Fans of The Masked Singer have been fervently guessing at the mysterious celebrities singing behind their head-to-toe costumes ever since the new FOX singing competition debuted nearly a month ago.
One of those stars who has caused quite a ruckus on social media is the rabbit, whose identity has been a popular subject of debate. From the clues the rabbit gave about himself in the first episode, it was evident that he was once in a boy band, which led many to believe, initially anyway, that the man beneath the mask was Joey Fatone, a former member of *NSYNC.
The judges even guessed Fatone's name at one point, although judge Jenny McCarthy dismissed it by saying she's "friends" with Fatone and that the rabbit's "gut" wasn't big enough to be him.
The theory eventually began to lose steam after Fatone repeatedly insisted that he was not the rabbit. In addition to his playful denials via social media, which many fans could have dismissed as bluffing, the Dancing With the Stars alum went a step further, telling Page Six that "I... am not in that show. I'm not the platypus or bunny or unicorn or whatever the hell you call it."
He also said that he had never even heard of the new reality show before his Twitter mentions started "blowing up" with fans asking if he was the rabbit.
With Fatone out of the running, fans now have a second, even better theory on who the rabbit could be: none other than Fatone's former bandmate, JC Chasez.
The clues surrounding the debacle seem to fit like a glove — or should we say straightjacket — for Chasez, who has remained mum on social media amid the show. Fans arguing for Chasez will quickly point out that physically, Chasez is relatively tall, like the rabbit. Not only that, but several of the clues the rabbit gave as to his identity work: He spent most of his life on stage, but was "never alone" — hence the boy band train of thought.
The rabbit also said that he "pops" up here and there, which could be a general reference to pop music — or to a hit single off *NSYNC's third studio album, "Pop," which would rule out any other boy band members like Backstreet Boys' AJ McLean or McCarthy's husband Donnie Wahlberg of New Kids on the Block fame.
Another clue pointing to the idea that the rabbit is an *NSYNC alum is that the rabbit declared at the end of his video package that "the last mask standing is gonna be me," which is a pretty clear throwback to the group's hit "It's Gonna Be Me." He also told the judges that "synchronized singing is my forte."
But what sets Chasez apart from the remaining *NSYNC members like Lance Bass or Chris Kirkpatrick (most fans have ruled out the mega-famous Justin Timberlake) is the fact that the rabbit wears a straightjacket — the very same thing Chasez wore on the cover of his debut solo album Schizophrenic in 2004.
And you can't forget about the rabbit's pitch-perfect voice, which judge Robin Thicke said sounds like a "seasoned performer's."
In his first performance, the rabbit sang Ricky Martin's "Livin' la Vida Loca" on the second episode of The Masked Singer to a standing ovation from the judges. He will likely appear for his second performance on Wednesday's upcoming episode.
So far, the eliminated hippo was revealed to be Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown; the pineapple was comedian Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong fame; retired Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and current FOX football analyst Terry Bradshaw was revealed to be the deer in week three.0comments
The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on FOX. The finale is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 6.