The Zebra is certainly the most energetic of the six contestants still in contention on season 1 of “The Masked Dancer.” He takes to the stage again on January 27. We’ve been fans of his since he first competed on episode 2 and wowed us with his fancy footwork in a routine set to “Magalenha” by Sérgio Mendes. He returned the following week and did even better with his dance to “All My Life” by K-Ci and JoJo.
Forget those guesses by the four judges (Paula Abdul, Brian Austin Green, Ken Jeong, Ashley Tisdale) that the Zebra is someone who came to fame in a boy band like Ricky Martin or Kevin Richardson. Keep reading for all “The Masked Dancer” spoilers, including our theory as to the true identity of the Zebra
We are certain that the Zebra is professional boxer Oscar De La Hoya. Don’t agree? Consider the following facts:
The first Word Up clue given by Zebra was “comeback” and the second was “champion.” There is tons of talk that De La Hoya could be returning to the ring 12 years after retiring.
Zebra revealed that he was raised in a rough part of town; De La Hoya hails from East L.A., which certainly fits that description. And the shot of Dad’s Appliance Store reminded us that Oscar is from a long line of boxers, including his father and grandfather.
De La Hoya won his first national title when he was 17 (we saw that number referenced in the clues video). He went on to win a gold medal in the lightweight division at the 1992 Summer Olympics. Collectively “The Masked Dancer” contestants have won four Olympic titles (Cotton Candy has bragging rights to the other three.)
We saw several other numbers that also fit De La Hoya’s bio like a glove: 11 is the number of world titles he has won; 128 was his weight when he started boxing as a super featherweight; and 154 is the minimum requirement to be a middleweight, his current classification.
And there were loads of images of different kinds of “Oscars” including Academy Awards winners Bong Joon-Ho and Roger Deakins; the Oscar Meyer hotdog and the letter “OS.”
De La Hoya’s 2008 autobiography “American Son: My Story” charted on the New York Times best-sellers list; as a group, “The Masked Dancer” contenders have achieved this five times.
Since retiring, De La Hoya has been involved in the business end of boxing. In a clues video there was a sign that read “ZEO” and a reference to “golden promotion”; De La Hoya’s company is called Golden Boy Promotions. One of the boxers in his stable is Canelo Álvarez whose first name translates into cinnamon; one of the visual clues was a shot of cinnamon churros,
We saw a campaign poster for Zebra; De La Hoya has flirted with idea of running for political office.
The only clue we had before the Zebra danced for the first time was from the show’s Instagram account. The Zebra revealed that his favorite holiday song is “Feliz Navidad,” which is “Merry Christmas” in Spanish. De La Hoya’s parents emigrated from Mexico and this California native is fluent in Spanish.
He loves to sing and even posted a performance of this holiday classic on line several years ago. Back in 2000 his self-titled disc even reaped a Grammy nomination; as a group, “The Masked Dancer” contestants have contended 20 times for music’s highest honor.
We will only know if we are right that Zebra is Oscar De La Hoya when he is unmasked. That will only happen if he loses a match-up or wins the show. Do you think we are correct about the real name of Zebra? Sound off in the comments section with your best guesses.
Be sure to make your predictions to influence our reality TV racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs on Fox. You’ll compete to win eternal bragging rights and a spot on our “The Masked Dancer” Season 1 leaderboard. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.