UPDATE 2/27/2019: We were right! Donny Osmond was revealed in the finale as The Peacock.
Original story: The first episode of The Masked Singer dropped on January 2 and already the first singer's identity has been revealed, but speculation is swirling still around the remaining five singers' identities.
One performer who drove a ton of speculation among the judges and watchers at home involves a very aptly flamboyant Peacock, who sang "The Greatest Show" from The Greatest Showman.
So, who is the Peacock on Masked Singer?
Before he performed, The Peacock's package revealed that he walked on stage for the first time at age 5 and was hooked on performing. He's then shown playing piano, doing card tricks, and petting a toy puppy.
The two biggest clues? "It's probably been a while since your mom had a poster of me on her bedroom wall" is the first. And the second is that he used to be friends with Michael Jackson, who told him, "If you're going to reinvent yourself, you're going to have to become someone the world has never seen before."
Though there's no telling with 100 percent certainty, the clues given in his intro, and his performance, offered a lot of information that has helped form some compelling hypotheses.
Let's explore a couple of them now, starting with the ones we're already prepared to take off the table.
Hugh Jackman or Zac Efron
A lot of people — including judge Jenny McCarthy — were quick to suggest one of the stars of The Greatest Showman would a) appear on this weird variety show and b) sing a song from that show as their first number for a show that's all about concealing your identity. Please. Also? The singer really didn't have the muscular build these two beefcakes are known for, nor did he sound much like them. Next!
Another guess thrown out by the judges was Jimmy Kimmel. This guess is baffling and low key ridiculous. We're not saying Jimmy isn't a performer, but nothing in his bio points to being pals with MJ as a kid. Let's move on.
Neil Patrick Harris
Somewhat more compelling is the guess that triple threat Neil Patrick Harris was the guy behind all that plumage. This is a decent guess for a couple reasons. For one, the clues lead to a child star, since he made his stage debut at the tender age of 5. That checks out, since NPH has been acting since he was a kid. However, according to his IMDb bio, his stage debut was at age 3 as Toto in a production of The Wizard of Oz.
However, we won't discount that he could have miscalculated. After all, all Nicole Sherzinger's question about whether the Peacock had ever been part of a magic act got an affirmative answer. Neil is well known to be a pretty decent amateur magician, and has performed his own magic shows as well as several tricks on talk shows.
However, having seen NPH perform live on stage multiple times, I can confidently say that was not his voice. You know who it does sound like, though?
In high school, I was cast in our production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and I became pretty well acquainted with the Broadway soundtrack for the Andrew Lloyd Webber show. And in the title role was former child star Donny Osmond.
That's not all that checks out here. Several of the clues point to the '70s teen heartthrob. For one, that hint about moms who had posters of him on their walls fits. The puppy toy could be a hint at one of his hits as a youngster, "Puppy Love." The cards and magic could allude to the many years he and his sister, Marie, have performed in Las Vegas, during which we're sure he's had opportunity to participate in a magic show or two.
But where he really showed his cards (sorry sorry) was when he talked about MJ. Donny and Michael were about the same age when they were hitting it big as stars in their own rights and struck up a lifelong friendship. In fact, he told iNews UK in 2017 that he had reached out to his old friend a year before his death inviting him to stay with him in Utah to have some peace and normalcy. "He said, 'Yeah, I need that right now.' But he never did it," Donny recalled.
He also told them in that same interview that his first memory is being on stage and thinking, "I've got to do this for the rest of my life."
I rest my case.