The Masked Singer has been serenading viewers with pop hits while enthralling them with mysteries. Mysteries such as: is Blue Bloods star Donnie Wahlberg actually the Rabbit? The New Kids on the Block singer gave this odd answer when he was asked:
There's a list of boy band-ers who are alleged to be the Rabbit, and I'm on the list. I think I'm trending third now behind Joey Fatone and Joey McIntyre. My wife signed the non-disclosure, so I don't even know who's in the costume. But if it's me, I don't know yet.
Okay. If you are having a little trouble wrapping your mind around that answer, let’s sift through it. First, Donnie Wahlberg acknowledged that he is among the list of potential Rabbit suspects that includes several other entertainers known for their boy band years. Wahlberg also revealed to TV Guide that he knows he is on said list, so he's clearly been keeping up with the show in some respects.
That said, Donnie Wahlberg is not THE prime suspect in the fervent Masked Singer speculation. As Wahlberg notes, he is considered the third most popular option, behind NSYNC’s Joey Fatone and Wahlberg’s New Kids on the Block bandmate, Joey McIntyre. It's perhaps a sign of the TV times that there is more than one New Kid on this block of mystery reality show contestants.
Donnie Wahlberg then played it closer (and weirder) to the vest with the latter part of his reply. He does not give any indication as to whether Masked Singer speculators are hot or cold with those top three suspects. Keep the secret, Donnie! Now, this is where things get odd and possibly enlightening.
Donnie Wahlberg states that his wife, Jenny McCarthy, signed a non-disclosure agreement, which makes sense, given that McCarthy is one of the members of The Masked Singer’s judging panel. Signing such a document means she is legally sworn to secrecy. Accordingly, this is where there could be a small slip.
Donnie Wahlberg says that he does not “even know” who is in the costume, emphasizing the fact that, despite being Jenny McCarthy’s husband, he can't even learn the truth from her. If he is the Rabbit, then he would obviously know he is the Rabbit, regardless of what McCarthy does or doesn't tell him.
Donnie Wahlberg then says that if the Rabbit is him, then he does not know it yet. Obviously, he would know if he is the Rabbit, barring some kind of conspiratorial memory-erasing device within the masks themselves. The Masked Singer is good at keeping its contestants disguised from the audience, but are they good enough to keep celebrities from knowing they are competing? Exactly.
So hopefully Donnie Wahlberg is just trying to keep the mystery alive, because he's done a bizarre job of trying to deliver a sincere answer with weight to it. Wahlberg may just go to a distant third place behind the other Rabbit suspects with that answer, as he seems unlikely to be under the mask.
Having done some cursory research by watching Rabbit's performances, I am ready to wade into the debate. After listening to the Rabbit take on “Livin’ la Vida Loca” and “Wake Me Up” in particular, I believe the speculation about Joey Fatone being the Rabbit is right on the money.
Rabbit has a playful on-stage persona, which is reminiscent of Joey Fatone’s over the years, as any Dancing with the Stars and NSYNC fan can attest to. While The Masked Singer does its best to disguise the singer’s voice somewhat, the Rabbit’s even sounds incredibly similar to Fatone’s.
Is the Rabbit Joey Fatone or Donnie Wahlberg, or someone else entirely? Find out by continuing to watch new episodes of The Masked Singer when they air on Fox every Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET. The reality competition is among many shows airing new through the midseason, so keep track of everything that's on the way.