Elizabeth Smart wasn’t interested at first in appearing on Fox’s “The Masked Dancer.” But after her grandmother passed away, Smart said she had an epiphany.
“She certainly lived life to the fullest,” Smart said. “As I was sitting at her funeral, thinking about life and death, I just thought, it’s okay to have fun. It’s okay to do something happy. Not everything I do has to be 100% serious all the time. I’m more than just a one-sided person, so why not.”
Smart was revealed to be the person under the Moth costume on Wednesday’s edition of “The Masked Dancer.” Smart said she also felt that after the dark events of 2020, she wanted to do something light hearted and fun.
“It was probably the most terrifying thing that I’ve ever voluntarily done,” Smart said. “But it was a lot of fun. I mean, how often does a person get to say that they have a whole team of people working out with them every single day, like five people working there to help make you be the best you can be.”
Smart was unmasked after dancing to Michael Bublé’s version of “Sway.” She said she had kept her participation in “The Masked Dancer” a secret to everyone except her husband and her manager.
“Not that I dismissed these types of shows before, but I think it gave me a new and greater appreciation for them,” she said. “There are so many really talented, kind, good people working on these shows that I think genuinely do just want to make people smile. That was a really nice experience for me, that really helped me have a greater appreciation for everyone involved in the whole process.”
Smart, who as a teenager was the victim of a kidnapping and sexual assault, has become an advocate for missing persons and victims of assault.
Smart told Variety she expected some viewers to be surprised by her participation in the show. ” I don’t think most people, even that know me well. would ever guess that I would do something like this,” she said. “Life should be happy as well, not just serious all the time. I want to have a happy life too, as much as I want to have a meaningful life connected to positive change and education and prevention. I also personally want to have a happy life and I’m OK if other people see that side of me.”
Among the panelists, Brian Austin Green got it right with Smart, Ken Jeong named Karlie Kloss, Paula Abdul guessed Kathy Griffin, and Ashley Tisdale thought it was Jewel. Guest panelist Cheryl Hines picked Megyn Kelly.
Smart had previously danced to “Boot Scootin Boogie,” by Brooks & Dunn, and in her first episode, the panelists guessed Kelly, Monica Lewinsky and Marla Maples.
“The Masked Dancer” includes the feature “Word Up,” in which each contestant says a one-word clue to their identity. Smart’s first “Word Up” was “Inspired” and second “Word Up” was “Bestseller.”
This season’s costumes include Zebra, Tulip, Sloth, Exotic Bird, Cotton Candy, Cricket, Disco Ball, Moth, Ice Cube and Hammerhead. Previously unmasked was Bill Nye the Science Guy as the Ice Cube, and Ice-T as the Disco Ball.
The show touts a cast of 10 celebrities that have “amassed more than 38 million albums sold worldwide, 20 Emmy Award wins, 20 Grammy Award nominations, 10 World Dancing titles, five New York Times Best-Selling Author titles, four Olympic gold medals and three Broadway show appearances.”
Here were the other contestants and their performances on episode three, “Group B Playoffs — These Masks Don’t Lie!”:
Dance: “All My Life,” by K-Ci and Jojo Word Up: “Champion” Panel guesses: Floyd Mayweather, Mario Lopez, Tito Ortiz, Tony Robbins Voice-over: “It was amazing to be up on that big stage again. It really gave me that little taste of adrenaline I’ve been missing, ever since my golden promotion to Z.E.O. Our mission at Zebra Inc. is to help others, especially those who may not be able to help themselves. Childhood was hard, surrounded by poverty and crime. But also, I always had love, and I never would have made it to where I am today without the support of some great mentors and friends. That’s why I have to give back and be a hero to all the little zebras out there who need someone to believe in them. Sometimes life is crazy but love will always help you fight through. My first dance was a fun salsa but tonight, I’m slowing it down with a sexy duet. You wouldn’t know how hard it is to bring the sexy as a zebra, but just like life, if I can channel the love, I’ll come out on top.” Previous dance: “Magalehna,” by Sergio Mendes Previous Word Up: “Comeback” Previous panel guesses: Ricky Martin, Kevin Richardson, Pitbull
Dance: “Sour Candy,” by Lady Gaga feat. Blackpink Word Up: “Team Player” Panel guesses: Tara Lipinski, Kristi Yamaguchi, Jenna Dewan Voice-over: “It was a scary fall. But do you think I’m going to let one fall stop me? No way. I’m used to setbacks. I grew up in a place where life was carefree and simple. For everyone but me. It was so hard to balance practice with everything else in my life. I missed out on so many milestones and I started to feel iced out by kids my age. I even missed my high school prom. It made me want to scream sometimes. But all these years later, I’m truly grateful for those sacrifices. Because I made it here and I’m once again taking a big risk. Last time it was just me and my partner. But tonight I’m with a group of the most talented dancers. So I have to stand out and show the panel why I deserve a spot in the Super Six.” Previous dance: “Glitter in the Air,” by Pink Previous Word Up: “Primetime” Previous panel guesses: Jenna Dewan, Pink, Julianne Hough
Dance: “Up Where We Belong,” by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes Word Up: “Leading man” Panel guesses: Jonathan Groff, Keegan-Michael Key, Will Ferrell Voice-over: “Last week was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done in my life. Just kidding. That’s not hard for stars like me! But I didn’t always feel that way. When I was young, we moved to a new place with a new language. I didn’t fit in. Eventually, I got a reputation as a bad boy. The truth is, I was afraid to show people the real me. But I took a chance and jumped. And it worked. I learned so much about myself. So tonight, I’m taking another chance and baring my soul on stage. It’s not easy for me to be vulnerable. But if I can make you laugh in the process, then it will all be worth it.” Previous dance: “What I Like About You,” by the Romantics Previous Word Up: “Broadway” Previous panel guesses: Matthew Morrison, Kevin Federline, Jason Derulo