The glitter, feather boas and rainbows came out for “Elton John Night” on Fox‘s The Masked Singer, and for one former sports professional and icon of the LGBTQ community, the end of the line.
The Rocket Man and his music was everywhere on the night, as Tiki performed Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Hawk hit “Saturday’s Alright For Fighting,” Husky performed “Bennie and the Jets,” Royal Hen tackled “Philadelphia Freedom,” and, for good measure, judge Robin Thicke performed “Tiny Dancer.”
The two celebrities with the lowest number of votes would enter the knockout. That meant Royal Hen vs. Hawk, on a rendition of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Elton John and Kiki Dee.
Hawk won the battle of the birds.
Under the Royal Hen mask was, the tennis legend with 39 Grand Slam titles to her name, who is as well remembered for her deeds on the court as those advocacy efforts off it.
King didn’t just perform the song. It’s hers.
Elton and his career-long collaborator Bernie Taupin wrote the song in the early 1970s for King, then a member of the Philadelphia Freedoms professional tennis team.
“You guys are so awesome, thank you so much,” she said after the big reveal.
The experience, on The Masked Singer, yeah “it was great but it was so hot” under that outfit. “I’m sweating bullets”.
King also recounted the moment her friend Elton told her about the song he was writing for her. “If you go to Philadelphia, everyone is still playing it,” she said. “It’s their anthem.”
It was King who, in 1973, lobbied for equal prize money for men and women at the U.S. Open.
Through her work, Flushing Meadows became the first major tournament to offer equal prize money to both sexes. Today, all four Grand Slams offer equal prize money to women and men. King also defeated self-proclaimed chauvinist Bobby Riggs in the so-called “Battle of the Sexes” in 1973, winning in three straight sets.
For her work, King in 2009 received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, and she’s a recipient of the 1999 Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
King as Royal Hen follow the exit door after Michael Rapaport as Pickle, Tom Sandoval as Diver, Anthony Anderson as Rubber Ducky and Demi Lovato as Anonymouse as season 10’s unmasked celebrities.
Thicke, Nicole Scherzinger, Ken Jeong and Jenny McCarthy return as judges for the latest season, which airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Fox.