The Zebra has been the most entertaining of the season 1 contestants on “The Masked Dancer.” Even he can’t believe he has made it to the Top 4 competing on February 10 for a place in the final. He made it to this stage of the competition by impressing the four judges (Paula Abdul, Brian Austin Green, Ken Jeong, Ashley Tisdale) with his lively routine set to “Take You Dancing” by Jason Derulo on the February 3 quarter-final.
We’ve been trying to figure out who the Zebra is all season long. We’ve watched that performance again as well as his first three appearances: “Magalenha” by Sérgio Mendes on January 6; “All My Life” by K-Ci and JoJo on January 13; and “Mi Gente” by J Balvin on January 2y. Keep reading for all “The Masked Dancer” spoilers, including our theory as to the true identity of the Zebra.
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We are absolutely sure that the Zebra is professional boxer Oscar De La Hoya. Here is our reasoning:
On the most recent episode, so many of the clues fit him like a glove: Zebra has zero fat on his body and hard muscles (just like De La Hoya). Although rehearsals started off rocky, the Zebra is a fighter (more references to boxing as in the movie “Rocky”). And he has two countries cheering him on (De La Hoya’s parents emigrated from Mexico).
We also saw a lunch bag with the price $19.92; De La Hoya won a gold medal in the lightweight division at the 1992 Summer Olympics. As a group, “The Masked Dancer” contestants have won four Olympic titles (we are certain Cotton Candy has bragging rights to the other three.)
Zebra’s one-word clue in the quarter-final was “author.” 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.
The Zebra’s super clue on January 27 was a t-shirt that read “K.O” (as in knockout). De La Hoya certainly racked up a lot of those in his career. He won his first national title when he was 17 (we saw that number referenced in the first clues video). And we saw several other numbers associated with De La Hoya: 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.
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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.
The Zebra says he plans to keep the fun Latin vibes going. De La Hoya is fluent in Spanish. He loves to sing and 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 award
And throughout the season we’ve seen 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.”
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 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.
The only clue we had before the Zebra danced for the first time came 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 posted a performance of him singing this holiday classic online several years ago.
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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.
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