The Masked Singer’s newest season just kicked off tonight, but we’re already convinced enough about one contestant’s identity to do our best overly confident Ken Jeong impression and say we “know exactly” who Raccoon is. We’re putting all our money on prolific actor Danny Trejo being under the furry mask.
Let’s break down all the clues.
He’s got the look
The costumes aren’t always clues on The Masked Singer, but some stars have been drawn to characters with similarities to their actual personas (like Busta Rhymes as Dragon), and we think this may be the case when it comes to Raccoon. The creature is clad in cowboy wear, including a fringy vest that gives us shades of Trejo’s iconic Machete look.
The mask also sports a hat with a California license plate (the actor’s home state) and what looks like an opened can of cat food and a fish bone. Sure, raccoons are known for feasting on trash, but Trejo also did a voice in the Top Cat movie, which could make for another purrfect hint.
Being “locked away”
The Raccoon’s costume may sport a sheriff’s badge, but his clue package leaned heavily on a narrative of someone on the wrong side of the law.
The Raccoon appears alone in a cave, marking the walls with 44 notches (Trejo was born in 1944). “Sometimes to get the happy ending, you have to go through hell first,” he narrates. “In my darkest days, I faced death. Desperate to stay sane, I recited my favorite story, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I was Quasimodo, locked away. The only difference is that he was innocent and I was actually a monster.”
The actor spent much of his pre-fame life behind bars for a series of offenses, including robbery, drugs, and theft. While promoting his memoir last month, Trejo revealed in a statement to EW that his “personal bottom” was in solitary confinement “facing a possible death penalty charge.”
But how does he feel about Quasimodo? Well, during an appearance on the Conversations With Maria Menounos podcast, Trejo said while he spent time in solitary confinement he would act out scenes from The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Wizard of Oz to stay sane.
Promising to “do good”
Raccoon closed his clue package by stating: “I promised God that if i got a second chance at life, I’d only do good, and I’m still fulfilling that promise to this day.” A pledge that rings true for Trejo, who has spoken about the role “God played in turning my life around.”
After his final stint in prison, Trejo got sober through a 12-step program and worked as a youth drug counselor to help others do the same. It was through one of the young men he was helping that Trejo happened onto a movie set and was asked to do a small part. Since then, the actor has amassed around 250 film and television credits. Over the years, Trejo has also done charity work related to autism awareness and animal rescue, among other causes. He also recently provided meals for health care workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
In the very beginning of his clue package, Raccoon is shown with his hands bound next to two men, one of whom is carrying a tray with a glowing donut. Trejo owns a series of restaurants in Los Angeles, including Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts.
This one might be more of a stretch, but when Raccoon is shown in a church, there is a stained-glass window with an image of the creature sporting eagle wings atop a snake that seems reminiscent of the eagle with a snake in its mouth on the flag of Mexico. Trejo has always celebrated his Mexican American heritage, opening Mexican restaurants and portraying numerous characters who are Mexican or of Mexican descent, including Machete, whose character arc involves being a former Mexican Federale.
The voice says it all
The 76-year-old actor has a distinctively gravelly voice that even The Masked Singer’s voice modulator couldn’t hide. Both the way the Raccoon speaks in his clue package and his mature raspy tone while performing “Wild Thing” put Trejo top of mind.
Cut to the chase
Raccoon’s clue package shows a switchblade knife on a sink. In Desperado, Trejo played a character named Navajas, which is a term in Spanish for a folding knife. But that’s not the only link.
Cluedle-Doo’s clue was the final giveaway: “Raccoon is known for being sharp.” In the numerous movies Trejo has worked on with director Robert Rodriguez, his characters are often named after sharp weapons, including Navajas, Machete, Razor Charlie in the From Dusk Till Dawn series, and Cuchillo (“knife” in Spanish) in Predators.
Find out if we’re right about Trejo being under the mask as The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. And follow EW’s ongoing coverage for everything you need to know about the show.
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Celebs compete in this reality-singing TV show while wearing elaborate costumes to conceal their identities. Can you guess the celebrity behind the mask?