The legendary singer, who was unmasked as Harlequin on Saturday’s semi-final of the madcap ITV singing show, detailed how hot and claustrophobic her elaborate costume was.
Speaking to The Mirror following her reveal, Gabrielle said: “I got really scared, like a big baby. The mask is heavy – nothing prepares you for the panic. I was getting panic attacks.”
She continued: “I didn’t realise I had a fear of closed spaces until they put the mask on me.
“I was having kittens, I couldn’t breathe. You have to sing a song and your mouth is so dry.
“I didn’t know if I was going to survive, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it. I had to fight through many things.”
Gabrielle – who is known for hits such as Out Of Reach and Rise – described appearing on the show as “challenging but amazing”, adding: “For me, giving birth was easier. The panic attacks, the heat, the costume… it was all so hard. But it was also incredible.”
While many fans had long predicted Gabrielle was under the Harlequin costume, they had a shock when Dragon was unmasked alongside her on Saturday.
Gabrielle’s comments about her costume echo those made by fellow Masked Singer star John Thompson, who was revealed to be Bush Baby earlier in the series.
The Cold Feet actor described performing as his alter ego as “hell on earth”, telling the PA news agency: “The only fun part is working out where everything is. As an actor I found the whole thing fascinating to do. Because your face is your tool, really.”
He added: “There were parts of it I loved but the heat wasn’t something I loved at all.”
Sausage, Badger and Robin now remain in the competition and will battle it out in next week’s final.
The Masked Singer concludes on Saturday at 7pm on ITV.