Since Fox plans to air The Masked Singer until we all stop watching it — or until it runs out of willing celebrities — we’ll just have to keep on guessing. And so, I’m back again to put my tried-and-true human algorithm to the test. Unlike these shady judges, who will try and trick us with purposefully off-base guesses (Adele! Lady Gaga! Dolly Parton!), we all know better.
What kinds of celebrities will appear on The Masked Singer? In the past two seasons, we’ve seen everyone from Ninja to Patti LaBelle, but there’s always a few common threads. Are they famous in their own fields, harboring dreams of singing stardom? Older celebs hoping for a comeback or some recognition by younger fans? Maybe someone with a little drama they’d like to outrun, or a brand-new album to sell? These are all the things that could get you on The Masked Singer. I’ll admit that as the show grows, I worry that big celebs might actually want to hop aboard. We shall see.
Who is the Robot on The Masked Singer?
Here’s what we know about the Robot: His clue video has him being taken apart and put back together by scientists, for one. There’s also the periodic table — which zooms into the element of platinum (Get it? Like someone who might have a platinum record?) and a small skateboard “crashing” into a fire truck. “I relate to robots because I’ve always felt the need to put on a tough outer shell,” says the Robot. “I think that makes me come off as inhuman and stunted my potential.” There’s also a scientist fiddling with a video-game remote. A gamer? “I have a feeling this is a massive star underneath that mask,” Nicole Scherzinger says, in perhaps the smartest guess she’s ever made on this show.
Why it’s definitely Lil Wayne: Is this the most contemporary famous person we’ve ever seen on The Masked Singer? The judging panel seems to think so, completely losing their minds when he’s revealed. I kind of agree: I was immediately confident that it was Wayne after he started singing (that low-baritone croaklike-speaking thing he does is unmistakable), but the only doubt I had in my mind was, “Would Lil Wayne do this show?” The answer being: If he has an album to promote, then yes, he would. (Plus, Wayne famously loves skateboarding, video games, and has many platinum albums. And he really has been “put back together” in the past few years, if that’s what he’s referring to.)
Why it might not be Lil Wayne: It is. I can’t believe they let him go so early. Wayne!
Who is the Llama on The Masked Singer?
Here’s what we know about the Llama: Definitely the most entertaining Masked Singer costume since the Egg, the Llama’s immovable back legs are straight up hilarious. He’s got a ’70s vibe and sits behind the decks and microphone of what looks like a radio station. “You may call me a joker,” the Llama says in his clue video, as the zoom-into stacked jack and ace playing cards: blackjack. There’s a purposefully placed Buddha and an LP that reads Sounds of Seattle. Plus, the Llama admits that he dresses “like this” in real life — Hawaiian shirts, khaki shorts, and a fedora.
Why it’s definitely Danny Bonaduce: The former Partridge Family actor turned VH1 nostalgia staple turned radio host is the perfect fit for a show like this. The guy even had his own short-lived reality show called Breaking Bonaduce, a dark place I urge you not to revisit. Since 2011, he’s hosted a morning talk and music show at Seattle radio station KZOK (“Sounds of Seattle”) and competes in the occasional celebrity-poker tournament. He even plays guitar and sings. Remember “Feelin’ Groovy”? (I don’t!) Or, more recently, gigs with the late David Cassidy, his TV brother.
Why it might not be Danny Bonaduce: Oops, it wasn’t! Sorry, Drew.
Who is Miss Monster on The Masked Singer?
Here’s what we know about Miss Monster: We find her first clue in the ladies’ room, applying her “Furspray” and getting a shot of a key ring that reads “FUN.” “When you become famous, people want you to look or act a certain way,” she says. “They forget that you started off as a shy little monster.” She opens a locker with the number ten on it (next to a locker with the number 11 on it, but there are no other lockers that are numbered?), and while she goes on about the original Monster (a.k.a. first-season winner T-Pain), we see a script text that reads “Monster Hits.”
Why it’s definitely Chaka Khan: Because anyone who has ever heard Chaka sing would know it immediately. Listen to her sing “Through the Fire,” and tell me that isn’t her! She even sounds amazing in a performance on Jimmy Kimmel from just a year ago. The number ten on the locker perhaps refers to her 10 Grammy Awards (she’s got those confirmed “Monster Hits”), and the “Furspray” or hairspray to her iconic hair. Miss Monster describes herself as “shy,” and so does Chaka. It’s a match.
Why it might not be Chaka Khan: It is.
Who is the Elephant on The Masked Singer?
Here’s what we know about the Elephant: Height is always the first thing worth noticing in this game, and the Elephant is tall. His clues include: a drum set, a stop sign, a mural that says MY BICYCLE, two wooden blue jays, and a bunch of other possibly telling storefront signs. We’ve got “Christian’s Art Supply,” “ANTIQUES,” and “ICE CREAM, 10 cents.” Could these just be generic stores? Sure, but probably not. “I was a calf when I found my calling, and with hard work turned my passion into a one-man show,” he says. “I went from canvassing park benches to leading the charge of a massive movement, even parading through white houses.” White houses, eh? “Go risk it all for what you love, and what everyone else says irrelevant.”
Why it’s definitely Tony Hawk: “White houses” referred to his skating at the White House during the Obama administration, “canvassing park benches” refers to him grinding along them as a kid on his skateboard, and the birds refer to his skateboard company BIRDHOUSE.
Why it might not be Tony Hawk: We know that it is, as he was sadly unmasked. Bye, Tony!
Who is the Mouse on The Masked Singer?
Here’s what we know about the Mouse: A delicate mouse, she glides slowly to the stage and grabs Nick’s hand. Perhaps she’s a bit older? Her clue package takes place on a football field, and she has a bullhorn. “I’ve always been a leader in my field,” she says. “I wrote the playbook.” They cut to a dry-erase board that reads “BANG BANG FORMATION” with what I’m guessing is an irrelevant football play scribbled out below. We see two football players with “WARRIORS 19” and “WARRIORS 79” across their backs (1979?). “I never accept anything less than gold,” she says, as a guy waves golden pom-poms. Later, she’ll describe herself as “a chatterbox.” She sings “Get Here” by Oleta Adams, which is definitely a vintage choice. Hmm!
Why it’s definitely Dionne Warwick: You heard the Mouse sing, right? That’s Dionne. If you need more evidence: All those “gold” references remind us of Warwick’s gig hosting Solid Gold (and singing the theme song!); her self-titled album, Dionne, came out in 1979; and “Bang Bang Formation” is inspired by Dionne’s “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” which was eventually covered as the title theme for 1965’s Bond film, Thunderball.
Why it might not be Dionne Warwick: It is.
Who is the Taco on The Masked Singer?
Here’s what we know about the Taco: First of all, he’s a total rip-off of Henry the Puffy Taco, the mascot for the San Antonio Missions. Beyond that, did you see that he sang into a microphone shaped like ketchup? “I’ve been a comforting part of your lives for decades, he says.” They cut to a pile of dusty VHS tapes, an anchor, a Rubik’s Cube, and a cable car. That’s a pretty solid lineup of clues. “I’ve got plenty of seasoning, and I’m in a good place,” the Taco says, as a taco would say. He also sings like a crooner, choosing Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” as his tune.
Why it’s definitely Tom Bergeron: The dusty pile of VHS tapes? Tom hosted Hollywood Squares (perhaps also referring to the Rubik’s Cube?) from 1998 to 2004 and America’s Funniest Home Videos from 2001 to 2015 The anchor? Bergeron started out as a news anchor in Boston. The cable car’s a tough one, but Bergeron sang on a compilation album dedicated to Mister Rogers, and if you listen to him sing, well, it’s pretty close to this Taco. (So it’s a trolley, not a cable car!)
Why it might not be Tom Bergeron: It is.
Who is the White Tiger on The Masked Singer?
Here’s what we know about the White Tiger: These clues want you to think this guy’s a wrestler — plus his towering height and hulking body type. (He dwarfs Nick Cannon in a way that platform shoes and prosthetics couldn’t do alone.) His clue video has belts, awards, and “I’m ready to get in that ring and smash the competition.” We get it, wrestling … or is this meant to throw us off? One of the awards reads: ”Ultimate Championship for Clam Shucking: 51 clams” … whatever that means. “My entire life, I’ve sought out perfection,” he says. In something likely related, they pan to a sign with Lincoln, Washington, and Franklin on it that reads “Four score and seven years ago,” and there’s another sign that reads “Masked Singer tryouts 5/3.”
Why it’s definitely Rob Gronkowski: Surprise! It’s not a wrestler. You know who else could have the body type of one though? A football player. And this could only be one guy: Gronk. The clues match up, too: He’s a wrestling fan (he appeared at WWE’s WrestleMania 33 and helped his pal Mojo Rawley win the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal); he played for the Patriots, the football team known for being out of Boston; New England is where you might find clams! (I wish I was joking about these clues!); he played in Super Bowl 51, like the “51 clams shucked,” and Super Bowl 53 (“Masked Singer tryouts 5/3”). The final evidence? “Four score and seven years ago” a.k.a. 20 x 4 + 7 = 87 a.k.a. Gronk’s number.
Why it might not be Rob Gronkowski: The clues are pretty conclusive, not to mention the football fans who happened to stick around after the Super Bowl and call this out immediately. The panel got caught up in the wrestling themes and guessed John Cena (no) and then Jason Momoa. But Jamie Foxx gets it right (and I’m guessing that a producer tells him not to do that again).
Who is the Turtle on The Masked Singer?
Here’s what we know about the Turtle: Well, first of all, he’s a good-ass singer. He’s got stage presence and a gorgeous run, so we’re not dealing with an amateur. His clue video starts off with a bunch of “bunnies” (you see, the turtle and the hare) at the starting line for a track-and-field event. “At the start of my career, I was surrounded by hungry newcomers,” says the Turtle. “I’m the turtle because I’ve always taken it step-by-step.” Okay. He waxes a surfboard, he flips some burgers, and says, “After years of preparation, I would love to make a big splash.” Let’s see.
Why it’s definitely Jesse McCartney: Totally irrelevant to this exercise, but did you know that Jesse McCartney wrote Leona Lewis’s hit “Bleeding Love”? He did, and because I know that, I also know that this is McCartney under the Turtle mask. Trust me! He was totally in the “race” with other newcomers — coming up among all the future boy-banders, and even joining a boy band called Dream Street. The surfboard could reference his role on teen drama Summerland, or the few Teen Choice Award surfboard-shaped awards he’s taken home (Choice Crossover Artist, Choice Male Artist, and Choice Breakout in 2005).
Why it might not be Jesse McCartney: The burgers are unclear — maybe the dude just loves to grill? And “step-by-step” seems to be a reference to the ’90s TV show, or maybe not. The panel goes for “boy-bander,” which isn’t wrong, but they are thinking of bigger boy bands. It’s not Lance Bass; it’s not Joey McIntyre (although he will probably be on this show at some point); and it’s not Donnie Wahlberg … despite the Wahlburgers connection.
Who is the Kangaroo on The Masked Singer?
Here’s what we know about the Kangaroo: In her clue video, this Kangaroo says, “Like most of you watching, I am a survivor. I recently lost a person who held my family’s heart together. Then, by my own admission, I found myself in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.” She passes a sign that reads OUTBACK and jumps rope. A tree holds a gramophone — as in, a Grammy? — and she says that “this year” she had no other option than to be vulnerable. Is this really an Australian person? Are they trying to trick us?
Why it’s definitely Jordyn Woods: I have to admit, this might be the hardest one to date. While the clues match up perfectly for Jordyn — her father’s death, her drama with the Kardashians (“by my own admission”), her year of vulnerability — this is someone who can actually sing. She really can sing! Can Jordyn Woods sing? There’s literally no evidence on YouTube that I can find, just spotty screen captures of old Snapchats. But Mariah Smith, a Kardashian expert whom I trust with this sort of thing, claimed Jordyn immediately, and while Jordyn herself is without Grammys, her father was a sound engineer. She’s not Australian like the package wants you to assume, but she is tall like this towering Kangaroo (five-foot-nine to be exact). There’s even some weak misdirect from Jordyn herself on Twitter. Nice try!
Why it might not be Jordyn Woods: Could Jordyn Woods be a good singer? I find it hard to believe this is the way she’d choose to reveal it. The Australian thing threw a lot of people who guessed Iggy Azalea, but here’s her singing voice. There were also guesses of Jordin Sparks and India.Arie.
Who is the Frog on The Masked Singer?
Here’s what we know about the Frog: We’ve got a frog in a zoot suit singing “U Can’t Touch This,” and weirdly, that’s not enough information to make a solid guess. His clue package opens with him reading a newspaper, and the front-page headline reads: TADPOLE PLUCKED FROM A LARGE CREEK. “News flash: My metamorphosis has been anything but typical,” croaks the Frog. (Actually, he says it, but you get it.) “I met stardom as fast as a lightning bolt.” Ah-ha! Like a runner? There’s a shot of a flyer that reads 1996 (OLYMPIC?) GAMES, 1,000 METER LEAP FROG. A bag that reads “leftovers” is turned over, and what appears to be hush puppies or doughnuts are spilling out. “Now I can write my own masterpiece. Showing this new side gives me butterflies in my stomach,” says the Frog. There’s a wall with bills draped over the side: $100, $5 and $1, totaling $106.
Why it’s definitely Bow Wow: Aside from the overwhelming Twitter consensus, the clues seem to add up: $106 could mean 106 & Park, the show that Bow Wow hosted in 2012; the thumbs-up sign on the microphone obviously refers to the 2002 movie he starred in, Like Mike. The 1996 Olympics flyer wants to be a red herring, but if not, consider Shad Moss a decent backup guess. The games were held in Atlanta that year, which happens to be where Moss is from.
Why it might not be Bow Wow: Maybe it is an athlete? Jenny guesses Michael Johnson, while Ken guesses Carl Lewis (it is not Carl Lewis.) Nicole asks if it’s Ray J, and a few folks on Twitter are guessing another “J”: Terrence J.
Who is the Kitty on The Masked Singer?
Here’s what we know about the Kitty: Her costume is freaking me out! The mix of cat and sexy spaghetti-strap dress … ahhhhhh. The judges also notice that she’s tiny. (“She’s the size of one of my thighs,” says Jenny.) “I feel at home among the weird and the wonderful,” the Kitty starts out. “A little bit of heaven, where I can wipe the slate clean as the purest snow.” There’s a lot of Old Hollywood imagery: black-and-white footage of pirates fighting and a quick moment from Georges Méliès’s 1902 film Le Voyage Dans la Lune. A rose falls and shatters (“Bachelorette?,” asks Nicole Scherzinger), and the Kitty says: “Sometimes it feels lonely, because people don’t think of me as the person I’ve become, but the person I once was.”
Why it’s definitely Sarah Hyland: Okay, this one is hard. The Drew Carey/Llama reveal threw me for a loop, and I’m probably overthinking things at this point. Lots of Masked Singer fans are guessing Emma Watson — citing her singing (the Kitty doesn’t not sound like her), the Beauty and the Beast–referencing rose, and the wizard with the telescope (Harry Potter). But this was a woman who barely engaged in Little Women press. Do we really think she’s signing on for this show? I don’t think so. Plus, the Kitty mentions that she wants “a little bit of heaven, where I can wipe the slate clean as the purest snow,” and Emma Watson already starred in a big movie musical! Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland makes way more sense: She grew up onscreen (“the person I once was”), has a “weird and wonderful” vibe, and has been trying to get into singing (which, for now, she is not known for). The rose could be a reference to her fiancé, Wells Adams, who was on The Bachelor. Jenny McCarthy emphasized how little the Kitty is; she is five-foot-two to Watson’s five-foot-five. Not a huge difference, but Hyland is shorter.
Why it might not be Sarah Hyland: There was no overwhelming consensus on the Kitty, and there are so many reasonable options. Does our mystery singer have different colored eyes like her Kitty costume? If so, people are suggesting Kate Bosworth (who is tiny and sings, but sounds nothing like this Kitty), Mila Kunis (who is tiny, loves The Bachelor, and does appear not to sing like this), and Elizabeth Berkley (who is simply too tall). There are people guessing Elizabeth Gillies — who is pals with Ariana Grande (thus, the song) and does sing — but she’s too tall and sounds nothing like Kitty. Other guesses: Rachel Lindsay, Mýa, Lucy Hale, and Mena Suvari. Nicole goes for Julianne Hough, and Ken suggests Nicole Richie.
Who is the Banana on The Masked Singer?
Here’s what we know about the Banana: He’s somewhat tall! His clue package has him snoozing next to a cowboy hat and … pufferfish? Okay. “You’d think this was my first rodeo,” he says. “I’m the banana because I’m tough on the outside, but a total smoothie on the inside, and a hoot to have at parties.” There’s a blue collar on the ground (blue collar … comedy?). He also reveals he has a daughter: “My kid, I’m getting ready to work out and she hands me a banana … and it’s a sign.” His Elvis impression slightly masks his singing voice, but the clues are pretty clear.
Why it’s definitely Bill Engvall: I don’t love going with the first guess of the Masked Singer panel, but Jenny’s first instinct is stand-up comedian Bill Engvall, and I think she’s spot on. His signature bit is called “Here’s Your Sign” (“It’s a sign”), he’s definitely worn his fair share of cowboy hats, he’s got a daughter, he’s been to rodeos, “is a cowboy,” and, yes, he’s already danced on Dancing With the Stars.
Why it might not be Bill Engvall: The pufferfish is throwing me, and some are suggesting that it, along with “a hoot” and the cowboy hat, points to Darius Rucker. But Darius Rucker has a very specific voice, and this isn’t it. The other guess is Engvall’s Blue Collar Comedy buddy Jeff Foxworthy, who also has a daughter and sometimes wears cowboy hats. And Nicole guessed Ed Helms because of The Hangover (?).