Aled Jones has said he knew from the “first moment” that he wanted to be the Traffic Cone on The Masked Singer.
The classical singer dazzled the panel with his rendition of Escape (The Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes before being unmasked in a semi-final double elimination alongside Destiny’s Child star Michelle Williams, who was revealed to be Rockhopper.
Jones, 51, said he had previously disregarded stories that people had embodied their characters on the ITV show, but after two or three rehearsals “I became the cone”.
Speaking to the PA news agency, he said: “There was only one character for me and that’s the cone.
“I loved it from the first moment I saw it – it reminded me of Dusty Bin.
“I used to watch that (game show 3-2-1) religiously with my mum on a Saturday night and Traffic Cone had that face.”
Jones said he tried to hide his distinctive Welsh accent in the first week during his rendition of Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up but slipped when singing a Toy Story 2 classic.
“The second week I remember it was When Somebody Loved Me and in rehearsal I had really tried to disguise it, but actually in the performance I think I went for it a little bit too much because I sounded exactly like me in the first line.”
“I spent quite a long time trying to disguise it because for me it wasn’t a singing competition – it was a competition to trick the judges into not knowing it was me,” he said.
Jones revealed that his costume was 7ft 6in tall and he “regretted” choosing the Astley track because he “couldn’t breathe” while dancing and singing.
He said: “It’s massive and quite heavy.
“You can’t see your feet; it’s a traffic cone so it goes out, and so I would walk gingerly everywhere and they’d say you have to walk to a mark but I couldn’t see the mark.
“The costume was amazing. The head would come off, so we managed with three people – they’d lift the costume and I’d dive in.”
Jones added that it was “quite liberating” to have to entertain from behind a mask because in the classical music world “all the voices are quite exposed”.
He also revealed that he will be incorporating some of his performances from the show into his Cathedral Tour, including A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman.
Throughout his time on the show, many fans believed Traffic Cone to be comedian Rob Beckett.
Jones said: “I messaged him (Beckett) on Saturday night and said ‘We should tour together – this could be the start of a beautiful relationship’, but he was definitely not in the Traffic Cone costume because there wasn’t room for two – there was barely room for me.”
Last week, Jones’s daughter Emilia was nominated for the Bafta best leading actress award for her role in the film Coda.
Jones said: “I am so proud of her. She is such a hard-working, lovely person, and she puts her all into everything she does.
“I was singing, because I am going on tour at the end of the month, so I was practising, having not sung for a year-and-a-half with the dreaded Covid.
“I had a break and watched the Bafta ceremony on YouTube, where they did the nominations, and I jumped up and down because I was thrilled for her, but she never expects anything like that. She loves the work that she does and I’m just a proud dad.”
He added that his Cathedral Tour has been postponed twice because of coronavirus and it will be “very emotional” when he takes to the stage for his first concert.