As the finale draws near, The Masked Singer continues to reveal quirky, additional clues after each performance. This week featured “masked munchies” in honor of chef Gordon Ramsay serving as a guest panelist. Masked Singer star Turtle’s food item was one of the strangest — aside from Night Angel’s crickets, of course — simply because I don't think anyone has ever heard of it. Not even Ramsay seemed to know what "apple salsa" is (though the New York Times has a recipe if you're curious). However, after carefully analyzing this Turtle clue, I'm pretty sure it just confirmed that Jesse McCartney is the masked crooner.
But before we get too far, it should be noted that Turtle’s “masked munchies” clue came with multiple parts. There were red, blue, and green colored chips alongside the apple salsa. After unveiling the food, Turtle said, “It’s crunch time so I’m giving you this colorful medley of chips with apple salsa for all your clue cravings.”
Apple salsa is an acquired taste, but don’t get distracted by Turtle’s choice in snack like the panel did. The main clue is the chips, or more importantly, the color of the chips. McCartney is known for his singing but he also dabbles in voice acting. In fact, he has voiced Theodore in the Alvin and the Chipmunks films since 2007, including three sequels. It can’t be a coincidence that Alvin, Simon, and Theodore are known for wearing red, blue, and green which are the exact same colors as the chips Turtle presented.
The apple salsa could also connect to McCartney’s work with the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise. He has co-starred with actress Christina Applegate for three of the films. The reference to Applegate might seem random but her name has already been mentioned this season. In a previous episode, panelist Nicole Scherzinger threw out her name as a guess for the Bear (who turned out to be Sarah Palin). It isn’t implausible for The Masked Singer to have a clue that connects to someone whose picture was previously shown on the show.
Another important clue in Turtle’s most recent clue package also pointed to McCartney’s identity. During the package, the camera zoomed in on a clock. The time was originally 3:23 before changing to 9:14. The panel noted the numbers, but didn't quite make an important connection: They could be read as area codes 323 and 914, from Los Angeles and Westchester County, New York. That indicates that Turtle is someone who travels between LA and NY often, and wouldn't you know it: McCartney is originally from Ardsley, New York which is located in Westchester County, and he currently resides in LA.
The clues that the panel focused on the most were the giant chess board and a close up of the queen piece with a giant heart crown pinned to it, thinking it indicated that new Queen frontman Adam Lambert is behind the mask. But they are so wrong. If it was Lambert, he would have hit his signature high notes by now. Plus, McCartney has a song on one of his albums called “Checkmate,” so the queen (and the part where Turtle literally said "checkmate") does apply to him.