Turns out Elizabeth Smart was behind the Moth mask on Fox’s “The Masked Dancer.”
The activist, speaker and best-selling author from Utah, who was kidnapped from her Salt Lake City home at age 14 in 2002, was unveiled as the Moth on Wednesday night’s episode of the new TV show.
“It was so much fun, I mean, such a different experience,” Smart said of being the Moth.
Smart was emotional as she told host Craig Robinson why she decided to enter the competition.
“My grandma actually passed away very recently, but she was so much fun,” Smart said. “She never let a moment pass her by, and so when this opportunity came along, I thought, ‘I live a pretty serious life, and I’m going to take this opportunity and just have fun.’”
Judge Brian Austin Green, who correctly guessed the Moth’s identity, thanked Smart.
“Can I just say that for what you’ve dealt with in your life, you have been an inspiration for so many people and you’ve done so much good with a really difficult situation and we need more people like you on the planet,” Green said.
Other guesses from judges Ashley Tisdale, Ken Jeong, Paula Abdul and guest judge Cheryl Hines included Jewel, Karlie Kloss, Kathy Griffin, Megyn Kelly, Monica Lewinsky and Marla Maples.
The Moth’s clues mentioned being thrust into the spotlight, making headlines with the president and a traumatic experience.
“I’m a survivor,” the Moth said in her first clue package. “I decided that if I couldn’t escape the spotlight, I would use it to shine a light on the things I cared about most. So I took control of my fame, and now I thrive in the spotlight.”
The judges commented on the Moth’s confidence and height, wondering if she was a model.
“Just watching her, she doesn’t come across as a professional dancer, but definitely someone who is very powerful in some capacity,” Hines said. “This woman is a confident woman.”
The Moth performed two dance numbers on the show to “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” by Brooks and Dunn and “Sway” by Michael Buble.
Smart was the third contestant to leave the competition after rapper Ice-T (the Disco Ball) and engineer Bill Nye (the Ice Cube). Seven contestants remain: the Tulip, Hammerhead, Exotic Bird, Cricket, Sloth, Cotton Candy and Zebra.
The Moth competed against the Sloth, Cotton Candy, Zebra and Ice Cube in Group B, and went head-to-head with the three remaining contestants in the group for a spot in the Super Six on Wednesday’s episode.
“Being on ‘The Masked Dancer’ taught me that having fun is a good thing, and putting myself in new arenas way outside of my comfort zone, it’s all good things,” Smart said in an interview on the Fox website.