Snow Owls flew the nest on Wednesday's episode of The Masked Singer, losing in the Smackdown round against Popcorn and missing out on a spot in the Super Six.
But Clint Black and Lisa Hartman, the husband and wife duo under the Snow Owls costume, didn't mind leaving since it meant they could finally share their identities with the world.
"It's really mixed," actress and singer Hartman, 64, tells PEOPLE. "You want to go the whole way, but it seems like it's been a long time we've had this big secret, so it's nice to talk about it."
Singing together again (the couple topped the country charts with their duet "When I Said I Do" in 1999) even encouraged country star Black, 58, to write a new song for them. Black's new "Till the End of Time" will feature Hartman and drops Dec. 2.
"After we finished the show, we thought about recording that song," Black says of Andrea Bocelli and Céline Dion's "The Prayer," which they performed on Wednesday's episode. "And that's when I said, 'What if I just write us a new duet?' We really wanted to record something again, have something new to perform together like we did on The Masked Singer."
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Hartman says the experience "made us closer and stronger."
"We had never done anything like this, so we really leaned on each other," she continues. "I was holding his hand. He was holding my hand a lot. We had little signals where we'd touch each other. We knew it meant like, 'Turn and look at me.' The compatibility certainly where this was concerned was really, really good."
The pair, married since 1991, go into more detail about the challenges of moving in the Snow Owls egg, how it came about for them to perform as The Masked Singer's first duet costume and plans to hit the stage together again soon.
How did it come together for you two to do the show together?
CLINT BLACK: I got an email from my manager and I'm standing at the island in the kitchen, and I looked up at Lisa and I said, "Well, listen to this." We just laughed at the idea of it and then we looked at each other and we knew that we were actually going to think about doing it. And it took about five minutes of talking about it seriously and when we were in. It was that fast.
LISA HARTMAN: The minute we looked at each other, we both went, "Yeah." Once we made the commitment, we were so excited. And then we just did Zoom calls and went through hundreds of songs. It was so much fun.
What was it like being in that costume, in the egg? Did it ever get claustrophobic?
CB: It was fun in all the ways you would imagine, but I wish I'd had an air conditioner in there. It was like hot yoga without the yoga. It was a sweatbox. And then maneuvering around that in that egg was really challenging. We could only move negative two miles an hour.
LH: In little side steps. And you had a couple of handbrakes inside. We had to maneuver the thing and it had a mind of its own! So that was adding to the challenge of all the obvious, but we made it work.
Did that take away from your ability to focus on the singing?
LH: I think at times it did, but once we got to our mark and we would start a song, and then we would have to move the egg down left or down right or center, and you can't really see. So we're like, we don't want to fall off the stage! We had to get in there and breathe and go, "Okay, we got this down," and just hope for the best.
CB: There were times when it was a little tricky moving around getting on stage and all that, and something would happen in that process and the heart rate would go up 20 beats. I'm used to relaxing before a show so this was really different.
How did working together so closely affect your relationship?
LH: We had a lot of laughs and would come home at night and look at each other and just collapse. We'd sit across from each other, go, "Wow, we did it." You feel like you've made it over some more hurdles and you didn't fall off the stage.
CH: The process leading up to it was pretty stressful because we were under time constraints to get the songs selected, get our key selected, rearrange the song and so it was an exercise in compromise for us. I think because we are married and we worked through all of this together, it made a big difference. It made it better.
Did two ever disagree about a song choice or how to approach a certain performance?
LH: The whole process was that way. I would love a song, but it wasn't quite right for him, vice versa. Or the key wouldn't work, and you just have to be considerate of that. You just go, "Okay," move on.
Do you have plans to perform together again with your new single?
CB: So I wrote "Till the End of Time," banging my head against the wall for about a week and came up with that song. And we were in the studio recording within a week of that. It'll be out Dec. 3, but Dec. 2 we'll be doing it live at the Ryman [Auditorium in Nashville]. This will be my first concert since the lockdown. It's $10 to watch the whole concert from home, and we'll be doing the new duet. We're excited to do it live. We recorded it and we haven't even sung it around the house together yet.
How excited are you to be in front of a live audience again?
CB: We also did the Opry on Halloween where my daughter made her Opry debut. It was a big night for us. And so that was a little taste of it, but this'll be a full show in front of an audience. And the added excitement of knowing that people can be watching from home, it will be a pretty big night for us.
Does your daughter Lily, 19, want to follow in your footsteps, Clint?
CB: She is, yeah. She's a second-year music student at Belmont [University in Nashville].
LH: She's off and running. I'm proud. She's got a good head on her shoulders. We always tell her, "You're lucky you have us," but it's true. She has parents who came up in the business and we can help her find her way, right and wrong, and questions to ask and things to avoid. And so far, so good.
What did she think of her parents singing on TV as Snow Owls?
LH: She loved it. We watch it together as a family, just the three of us, and to see her reaction to us and the sweetness, just the whole experience has been fun for the whole family.
CB: It was fun to share it with her.
Do you have any plans to commemorate your 30th wedding anniversary next year? Maybe a full album of duets?
CB: I think a long second honeymoon. Hawaii was an old stop off, but really thinking about going places we haven't been.
LH: See how sweet he is? This is why we're together so long. Because he's sweet sometimes.
The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on Fox.
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