The Masked Singer fans were left baffled on Tuesday night when the third celebrity contestant of the season was revealed to be one of Australia’s most beloved actresses.
Chatting with Yahoo Lifestyle following her reveal, the Australian Survivor champion opened up about her time on the show and why she said yes.
“I was so excited to be asked to do it, and how could you say no to something like that?” she says. “It's just so positive and happy and I knew the kids would love it.
“And then when they showed me my costume, I was just so thrilled, so it was pretty much just a joyous experience from start to finish. I also just enjoy singing and being stupid, so I thought it would be a great excuse.”
Pia went on to say that her son James was “gobsmacked” when they watched the show together and she was revealed as the Thong.
“We were just watching it normally and then just before the reveal I asked, 'Who do you think it is?’, and as a joke, he said, ‘Imagine if it was you’,” she recalls. “And then I pulled off the mask and he was just so gobsmacked. It blew his mind and he was just like, ‘I said it as a joke!’.
“Obviously my husband knew because he had to look after the kids for a week while I ran off to Sydney, but I didn't tell anyone else. I'm good at keeping secrets, I didn't even tell my family when I won Survivor.
“I think that's why I won Survivor actually because I'm good at keeping secrets,” she adds with a laugh. “I’m really good at that so my family's never surprised when I pop up doing something stupid.”
While the clue packages for the masks often leave both the viewers and the guessing panel completely confused, Pia reveals that there were a number of cryptic references that hinted at her identity.
“They do quite an extensive interview with you to just try and find out some random facts that people won't find on Wikipedia,” she details.
“And they let you know some of the funny ones, like the Eminem one. I was like, ‘Eminem, that makes no sense?’ and then they explained that it was for (Looking for Alibrandi author) Melina Marchetta.
“And I looked in the package and there was someone with an eyepatch on and I stabbed my eye out in Wentworth, so there were all these little easter eggs there that I think are probably more fun to go back and look at after the person’s been revealed.”
Pia adds that the fish clue was “really strange” and she still doesn’t know why it was included - although it might have something to do with her Neighbours co-star Ryan Moloney who played Toadfish - and her favourite clue was the photo of British actress Lily James.
“Lily and James are my kids' names, so I thought that was super cool,” she shares.
Return to Survivor
After winning Australian Survivor and competing on The Masked Singer, Pia admits that she’s hoping to round out her reality TV career with a third appearance in the near future.
“After Survivor I was like, ‘I’m really tired, I don't think I'll ever do a reality show again’, but then The Masked Singer was so fun!” she remarks.
“I wonder what number three will be. Maybe I’ll wait a few years to do number three and do something surprising.”
Although the next season of Australian Survivor is rumoured to feature a returning winner, fans shouldn’t hold any hope that Pia would ever return to the competition.
“A lot of my strategy was pretending that I didn't know what was going on when I knew what was going on, and I don't think anyone's going to fall for my nonsense twice,” she says.
“I think I'd be targeted pretty quickly and I'm pretty happy to go to my grave with my torch being unsnuffed, so it would take a lot for me to go back.”
The Masked Singer continues 7:30pm Sunday on Ten.
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