Peterborough popstar Aston ‘lifted’ by The Masked Singer experience

Peterborough’s Aston Merrygold may have kept The Masked Singer judges - and the nation - guessing for weeks, but says his JLS bandmates guessed he was “Robin” straight away.

By Brad Barnes
Monday, 15th February 2021, 3:20 pm
From Bandicoot TV

The Masked Singer: SR2: Ep8 on ITV

Pictured: Aston Merrygold.
From Bandicoot TV The Masked Singer: SR2: Ep8 on ITV Pictured: Aston Merrygold.

The former Jack Hunt schoolboy - who found fame and fortune after appearing on X Factor with BRIT winners JLS in 2008 - was unmasked as “Robin” during the final of hit ITV show on Saturday night with more than 8 million viewers tuning in. He finished third behind eventual winner “Sausage” (Joss Stone) and “Badger” (Ne-Yo).

Aston said his fellow stars in the boy band – Oritse Williams, Marvin Humes and JB Gill – recognised his voice from the start, although he was still unable to tell them the truth.

He said: “Listen, they have heard my voice for over 10 years and known each other for longer. As much as I said no they were like, ‘Oh OK, cool, whatever’.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

From Bandicoot TV The Masked Singer: SR2: Ep8 on ITV Pictured: Aston Merrygold.

“They get it. ‘Of course you can’t say anything, we get it, but fine, it’s all good.’ I could say it as much as I wanted to be honest, but with them three it was like, ‘Good one mate’.”

Last year the band announced they were reforming after seven years apart and would hit the road for a string of dates in November and December.

However, their plans were put on hold due to Covid-19, allowing the 33-year-old to take part in The Masked Singer.

He described the show as a “massive silver lining”.

He added: “Obviously, the tour, it has been a long time coming for us. We obviously would have loved to be out there at that time. But it is going to happen when it can happen. We are scheduled for June so we are crossing all fingers and we are looking at stuff every single day hoping to make it happen.

“But getting to the show at that time for me just mentally and physically was very uplifting. There was a lot of pent-up frustration and a little performer anxiety kicking in.

“I was a bit like, ‘I need to do this’. Just sitting here doing the Instagram lives for instance in front of my phone. This isn’t enough to keep constantly in contact. I need to hit the stage.

“So as soon as that happened it was kind of like, ‘And breathe again’. It just calms you down a lot. Definite silver lining.”

He also recalled his eldest son’s reaction when he was unmasked as Robin as he watched the pre-recorded final at home with his fiancee Sarah Richards and sons Grayson, three, and Macaulay, eight months.

He said: “When the unveiling happened, I thought it would go one of two ways.

“The character’s head is going to come off and he would either be like, ‘No, don’t want to see that’ or it’s a bit like the reaction that we did get. And he was like ‘Daddy, it’s you.’ Perfect, job done.

“From the first moment I got the phone call from the show, that was the reaction I wanted. He was like, ‘Put it on again and again and again.’ Over and over.”

The star who has also appeared on Strictly Come Dancing, as well as appearing in the West End production of ‘Rip It Up’ and judging the talent show ‘Got To Dance’ is also set to reignite his solo career as he shares his new single ‘Overboard’.

‘Overboard’ blends throwback R&B, powerfully direct pop and a taste of underground UK hip-hop. Ity was written by Aston alongside Andrei Mihai, Lil Eddie and Alvin Anthony, and it was produced by SHOEBA, a duo whose recent tracks have been released by Spinnin’ Records.

Aston says, “I’m very excited to be releasing ‘Overboard’. It’s great to have been back in the studio working on new music, and there’s more to come as well!”