After a week without an elimination, The Masked Singer is back to culling its herd of lovably creepy creatures. There's no telling who's going to get the boot next, although we can be sure it'll be a while before we see the face of one of the strongest players in the game, the Astronaut. Still, there's ample proof of his identity: country singer Hunter Hayes.
We should have known at the start of the season when The Masked Singer boasted that this go-round's lineup was the most accomplished by far, and we can definitely put Astronaut in the mega-talented camp. From Day 1, his performances have been...out of this world, to say the least. It's not far-fetched at all to assume he's a professional singer, and combined with one very important clue that's been a clear giveaway, we can safely wager that this world-class warbler is Hayes. How do we know? Let's start from the most recent performance.
In Week 11, Astronaut made his identity even clearer when a clue package included a reference to the White House and an accordion, only backing up what we've known for several weeks now. The objects were in the Astronauts carry-on luggage; Hunter performed at the White House as a kid in the Clinton era, and he's known to play the instrument.
How about his second week, when he called Stevie Wonder a friend before performing "Signed, Sealed Delivered?" It turns out that Hunter Hayes and Stevie Wonder have performed together twice -- on Dancing with the Stars and the ACM Awards, where they looked totally adorable hanging out together in the press room. Then there was the time a clue package included a Hawaiian lei -- a nod to one his favorite places in the world and where he wrote a song, "Heartbreak." On another occasion, Astronaut said something about "help from someone from an organized crime family." Hayes, as it turns out, is good buddies with Godfather star Robert Duvall.
Of course, Astronaut's voice shouldn't be overlooked either. Last year, he released an album entitled Wild Blue, which includes a title track that makes allusions to a love of space. Astronaut has made a number of references to being in the business since he was a kid, as Hunter Hayes has.
The biggest, most telltale clue came not from the show itself. One of the accolades The Masked Singer touted about its performers at the beginning of the season was that one performer holds a Guinness World Record -- and Hayes has one for playing a record number of shows (10) in 24 hours. Making it even more of a solid certainty, a recent clue package showed Astronaut holding an actual album that shattered in his hand -- a "broken record" that's without a doubt a reference to that Guinness feat. It's definitely him!