Spoilers are ahead. UPDATE: For the first time ever, The Masked Singer unveiled wild card singers who had to compete to earn a spot on season 5. The Masked Singer's first wild card Orca had some ground to make up, but his first performance instantly put him in dark horse territory. And when he was eliminated on April 14, he still managed to surprise the panel yet again by revealing himself to be Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath.
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In his first appearance, Orca stood above the rest of the competition as he was lowered from the rafters. He worked the stage during his performance of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and had the panel rocking along with him. His vocals and energy must have put them in a trance because that is the only reasonable explanation for some of their guesses which included surfer Larry Hamilton. However, their guesses all confirmed that Orca is a seasoned performer.
To be honest, Orca’s identity is a tough one to crack. But there were a few clues the panel missed that might help solve who is behind the mask.
Clues That Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath is Orca
Contestants can get caught up in the moment and sometimes they accidentally reveal extra clues during their performances. As Orca belted along to his song, he called out to the crowd. His ad-libs allowed us to hear him speak without vocal manipulation. Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath has distinct speaking and singing voices, so although the singing tone does not match exactly, Orca’s regular voice and his goofiness lend some strong support to the McGrath theory.
The pizza prices from Week 1: When the prices for the different types of pizza in Orca’s Piehole are put together, they come out to 949 which could be an area code. This area code covers part of Orange County, California, where McGrath’s band Sugar Ray was formed.
The VHS tape from Week 1: Orca mentioned he sent audition tapes at the start of his career. VHS tapes reached the United States in 1977. If Orca sent VHS auditions when he was 24, he could be someone who grew up in the 1960s or 1970s. McGrath was born in 1968.
The bowl of candy from Week 1: There was a quick shot of a bowl filled with candy in the clue package that the panel did not mention. The sweets could reference the name of McGrath’s band.
The hawk carrying Orca from Week 1: The hawk picks up Orca so he can fly through the air. Sugar Ray’s first pop hit was the 1997 song “Fly.”
Clues That Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan Is Orca
While some of the panelists suggested unlikely names like actor Kevin Bacon or chef Gordon Ramsay, week 3 guest panelist Joel McHale guessed Smashing Pumpkins lead singer Billy Corgan. Compared to the rest of the panel, McHale’s theory is at least plausible. Let’s look at why the fruit-filled clue package points to this rock singer.
The rocket on Orca’s self-portrait from Week 1: “Rocket” was a single off a Smashing Pumpkins album called Siamese Dream. The clue is a way to refer to the band’s most popular album without referencing more well-known tracks like “Disarm” and “Today.”
Clues That The Fray’s Isaac Slade Is Orca
Orca’s first clue package was packed with a few hints that did not seem to connect to each other which makes guessing his identity much more difficult. The strongest clues so far have been his vocals and stage presence. The panel was convinced Orca is a rock singer and one rock musician who is not on their radar, but has the vocals to sing Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” is The Fray’s Isaac Slade.
“My dad told me if I didn’t make waves by 25 it was time to move on” quote from Week 1: The Fray formed in Denver, Colorado in 2002. The band released their debut single “Over My Head (Cable Car)” in 2005 and it soon became a hit in the United States. Slade, who was born in 1981, would have been around 24 when the band achieved success which matches the Orca’s timeline.
Raspy rock vocals from Week 1: Orca hit a series of extremely high notes during his first performance and showed off his raspy tone. Slade has a range similar to Orca and his gritty vocals are featured on The Fray’s singles like “Love Don’t Die” and “How to Save a Life.”
This story was updated after Orca was eliminated on The Masked Singer.