Oliver Petszokat (43), better known as Oli.P, won the first season of the ProSieben show “The Masked Dancer” in a monkey costume. In the final on Thursday evening, the singer prevailed against actor Timur Bartels (26), actress Wolke Hegenbarth (41) and presenter Marlene Lufen (51) despite injury. Petszokat has been busy guessing behind the scenes of the show which celebs were under the other costumes. In an interview with the news agency spot on news, he reveals which indicators put him on the right track.
Congratulations on the win. What was the “airplanes in your stomach” like afterwards?
Oliver Petszokat: The moment I won, all the effort of the last few weeks fell away from me. The training and the preparations were really quite difficult. Physically, it was the greatest effort I can remember in my life. Then walking out of the show with this result was a huge relief!
You also tore a hamstring towards the end of the show. How did you manage to train with it and put in the winning performance?
Petszokat: My body was really exhausted. I didn’t dance at all during the dress rehearsal, I just hinted at the movements. I knew I might only have one more try. I actually tore a muscle fiber in my right forearm while stretching. You can tell how tense my muscles have been over the past few weeks – and that I’m not 20 anymore! There were two angles in which I shouldn’t have moved my arm, and then we also planned the choreos. The adrenaline and excitement also helped.
How’s the pain today?
Petszokat: I hardly notice anything! Everything that hurt, I danced away in the final last night.
How hard was it keeping your participation in The Masked Dancer a secret? What was your default excuse when you were at training?
Petszokat: That actually worked. Whenever someone asked me where I was, I usually said I was on a shoot. I do so many different projects, everyone used that as an excuse. I record my radio programs from home anyway, so in the past few weeks no one has noticed what I do on the side.
Who did you tell about your participation? Was your son able to join in the excitement?
Petszokat: Only my wife knew about it, there was no other way. My son had no idea! He wrote to me yesterday that he was “super proud” and that I “could have said something” – but that’s the rules!
Did you hear anything from the other masks backstage? Did you have any idea who might be hiding under one or the other costume?
Petszokat: No, really hardly. We didn’t see each other and also wore black hoodies and balaclavas to training. But I was a bit in the mood for guessing, even with “The Masked Singer” my wife and I always diligently guess in front of the TV. So I had my suspicions about “The Masked Dancer” too…
Namely? Were you right about anything?
Petszokat: I was pretty sure about Axel Schulz. I saw from his gait that it must be an athlete. I then watched videos of him and everything was right: the gait and the build. I also had a premonition about Marlene Lufen. The clues revealed that she is an early riser. I immediately assumed that it must be someone from breakfast television. She wasn’t as active on social media as usual either, which was another indication for me.
Have you ever tried to follow up your suspicions in the backstage area?
Petszokat: I once hugged the shag very tightly and for a long time at a show to find out whether it might really be Marlene Lufen. After that I was totally sure that she was underneath.
Could you imagine being part of the advice team?
Petszokat: Being a celebrity guessing guest is definitely on my bucket list, and I like it on “The Masked Singer”.
Yvonne Catterfeld revealed in the final that participation in “Let’s Dance” is also on this bucket list. Is that correct?
Petszokat: I was totally amazed that she said that. It’s been clear to me since season one that I can’t take part because former competitive dancers are forbidden to do so.
Do you think your past as a ballroom dancer gave you an advantage on the show?
Petszokat: Not necessarily. I can control my body very well and learned as a child to memorize a choreography. That might have been an advantage, but I stopped dancing a quarter of a century ago and the body isn’t getting any younger either. And apart from the last samba, everything was new dance styles for me.
Which dance did you particularly enjoy?
Petszokat: The samba in the final. I was able to show what I had learned as a child. It was great to work with a first class dancer, the training was especially fun. I absolutely loved all the other choreos too, but the samba was a particularly emotional moment for me. But the best moment was when I took off the mask and saw the studio properly for the first time.