INTERVIEW.  Gilbert Montagné (Mask Singer): “It pained me to leave my Tree costume”

This Friday, May 6, at the end of the semi-final of this season 3 of Mask Singer, the Tree was forced to unmask. Unsurprisingly: it was Gilbert Montagné who was hiding under this costume. He gives himself up to Télé Star.

Télé Star: Since your first performance, the investigators knew that you were hidden under the costume of the Tree. Are you disappointed?

Gilbert Montagne: I wish they hadn’t guessed right away. Especially since I tried to make sure that people wouldn’t immediately recognize my voice. But it’s difficult when you’re natural like I am to slow down. My voice is my voice. I sing as I sing.

Despite everything, that didn’t stop you from going to the semi-finals…

And I’m very happy with it. And happy with the reaction of the public. I receive lots of messages on Facebook and Instagram, it’s nice. Nevertheless, even if my fate was not in my hands, I would have liked to go further. I should have sung Your Song of Elton John, I would have liked that very much. I felt very good. Well in my place. And loved is important, we all want to be loved.

What Gilbert Montagné’s grandchildren told him after his reveal

What convinced you to take part in Mask Singer ?

I had heard about the show from my grandchildren but I didn’t know about it. What convinced me were the producers, Anthony Meunier and Marie-Christelle Oglaend. They talked about it in a nice way. In a way that makes us want to participate. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have done it. I’d rather say no than go somewhere I don’t feel it. The secret was so well kept, it’s unbelievable, so much so that I have no idea who the other characters are. And when Marie-France, the costume designer, told me about a tree, I liked it. The head in the sky and, at the same time, the feet well anchored in the ground, I found that good like image. As soon as I touched it, I really flashed because there was the feeling of the bark, the branches, the birds on the branches. It’s an artist’s job. I was amazed because fairly quickly, I felt so good in my Tree that it hurt me when I left. I would have liked to take it with me. I’m going to ask them the question, so I’ll have fun with my grandchildren.

Were your grandchildren in on the secret?

I promise you not. I didn’t want to tell them, it would have been a shame. Especially since they told me that at school they were told about it. I found it funnier to let them guess. From the first show, they said to me: “It’s you in the Tree!” so I tried to find subterfuges. “I don’t know what you want to talk about, anyway, I don’t watch this show”. At the end, they said to me: “You see, we knew it was you”. It’s hard not to say anything to the family, to the grandchildren, but it was really a great experience. It feels good now to be able to talk about it, because I’ve held myself back so much, it’s boring. It feels good to let go (laughs).

This moment when Gilbert Montagné felt a “pinch in the heart” in Mask Singer

We thought at one point that you were going to fall off stage. Did you have this fear?

I believe that Nikole, my wife, backstage, was scared for 2-3 seconds but I, no, I was not scared at all. The indications given to me in the headset were very good and allowed me to move at best. My will is to always do the best of my ability, whatever I do. What was complicated in Mask Singer was to sing and dance while following the directions in the headset. And then, the suit is very heavy, 15-20kg. In between takes there was a fan so I could breathe…I’m feeling what it was like to take it off. On the one hand, it was good but on the other, I had a twinge in my heart. I absolutely loved my Tree.

What did your wife – who accompanied you to each show – think of this crazy experience?

She thought it was really good. She too was impressed by everyone’s professionalism, everyone’s kindness. We never had a bad minute, despite the sometimes long waits. They did everything to make it the least painful for me who hate to wait.

The presence of Kendji as a guest investigator seems to have delighted you. Is a joint project in the pipeline?

We haven’t thought of it but that wouldn’t be surprising, why not. We could very well do something, because I really like his way of singing. I also have a bit of this traveler root, since on mum’s side, they moved around a lot. Besides, Nikole often criticizes me for always wanting to move. Me, I like it. I always have my passport with me, because I’m ready to leave. I love travel. People think that because you’re blind, it’s the same everywhere, but absolutely not. Reliefs, aromas, accents, noises… nothing is the same and I love that. I like to take my own photos.


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