Rourke unmasks himself

The Gremlin on U.S. TV talent show The Masked Singer drew gasps on Wednesday night, as he voluntarily removed his mask and eliminated himself from the competition.

Fans were shocked to see that Mickey Rourke was the celebrity under the furry Gremlin costume, as he told host Nick Cannon that he was hot and couldn't stand being under the heavy mask for any longer after performing Ben E. King's Stand By Me.

"I wanna take this off right now," Mickey told Nick, who appeared to be desperately trying to convince the Oscar-winning actor to keep his mask on as he said, "Gremlin, you can't do that! It's not that part of the show yet!"

All the judges - Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke - stood up as they implored him to wait, but their pleas went unheard as Mickey ripped off his mask and threw it into the audience with a wide grin.

"Oh my God! I can't believe it!" Jenny, who was the only judge to have guessed it was him, screamed.

Mickey then told Nick that he had decided to take part in the show as he's been a fan from the beginning. He also grew emotional as he reflected on why he'd chosen Stand By Me as his tune of the evening - as a tribute to his friend Willy DeVille, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2009.

"I've missed him for a long, long time" Mickey said. "And I think the other night for some reason, Willy sent me down this song."

Following Wednesday's episode, Nicole tweeted: "Never happened before on #TheMaskedSinger... but such a great job #MickeyRourke!! Such a pleasure to have you on the show."

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