Nicola Roberts has revealed The Masked Singer Queen Bee costume was so claustrophobic she struggled to breathe.
The former Girls Aloud star was crowned the winner of the ITV celebrity singing talent show but she confessed during her first time performing inside the heavy mask she had a minor panic attack.
Roberts, 34, told The Sun: “There were real difficulties with the mask in the first dress rehearsals. I had a balaclava and gloves all the way up my arms then the mask. It was absolutely boiling in the studio, there was no air or ventilation in the mask, so you’re breathing in the air that you’re breathing out. I was gasping throughout the song. I felt like I was a ball of fire.
“I got half way through and I was choking on my breath and I just ran off stage. I could see everyone panicking backstage. I had a claustrophobic moment when I couldn’t get the mask off. I’m not usually claustrophobic but I had a moment of saying to myself, ‘You have to get the mask off me - right now’.”
The Something Kinda Ooooh singer revealed producers agreed to adapt the costume to make it less uncomfortable for her.
She explained: “We made the holes in the balaclava bigger, we took off the under-layers and the gloves. I didn’t put the mask on again until the minute I was about to go on stage and I made sure I had a fan underneath to pump air through. The heat inside the head was the hardest.”
Roberts also revealed that her Girls Aloud bandmate Cheryl Cole and Kimberley Walsh guessed her identity from the moment they saw the advert for The Masked Singer on TV.
She said she recieved a text from Cheryl telling her she was rumbled but she kept denying it.
However Roberts admitted: “Of course, they were the only ones who could recognise my voice, as we were in each other’s pockets for so long.”