Watch: Mickey Rourke unmasked himself on The Masked Singer
If there is anything that Mickey Rourke has proven during his career, it’s that he never plays by the rules.
The Oscar- and Razzie-nominated actor’s eclectic filmography is packed with bizarre breakout roles in 9 ½ Weeks, Angel Heart, The Wrestler, and, fittingly, a movie called Masked and Anonymous. And now he can add The Masked Singer to that résumé.
But Rourke didn’t stay masked and anonymous for very long this Wednesday on the US version of the show.
And once again, he didn’t play by the rules — deciding to unmask himself in the final dramatic minutes of Season 4’s Group B episode, in what was the series’ strangest celebrity reveal to date.
Almost immediately after performing as the deceptively cuddly Gremlin and tearfully dedicating ‘Stand by M’” to his late friend and occasional co-star, punk/roots rocker Willy DeVille, Rourke decided that he’d had enough. And then, he pulled off this surprisingly punk-rock move.
To be honest, he likely would have been eliminated anyway, as Group B’s five other costumed crooners had already delivered stronger performances, while the Gremlin’s croaky vocals had judge Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg speculating, “Is he like, a hundred years old?” (Judge Robin Thicke guessed the Gremlin was 85-year-old Jerry Lee Lewis, because of a mention of a “checkered past”; Jenny actually thought it might be Rourke, due to a few wrestling clues.)
But Rourke didn’t even give the judges and virtual studio audience a chance to vote.
“Wait, Gremlin, what are you doing?” hollered host Nick Cannon, after Rourke declared that it was “too damn hot” and proceeded to behead himself right then and there. “What’s happening? The Gremlin's telling me he wants to take this [headpiece] off! Gremlin, you can't do that! That's not part of the show! … Men in Black, I need some help! We've lost control. It's the Gremlin's show!”
“No one has ever done this!” noted judge Nicole Scherzinger.
And, after the cliffhanging commercial break, the Gremlin’s self-administered de-masking was complete. “I was in the neighbourhood,” Rourke shrugged nonchalantly, when asked by Nick why he’d signed up for the show in the first place; Rourke then exited stage right, before the episode was even over.
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“And... he’s out,” said Jenny. “I don’t know what just happened,” said a befuddled Nick, as he watched Rourke wander off in that furry lavender onesie, looking like a bedraggled Teletubbie.
“All the other characters, you guys are safe, because he unmasked himself,” Nick explained.