All evidence points to one person under the mask.

By Lauren Huff
March 18, 2020 at 11:00 PM EDT
Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

When it comes to the mystery of Astronaut's identity on season 3 of The Masked Singer, we think we've cracked the case.

Of course, there is no way to know for sure until the spaceman gets unmasked, but after looking at the clues, we're convinced he is none other than country music star Hunter Hayes. The 28-year-old is a five-time Grammy nominee, and is perhaps best known for his hit "Wanted," which earned him the honor of being the youngest male act to top the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. He also won the CMA for New Artist of the Year in 2012.

There are several reasons why Hayes fits the Astronaut. First, and most importantly, the voices match up perfectly. Compare this performance on The Masked Singer to this video of him performing "Wanted" live.

Still not convinced? Let's break down the clues we've been given so far.

When Astronaut first walked on stage in episode 7, the panelists remarked that he was not that tall. Hayes is 5'6", so this checks out. He also mentioned on stage that he started at a young age, and Hayes started his career super young. He performed at the White House when he was 7, and appeared on America's Most Talented Kids when he was 13.

In his first clue package, Astronaut said, "I've always dreamt of flying high, because I believe that if you want something enough, not even gravity can hold you back." This sounds suspiciously like the lyrics to his song "Wild Blue" off of his 2019 album of the same name, which goes something like this: "Welcome to the wild blue/ Where gravity can't find you / No storm that you can't fly through / Place that you can't fly to / Up here in the wild / Wild blue."

In that same clue package, there is a loose skeleton's foot floating around. Hayes lent his vocal chops to the song "Almost Paradise" on the soundtrack for — wait for it — the 2011 remake of Footloose. Astronaut also mentioned being "far from home," and geographically speaking, his home in Nashville is not close to Los Angeles, where The Masked Singer shoots. And, we know this one is a bit of a stretch, but the lei seen floating around could be a nod to his favorite trip to Hawaii, where he also notably wrote his single "Heartbreak."

Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The second set of clues, though, really cemented Astronaut's identity for us. There are more mentions of a foot (he mentioned having a "foothold" on things) and nods to him being a child star ("When I was young, I was a bright star"). The number 500 is mentioned, which could be a reference to his self-titled debut album, which to date has accumulated more than 500 million on-demand streams in the U.S.

At one point in the second clue package there is an image of a French horn, which could be a nod to his Cajun ancestry, which he notably paid homage to with his 2006 album Honoring Our French Heritage.  He also said that the second song he chose to perform, Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours," is a song by a "dear friend." Hayes performed with Wonder at the ACM Awards and on Dancing With the Stars in 2013. 

And, on stage after that performance, Astronaut said, "Well, we can all reach the stars. Sometimes, it just takes a little help from someone from an organized crime family." We have a sneaking suspicion that this refers to Robert Duvall, the star of one of the most famous films about a family of mobsters, The Godfather. When Hayes was just 6 years old he had a small part in Duvall's film The Apostle, and Duvall gave him his very first guitar.

The kicker, though, is that all season long, host Nick Cannon has teased that one of the contestants has a Guinness World Record. Turns out, Hayes holds the world record for playing the most live concerts in 24 hours in different cities. We rest our case.

Related content:

Episode Recaps

The Masked Singer

Celebs compete in this reality-singing TV show while wearing elaborate costumes to conceal their identities. Can you guess the celebrity behind the mask?

  • TV Show
  • 3
  • Wednesdays at 08:00 PM
  • In Season
  • Fox