High School Musical fans, gather round — it’s a big day for us. Vanessa Hudgens, as in *the* Gabriella Montez just won season 11 of the Masked Singer!

The actress was unmasked as Goldfish on the May 22 finale of the Fox singing competition.

“It was definitely quite the ride,” Vanessa told Entertainment Tonight following her win. “A ride I did not think would affect me so deeply.”

The High School Musical star went on to explain that she felt empowered after being able to be herself onstage for the first time in a while.

“I’ve been in the spotlight for many, many moons now, and there’s just a preconceived idea, I think, when you see yourself on stage, that you’re familiar with,” she continued, “and being able to take that away and be completely stripped of that and show up as myself and feel completely free to do so, because I was completely covered up, really just gave me this sense of freedom that I hadn’t had in a minute. And it was really empowering.”

She also revealed that she decided to go on the show because her fans kept telling her to sing more.

“It came at the perfect time,” she said. “We were on strike and I was trying to figure out my next move, and this is the space that I actually could work in.”

Her final performance as Goldfish was Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” while the show’s runner-up Gumball (Ginny & Georgia star Scott Porter) sang “Renegade” by Styx. The season 11 finale came after the pair had survived 14 unmaskings throughout the series.

Vanessa is currently expecting her first child with husband Cole Tucker, who were married late last year. She debuted her baby bump while at the 2024 Academy Awards red carpet.

“I’m just so stoked and feel so grateful,” she added. “I feel like the more you can acknowledge the magic that is around you, the more it continues to present itself, and that’s kind of been the train that I’ve been on for a good few years now and it never fails.”

The Princess Switch actress also revealed how fellow High School Musical alum Ashley Tisdale — who is also currently pregnant with baby no. 2 — has been supportive during her 1st pregnancy!

“It’s amazing! I mean it’s really incredible, when you reach a new point of your life, how women show up. And, like, new women have been showing up in ways that I haven’t expected,” she said. “Its just been really beautiful being able to lean on this community, who are just innately such nurturers.

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