The former New Edition member kicked off his time as Crab on the Fox singing competition with "Ain't No Sunshine"

By Dana Rose Falcone
April 22, 2021 11:00 AM
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This post contains spoilers from Wednesday's episode of The Masked Singer.

He might've been a crab on The Masked Singer, but Bobby Brown doesn't have a reason to complain about being eliminated from the Super 8.

"I did have so much fun, and it wasn't about a competition to me," Brown, 52, tells PEOPLE. "It was about strictly having fun. Being able to perform as the Crab really, really, really made me feel good."

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However, the "My Prerogative" singer did struggle under the costume a bit. Brown opened up on Wednesday's episode about feeling claustrophobic inside the crustacean outfit, so much so that two weeks earlier, he walked off stage proclaiming, "I gotta take this off."

"It was restrictive," Brown admits. "It was hard to move, it's hard to breathe, but the costume was so well put together."

The father of sons Landon, 35, and Cassius, 11, and daughters La'Princa, 31, Bodhi, 5, and Hendrix, 4, recalls his emotional first performance, what his kids thought of Crab and the panelists' guess he found funniest.

The Masked Singer
Credit: Michael Becker/FOX; Paras Griffin/Getty
masked singer crab
Credit: Michael Becker/FOX.

Your 2020 ended in a challenging way with the death of your son Bobby Brown Jr. Why did you want to come on The Masked Singer?
I'm a big fan of the show. Me and my kids, we sit in front of the television and we watch it. We've been watching it for years. I got a kick out of seeing all of the stars unveiled, the stars' performances, and I just thought it would be a great idea for me to do it, to see the looks on my kid's face when I'm unveiled. It's been out-of-the-box for me to do this. During the pandemic, just being able to get out of the house and go somewhere and go to work and then come back home, and the kids not know where I've been. And then later on letting them know that that's what Daddy was doing at this time. To be a part of something so special was everything to me.

What did your kids think of Crab before they knew it was you?
They thought the Crab is their father.

July bdays
Credit: Bobby Brown/Instagram

They knew?
Yeah, but I kept telling them it's not me. I hate to lie to them, but they'd find out eventually later on.

What did they think of you going on the show?
They think it's cool that I'm doing something that's fun, I'm getting outside of the house and doing something I like to do. I love trying to trick my kids, and this is a great way to play with them.

Despite some complications, did you enjoy being anonymous under the Crab costume?
The mustache on the Crab I thought was just genius for the designer to design it that way. I know she had fun building it, and I had fun wearing it as much as I did.

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Did being covered up hold you back from doing anything you'd normally do during a performance?  
Definitely. I'm more of a physical performer, dance moves and things like that. I'm very passionate about when I do sing, you can see it. For the people not being able to see my face, or me not being able to dance the way I would normally dance probably cut off a little bit of the people not knowing it was me.

Panelists Ken Jeong and Jenny McCarthy had you down as their first impression guesses, but were you laughing at some of the other guesses for you?
Ray Parker Jr., Flava Flav, Johnny Gill. Some of them were wild, especially the Flava Flav part.

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One of your clue packages talked about how you learned to cook as a kid and now cook for your own family. Can you talk more about your connection to cooking?
I cook for my kids every day, whether it be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I'm usually cooking all three. They don't like sandwiches, so they want me to get in the kitchen and cook. I have a food line, BobbyBrownFoods.com, that I sell my spices and barbecue sauces and different things. So, I've been doing this for a long time, and I look forward to still cooking.

Do the kids have any favorite dishes that you make for them?
Any kind of pasta that I make, fried chicken — they love fried chicken and fries. That's my little one. She's four years old and that's all she wants to eat is chicken fries, chicken and fries. Sometimes I think she's going to turn into a chicken and fries.

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The judges commended your first performance of "Ain't No Sunshine" for being so raw. Who or what were you thinking about while you were singing?
I was thinking about a lot of things. Mainly all the loss of my life. That's really touching to me, that's close to my heart. But also, just thinking about my kids, and how much I appreciate them, how much I love them, and being able to sing something to them that is not one of their father's songs. It was therapeutic for me to sing that song and bring it across to the people, and people to get where I'm coming from as a human being. For my kids to hear it, and sit there and say, "That's you, Daddy. That's you Daddy. I know that's you, Daddy," it's been a lot of fun.

What's next for you after The Masked Singer?
I just plan on waiting for this COVID thing to pass, and getting back out there touring and putting out some new music, and just keeping as busy as possible.

The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on Fox.