POISON frontman Bret Michaels is Banana, one of the contestants on Fox's smash hit "The Masked Singer".
Banana, who had won over the studio audiences and four judges with each of his four performances, returned to the show last night (Wednesday, April 22) to perform a version of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door".
Michaels said he sang "Knocking On Heaven's Door" on the 10th anniversary of the brain hemorrhage that nearly ended his life. He said it was irony "not knowing that these two dates would ever line up on any level, but here it is April 22, and the song selection I chose came down to two songs, and I went with 'Knocking On Heaven's Door' to sing tonight… Exactly as this show aired is when I was in emergency room. In the operating room, they were operating on my brain."
Guest judge Sharon Osbourne was able to identify Bret almost immediately, telling her fellow panelists "I know his voice so well" and adding that she has known him for 35 years.
Wednesday's episode featured a "Smackdown" round, with Bret losing two head-to-head matches, the first to the Rhino and the second to the Kitty.
Asked if the banana costume was heavy to carry around, Michaels told Entertainment Weekly: "Everyone worked hard on it because I'm slightly claustrophobic. I shouldn't say slightly — I'm very claustrophobic. I'm a freestyle, free-range kind of guy. I like to keep moving and they helped me build on that. I didn't have a lot of peripheral vision. But I said, you know what? Let's let this rip. I'm going to give it everything this banana's got. Let's go out there and have some fun doing this."
Banana made his debut on February 19 with his cover of the Elvis Presley signature song "A Little Less Conversation" and followed it up with his rendition of the country classic "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus. For his third appearance, he sang "Lean On Me" by Bill Withers. Banana said he chose the song because his father, who was like his best friend, recently passed away. Bret's dad died last August days after suffering cardiac arrest.
Based on an international hit, "The Masked Singer" features celebrities facing off against one another with one major twist: each singer is shrouded from head to toe in an elaborate costume, complete with full face mask to conceal his or her identity. Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke serve on the panel and play detective, alongside host Nick Cannon.
With each performance, the host, panelists, audience, viewers and even the other contestants are left guessing who is singing behind the mask. The singers may attempt to throw the crowd off of their scent, while keen observers might pick up on tiny hints buried throughout the show. One singer is eliminated each week, ultimately revealing his or her true identity. It's not a "whodunit," it's a "whosungit!"
Produced by Endemol Shine North America, "The Masked Singer" was developed for the U.S. and is executive-produced by Craig Plestis ("Minute to Win It", "The Winner Is"). Izzie Pick Ibarra ("Dancing with the Stars", "Breaking Pointe") also serves as an executive producer, and Alex Rudzinski ("Dancing With The Stars", "Grease: Live") is directing.