‘The Masked Singer’ spoilers: The Astronaut is …

The April 8 episode of the “The Masked Singer” is the first of two quarter-finals. Facing off against each other this week are the Astronaut, Kangaroo, Night Angel and Turtle. The second quarter-final is set to air on April 22 and will feature the other four contenders — Banana, Frog, Kitty and Rhino — still in pursuit of the Golden Mask. In between these two episodes, a special sing-along version of the show is slated for April 15.

Of the first quartet, the strongest singer is the Astronaut. He has impressed the four judges (Ken JeongJenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger, Robin Thicke) with each of his performances. He secured his place in the Top 8 with his take on the Rick Astley classic “Never Gonna Give You Up.” The Astronaut’s voice soars to new heights each time he appears. So many of the clues point in just one direction. Keep reading if you want to know who he is as we have all “The Masked Singer” spoilers.

SEE Everything you need to know about season 3 of ‘The Masked Singer’

We are absolutely certain that the Astronaut is country singer Hunter Hayes.

The Astronaut revealed he “started at a young age”; Hunter has been singing since he was two and was featured on “America’s Most Talented Kids.” In one clues video, there is a shot of a wooden bridge; Hunter hails from Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.

In another of the clues videos, we saw a shot of a warning sign; Hunter’s first hit was “Storm Warning” in 2011. That came off his self-titled debut disc, which went gold and platinum with sales of more than 1 million. Collectively, “The Masked Singer” celebrities have released 88 gold albums.

We learned from the Astronaut’s pal, Bro Pilot, that he “took a huge nose dive and fell”; that happened to Hunter at a concert in 2013.

The Astronaut talked about the need to “start over”; Hunter had a huge hit in 2014 with the song “Nothing Like Starting Over.”

We see the Astronaut holding a record emblazoned with a map of the world that breaks. Hunter helped The Flaming Lips set a record in 2012 for the most concerts in a day (8). We know that one of the 18 contestants on this season of “The Masked Singer” has an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records.

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Hunter was nominated for both Best New Artist, Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Album at the 2013 Grammys. He lost all those races and his subsequent ones for his solo singing in 2014 and 2015. As a group, the 18 contestants on “The Masked Singer” have earned 69 Grammy Awards nominations.

We saw a hologram version of the Astronaut. Likewise, Hunter appeared as a hologram on the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” episode that followed the 2016 Country Music Awards.

The shot of coffee beans is a visual reference to Hunter’s hugely popular meet-ups with fans at coffee houses around the country.

In 2019, Hayes released the single “Wild Blue,” which is all about the great beyond. That song is from an album of the same name. Hunter has a follow-up out later this year which makes this high profile gig on “The Masked Singer” very well-timed.

We won’t know if we are right that Hunter Hayes is the Astronaut until he is unmasked. That will happen if he loses a showdown or wins the show. Do you think we are right about the real identity of the Astronaut? Sound off in the comments section with your best guesses.

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