out and helped, as they could, and others just weren’t open. So we have seen the result of a crisis, like none other in history. And it’s not being talked about. And these are perfectly wonderful companion animals that are being torn from their homes, thrown into the streets, the desert, to shelters. And the shelters are screaming for help and the rescues, we are all volunteers, and we have to fundraise to help the animals. There’s not one rescue that gets city or county funding. We rely completely on the public to help us to help them. But we’re also in situations where every rescue is full, many rely on foster homes, and there aren’t enough of those. We have to pay for everything — food, medical, whatever is needed for the animals — and it is at such a crazy time, and no one is understanding what’s happening.

So Mask Singer came along.

So when Mask Singer came along and offered the opportunity, I found a way to do it. And it was probably one of the hardest things because I had not run around on a stage nor had I sang since 1997 when I did grease onBroadway. And so I did a lot of vocal work. We had such a short time. So it was quite a challenge for me, and it was scary and hard. But I worked with everyone, and made up a routine where I danced and they said, “Perform, do what you know how to do.”

Why did you choose to unmask yourself?

So I ran around the stage, I performed, we picked a fun upbeat song, and when I chose to unmask, I had to explain that I wanted the other people to compete properly because this was their livelihood. And for me, my plea was strictly on behalf of the animals and to thank everyone at Fox for the wonderful show. I love The Masked Singer. I’ve been a fan forever — like when Clint Black and Lisa Hartman were on, and the big costumes are extraordinary. And it took me away for one hour at night from the sadness that we’re all in on behalf of the animals. So when they asked me to participate, I was like, wait, what? And I am so excited for people to see. I did this for the public. I did this for the animals. And I hope everybody super enjoyed and understands what I am asking for the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation. For people in the country to donate. This is the time, and giving Tuesday, and all the charity time and the holidays, to give, volunteer, foster, adopt — please do not buy puppies. Please do not turn your animals into the shelters. Ask for help.

Linda Blair attends the Steve Irwin Gala Dinner at JW Marriott Los Angeles at LA LIVE on May 21, 2016 in Los Angeles, California

Linda Blair attends the Steve Irwin Gala Dinner at JW Marriott Los Angeles at LA LIVE on May 21, 2016 in Los Angeles, California

David Livingston/Getty Linda Blair

Thank you for the work you do. My rescue pups are my whole world.

They are. They’re my world, too. I can’t imagine life without them, and most people that have their companion animals — these are gifts to us of companionship through thick and thin. So look at our website, my Facebook account, Twitter, and Instagram. Remember, I did over 50 movies and TV shows, like Roller Boogie, Repossessed with Leslie Nielsen, you know, all the different things I did — but I didn’t know I was gonna step back. But the animals need help, and I’ve devoted my life to it. I’m begging everyone — if you have any ideas or any anything, please, please reach out to us. This is really that much of a crisis situation.

The Masked Singer will air a new episode on Thanksgiving Thursday at 8 pm ET/PT on Fox, before returning for a two-hour finale on Wednesday, Nov. 30.

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