‘The Masked Singer’ spoilers: The Monster is …

A half dozen celebrities took to the stage in the first episode of “The Masked Singer.” Each of the six was completely clad in an animal costume with their face hidden behind an elaborate mask. After all six sang a song on Wednesday’s premiere, the contestant with the lowest score was eliminated. That turned out to be the Hippo, who was revealed to Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. 

The other five contestants will continue on in the competition in coming weeks. We won’t know who they are till they are eliminated or, in the case of one of them, win the show. If you can’t wait till then to find out, then keep reading.

We’ve analyzed the clues that each gave to their identities before they performed as well as the comments of the four judges (Ken LeongJenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger, Robin Thicke). We’ve already posted our theories on who the three winners of the sing-offs — the Peacock, Lion and Unicorn — as well as the Deer really are. That leaves just the Monster.

He performed in the second of the three match-ups and had the whole crowd rocking to “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen. (Watch his uplifting performance in the video above.) So, who is this hidden talent?

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Forget that wild speculation by judge Jenny McCarthy that it could be Sean Coombs or that red herring from Ken Jeong that it is a star with a rap sheet.

We are all but certain that the Monster is the rapper T-Pain.

Let’s break down the clues he gave before singing:

SEE ‘The Masked Singer’ spoilers: The Peacock is …

“I am the monster because that’s what the world labelled me.” – After being featured on more than 50 chart topping singles from 2006 to 2011, T-Pain’s career went into a slump.

“I am here to re-write my mixed tape to prove that I am more than just puff and fluff.” – T-Pain was driven into early retirement by criticism of his singing style, which relied heavily on the use of Auto Tune.

“I was at the top of my game, but the game turned on me.” – T-Pain’s last album, which was prophetically titled “Oblivion,” failed to chart.

“I retreated into my cave to take a break from the public eye.” – T-Pain has made only a handful of appearances in the last few years.

SEE ‘The Masked Singer’ spoilers: The Lion is …

Thicke thought the voice was that of a seasoned artist and Scherzinger said she heard a lot of soul. But when he asked if he was a professional singer, the Monster cryptically replied: “Not to everyone.” That could well be a reference to T-Pain’s overuse of Auto Tune.

We won’t find out for sure if T-Pain is the Monster till he is unmasked. That will only happen if he loses the audience vote or wins the show. Do you think we are right about the true identity of the Monster? Sound off in the comments section with your best guesses.

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