Serpent was just unmasked on The Masked Singer, and suddenly I empathize with panelists Ken Jeong and Robin Thicke. My Serpent guesses were completely wrong. The smooth singer with a booming voice turned out to be Dr. Elvis Francois, also known as the Singing Surgeon. If you watched After the Mask last season, the you may recall seeing Francois croon a closing song on almost every episode of the after show. It is shocking that it took the panel (and me) this long to figure out he was the person giving flawless performances every week — especially considering he became a national treasure earlier this year.
Francois, who completed his residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, posts videos of him singing at the hospital. In March, during the beginning stages of quarantine and the rise of the pandemic, Francois shared a clip on his Instagram singing John Lennon’s “Imagine,” alongside fellow resident William Robinson on the piano. His heartfelt vocals and the accompanying message of hope in the caption caused Francois and the performance to go viral. It was basically the antithesis of that celebrity "Imagine" video we all tried very hard to forget.
Following his overnight success, Francois made countless appearances across the country on programs like The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Good Morning America. He sang “God Bless America” as a tribute to other frontline health care workers for the Indy 500 Special: Back Home Again and he performed the national anthem at a Monday Night Football game.
Almost a month after the “Imagine” post, Francois released a four-track EP called Music is Medicine to raise money for The Center of Disaster Philanthropy COVID-19 Response Fund. The EP debuted on multiple Billboard charts and landed a spot on the Emerging Artists chart at number 21.
One of the songs on the album was a cover of Andra Day’s “Rise Up.” Francois actually performed the tune as a duet with panelist Nicole Scherzinger on an episode of “After The Mask” which was referenced as his final clue on The Masked Singer.
Speaking of his clue packages, the show included multiple, obvious hints about Serpent’s identity. In his first clue package, there were medicine and musicology signs which clearly indicated his two passions. Serpent also talked about wanting to heal pain and that a “string of miraculous” events that lead to him being on the show. A pair of scrubs were shown in his second clue package. Serpent’s final clue package featured an ambulance in the background and a good mayo jar which, as Scherzinger pointed out, was a reference to the Mayo Clinic. His college roommate dropped another subtle hint when he said “imagine yourself in the Super Six.”
There were plenty of clues about medicine and his sudden success, but somehow, we all missed them.
Francois’ vocals were just as good as the professional musicians on this season and he definitely deserved a spot in the finale. But, he probably is not too sad about it because according to his most recent Instagram post, Francois just finished his spine surgery fellowship at the teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. While he will certainly be missed from the show, he has a much more important job to do right now.