Australia’s sweetheart Nikki Webster was revealed as the face behind the Alien mask on Monday night’s episode of the hit show The Masked Singer.
While the clues appeared to point right to the former child star, fans are still coming to terms with the fact that it’s been almost two decades since a 13-year-old Nikki captured the world’s attention in the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games.
Gobsmacked viewers took to social media in droves following the homegrown talent’s unmasking to air their disbelief that the fresh-faced tween from 2000 is now 32 - and a mum-of-two to boot.
Nikki Webster is all grown up
In a far cry from her wholesome Opening Ceremony performance, Nikki performed Aussie band 5SOS’ edgy song “Youngblood” for her second appearance on The Masked Singer.
Sadly, it would be her last as she was eliminated and unmasked at the end of the show, but she made sure to give a shout-out to her five-year-old daughter.
“I just want my daughter to watch it at home and see if she can pick me,” Nikki told the judges.
“Did you guess me, Skylah? I hope you did and I hope you love the Alien, so it was for you, baby girl,” she spoke to the camera.
Nikki’s reveal and her heartfelt message to her little girl had Twitter all aflutter.
“I had to go and watch this after #TheMaskedSingerAu... So much nostalgia!” wrote one fan.
“My childhood self is so happy!” said another.
“Still reeling at finding out that Nikki Webster is a mum,” admitted one.
“Nikki Webster has a child? I’m so old,” lamented another.
Nikki later took to Instagram to share a selfie in her Alien costume - sans mask, of course - with the caption, “Did u guess?”
Like many viewers, judge Dannii Minogue was right on the money, revealing that she twigged on after revisiting Nikki’s iconic millennium pop hit, “Strawberry Kisses”.
“It was my first guess and I went home and then I looked up your single, your first single had a little alien on it,” she said after Nikki’s reveal.
We’re sure judge Dave ‘Hughesy’ Hughes is kicking himself for not picking Nikki - after all, she appeared on his very own show Hughesy We Have A Problem just last year.
Nikki Webster: where is she now?
Nikki became a household name at age 13 after performing at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. She released her debut single “Strawberry Kisses” the following year, followed by a full-length album, Let's Dance, in 2004.
She released a single, “Devilicious”, in May 2009, but has largely retreated from the spotlight with the exception of a few appearances on breakfast television, and a stint on Dancing with the Stars in 2005.
Nikki went on to open a successful chain of dance studios and is now mum to daughter Skylah, five, and almost-two-year-old Malachi McMah, who she shares with her husband Matthew McMah who she married in 2012.
Nikki’s 2019 comeback
Along with her hit Masked Singer appearance, Nikki seems to be having somewhat of a renaissance in 2019.
In celebration of One-Hit Wonder Day last month, Nikki teamed up with food delivery service Deliveroo to release her first-ever dessert, a strawberry and chocolate creation called, of course, “Strawberry Kisses”.
“I’ve definitely been missing strawberry kisses since 2001, and I can’t wait to bring it back this week with a tasty treat (that will be just as sweet),” she said in a statement.
Back in January, Nikki released her first song in 18 years, “Move Your Body,” which encourages people to be active in their own way every day.
She’s also been seen out and about attending events such as The Iconic Kids First Birthday Party in August.
And after her unmasking, Nikki hinted at new music on the way, saying she’s “been writing some tracks I love, so, you never know”.
“Music is a passion of mine and any chance to perform I love to,” she told Sydney Confidential
Nikki dodges Alien rumours
Prior to her unmasking on the show, Nikki was asked some ‘probing’ questions, with the former child star telling The Daily Telegraph that a Masked Singer stint all ‘depends’.
“I have seen a bit of talk and a lot of kids at the studio. Would I do a reality show like that? I don’t know. I guess it depends … right time, right place, it just depends,” she told the newspaper.
“I am so flattered,” she added.
While Masked Singer judges Dannii, Lindsay, Jackie O and Hughesy thought eco-warrior Bindi Irwin, singer Samantha Jade or AC/DC rocker Angus Young could be behind the mask, at the end of the day, all of Alien’s clues seemed to point to the Aussie icon.
“People think I appeared out of nowhere but I trained for years to achieve my dreams. As aliens should I arrived in a stunning flash of lights and sound,” the Alien told audiences in a modified voice masking their true identity.
“It felt like the world’s eyes were on me, and for a time I truly loved the attention,” Nikki aka Alien added, which was a big hint at her breakthrough Olympics performance at just 12 years old.
What is The Masked Singer Australia about?
The Masked Singer Australia is based on a reality TV show that originated in South Korea.
It’s marketed as ‘a singing competition with a difference’ and features 12 unidentified celebrities who perform in full costume then ‘unmask’ themselves to the judges, live studio audience and viewers at home afterwards.
Before Nikki was revealed in episode three, former Big Brother host Gretel Killeen, aka the Octopus, was the first celeb to be unmasked in the premiere on Monday night.
There are still several unknown singers to go, including the Unicorn, Monster, Spider Wolf and Lion, who is widely touted to be Aussie singer Kate Ceberano.
Earlier, just one day after the show premiered, social media was whipped into a frenzy when the identity of the Wolf was supposedly revealed on Twitter.
The Masked Singer airs 7.30 Monday and Tuesday on Channel 10.
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