A Powerful Country Singer Was Hiding Beneath the Seahorse on 'The Masked Singer'

Leah Rocketto
·3 min read

From Woman's Day

Season 4 of The Masked Singer is speeding to an end, with a whopping three contestants unmasked during the Dec. 2 episode. One of the singers who was eliminated was the Sea Horse, which devastated the panel of judges and many fans. As judge Nicole Scherzinger told her, she was one of the best vocalists that the show had ever seen. And after her first performance, Scherzinger thought the Sea Horse may have even been able to win the whole thing.

She ended up coming in sixth, but that's still a mighty feat. She can thank her epic voice for getting her as far as it did — a voice so recognizable in the end that two of the panelists correctly guessed who was under the mask. Robin Thicke and Nicole Scherzinger both got it, and most of the fans did too. So even though guesses like Halsey and Christina Aguilera were thrown out there, many viewers were pleased to know that they got the Sea Horse's identity right once that mask came off.

Who Was the Sea Horse?

Under the sea... horse mask was noted singer and songwriter Tori Kelly. She first entered the music scene as a 10-year-old on Star Search, and now that she's 27 her star is as bright as ever. "There isn't anything you can't do," Scherzinger said when Kelly's identity was revealed. Kelly said she was happy to do the series because it let her show a new side of herself and try things like choreography. In fact, Robin Thicke said he initially dismissed the idea that Kelly was under the mask because the Sea Horse was much sassier than he believed Kelly to be.

It took Thicke and Scherzinger until the Sea Horse's final performance to guess her correctly, but fans had been adding up the clues all along. The first performance package featured two dogs, a reference to her puppies, Frodo and Dobby. The second showcased a wagon that has a crossed-out broken smile symbol on it, which was nod to her album Unbreakable Smile.

The clues really started to come together on the Nov. 18 episode. The pre-performance package featured a message from the Sea Horse's friend who was their spiritual advisor. Kelly has been open about her Christianity for years, saying her faith is everything to her. There were also several Christmas decorations, which was a nod to Kelly's Christmas album, A Tori Kelly Christmas.

The Nov. 18 episode also featured Masked Singer alumni who were connected to the Group B competitors. For the Sea Horse, that contestant was Hunter Hayes (aka the Astronaut). So how do Kelly and Hayes connect? Well, to start, the two met while competing on America's Most Talented Kid in 2004. The pair reunited in 2016 when Hayes performed a surprise duet at Kelly's concert.

As for the Dec. 2 clues, one of them was a telescope, a nod to her time on Star Search. She also revealed that she's connected in some way to Nick Cannon, who has played "host" to her before. She performed at the 2015 Nickelodeon HALO awards that Cannon hosted.

With all these clues pointing her way, it's no wonder the fans knew all along that Kelly was under the mask. We just had to give the judges a couple of weeks to catch up.

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