SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead if you have not watched Season 5 Episode 3 of “The Masked Singer,” which aired March 24 on Fox.
Danny Trejo has spent the past few weeks dodging people in public asking him if he’s the Raccoon on “The Masked Singer.”
“The Masked Singer” likes to keep the identity of its celebrities secret, but there’s no hiding Trejo’s unmistakable growl. And it turns out the fans were right: Trejo is the latest star to be unmasked on the hit Fox singing show.
“I’d be going to the market and somebody would say, ‘I know he’s the Raccoon!.’ I’d be like, no, didn’t you see me in ‘Heat’? I did ‘Con Air,’ I’m not the Raccoon, what’s the Raccoon! I think my best acting jobs have been in Vons Market, when women started telling me I was the Raccoon!”
Trejo said he was attracted to “Masked Singer” partly because of the costume as well. “When they contacted us, I had seen [the show] before and I thought it’d be cool and then when they showed me the costume, that Raccoon. I have a schnauzer that looks exactly like the Raccoon. My dog is named John Wesley Harding, [after] was the meanest cowboy in the West, who once killed a man for snoring too loud. They thought I was playing the Raccoon but really I was playing my dog, John Wesley Harding.”
Trejo sang “Ring of Fire,” by Johnny Cash, for his second and final performance.
“I started a record label, simply because I can’t sing,” he said. “So I’ve got a couple of singers that are doing great. We dropped an album and now we’re dropping another one. I love music, and when they said that I could sing ‘Ring of Fire,’ by Johnny Cash, I love him, he came to Folsom Prison.”
Trejo was ready to sing a Barry White song for his third number if he had returned. His first number was “Wild Thing,” by the Troggs.
“I remember Steven Tyler from Aerosmith, in an episode of ‘Two and a Half Men’ screaming and yelling, and I thought I’d do it like that,” Trejo said. “So I channeled Steven Tyler when I did ‘Wild Thing.’ I laugh every time I think of that whole episode and you’ve got to understand the minute you get on that show, you’re in a completely different world. You’re a Raccoon. You have to get rid of your expectations of cool or hip.”
Despite the fact that it was pretty clear that Trejo was the Raccoon – that voice is unmistakable, even when disguised — somehow none of the panelists guessed it right. Robin Thicke thought it was Tony Danza, Ken Jeong named Danny DeVito, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg guessed Gary Busey and Nicole Scherzinger thought it was Sylvester Stallone. Guest panelist Joel McHale went with Danza as well.
“That’s a milestone right there,” Trejo said of his “Masked Singer” experience. “You walk into a different world and the minute you put a costume like that on, you’re a Raccoon now. You can do anything you want. You know, you’re free. My genre of movies, I usually play the bad guy. And even when I plat a good guy, I’m a good bad guy. So, this was like a completely new experience.”
Trejo seems to be everywhere these days; he’s in the new “SpongeBob Squarepants” movie, for example, alongside others like Snoop Dogg and Keanu Reeves. “I was at the Super Bowl, and Snoop Dogg was performing, and he calls me up to the stage,” Trejo said. “And he goes, me and you, two of the oldest gangstas in Hollywood, and we’re on ‘SpongeBob SquarePants.’ Everybody at Super Bowl was waiting to see me and Snoop in ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’!”
Trejo’s “Masked Singer” reveal also comes on the same day he publicly received the COVID-19 vaccine alongside Magic Johnson and Mayor Garcetti.
Niecy Nash continued as guest host of “The Masked Singer,” filling in for regular host Nick Cannon. Also new this season, “wildcard” contestants will be introduced into the competition and join the battle for the golden mask trophy. The first-ever Wildcard appeared in this episode: The Orca joined the show.
This season’s costumes include Raccoon, Seashell, Black Swan, Snail, Grandpa Monster, Phoenix, Chameleon, Russian Doll(s), Porcupine, The Piglet and the wildcards. Trejo as Raccoon joins previously unmasked celebrities Caitlyn Jenner (as Phoenix) and Kermit the Frog (as Snail).
The Season 5 contestants boast a combined 26 Grammy nominations, nine multi-platinum singles, four Academy Award nominations, three Super Bowl appearances, six gold medals and two world records.
The show’s panelists are also once competing for a “Golden Ear” trophy based on their first impressions of each masked performer (which McCarthy won last time). No one received votes in week one; in week two, Jeong and McCarthy Wahlberg each received a point. For the Raccoon, Jeong thought it was Mike Tyson, McCarthy Wahlberg named Dustin Hoffman, Scherzinger thought it was Gary Busey; Thicke’s was Danny DeVito.
Here were the other contestants and their performances on night three, “Group A Wildcard — Enter the Wildcards!”:
Russian Doll(s) (three contestants)
Song: “Wonder,” by Shawn Mendes
Self-portrait clue: Warhol-like image of Russian Dolls in a car. “These colors pop like we do.”
Panel guesses: Sugarland, Boyz II Men, Jacksons
Voice-over: “We totally confused the panel with our harmonies. But we haven’t always been in unision. There was that time you cracked hard. I was doing something I loved when I noticed something was seriously wrong. I was rushed to the hospital and there was no guarantee I’d ever be the same. If it weren’t for the glue that bonds us, I may not have survived. The trauma actually made us stronger. And now we don’t take anything we do together for granted.”
Previous song: “Man in the Mirror,” by Michael Jackson
Previous panel guesses: Boyz II Men; Vanessa Hudgens; Darren Criss, Matthew Morrison, Kevin McHale or other “Glee” stars; Gwen Stefani and No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont
Song: “Confident,” by Demi Lovato
Self-portrait clue: Tornado of microphone, book, dumbbell, dish of food. “I wear many hats, so sometimes it can be a little tornado. But I like to see myself as a superhero.”
Panel guesses: Ashlee Simpson, Jenny Slate, Haylie Duff
Voice-over: “It’s been ages since I’ve been on a stage so stepping out in front of all of you for the first time, I wa s a bundle of nerves. But I’m so proud of myself for my solo performance. In the past, being alone was scary for me. I always felt like a tiny little shell in a big, big world. But then one day, everything changed. Out of nowhere, a certain showman asked me out. He was a total jock. But he made me feel larger than life and gave me courage to do things I always was scared of. No matter how small I feel on that big stage, I’m more confident knowing he’s there to catch me.”
Previous song: “Listen to Your Heart,” by Roxette
Previous panel guesses: Kristen Chenoweth, Hilary Duff, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Love Hewitt
Song: “All of Me,” by John Legend
Self-portrait clue: Porcupine dressed as a rock star, with a spider. “I used to have a phobia with spiders.”
Panel guesses: Brian McKnight, Jason Derulo, Wesley Snipes, Eddie Murphy
Voice-over: “My first performance made every quill on my back stand up. I’ve been in a funk lately. But putting on this shiny armor and singing my heart out was exactly what I needed. I felt like a singing superhero. Around 60 years ago, as a tiny Piney in Costa Rica, my superheroes were the workers whose job it was to keep my streets clean. They had my dream job. But life took me on a different route. O this day, classy and working, I love to pull over and lend a claw. They say why would a shiny porcupine like you want to get your quills dirty with us? I tell them, theyre the true superheroes who helped instill the work ethic that has carried me my entire life. Which has landed me on big stages just like this.”
Previous song: “Never Too Much,” by Luther Vandross
Previous panel guesses: Jamie Foxx, Idris Elba, Lionel Richie, Ginuwine
Song: “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” by Twisted Sister
Self-portrait clue: “I’m always a killer and I’m always the biggest fish in every scene so I always get the biggest waves.”
Panel guesses: Laird Hamilton, Dave Grohl, Billy Corgan, Kevin Bacon
Voice-over: “Welcome to Orca’s Piehole. Let me tell you how pizza changed my life. I was 24, and closer to becoming a punchline than achieving my goal as a big star. My dad told me if I didn’t make waves by 25, to move on. The clock was ticking. I had to hustle. So I improvised. I hid my audition tapes inside boxes of pizza and delivered them all around the town. It was my last shot. And at the 11th hour, boom! And that’s how I accomplished my wildest dreams. And now, as the wildest card yet, I’m going to blow up this competition.”
Watch Trejo’s unmasking here: