Sorry, *NSYNC fans: That’s not Joey Fatone on “The Masked Singer” (or so he claims).
The former boy-bander and actor, 41, told Page Six he is too busy hosting trivia show “Common Knowledge” to appear on Fox’s breakout hit reality show, in which celebrities dress up in elaborate, identity-obscuring costumes and perform songs in front of a studio audience.
Fans have been speculating that Fatone could be inside the rabbit costume, but: “I … am not in that show,” Fatone told us. “I’m not the platypus or bunny or unicorn or whatever the hell you call it.” The musician said that he’d never even watched “The Masked Singer” until his Twitter started “blowing up” with fans asking whether he was among the cast.
According to the show’s clues, which star participants pre-record using a voice-changing filter, the Rabbit spent most of his life onstage, but was “never alone.” Now, he said, “I pop up here and I pop up there,” suggesting the singer was once a member of a popular singing group. Synchronized singing, he added, is his forte — and “you better believe the last mask standing is gonna be me.”
While the reference to *NSYNC’s hit “It’s Gonna Be Me” is certainly evident, and the character’s costume resembles the group’s straitjackets in their “Drive Myself Crazy” music video, there are other possible former and current boy band members that could be under the mask.
The show’s most recent episode is titled “New Masks on the Block,” which seems to indicate that none other than McCarthy’s husband Donnie Wahlberg (of New Kids on the Block) is actually the Rabbit. Though one might assume that McCarthy would be able to recognize her husband’s voice, build and dance moves, it’s also possible that Wahlberg signed up for the show in order to surprise her when his identity is finally revealed.
According to the show’s calculations, 17 percent of fans tweeting with the hashtag think the Rabbit really is Fatone, while a very close 16 percent think could be Wahlberg, 49. An inconclusive 28 percent think it’s actually Wahlberg’s bandmate Joey McIntyre who performed a rousing rendition of Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca.”
No detail is too small for fans of the show to agonize over. “The Masked Singer” costume designer Marina Toybina told Page Six Style that the over-the-top outfits are based on who’s wearing them — and contain clues that were added after the cast was set.
“Based on casting, we were able to collaborate with the talent they booked for the show to either have them choose what character makes more sense to them, or there were little things here and there that related the most to some of the cast over others, so the character was kind of chosen for them,” she said. “It became a fun little collaboration trying to figure out who was the perfect fit for each of the costumes.”
Whether or not Fatone is revealed as one of the 12 cast members — Tommy Chong and Antonio Brown have already been unmasked, while Rumer Willis, Donny Osmond, Kendall Jenner and Ricki Lake are among others speculated to be part of the crew — he’s now firmly a fan.
“If season two comes out, I want to be a judge on it,” Fatone told us. “Because I think it’s cool … and weird all at the same time.”
“Common Knowledge” premieres on Monday at 5:30 p.m. ET on the Game Show Network. “The Masked Singer” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.
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