Gymnast Gabby Douglas secured another victory — this time as the winner of FOX-TV’s “The Masked Dancer.” Douglas was revealed as the dancer behind the Cotton Candy costume during the show’s Feb. 17 broadcast.
Douglas, who is the first champion for the show that premiered in 2021, made a post-victory appearance on the Feb. 18 episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to talk about the training she underwent for her performances, and a scary accident that occurred during rehearsal.
The Olympic gold medalist told DeGeneres that while her gymnastics training came in handy when dancing, there are significant differences between the two disciplines.
“With what I do, I’m so used to kinda doing static poses, but with dancing it’s more emotion, it’s more feeling, it’s more movement and footwork,” she said. “And also, too, I had to stay in character the whole time.”
“But I am fortunate to have a gymnastics background where I do pick up choreography very, very quickly.”
She was then asked about a frightening fall that took place during rehearsal, sharing that it happened during what she considered to be an exciting aerial stunt.
“I think it was at least eight to 10 feet in the air. And that was my first time ever doing aerial work, which was super fun,” said Douglas.
“My left shoulder got too much outside of the ring and that’s why I fell. But honestly, I was so fortunate and grateful to have Cotton Candy’s full get-up on because she softened the fall,” she added.
However, despite having the costume for padding, onlookers became alarmed when Douglas lay motionless on the ground following the distressing accident.
The athlete revealed that she wasn’t lying still because she’d been hurt, but she was actually making sure the fall hadn’t created a different kind of problem.
“I love my teeth, so I was checking each and every tooth to see if it was still there. I was like ‘no please — no chips or anything.’ So I’m like checking my teeth and everyone’s like ‘Cotton Candy speak to us; are you in pain?’ And I’m just on the floor for at least two minutes, and I’m like, ‘are my teeth good?’ ”
She continued, “And they’re like, ‘Call the ambulance; everyone call the ambulance. I’m like, maybe I should get up and tell them that I’m fine. So I get up and I’m like ‘let’s go again, you guys.’ ”
DeGeneres also mentioned that during UCLA gymnast Nia Dennis’ appearance on the show, the social media star touched on how much a fan she was of Douglas.
“I mean you have so many young people that are looking up to you. I mean, that must feel really good.”
“Honestly, I love Nia,” Douglas replied. “I’m so grateful to have this platform where I get to inspire millions around the world. And it’s a huge responsibility, but it also at the same time it feels so surreal, and I’m still realizing the impact that I’ve made. But honestly, if I can use my story or my words or something that I have in my hand to encourage other people, then I’m all for it.”
Douglas’ fans on Twitter were also pleased with her win, and excited to see her out in the media once again.
“@GabbyDouglas_ won the #MaskedDancer and I missed it I just love her so much to #hulu I go,” said one fan.
Another user tweeted, “Is anyone watching the masked dancer because cotton candy just won and I’m pretty darn sure it’s gabby Douglas and I’m so happy for her.”
One Twitter user wrote, “I knew cotton candy was gon win from day one! and so happy it was Gabby Douglas.”