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See the Inspiring Moment Sheldon Riley Unmasked Himself on AGT: Fantasy League

Sheldon Riley returned as part of Mel B's Dream Team on America's Got Talent: Fantasy League with a big surprise for viewers.

By James Grebey

The action on America’s Got Talent: Fantasy League is heating up as the series, which sees the Judges become part of the competition when they draft teams of contestants, continues. Australian singer Sheldon Riley wowed the Judges on Monday’s episode with his musical performance. But, more than that, he also floored everybody when he triumphantly removed the mask that has become his trademark when he performs for years.

How to Watch

Watch America’s Got Talent: Fantasy League on NBC and Peacock.

RELATED: How AGT: Fantasy League Works — and the Twist You Won't See Coming

Who is Sheldon Riley?

Sheldon Riley, wearing a long black dress with long sleeves with a chain mask, on stage standing in front of a mic.

Sheldon Riley is a 24-year-old singer from Sydney, Australia. A reality competition show mainstay, Riley made his TV debut in 2016 when he performed on The X Factor Australia. Since then, he’s appeared on The Voice Australia twice, first in 2018 and then again in 2019 as an all-star contestant, and in 2020 he competed in the fifteenth season of America's Got Talent. He was eliminated in the third quarter-final of the season.

America’s Got Talent was the first time that I really felt validated,” Riley said ahead of his AGT: Fantasy League performance. “They said that they loved me. They loved my voice. Then live shows came and it kind of just crumbled a little bit.”

RELATED: How to Watch America's Got Talent: Fantasy League on NBC Right Now

In the years since Riley placed 15th in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest and he was the runner-up on Australia’s version of The Masked Singer.  

Riley, who is openly gay, typically appears in public and performs while wearing an elaborate mask that largely obscures his face. However, that wasn't the case during his AGT: Fantasy League performance.

What song did Sheldon Riley sing on AGT: Fantasy League

For his performance, Riley sang “Tattoo,” by the Swedish singer Loreen. The song was the winner of the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, making it a fitting track for Riley, who competed in the previous year’s Eurovision, to cover. 

Here are the lyrics to the song:

I don't wanna go
But baby we both know
This is not our time
It’s time to say goodbye
Until we meet again
Cuz this is not the end
It will come a day
When we will find our way

Violins playing and the angels crying
When the stars align then I’ll be there

Oh I don't care about them all
Cuz all I want is to be loved
And all I care about is you
U stuck on me like a tattoo
No I don't care about the pain
I’ll walk through fire and through rain
Just to get closer to you
U stuck on me like a tattoo

I'm letting my hair down
I'm taking it cool
U got my heart in your hand
Don't lose it my friend
It's all that I got

Violins playing and the angels crying
When the stars align then I’ll be there

All I care about is love
Oh oh oh
All I care about is love
U stuck on me like a tattoo

Why did Sheldon Riley take off his mask?

Sheldon Riley on stage on AGT: Fantasy League Episode 102

While Riley’s performance of the song was electrifying and wowed the Judges, the biggest moment came after a few verses when he triumphantly removed the mask and continued the song with even more vigor. Riley explained earlier in this episode that the mask-wearing began with his own struggles with self-acceptance, but after years of performing on major stages, he hinted that he might be ready to take it off. 

“I’ve spent so much time trying to visually be enough for people that, maybe. the talent that I have is enough,” he said.

Riley did take off his mask to the Judges' great delight, and he said after that doing so felt “so good.”

“My soapbox is life is mental health and the biggest hurdles that we have in life are the hurdles we have inside ourselves,” said Judge Howie Mandel after the performance. “I think you did something wonderful for the world.”

“I always felt with Sheldon this was unfinished business,” Judge Simon Cowell said, referring to Riley’s previous stint on America’s Got Talent.

Now that his mask is off and he’s singing as strongly as ever, perhaps Riley will be able to finish what he started.

Tune in every Monday at 8/7c on NBC to watch AGT: Fantasy League. If you can’t watch the show live, new episodes will be available to stream the next day on Peacock.