Last time we saw the Rhino on “The Masked Singer” he had just found out he numbered among the top 3 in Group C. On the April 1 episode, he returned, along with Astronaut and Night Angel, to face off against the best of both Groups A (Kangaroo, Turtle, White Tiger) and B (Banana, Frog, Kitty ).
This Super 9 are fighting for their places in the quarter-finals. To do so, they must win over both the studio audience and four judges (Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger, Robin Thicke). Of the remaining contestants, the Rhino is the one who has shown the most improvement.
He started off shakily with his version of the John Hiatt hit “Have a Little Faith in Me.” He did a whole lot better with “Nice to Meet Ya” by Niall Horan. And he proved to be quite the showman with his take on “Tracks of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles.
We’ve watched all those performances again as well as the three clues videos. We think we now know the name of the famous fellow hidden behind the Rhino mask. Keep reading for all “The Masked Singer” spoilers, including the real name of the Rhino.
We are certain that the Rhino is Barry Zito, the major-league baseball player turned recording artist.
In one of the clues videos, the Rhino refers to himself as a “gentle giant.” Zito was an all-star pitcher for the San Francisco Giants for seven years beginning in 2007.
The shot of the sliced hamburger slider bun is a not so subtle reference to Barry’s signature pitch, the slider-cutter hybrid.
In another we see the words Grand Ole Opry on a guitar; Zito finished up his baseball career in 2015 on the Triple-A Nashville Sounds, which is home to this music hall. And he wrote and recorded a theme song for this team.
We see a shot of a yearbook quote — “performing for a king being in your blood” — that we read as a reference to Barry’s dad, Joe Zito, a long-time collaborator with legendary singer Nat King Cole.
Barry has written a slew of songs, including “Butterflies, which was featured in the 2012 Eddie Murphy movie “A Thousand Words” – we saw lots of those winged insects in one of the clues videos.
Those allusions to the Show Me state could be referring to Zito’s wife, Amber Seyer, who won the Miss Missouri beauty pageant in 2007.
The Rhino refers to being caught up in the world of celebrity. Zito has been very open about how he dealt with the fame that came his way as an MLB all-star. Indeed he titled his memoir “Curveball: How I Discovered True Fulfillment After Chasing Fortune and Fame.” It made it onto the New York Times bestseller list; only three of “The Masked Singer” contestants can claim such bragging rights.
And Barry has a tattoo of a golden calf on the inside of his right bicep; as a group, “The Masked Singer” celebrities have a whopping 160 tats between them.
We won’t find out if we are right that the Rhino is Barry Zito until he is unmasked. This will happen when he loses an audience vote or wins the show. Do you think we are right about the true identity of the Rhino? Sound off in the comments section with your best guesses.