Image: ProSieben / Willi Weber
After swipes at planks on “Masked Singer”, Thomas Anders makes it clear: “Vengeance has no style”
Thomas Anders had to reveal himself as the first of four finalists in the big “The Masked Singer” final on Tuesday evening – as most of the audience had already suspected, the pop singer was actually under the turtle mask.
The former Modern Talking singer could not lose the special recognition value. And although his long-term collaboration with Dieter Bohlen is far behind him, the musician duo has been officially separated since 2003, the pop titan was also discussed on the ProSieben show: The turtle’s annoying sidekick was a parrot that added its mustard to everything.
When it became known that Bohlen had to give up his jury position on “Das Supertalent” and “DSDS”, the parrot turned out to be a Bohlen symbol on “The Masked Singer”. “A place has become free here, folks, and I just have time too. I’m expecting awesome performances today!”, the bird announced full-bodied in Bohlen speech at the beginning of a “The Masked Singer” edition.
Image: ProSieben / Willi Weber
What Anders thought of these allusions, why he avoided hairdressers in particular because of the show and what he advises future “The Masked Singer” candidates, he told in an interview with watson.
watson: How satisfied are you with your “The Masked Singer” placement?
Thomas Anders: I’m super happy that I made it to the final. This definitely exceeded my goal of not being kicked out in the first broadcast. It was just a great and liberating feeling for me to finally take off the mask.
How did you experience the final?
You have to be very clear: It was by far the most difficult final because all four finalists are top singers. And that has never happened before. In the end, the placement may be down to the choice of title or the likelihood of a mask. It doesn’t matter, the main thing is to be there, the main thing to be in the final, the main thing to have fun.
During a TV interview you were asked about your possible participation in “The Masked Singer”. How did you feel at the moment, shortly before the exposure?
Of course you think: Oh, what do I have to tell you here, when everyone thinks they know that it is me anyway. But then you have to play along consistently and try to divert the track. I had the feeling that after the first broadcast it was Germany’s most public secret that I am the turtle. In the end, it was 88 percent in the app who said it was me. That’s why I found it so fitting to say, “In the name of the people, it’s Thomas Anders,” as Rea Garvey said in episode five.
Has your private environment recognized you and if so, how?
It was always the voice. I’ve heard so many times, “You sang the first note and we knew it was you.” Or: “It was a phrasing and we knew it was you.” And with the help of my vocal coach, I tried to omit these phrasing, which are very typical for me.
And did that work?
I had tried so hard with Phil Collins’ first song “In The Air Tonight” and still thought: The song is so far away from Thomas Anders, the song also had a special arrangement, you can’t get straight to it. Well, the first thing I read was: “That was clearly Thomas Anders”.
You have been in show business for several decades, but after your exposure you still said that you were surprised that your voice is so recognizable. How does that fit together?
I don’t analyze my voice and then see how high the recognition value is. Because I see myself as a whole person, of course. When I perform, face, gestures and voice are a coherent cosmos for me. To speak great of expression under the mask was also not possible. But that the voice alone would then be perceived so strongly, with such a high recognition value, I really did not expect that. But on the other hand: That is probably one of the reasons for my success. If you’ve been so successful at it for 35 or 36 years like me, then people have got used to it and know how I sound.
That is also a great compliment for you as an artist.
Anyway, this is my ID. The voice made me what I am artistically. My voice is the artist Thomas Anders and I see that people recognize that immediately as a compliment. After all, that makes them hardly interchangeable, you have to see it that way.
Who knew about your participation in “The Masked Singer”?
My wife and son knew, and otherwise only those who had to know. And then I tried to go out as little as possible for the past six weeks so that I wouldn’t be confronted.
What specific situations do you mean by that?
I didn’t go to the hairdresser especially so that I couldn’t sit in the chair and run away when the turtle asked. I definitely didn’t want that. I held back very much.
Do you have a tip for future candidates?
I can only advise everyone who follows me: Make a list, type it into your cell phone, write down the names of those you “lied to” so that the day after you know who to apologize to. (laughs)
Image: ProSieben / Willi / Weber
What was it about your costume that made it particularly difficult to perform in it?
Within a good ten minutes you will be almost 13 kilos heavier. Then the costume is padded at the bottom, a leather coat comes over it, and you had a tank in the back. I had the microphone in one hand and the grappling hook in the other. So all I could do was wiggle the grappling hook, I couldn’t do anything else. I couldn’t get on my knees, otherwise the tank would have hit the ground. But I couldn’t sit down either, because the tank couldn’t do that either. It was a very, very big limitation. But I tried as far as possible to breathe life into the turtle.
With success! Despite the adversity …
Then you shouldn’t forget the huge head with the hat. There were three fans in my head and still you hardly get any air. When you move and perform, it was physically very strenuous. If you haven’t gone through it, you totally underestimate it.
In your opinion, were the other masks equally sophisticated?
There are certainly masks that are lighter. I think the worst hit was the monstronaut. And the dinosaur had the problem that its teeth went so far forward that the head threatened to tip forward. You always had to hold your head back with your neck muscles so that this wouldn’t happen and still sing.
Are you glad you picked that costume out?
At least I couldn’t have imagined any other.
Your costume also included a rather blaring parrot, which symbolically turned out to be Dieter Bohlen during the season. In an issue of “The Masked Singer” in particular, there were clear, but also nasty references to Bohlen (“Schnabel-Dieter, shut up the edge”). What do you think of the comments in the issue about planks?
That wasn’t my idea. I knew when I got the costume that a parrot also belongs to the turtle captain. But I think that at the time it wasn’t even put into this personal context and that it was only just developing. Matthias Opdenhövel played with that and suddenly played with it in the clue clips. That was a sure-fire success.
Dieter Bohlen has never held back with nasty sayings to the candidates in his “DSDS” career. Do you see the remarks about him on “The Masked Singer” perhaps as a counter-blow or compensation?
No. Revenge has no style. You don’t need that. That’s something I’ve never learned to deal with. In the end, I think that only quality counts.
Image: dpa / Henning Kaiser
Do you think that “DSDS” and “Das Supertalent” have a future without Dieter Bohlen?
Well, I don’t want to comment on that, because I’m not really interested in that either. I haven’t seen the shows before either. RTL will already make the right decision and with the current decision, RTL has certainly given some thought, that was certainly not discussed at the breakfast table. The ladies and gentlemen from RTL will already know what they’re doing.
Could you imagine becoming Bohlen’s successor on the shows?
No. For me that is immediately impossible. That would also be a bit too flat and that would be too much showmanship. I wouldn’t even want to do it because that’s not my genre either. It’s not about somehow having to judge young people who often have no talent. I dont want that.
What do you have to do in the future?
In the coming weeks I will have many more TV recordings for various other shows. Then my English-language album will come out on Friday, but it’s meant for the international market, for my international fans. I haven’t made an English-language album for seven years and now it’s their turn and not just the German fans. And then the preparation for the next album starts. There is also still the hope that we will be able to perform every now and then from summer onwards.