One never knows where super-popular streamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins is going to show up these days. With the fame he's amassed, he's shown up in places one might not expect, like a political discussion on video games and real world violence. On a brighter, and weirder, note, Ninja made his presence known on TV again this week, dressed as an ice cream man on a singing competition show. That is, he was dressed as a man made out of ice cream.
Ninja is no stranger to reality TV. Even before he was making a name for himself streaming, Ninja was making appearances on Family Feud along with the rest of the Blevins family throughout the years. This time he was on The Masked Singer, though, unfortunately, he didn't last long there.
For those who don't watch much TV, The Masked Singer is a show in the same vein as American Idol and all the other singing-based reality TV shows that followed it. Like in those, singers perform before a panel of judges and a live audience and compete to be the last one singing at the end of the season. The gimmick here is that the competitors are all dressed in outlandish head-to-toe costumes, go by aliases (in Ninja's case, "Ice Cream"), and only hint as to who they really are throughout the competition. It's only when a competitor is eliminated that they finally ditch the masks and the mystery of their identities is finally solved.
Alas, that’s what happened to Ninja, as he was among the first competitors to be eliminated during this week's premiere of The Masked Singer's second season. But that was not for lack of trying on his part. As Ice Cream, he serenaded audiences with a rendition of the 80s classic "Whip It" by Devo, as well as his take on a more modern hit, Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road."
It is every bit as strange as "Ninja singing Old Town Road while dressed as a sentient desert" sounds, yet for a gamer who got popular through Fortnite, a game where players can become a banana man, it's surprisingly on brand regardless.
This is just the latest stop in an interesting year for Ninja, which has seen him leave Twitch for an exclusive streaming deal with Mixer. As for why he decided to do it, he explained that, for the most part, he simply wanted to broaden his horizons. "Getting up on that stage and singing on [The Masked Singer] was 100% the scariest thing I have ever done," he wrote on his Twitter following the big reveal. "Happy to have been on the show and stepped wayyyy outside my comfort zone I was terrified when filming that! Going to continue pushing my own boundaries."