There was no fooling Jenny McCarthy.
It wasn’t too long after the Hibiscus sang “It’s Raining Men” did the judge on Wednesday’s installment of The Masked Singer correctly identify who was wearing those oversized petals. While the others guessed Ted Lasso‘s Hannah Waddingham (get real!) and Janice Dickinson (as if!), McCarthy seemed to know almost instantly, thanks in large part to the folks she befriended while living in The Big Apple.
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Here, the Hibiscus — best known as the Countess Luann De Lesseps from the original cast of The Real Housewives of NYC — talks about failing to outwit McCarthy and what she hoped her song would do for her (non-existent) love life.
DEADLINE Your costume was pretty gorgeous. It must have been sad to give that up.
LUANN DE LESSEPS We talked about my inspiration, and we kind of decided on a flower. I told them a story about my mom and how she explained coming into puberty as this beautiful flower that someday is going to bloom. This is how Hibiscus was born. So when I saw that costume, I was so blown away. It’s so gorgeous.
DEADLINE Was it heavy in any way?
DE LESSEPS Well, it looked heavier than what it really was. I had the backpack of petals, but it wasn’t too heavy. I feel like there were other masked singers who had heavier costumes. So I was really happy with the Hibiscus. It was very streamlined. The hardest part is having the mask over your head because there’s not a lot of room in there. You can’t see very well. No peripheral vision whatsoever. And so it was a challenge, but it was a challenge that I was really up for. I was excited when the offer came to do this. I love to sing and I love a good competition show, and I’ve always been a fan of the show.
DEADLINE Was there one clue or two clues that the show put out that made you worry you were going to be quickly identified?
DE LESSEPS Well, I was most worried about Jenny McCarthy because she’s known me for years. We’ve known each other from New York when she had a radio show, and our children went to school together, so she knows that I’m a nurse. So I was like, ‘oh God, she’s going to know it’s me.’
DEADLINE What did you think about their other guesses? Like Hannah Waddingham from Ted Lasso?
DE LESSEPS Yeah, I was surprised. It really started where they didn’t have a clue, and Jenny had an Aha moment. I was like, ‘oh my God, I can’t believe she picked me out.’ Of course, you want to get to the very end, so when she said my name, I was like, ‘oh, what a bummer. I’ve got to go.’
DEADLINE Do you have any clue who the Anteater is?
DE LESSEPS I don’t know. They covered people so well. I mean, you go around, literally, in a Darth Vader outfit the whole time you’re there, so you don’t know who anyone is. It’s pretty amazing how well they do their jobs.
DEADLINE So why did you pick It’s Raining Men?
DE LESSEPS That was a manifestation for me. I am single, so I was like, I’m going to manifest it. It’s raining men!
DEADLINE You are currently touring with your cabaret and you have a show planned for February called Marry F Kill. What’s that about?
DE LESSEPS Do you know the game that girls play, Marry, Fuck, Kill? When I do my cabaret, I do a Q and A with the audience, and every single show I get asked who I would marry, fuck or kill. I have a great story about it. I did a show at 54 Below and a lady stands up and says David Letterman, Brad Pitt, Andrew Dice Clay. Who would you marry, fuck and kill? I was like, ‘well, I’m going to marry David Letterman because he’s funny and he’s rich. I’ve never been a big fan of Brad Pitt, so I’m going to have to kill him. So I guess I’m going to fuck Andrew Dice Clay.’ She goes, ‘good, because he’s standing right beside me.’ I swear to God. I was like, ‘oh my God, it’s a good thing I said that.’ He stands up with a cigarette hanging out his mouth. He goes, ‘this show is fucking amazing.’ He was brought to it by his fiancée. I had no idea he was there. It just really worked out. I start with the Marry, Fuck and Kill show on Valentine’s Day at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles because who doesn’t want to talk about Marry Fuck and Kill on Valentine’s Day? The inspiration really comes from every single show that I do. I have a new song coming out for the tour, but until then, I have new shows coming up in New Orleans, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta. I’m touring all over with the nation. So it is very exciting and it’s something I really love to do. I kind of found my calling, and it was through a really an old friend who said, ‘Luann, you love to sing for your friends. You love to host parties, and you love to tell jokes. You should be doing cabaret.’ And it really started with that.
DEADLINE So what do you address in the cabaret?
DE LESSEPS The show’s always new. I talk a lot about Luann & Sonja: Crappie Lake and that experience. All the song choices are based around my love affair with music. I’ll sing David Bowie and Do Let’s Dance, because it comes from a story of meeting Mick Jagger at David Bowie’s house. There’s a lot of storytelling that goes into the songs and the music, and of course I sing my classic, Money Can’t Buy You Class. It’s just really so much fun for me. I’m doing what I love. I always say the audience comes in a Toyota and leaves in the Rolls Royce because I really put on a great show.