“I know exactly who this is!” is a running gag on The Masked Singer whenever judge Ken Jeong throws out a ridiculous, highly implausible guess. But, unlike Jeong, we're actually pretty confident about one guess for who The Masked Singer's Turtle is. So far, the crooner has sung “Kiss From a Rose," “Say You Won’t Let Go,” and "There's Nothing Holding Me Back" which show off his vocals and indicate he is a singer — and possibly a dancer. To be honest, you can just listen to the Turtle’s performances, without analyzing the clue package, and know who is singing. It also helps to know that the Turtle costume was originally created for Nick Carter (if his latest Watch What Happens Live appearance is to be believed). Which leads us to who could be in the suit now.
Major Clues About The Masked Singer's Turtle
In episode 1, we are shown a surfboard, the fact that he was "surrounded by other hungry newcomers” when he first started out, and the idea that he's preparing to “make a big splash.”
Later, in episode 2, we see Turtle writing “Don’t rave ever at my school --Turtle” over and over on chalkboard. He also says “I was voted most likely to hunt for booty, and I have… often…” and that people always want him to act a certain way.
And finally, in episode 3 we see Greek letters on chalkboard: Alpha and Omega. This package is delivered by his 9th grade bio teacher, who "helped me reach my dream." The camera also zooms in on a map of Seoul, South Korea.
Who Is The Turtle On The Masked Singer?
Our leading theory is early 2000’s teen heartthrob Jesse McCartney, and here's why. First, he is known for his singing, but he has also dabbled in acting. He starred in the short-lived WB series Summerland and played a character who wanted to pursue a career in surfing — hence the surfboard.
A couple years before Summerland and his hit song “Beautiful Soul” popped in 2004, McCartney was in a boyband called Dream Street with other young boys. The “hungry newcomers” clue could refer to the other members of McCartney’s band. “Making a big splash” could have multiple meanings. This could simply be the Turtle saying he is ready for a comeback and hoping The Masked Singer could kickstart a new part of his career. This could also connect to the surfboard as another Summerland reference.
The clues in episode two also appear to point to McCartney's time in a band and his acting career. Writing “Don’t rave ever at my school --Turtle” seems very strange, until you look closely. The first letter of each word spells out “Dream St,” aka Dream Street, McCartney’s former boy band.
His statement about people wanting him to act a certain way could also have a double meaning. It could be a hint that he has some acting credits on his resume and also refer to shedding a cookie-cutter-image that includes multiple Disney Channel appearances.
“The hunt for booty,” clue confused the judges. But any Jesse McCartney fan can tell you that he has multiple songs with the line “that thing you got behind you is amazing.” Hello, booty. It’s practically his signature which would explain the awkward “hunt for booty” superlative.
Usually, The Masked Singer writers tend to focus on the same types of clues when the judges are way off with their guesses — there's nothing to throw off if they're nowhere near the right guess. The judges haven’t even considered McCartney, so the producers don’t need to change the hints. The Greek letters on the chalkboard could very well be a reference to another acting job McCartney had: a recurring role on the ABC Family TV series Greek.
The 9th grade biology teacher’s input is a little trickier to decipher. It’s a stretch, but that clue could have something to do with McCartney’s independent film Keith. In the movie, the two main characters build their friendship after they become lab partners.
And while Jenny McCarthy suggests that the the final clue is actually proof that the Turtle is country singer Hunter Hayes (he's toured Korea, she notes), we think it's actually a giant, neon sign pointing to McCartney. If you notice, while the map depicts both North and South Korea, it focuses on Seoul, South Korea. Seoul, as you may know, is pronounced "soul." You know, as in McCartney’s biggest single “Beautiful Soul."