The third season of The Masked Singer is already almost halfway over. So far, there has yet to be a contestant who has an unrecognizable voice and isn’t widely known to have a musical background. Last season, Indiana Pacers basketball star Victor Oladipo was somewhat of a revelation on The Masked Singer (despite having music on Spotify) as Thingamajig because he is mainly known for being an athlete. His hidden talent allowed him to stump the panel for weeks. Panelist Ken Jeong shocked everyone, including himself, by rightly guessing Oladipo’s identity in the same episode he was sent home. I’m predicting whoever the Rhino is will have a similar storyline this season and make it very far.
Like Thingamajig, Rhino mentioned a fall from grace in his clue package, and he has a voice that moved panelist Nicole Scherzinger to tears. Based on the clues, my official guess is that Rhino, just like Thingamajig, is an athlete who has dabbled in music.
Major Clues About The Masked Singer's Rhino
The first clue about the Rhino’s true identity is that he is massive. Rhino is taller than host Nick Cannon, but the Rhino’s headpiece adds almost extra foot to his height. Plus, he is wearing tons of layers and padded clothing. The costume could be a bit of a misdirect. The costume makes the Rhino seem taller and bigger than he actually is, throwing the judges off.
In his first appearance on the show, Rhino said he was a huge star but “being on top became an addiction.” His fall from grace caused Rhino to push people away from him. When he said this, the clue package showed Rhino pushing away a pitcher from one of his secret service agents. There was also a shot of the Grand Ole Opry and an image of a poster with “faith” written on it.
The clue package then turned to a more positive note as Rhino rode his bike with butterflies along the handlebars. He sang “Have a Little Faith in Me” by John Hiatt for his first performance and impressed the panel with his vocal skills, making them think he was a country music singer.
The second clue package opened with Rhino standing on an old propeller plane as he talked about being a “risk taker” throughout his life. He then played a guitar before he was swept away and fell down to Earth. “For so long it felt like I was free falling and just when it felt like I might hit the bottom I met my wife,” he said before landing back on the plane. He called her his “guardian” who “saves my life.”
Another important clue shown in the package was a quick image of one of the secret service agent guys wearing a big diamond on his pinky finger. His yearbook quote, which each group C contestant shared after their performance, said “Family is very important for success, especially when performing for a king is in your blood.”
Rhino decided to switch things up for his third clue package and have his college BFF speak for him. His friend shared that when the two of them were in school they decided to try surfing. He says Rhino kept trying until he mastered the sport.
The main message of this clue package seemed to focus on Rhino’s work ethic and determination.
There were also significant images in his Group C Final’s clue package. A quick close up of a sign with a black arrow pointing up and three quarters was shown briefly. Another zoom in moment focused on a map with Missouri highlighted. Rhino then sang “The Track of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles which, of course, impressed the panel.
Who Is The Rhino On The Masked Singer?
I think I’ve cracked the code. Panelist Robin Thicke says Rhino is Tim Tebow, but the clues on this show are never that easy. Rhino’s voice, height, and clues lead me to believe he is former San Francisco Giants pitcher Barry Zito.
Zito is about 6’2” tall which would make him taller than Cannon. He also has a slim frame which could explain the many layers Rhino wears to make him look like he has a football player’s body.
The former MLB star played for 15 seasons and began his career as an Oakland A’s before moving to the San Francisco Giants. Like Rhino, Zito’s career began strong: he was a first-round pick in the 1999 draft. After signing with the Giants, Zito faced some difficulties, including being cut from the team’s postseason roster and having foot and ankle injuries, which would explain the fade in stardom Rhino alluded to. The most obvious clue that points to Zito is the close up of the pitcher since that was his position. Also, the diamond the secret service agent wore could connect to a baseball diamond.
The other clues in Rhino’s package suggest a musical and religious background. In 2012, Zito co-wrote a song called “Butterflies” for the film A Thousand Words which explains the random butterflies on the bike. Zito tried to return to baseball and the A’s in 2015, but he played for the Triple-A Team in Nashville, Tennessee instead. Zito began to write music, so Nashville, where the Grand Ole Opry is located, would be significant to him. Zito has also released an EP titled No Secrets and the cover shows him playing the guitar, a skill Rhino shares.
The “guardian” Rhino refers to could be Zito’s wife Amber Seyer who he married in 2011. The religious language Rhino used when talking about his wife is linked to the “faith” poster. Zito released a book just last year called Curveball: How I Discovered True Fulfillment After Chasing Fortune and Fame about his journey to becoming a Christian.
Another important clue is Rhino’s yearbook quote. The “king” Rhino referenced could be a nod to the baseball star’s father, Joe Zito, who arranged and composed music for legendary jazz musician Nat King Cole. So, Rhino does have music genes in his blood.
Rhino’s most recent clue package included hints about Zito’s athletic abilities and his personal life. Some internet digging reveals that Zito has a love for surfing, just like Rhino’s college BFF mentioned, and has spoken about it before. For instance, in a 2013 interview with The Denver Post, Zito’s response to how he planned to spend his time during the offseason was, “I’ll definitely get on a surfboard.”
Some of the phrases Rhino’s BFF used in the clue package and the random signs were a little confusing at first, but they could have baseball connections. It is possible the sign with an upward arrow and three quarters referenced a pitching technique called three-quarters. The map with Missouri highlighted was a much clearer sign Zito is behind the mask. His wife was crowned Miss Missouri in 2007.
His baseball career, faith, and musical ties definitely make it seem like Zito is behind the huge mask. But the former baseball star has been out of the spotlight for a few years which is going to make it very difficult for the panel to pin down his identity. Since Rhino is so talented, hopefully it will be a while before I find out if I’m right.
Update: This story has been updated to include new episodes of The Masked Singer.