ASTON Merrygold has credited The Masked Singer for helping him to overcome “performance anxiety” brought on by lockdown.
The JLS star, 33, was unmasked during the series final on the weekend, having spent week’s wowing the judges and viewers as Robin.
Aston has now described the show as a “silver lining” after the coronavirus pandemic wrecked his band’s hotly-anticipated comeback tour.
The singer and his fellow JLS stars – Marvin Humes, Oritsé Williams and JB Gill – had planned a string of gigs in November and December last year.
It would have been their first tour in seven years, but all the dates had to be scrapped due to Covid.
Speaking out after coming third in The Masked Singer, Aston has now said the show helped cure the ‘anxiety’ that had built up as a result.
Aston told the Peterborough Telegraph: “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.”
He added: “So as soon as that happened it was kind of like, ‘And breathe again’. It just calms you down a lot. Definite silver lining.”
Aston and his bandmates have rescheduled their tour for June this year, although whether it will go ahead is hanging in the balance.
They are hoping to take to the stage for 28 dates across the UK but it is not yet known whether Government restrictions will allow it to happen.
Meanwhile, following his Masked Singer stint, Aston told HOAR that it was “nuts” having to cover up, after being used to baring his abs in a boy band for so many years.
He said: “I’ve been on stage my whole life trying to take clothes off, not clamp outfits on.
“It’s a bit nuts. But it was nice not tensing my abs all the time.”