Ben Lee reveals behind-the-scenes spoilers
In last night’s episode of The masked singer 2021, the professor has been unmasked and wouldn’t you know? Old buddy Ben lee was under there all the time!
Today I got on the horn with Ben to get a story on everything from what goes behind the scenes at the eccentric butt show to the huge second win of his iconic bop, “Catch My Disease”.
Hey Ben! Last night was so entertaining. I really, really enjoyed it! How did you come to get involved in The masked singer?
[Ten] actually approached me last year, and that was just as the pandemic was starting. I was going to go out on my own and do it and I just thought, “Man, I might find myself in a situation where I’m stuck away from my family for six months.”
So I ended up saying no, and then when I said I was going out this year, I was like, ‘Is this offer still valid?’
I love that you are so enthusiastic!
Oh yes! The show is just madness and I think in general there’s something just glorious about staying in touch with that little part of yourself that just wants to be involved in some totally crazy things.
Totally! And how often do you manage to perform on stage with an original mask?
Never! And it’s really liberating, as I thought about it Oscar wilde quote: “Give a man a mask, he will show you the truth.” Because there is something that looks like wide-closed eyes, as if you are getting a little liberated and off-balance by not relying on your usual personality.
Yes, 100%! So how does it work with the costume? Are you going to choose it or do they?
They send out sketches. I think they have some ideas of what they think is funny or interesting to different people. And to me, it’s really funny because you know, I was doing this new album at the time and I kept telling people, “This is the Mad Professor archetype, this is like Willy Wonka. It’s like being the kind of instigator who takes people on a journey into unexpected spaces. And so when I saw this costume, I was like, that’s exactly it!
Beautiful! And the song, did you choose it or was it them?
There is a song list and I was pretty clear from the start that I wouldn’t want to do anything cheesy because at the end of the day the entertainment is good, but I like to champion good songs.
Obviously you can’t give spoilers, but I just want to know, have you met the other celebrities backstage or is it completely silent?
I don’t know who they are!
Do you have any theories?
I don’t even have theories! But I guess, just by the law of the art genre, some of them are probably friends of mine.
Well it’s such a fascinating season because we have more Hollywood stars than ever in Australia so it could literally be anyone!
Well, not only that, but also because live performances weren’t factored in, all musicians are looking for work, so more people would be open to doing it.
Excellent remark! So, since it’s completely silent, what’s the vibe like behind the scenes?
It’s probably a bit like being in a drill. I mean, you only have a handful of people, as a candidate, that you interact with. I think about four people knew who I was. And you go from one thing to another with hoods and capes and security. It’s really weird.
You must feel like you are in some kind of secret society, like a stonecutter vibe.
Absolutely, yeah! It’s exactly that kind of feeling.
So, shifting gears now, your iconic song “Catch My Disease” has become a bit of a viral sensation again since COVID. I’ve seen memes about it. I’ve seen it on COVID-inspired playlists. How does that feel?
Well I think one of the good things about songs is that they really have a life and a spirit of their own and you can’t quite anticipate what a song is going to mean in the end. when it comes to the public, let alone 10 or 15 years later.
So as an artist I think that’s where intuition really comes in, and you have to be confident that things that didn’t always make sense then might make sense later. .
Absolutely, you have to trust your vibrations! Speaking of which, your new song ‘Born for this Bullshit’ comes out on Friday. Tell me about it!
Yeah, that’s really cool. It’s a song I wrote in 2019, it’s about finding the arrogance and positivity to wake up in the morning despite the personal and socio-economic collapse.
I am really excited! I made the video with Byron spencer who is one of my favorite visual artists working today and it’s absolute madness.
I can not wait to see it ! Madness seems to be the theme lately, I love it.
Yeah, well. A little madness keeps you sane!
Absoutely! It’s ironic, but it’s so true.
The Masked Singer continues tonight at 7:30 p.m. on Ten.