The Butterfly from The Masked Singer was revealed as former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams. The panel was nearly unanimous in its decision that Williams was the voice behind the clues and the elaborate costume.
In 2018, Williams stepped away from a role in the Broadway production Once On This Island at the advice of her doctors. She also ended her engagement to pastor Chad Johnson after appearing with him in their self-titled, short-lived reality series Chad Loves Michelle. and continued to battle various issues with her mental health. Over the course of her singing career, Williams snagged nine Grammy nominations and two wins with Destiny’s Child. After the group disbanded, she embarked on a successful gospel career. Each of the clues in her package on The Masked Singer touched on these recent ups and downs in her life.
The episode kicked off with a rousing battle between Butterfly singing “Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato and the Fox who sang “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton. The Fox won the round. Next up, Thingamajig and the Tree battled each other, with Thingamajig losing the round. This threw Butterfly and the mysterious what’s-it into a match against each other. He sang “Caught Up” by Usher, while she performed, “Believer” by Imagine Dragons. In the end, Thingamajig was voted to sing another day with the Butterfly having to unmask. During deliberations, judge Jenny McCarthy hit the nail right on the head when she guessed Williams was behind the monarch costume. She easily swayed her fellow panelists Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke to go along with her guess. With a little assistance from host Nick Cannon, Butterfly was revealed to be Williams.
Once exposed, Williams was incredibly gracious to the judges and the audience. She began to tear up as she told the panel that they “have helped take away the insecurities I have about my voice.” Members of the audience, too, were visibly moved by Williams and her confession. During her exit interview (via Us Weekly), William said, “I’m still in denial that I’m leaving that’s why these interviews are going so long.” She said that the whole experience of showing up and just being herself without her identity being known was very “theraputic” for her. She said that while she’s obviously “bummed” to be leaving the show, she said that at the same time she feels like she’s “on top of the world.”
Watching Williams on The Masked Singer was one of those rare moments in entertainment when you realize celebrities are normal people. To see this superstar, who has performed on stages all over the world, break down in tears while chronicling her year of difficulty was gut wrenching. Despite her absence from public life, Williams’ voice was strong and her stage presence was bold and unwavering. It’s also commendable that she made it as far into the season as she did. Now that she’s rebuilt her confidence performing on the show, hopefully fans will see her make a larger comeback sometime in the near future.
The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays at 8pm EST on Fox.
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