‘The Masked Singer’: Why Tamera Mowry-Housley Was Replaced by Tori Kelly

The Masked Singer remains a beloved show, and some of the biggest names in entertainment have appeared on the show. Some contestants are difficult to figure out, while others are a pleasant surprise. Tamera Mowry-Housley was the latter. Interestingly, she had the chance to appear on the show a season before she performed live but was replaced by Tori Kelly due to an unforeseen circumstance. 

Tamera Mowry-Housley unmasked on 'The Masked Singer;' Mowry-Housley was replaced by Tori Kelly a season before because she became sick
Tamera Mowry-Housley and Nick Cannon | FOX via Getty Images

Tamera Mowry-Housley was set to compete on ‘The Masked Singer’ but was replaced by Tori Kelly because she became ill

The Sister, Sister star was asked to appear on the popular singing competition series for Season 4. Thrilled, she accepted and began preparing. But an unexpected illness would force her to back out, and she was ultimately replaced. 

Source: YouTube

“What a lot of people don’t know is that I was supposed to do Masked Singer last season. And then I developed laryngitis – I thought it was laryngitis, but it was pharyngitis. It was caused because of allergies. So, my throat was inflamed. I had my songs picked, and I was excited; I was actually the seahorse everybody. And Tori Kelly replaced me,” she revealed in a 2021 video about her time on the show to her YouTube channel subscribers. 

Mowry-Housley was devastated by the news. “I cried for three days, and I asked the casting director if I could possibly do it the next season,” she admitted. “They said they could not guarantee it, so I literally had to let it go. I had to let go of the possibility of living out a dream that I wanted to for over 20 years and that was hard. But I let it go, moved out, lived my life, and then I got the call again.”

The actor says singing live was a longtime dream

Aside from acting, the famous twin has always loved singing. She’s performed on Sister, Sister, including singing the show’s theme song. But as far as releasing music, she’s never had the opportunity. Still, she wanted to perform eventually to feed her passion.

Source: YouTube

“I hadn’t sang on a stage in over 20 years. The last time I sang was The National Anthem with my twin at the Malibu Triathlon, and before that, it was singing The National Anthem with Tia for The Harlem Globetrotters…I think it was like maybe the same year. And after that, I never sang, meaning performed, again until I was the seashell,” she said happily.

Adrienne Bailon-Houghton, her co-host on The Real, participated in the show and encouraged Mowry to do the same. It was a no-brainer when she received the initial call.

Despite her excitement, she had fears and nearly backed out

Mowry-Housley was happy to participate in the show but being in costume sparked her claustrophobia to kick in while practicing. She explained that breathing is very difficult when singing with such a heavy costume on, but she opted to go on regardless.

During her first walkout as the Seashell, the producers encouraged her to do it runway style. She tried but became winded, which caused her to panic even more. Since she had a hard time seeing and breathing out of the mask, her nerves escalated even further.

“In that moment, all my fears as a child came back,” she explained. Negative memories about a pageant performance during her childhood crept in, and she became fearful. Her confidence surfaced when she felt her late niece and grandmother were watching over her.

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