The Masked Singer’s California Roll Explains Hilarious Way They Struggled Between Performances And Feeling ‘Really Happy’ Despite Elimination

Warning! The following contains spoilers from The Masked Singer Season 9 episode "Semi-Finals." Read at your own risk!

The Masked Singer is almost at the end of Season 9, which means the remaining pool of contestants had to be reduced yet again. Of the contestants still standing after the last episode, it's fair to say that Medusa, Macaw, and California Roll all deserved the Golden Mask from host Nick Cannon this season, but only one can win. As a result, California Roll became the latest elimination of The Masked Singer Season 9 and was unmasked as the famous singing group Pentatonix. While they didn't win, the group shared with CinemaBlend that they're really happy with how it went and had a problem during the downtime in the competition. 

I had a chance to speak to Pentatonix members Matthew Sallee, Kevin Olusola, and Scott Hoying ahead of their elimination episode of The Masked Singer and learned all about their time on the show. This included a hilarious anecdote about some struggles they had behind-the-scenes.

Pentatonix Kept Forgetting Who Was Which Piece Of Sushi

The members of Pentatonix all know each other well, but the same couldn't be said for their California Roll identities. Matthew Sallee explained that while they had a system worked out to hide their identities and still communicate backstage, it all fell apart in a hilariously disastrous way. Read all about what Sallee had to say and how their codenames didn't help at all when trying to talk to each other:

I forgot about this, but we all had code names. So, we couldn’t use each other's actual names and we couldn’t remember each other’s code names. It’d be like, ‘Kevin! No, Crab! No, other Crab!'

Each face of The Masked Singer's California Roll was unique, so each competitor looked different from one another. Of course, that didn't do the members of Pentatonix any good, as the costumes still didn't resemble the faces of the singers underneath. 

The Masked Singer has a process for keeping the identities of celebrities secret, and former participant Dog the Bounty Hunter, for example, was impressed with just how detailed the security is. Even so, sometimes the best security protocols have flaws, and Pentatonix definitely almost blew their cover a handful of times backstage, based on what Scott Hoying said to piggyback on Matthew Sallee's comments:

What was so bad, too was I would be like, ‘Hey Mitch,’ and then be like, ‘Oh wait, not Mitch, Ginger.’ So then I would reveal who Ginger was!

Fortunately, Pentatonix managed to make it to the semi-finals without being exposed, though if you've rewatched with a Hulu subscription, you'll remember Jenny McCarthy guessed them after their first performance. To be fair, there are only so many five-person music groups out there, and when the band's name references the number, one can see how easy it would've been for the panel to peg them. 

Why Pentatonix Was Really Happy With Their Performance

Pentatonix gave it their all in The Masked Singer's semi-final Battle Royale but ultimately couldn't best the talents of Medusa and Macaw. Medusa's win had to feel like a bit of redemption, as California Roll would've been the cause of her elimination earlier this season had she not been saved by the panel. 

For Pentatonix, they left with their heads held high. Kevin Olusala mentioned that they were "really happy" with how they performed and explained how The Masked Singer helped them realize the talents they have performing together even when they're unable to see each other's faces:  

What I would say is it was really nice to know that we can really fall back on the fact that we’ve had such a vocal chemistry for so long. Even though we can’t see each other we know what we do best when we come together when it comes to our harmony. So, it was really relaxing and gave us a lot of confidence in what we built so when we sang, I know what to do in this part and how to blend my sound with what Matt’s doing and what Christie’s doing and for it to sound cohesive. So it was nice to feel really happy about what we built over the past 12 years.

Following The Masked Singer Season 9, Pentatonix will spend the summer in the United States touring. Pentatonix also teased to CinemaBlend that the California Roll will be referenced during the shows, so fans hoping to attend should be excited about that. It sounds like even though they didn't win, they got plenty of confidence from the Fox series to continue along with their very successful careers. 

Meanwhile, Macaw and Medusa will appear in The Masked Singer's Season 9 finale. It's been an exciting season that featured Lou Diamond Phillips singing "La Bamba" and sports superstars like NFL player Keenan Allen feeling the intense pressure of performing on stage. Soon enough, it'll all come to an end, and either Macaw and Medusa will stand tall as this season's big winner. Tune in for the episode on Fox on Wednesday, May 17th at 8:00 p.m. ET. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.