The worlds of three-day eventing and television talent and celebrity shows might seem miles apart, but on Saturday night (30 January), they came together when Zara Tindall was named as a possible contestant in ITV’s The Masked Singer.
On the programme, celebrities in wildly extravagant costumes sing in front of a panel of judges, who try to guess their identity from their voices and clues. The studio audience and the judges both make decisions on which performers make it through to the next round.
On her fourth performance on Saturday night, Harlequin’s clues included that she has “stood shoulder to shoulder with dignitaries”.
“I’ve chatted to world leaders, but none of them were a patch on the prince I once met,” she said. “It knocks me off my feet to think of all the places I’ve been.”
When it came to the judge comments, comedian Mo Gilligan made a link between the “big country manor” in the clue packages and the fact Zara grew up on “an estate” and has “an uncle who is a prince”.
“It could be Zara Phillips,” he declared.
While we think it’s unlikely that Olympic event rider Zara Tindall (née Phillips) is taking part in the singing show, there are a couple of other clues that could point to her.
After their second performances, the singers offered the judges two lies and a truth. One of Harlequin’s statements was that she “gets up before the sun for work” – which surely applies to all riders.
Additionally, Harlequin’s clue packages are filmed at Chatsworth in Derbyshire – and of course the stately home hosts Chatsworth Horse Trials in the spring each year.
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Meanwhile, the favourite for the hidden celebrity inside Harlequin’s red and gold costume is singer Gabrielle, who has performed with the late singer Prince. On Saturday night, Harlequin was shown in a backstage clip unable to pick up a handkerchief, thought to be a reference to Gabrielle’s song Out Of Reach.
There are now five contestants left on The Masked Singer – Harlequin, Robin, Badger, Dragon and Sausage – so whatever happens, Harlequin will be unmasked soon. If it is Zara inside, we’ll eat our… mask?
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