Producers have said that the fifth season of The Masked Singer, which was produced entirely during the pandemic, has seen more music stars than ever before because musicians haven't been able to tour like they normally do (and thus have time to participate in the Fox reality competition). The Chameleon and his fellow top three finalists all exemplify that fact, since it's clear they're all seasoned performers of the musical variety. (The top 5 singers might have all dabbled in other industries, but they're very obviously musicians first and foremost.)
A flow like Chameleon's isn't easily replicated — he is clearly a professional rapper. While it took a few episodes for judges Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong, and Nicole Scherzinger to decide that this person was a musician rather than an actor or other performer with superb musical skills, they eventually got on the right track (or at least the track that most of the Internet agrees with).
We do have one complaint about their guesses, though: They kept mentioning Snoop Dogg as a possibility, but first of all — Snoop's voice is immediately recognizable, and this is...not him. And second of all, he performed a Snoop song in the quarterfinals ("Drop It Like It's Hot," in case ya missed it) and sounded nothing like him, so unless Snoop is putting a LOT of effort into not sounding like himself, it was never going to be him.
While the main judging panel was set on the professional musician track, semifinals guest judge Darius Rucker was thrown by Chameleon's height and thought that perhaps it was an athlete. Finals guest judge LeAnn Rimes, on the other hand, knew it was a rapper — she just didn't necessarily settle on the right one. Let's revisit the most important clues that hinted at the Chameleon's identity, the judges' best guesses, and our own guess — including some proof as to why we were leaning in that direction — before revealing the third-place finisher's true identity.
The clues so far:
+ Chameleon has a history with precious gemstones
+ His work has been on the big screen and he's even been involved with the Golden Globes
+ A black and yellow road sign is a key clue
+ His dad taught him how to deal with gadgets
+ As a kid he could never blend in, and his whole life has been about embracing what makes him unique
+ When he was young someone inseparable from him was constantly attacked for who she was. Tragedy struck and she was taken, and now he honors her memory by fighting for those who didn't feel accepted and wants everyone to feel proud of showing their true colors
+ His childhood crush was Salma Hayek
+ The only person he wants to impress more than anyone is his little chameleon
+ He loved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a kid
+ One package had a martial arts theme
+ He loves hot wings and is always cooking something in the kitchen
+ he met the legend he'd idolized since he was young by winning a local radio station contest. Eventually, he worked alongside him as a team, and they're now true friends
+ He was a military kid who had to adapt from city to city
+ Imagery includes a 007, a turntable, video games, a can of "bug juice," a graduation cap, a wedge of cheese, a sign reading "bonjour," a measuring tape, peaches on the side of a taxi, a fly, a briefcase with #2, clocks set to 3:46, an MRE of fried bird and cricket cake, orange slices, lemonade, a chameleon plane, a captain's hat, and a sneaker
+ Chameleon has friends who have been unmasked, and he signed up for the competition for fun because he thought his family and friends would get a kick out of it
+ He has a theater background
+ He's a super-fan of Jackie Chan, who always brings that rumble to the stage and is his own personal hero
+ Fan mail reveals that any friend of Martha Stewart's is a friend of his, and he's played Madison Square Garden
+ Chameleon loves playing the character as much as he loves himself, because he's confident
+ Other clues from the semifinals include three bricks, a bridge, a double-decker bus, and a snake symbolizing the fact that he shared the stage with guest judge Darius Rucker "when Phoenix was there and the corndogs were delicious."
+ As he said many times before, he originally signed on to do the show because he loves watching with his kid. A bonus result was being able to take a full tour of hip-hop to educate the children who are watching
The judges' guesses: At first the judges weren't sure if this was a musician, and guessed people like Dwight Howard, Dwayne Wade, and Iman Shumpert. Now they've realized it's probably a rapper, and have guessed 2 Chainz, Wacka Flocka Flame, Machine Gun Kelley, Snoop Dogg, Young Thug, and Wiz Khalifa. Rucker, though, thought that maybe it was Larry Fitzgerald from the Arizona Cardinals.
After his final performance, producers reminded the audience of the most noteworthy guesses from the season: 2 Chainz, Dwayne Wade, Waka Flocka Flame, Dwight Howard, Kyrie Irving, Machine Gun Kelly, Red Foo, Snoop Dogg, Young Thug, Wiz Khalifa. The judges' final guesses included Gucci Mane, Wiz Khalifa and 2 Chainz.
Our guesses: Like Robin, we were pretty sure it's Wiz Khalifa. The clues align: He's a military brat, he toured with childhood idol Snoop Dogg, the black and yellow sign is obviously a nod to his breakout single, he's a known MMA enthusiast, and he's definitely not Snoop himself because he performed a Snoop song and sounded nothing like the legendary rapper.
It was: Wiz Khalifa!
The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on Fox.