Spoilers are ahead. While The Masked Singer’s season 5 premiere was entertaining, there weren’t too many singers in Group A who delivered truly energizing performances. So, it was fitting that March 17's Group B episode kicked off with a fiery performance from Black Swan. Between her slightly intimidating costume and powerful voice, this feather-decked singer will definitely be one to watch.
In her debut episode, Black Swan commanded the panelists’ attention as soon as she walked onto the stage. She explained in her clue package that she is “incredibly rare,” which accurately describes her high vocal range and practically confirms she is a professional singer. Her voice is as impressive as Seahorse's in season 4, who turned out to be singer Tori Kelly. Stay with me...
While we usually offer a few guesses for each masked singer, we're beyond certain that Black Swan is one of the names the panelists just loved to throw at Seahorse: powerhouse singer JoJo.
Clues That JoJo Is Black Swan
It's generally much more difficult to guess a contestant's identity after just one Masked Singer performance. However, Black Swan’s first showing — a rendition of “Barracuda” by Heart — made it clear Jojo was under all those feathers based on the tone of her voice alone. Add in the clues and Black Swan’s vocal range, and you've got a pile of evidence pointing to the singer best known for “Too Little Too Late" and "Leave (Get Out)."
“Hypnotized by a Hollywood Deal Could Resist” from Week 2: JoJo became a pop star at only 13 years old when she released her debut single “Leave (Get Out).” After a few more hits and a couple albums, JoJo publicly had issues with her record label that prevented her from releasing her third album for 10 years. She sued her labels Blackground Records and Da Family in 2013. Black Swan’s “hollywood deal” likely refers to JoJo’s binding music contract.
Stopwatch with the number 5 from Week 2: The panel thought the number 5 could mean a member of Fifth Harmony is behind the mask. Surprisingly, the panelists were headed in the right direction with their thinking. JoJo toured with Fifth Harmony in 2016 as the girl group’s opening act.
X marks the spot from Week 2: Panelist Nicole Scherzinger pointed out the “X” in the clue package and theorized that Black Swan could have ties to the singing competition show The X Factor. In 2019, JoJo appeared in the audience alongside other musicians on the celebrity version of the show.
Red card from Week 2: In soccer, players can be penalized with a red card which removes them from the rest of the match. JoJo dated soccer player Freddy Adu after the two met on an MTV show called Fake ID Club.
“Faithful flock set her free” From Week 2: During her contract troubles with her former label, JoJo’s fans showed their support by tweeting #FreeJoJo. She spoke with Salon in 2020 and said her fans have kept her motivated throughout difficult times in her career.
“Covered a monster” — the Cluedle-Doo clue from Week 2: Cluedle-Doo stopped by again in week 2 to deliver a special clue for the audience. His hint referenced Monster, who won the first season of The Masked Singer. Monster was revealed to be T-Pain. In 2008, JoJo covered T-Pain’s song “Can’t Believe It.”
Penny and Nickel from Week 4: Panelist Ken Jeong noticed the coins in Black Swan’s second clue package add up to the number six. JoJo released her debut album when she was around 13 years old, but a 2015 interview with Vice’s i-D magazine mentions that the songstress was first offered a record deal at age six. The coins could be a clue about her young start in the music industry.
Story about rebuilding a relationship from Week 4: Black Swan wrote a letter to a person in her life who “gave her the confidence to start this journey.” She also briefly parted ways with this anonymous figure. This letter could have been addressed to JoJo’s mother, Diana Levesque, who used to be her manager. JoJo told The Fader in 2016 that she realized her mother did not make the best decisions because she did not have experience in the music business. When she was 18, JoJo found a new manager and called ending the partnership with her mom “one of the hardest times of my life,” which is similar to the language Black Swan used in the clue package.
Broken Heart from Week 4: Two of JoJo’s most well-known songs are breakup, pop ballads: “Leave (Get Out)” and “Too Little Too Late.” Her recent release “Small Things” is also about heartbreak. The broken heart could connect to the theme of heartache in her music.
Celeb Crush D’Angelo from Week 4: Black Swan’s childhood celebrity crush suggests she was born in the ‘90s as D’Angelo’s career took off in the early 2000s. JoJo was born in 1990 and her music became popular around the same time D’Angelo released hit songs like “Untitled (How Does It Feel).”
Three 10s from Week 5: The score cards could represent the television program America’s Most Talented Kid. JoJo competed on the show in 2003 which led to her landing a record deal with Blackground Records.
Yellow and orange fall leaves from Week 5: There was a pile of leaves on an aircraft in Black Swan’s third clue package which could represent JoJo’s most recent album called good to know. She released three versions of this record with three different covers that match the color of the fall leaves: good to know (orange), good to know--acoustic (yellow), and good to know--deluxe (blend of orange and yellow).
Black cat from Week 5: Black cats are famously associated with superstitions. After her stint on America’s Most Talented Kid, JoJo recorded a self-titled live demo session which featured covers of hit R&B songs. One of the tracks she did a version of was Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.”
“Montana” parachute backpack from Week 5: The panel suggested that the Montana clue was a connection to the Disney Channel show Hannah Montana. JoJo was originally offered the leading role of Hannah Montana (which ultimately went to Miley Cyrus). Jojo declined the part because she wanted to solely focus on her music.
This post will continue be updated as new clues are revealed on The Masked Singer.