In season 4, The Masked Singer is going where it's never gone before, and no I’m not talking about the fact that the show keeps pretending there is a live audience when there absolutely is not. For the first time, a duo will be taking the stage masked in Snow Owl costumes, complete with plenty of feathers. The man and woman sit in a wheeled fabrochet egg shell that they steer with bike handlebars.
After their first performance of “Say Something” by A Great Big World, the panel was having trouble placing their voices and honestly, so am I. Going off of the initial clue package and the song, let's narrow it down to a few likely male-female singing duos that could be behind the mask. Here are my favorite options, along with the evidence:
Amy Grant & Vince Gill
Panelist Robin Thicke originally guessed married musicians Amy Grant and Vince Gill were professing their love to each other with “Say Something.” The evidence is so compelling that he might be right. The voice of the female Snow Owl matches Grant’s rich, powerful tone.
As Thicke noted, Grant has released multiple Christmas albums. Grant and Gill put on a group of Christmas concerts to support her albums which connects to the clues about Christmas. The Masked Singer is also a reunion for them because they have dueted before. Gill is featured on Grant’s song “Rock of Ages” which was released this year for her Amy Grant Collection album.
The Snow Owls’ playoff song and clues make the Grant and Gill guess much more plausible. In the package, the singing birds discussed a “messy breakup” that the male Snow Owl experienced. Then, a light up letter “D” wass shown, possibly a reference to divorce. When Grant and Grill married in 2000 both had been previously married. They began dating shortly after their divorces, so Gill could have been talking about how Grant helped him handle his marriage ending.
For most of the clue package, the Snow Owls were in a castle sitting on a throne made of pillows. The female Snow Owl also remembered having an “opportunity fit for a queen.” Grant began her career singing contemporary Christian music before making more mainstream pop songs. She was sometimes called “The Queen of Christian Pop” which explains the fancy setting.
After the Snow Owls leave their castle, a bouncy house appears. A bouncy house is where people jump around. Gill, who has collaborated with countless acts throughout his career, became a member of country swing group called The Time Jumpers.
The twang heard in “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” fits the couple because Gill is from Oklahoma and is primarily known as a country singer. Also, the background dancers had two hearts during the song. Some of Grant’s biggest hits have heart in the title, including her best-selling album Heart in Motion and her pop song “Every Heartbeat.” The hearts were literally in motion on stage.
Clint Black & Lisa Hartman Black
At the beginning of each season of The Masked Singer, the panel tends to be way off with their suggestions. No one has guessed anyone close to country music singer Clint Black and fellow musician and actress Lisa Hartman Black which makes me think this idea could be correct.
Let’s start with the week one clue package. A pearl appeared on the screen before the Snow Owls talked about reuniting. The couple have a daughter named Lily Pearl Black. Also, Lisa has been featured on three of Clint’s singles and their last duet was in 2016 for a song called “You Still Get to Me.” Their voices in the music video for this track sound similar to the vocals in the “Say Something” performance and Clint’s well-known twang was more noticeable in “Like I’m Gonna Leave You.”
In 2018, the country singer released The Clint Black Christmas Collection which could connect to the Christmas clue. The album includes a song with Lisa Hartman titled “The Finest Gift” and another tune called “Magical Christmas” featuring their daughter who was already referenced in the clue package.
The Snow Owls’ second set of clues tapped into more serious moments in their past. The “breakup” the male Snow Owl talks about could be Clint’s split with his manager, Bill Ham, in 1992. He sued Ham and the case involved the royalties to Clint’s music, hence the royal references.
A basketball with Dallas abbreviated on it and a close-up of ropes with knots were also highlighted in the second package. The Mavericks is the name of the basketball team in Dallas. Clint played a sheriff in a 1994 American Western called Maverick. The knots link to Lisa Hartman’s acting career. Her breakout role was in a prime time soap opera called Knots Landing.
The Group A playoffs featured drone clues that flew around the stage. The Snow Owl’s special clue was a witch’s hat which made the panel think of Bewitched. While they were close, the panel thought the hat was attached to the 2005 movie. The witch’s hat actually connected to the original ‘60s sitcom. After Bewitched ended, ABC aired a spin-off show called Tabitha which starred Lisa Hartman in the title role. After dissecting the second collection of clues, Clint and Lisa are becoming my number one picks for the identities of the Snow Owls.
Donny & Marie Osmond
Yes, I know that Donny was already on the show as the Peacock in season 1. But, there is no rule that celebrities can't come back to the show. Also, Snow Owls are the first duo ever on The Masked Singer, and Donny is a lifelong showman who might not be able to resist breaking two records: first duo and first contestant to return to the show.
In the clue package, the female owl said, “Oh, brother,” implying the pair are siblings. They also said people “haven’t seen us together in a while, but now it’s time for a family reunion.” The last time Donny and Marie toured together was in 2019 for their Las Vegas residency, so this technically qualifies as a reunion.
The male Snow Owl was holding a red rose in the clue package. This is the most convincing clue because one of Marie’s most popular songs is called “Paper Roses.” Her version landed number one on the country charts.
I’m not on my own with this theory. Panelist Jenny McCarthy also guessed the Osmond siblings She pointed out that the male Snow Owl was playfully pecking host Nick Cannon just like the Peacock did in season 1. One the Snow Owls was also labeled a “prankster” and was cracking a few jokes, which fits Donny’s personality.
In the Group A Playoffs, the Snow Owls sang “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor featuring John Legend with a country twist. The song could have represented Marie’s return to her country roots.
The second clue package included a light up letter “D” while the male Snow Owl spoke about receiving “backlash from their community.” The letter is a direct link to Donny and the “backlash” could refer to the falling out with his brothers. In a 2004 interview with BBC News, he revealed his brothers were upset with how his image affected their careers.
Faith Hill & Tim McGraw
The clue package is really trying to make us think that the Snow Owls are siblings. But come on. We've been watching this show long enough to know the clues are supposed to be misleading. “Say Something” is a song about love and heartbreak, so the duo could be a couple, which is why it is possible country superstars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw are behind the masks.
Some of the clues might only reveal one of the Snow Owl’s identity. A pearl in a clam shell was highlighted in the package. Hill sang a song called “There You’ll Be” for the movie Pearl Harbor.
One Snow Owl mentioned wanting to make Christmas “extra magical” last year. Hill has released multiple holiday tunes during her career and McGraw gave her track “Where Are You, Christmas” a shoutout on his Instagram. He also starred in the holiday movie Four Christmases.
Lastly, McGraw and Hill have collaborated frequently, but they finally released a duet album in 2017 called The Rest of Our Lives. Three years is long enough to make their Masked Singer appearance a “reunion.”
One clue that was pretty on the nose in the Group A Playoff package was the female Snow Owl saying the line “I took a leap of faith.” It could have been an obvious shoutout to Hill’s name and her self-titled 1998 album. Plus, the country-styled version of “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” would fit McGraw and Hill’s voices perfectly since they are country superstars.
During the performance, two of the background dancers used diamonds as props. McGraw has a song called “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” which is also a duet, making it a secret, double clue.
Derek & Julianne Hough
This guess is a wild card, but hear me out: it has potential. Derek and Julianne haven’t appeared together on Dancing With the Stars (where they both became household names) since 2016. So, similar to the Osmonds, the “family reunion” and “oh, brother” clues could apply to the Houghs.
While the Houghs are mainly known for dancing, they can both sing. Julianne has released two albums and Derek’s latest music video for his song “The Ones” dropped in March. They also sang duets together during their “Move Live on Tour” which ran from 2014 to 2016.
The Christmas clue could refer to the Holidays with the Houghs special released in 2019 which featured the duo singing and dancing. They have plenty of performance experience together and separately, so it's entirely possible they brought their talents to The Masked Singer.
There weren’t many clues in the Snow Owls’ second clue package that supported the Houghs theory. However, at the end of their second performance, the female Snow Owl asked the audience, “A sister could sing a love song to her brother, right?” This could have been Julianne suggesting to the audience that the Snow Owls are very close siblings. The Houghs are publicly known to have a loving relationship and made videos together while quarantining separately. Then again, that clue is too important to share privately with the audience, away from the panel.