Bridgewater, New Jersey- On Sunday, July 28th, the Somerset Patriots welcomed home former American Idol star and New Jersey native Jax as part of a promotion for FOX’s television show The Masked Singer.
The show is described as “a top-secret singing competition in which celebrities face off against each other and appear in elaborate costumes with full facemasks to conceal their identities.”
In the spirit of the hit show, Jax’s identity was concealed by a carrot costume that she wore when she was introduced to the field for the pre-game ceremonies simply as the “masked singer” to throw out a ceremonial first pitch.
“The most stressful part of the whole thing was throwing out that pitch,” Jax joked. “I asked for the costume that was the least mobile that I could barely move in so I had an excuse to mess up the pitch. That way people would just say, ‘it’s ok, she’s dressed as a carrot. It’s not her fault.’”
She performed during two inning breaks, starting with “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles, her original audition song for American Idol, in the second inning and finishing with “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes in the third inning.
Fans were tasked with guessing who was behind the mask through clues during the game and the two a capella performances by the star.
In the fourth inning, Jax finally removed the costume to let fans know exactly who the “masked singer” was to loud cheers from the over 5,000 fans in attendance.
“Every single time I’m back in New Jersey, I get the most incredible amount of love and I don’t even understand why,” said Jax. “I knew the second that the [costume] came off, that people were going to be super nice.”
No stranger to TD Bank Ballpark, Jax has performed the National Anthem and “God Bless America” prior to games when she was 12-years old.
“It was so much more nerve wrecking then. It was like the biggest deal ever singing at the ballpark. It actually felt even bigger because I was a smaller person,” Jax remarked. “Now I can sing whatever I want. Then I had to sing the Star Spangled Banner and it’s such a stressful song. I felt way more relaxed this time.”
Jackie Miskanic, known around the world by her stage name “Jax,” first sprung onto the scene as an artist when she competed and placed third on American Idol in season 14 in 2015. The East Brunswick native sang 22 songs that season, while being the only contestant to be claimed “safe” immediately after her performance. Memorable performances included her singing “Piece of My Heart” by Janice Joplin with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler during the show’s season finale.
“It’s really cool. American Idol was a great platform and now I am out in LA doing my thing,” said Jax.
Following American Idol, she released “Forcefield” and then followed it up with her first post-show song “La La Land,” which was based on her experience on the popular singing competition.
After being announced to the crowd of Somerset Patriots fans, the now 23-year old singer took the time to meet fans and take pictures on the main concourse.
“It’s overwhelming because on social media there are so many fans and followers. It was nice to actually be able to sit down, meet, and hug people that were there for you from day one. Everyone was pretty amazing,” Jax added.
Fans won’t have to wait long to hear from her again. Jax has been hard at work on her next project, a record called “dadjokes.” She will be announcing the release date for it in the coming months.