The Masked Singer
Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

From his clue in the sneak-peek episode to his second clue package, the slithering singer really emphasized his medical credentials. This led the panelists, many fans, and even us to think Serpent could be Brian McKnight, Leslie Odom Jr., or Taye Diggs, who are serious crooners and have portrayed doctors on screen.

But after some investigation, we've realized that his clues and identity were right on the nose — he's an actual doctor! We believe Serpent is Dr. Elvis Francois, a.k.a. the Singing Surgeon. The orthopedic surgeon went viral during the COVID-19 pandemic for singing covers of uplifting songs like "Imagine" while scrubbed up. 

Dr. Elvis Francois
Credit: Dr. Elvis Francois/instagram

In his very first hint, before season 4 officially kicked off, Serpent told us, "If you want to know how I instantly appeared, here's the prescription number to my identity: 31118."

Fans went wild with guesses, thinking the number represented the hex code to a color or a celebrity's initials. Nope: March 11, 2018, is the date Francois posted his first song cover with his colleague Dr. William Robinson on piano.

"Instant" is likely about his videos going viral this year, and "prescription" of course references him being a doctor.

Both Serpent's clue packages made many more nods to his profession. The signs for musicology and medicine in his first one referenced his singing surgeon pedigree, and then there were the scrubs and the "heal pain" line, and his quote about "patience" was a play on "patients."

On stage, Serpent also gave some subtle nods to his job. After his first performance, he told the panelists that "music has the power to heal the world," again talking about his two passions. The second time we saw him, Serpent sang Maren Morris' "The Bones," which we're choosing to believe is a cheeky wink to him being an orthopedic surgeon. Let us have this one, please!

Going back to his first package, Serpent showed us a map of the Caribbean, and Francois is Haitian American. He alluded to his background again in the second package with the croissant images; the French pastry alludes to his last name, Francois, and also connects to Haiti, as many Haitians speak French and/or Haitian Creole, which is a French-based language.

We also saw self-help books like How to Dig Yourself Out of Debt in the first clue clip, and in the following, Serpent was depicted as having $2 left in his account at an ATM. Francois has said he grew up poor, and later as an adult, he had only "$33 left in my bank account" before getting into med school.

As a child, Serpent said he was a troublemaker and he was going down the wrong road, "but my pops saved me by buying me a one-way ticket… to a path towards success." In an Instagram post, Francois said he was expelled for "bad behavior" in the seventh grade and his dad, who raised him and his brother by himself, pushed him in the right direction

In his second clue clip, Serpent was seen at a clothing store and said he sold clothes to make money. Well, on Instagram, Francois mentioned that he worked at a Gap for a year to save money for school. In the same post, he said he got rejected from "every single medical school I applied to" one year, which explains Serpent saying that "all I heard from the gatekeepers was 'No, no, no.'"

And finally, the clue segment featured a pink Cadillac, the car famously owned by Elvis Presley! That points us to Francois, who revealed he was named after the King of Rock & Roll.

The dots all connect, but we know some fans might still be doubtful that TMS would bring on a non-established performer. However, each season the show does tend to have a blend of household names, rising stars, and a few niche figures like season 2's Twitch streamer Ninja. So it's not inconceivable for Francois to compete, especially as many networks are trying to rightfully honor health care workers for their service during the pandemic.

Plus, the surgeon was already part of the TMS family, which probably made transitioning to the show very easy. Francois was on the Masked Singer aftershow a bunch last season, and even covered "Rise Up" with Nicole Scherzinger in May. 

No wonder the panelist said, "I feel like I know that voice for sure." 

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