For this week’s episode of The Masked Singer, the contestants were put in groups with some of the celebrities they haven’t performed against yet. This also seemed to be the group of contestants that none of the panelists have guessed correctly. Despite my theory holding up that the Astronaut is country singer Hunter Hayes, the panel hasn’t been close to revealing his identity, frequently throwing out the names of *NSYNC member JC Chasez.
Guesses about the Astronaut have actually become worse each week. They haven’t suggested a person even remotely close to country music. But the Astronaut’s suitcase full of clues this week makes me more confident my theory is correct.
New Clue: Accordion
The accordion was the instrument featured in the Astronaut’s most recent clue package, but it should be noted that last week, the french horn was highlighted. So this is someone who plays a lot of instruments. And wouldn't you know it, Hayes checks this box.
In fact, Hayes played an accordion on stage with singer-songwriter Hank Williams Jr. when he was only five years old. Honestly, I can’t name any other young "heartthrob" musicians who are connected to the accordion and the French horn besides Hayes.
New Clue: The White House
The clues this week seem to focus on moments from deep in Astronaut’s past. So, we almost understand why the panel can’t determine who the clues are pointing to. In 2003, Hayes performed at the White House. He sang a song off his Christmas EP titled Holidays With Hunter.
Sure, there have been countless musicians who have performed at the White House before. But since this clue fits with my theory, I’m using it as another link between the Astronaut and Hayes.
New Clue: Airplane
The airplane could just be a connection to the Astronaut’s costume, but there might be another meaning behind it. Hayes revealed in an interview that he was learning how to fly a plane in 2013. He hasn’t really spoken about it since, but it is possible that he does have his pilot’s license.
New Clue: Lightbulb
The lightbulb continues with the trend of clues that reference Hayes’s past. His most popular album is Hunter Hayes (Encore) which featured the hit single “I Want Crazy.” That record also includes a lesser known song called “Light Me Up.” It isn’t the most specific clue, but the lightbulb does connect to the song title.
New Clue: “Warning Do Not Open” Luggage Tag With Lightning Bolt
One of the Astronaut’s suitcases had a tag on it that said “warning do not open” with a lightning bolt next to it. This could be another reference to one of Hayes’ songs. The first single off his debut album was called “Storm Warning.” This connection seems likely because Hayes’s first ever single would be significant to him.
New Clue: “Unearth Who I Am”
After revealing the contents of his suitcase, the Astronaut said, “I’m an open book, now it’s your mission to unearth who I am.” There was an emphasis on the word “unearth.” Each clue package included a line or an item to confuse the panel. Stressing “unearth” could have been used to lead the panel in the wrong direction. It is likely this is just a reference to the Astronaut’s costume.
Bonus Clues: He Mirrors Turtle, Sings Love Songs & "Bye Bye Bye"
Before his performance, the Astronaut and the Turtle had a conversation. They said they were mirrors of each other and both sang “emotional anthems of love.” If my theory about the Turtle being pop star Jesse McCartney is correct, then it would make total sense that the Astronaut is a mirror to the Turtle. Both McCartney and Turtle are blond and former teen heartthrobs. The songs they are known for are also love songs. Plus, early on in the season panelist Nicole Scherzinger suggested that the Turtle was Hayes. So, this could be a nod to the panel and the audience that Scherzinger’s guess applies to the Astronaut.
The Astronaut also sang along to NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye.” Even if you aren’t a fan of the ‘90s boy band featuring curly-haired Justin Timberlake, there is no denying that the Astronaut didn’t sound like any of the boy band members when he sang a few lines. The Astronaut also appears to be much shorter than JC Chasez or Chris Kirkpatrick. Sticking with my original guess until the end. Sorry, panel.