There are two things that many fans of The Masked Singer can agree on: 1) Ken Jeong is usually wrong, and 2) season 8’s Harp is, without a doubt, Amber Riley. Even before the season began, viewers were certain the Glee star was behind the glittery costume based on her voice alone. And now that we have three episodes’ worth of clues and performances, the Amber Riley theories have only gotten deeper. But if you’re still on the fence about Harp’s identity, here’s all the evidence.
[Spoiler alert: The following story contains spoilers for The Masked Singer Season 8 Episodes 1 through 3.]
Harp’s voice is unmistakable on ‘The Masked Singer’
Many fans of The Masked Singer zeroed in on Amber Riley when Harp sang Pink’s “Perfect” for her first performance. Any fan of Glee will likely recognize that voice anywhere — Riley showcased her vocal talent as Mercedes Jones in five out of six seasons of the musical comedy series. Another guess about the voice behind the Harp costume was Jennifer Hudson, but her singing voice is a bit deeper than what we’ve seen on The Masked Singer.
It’s also worth noting that Harp’s height and build seem to match the Glee star’s. For the record, Amber Riley is 5 feet, 3 inches tall. On the other hand, Jennifer Hudson is 5 feet, 9 inches tall.
Most of the Harp clues on ‘The Masked Singer’ have clear connections to Amber Riley
The most solid evidence of Amber Riley hiding behind Harp on The Masked Singer comes from the clue packages. For starters, when Harp first walked on stage, a clue mentioned luxury cars. What was her character’s name on Glee again? That’s right — Mercedes.
Then, her first clue package mentioned getting rejected from “the biggest show in the world” when she was a teen. Riley was turned down by producers when she auditioned for American Idol Season 2. Harp also mentioned an opportunity to become “an idol for anyone that felt like an outsider”; that has to be a Glee reference. One of the show’s main themes was uplifting the “unpopular” kids in high school.
When asked what accomplishment Harp was most proud of, she mentioned: “The one for my comedy because I got to share that with my besties.” This likely references Glee’s Golden Globe for Best Television Series — Musical or Comedy.
Here are some other clue explanations:
- A pair of 3D glasses: Glee: The 3D Concert Movie (2011)
- Witch hat: Riley’s role in The Wiz Live!
- Call sheet, roses, and binoculars: Riley’s role in Dreamgirls on West End
- “Competitive” label: Riley won Dancing With the Stars in 2013
- “Night Night” CD: Her performance of “One Night Only” in Dreamgirls; Riley also sang “O Holy Night” in the TV film My One Christmas Wish
- Collaboration with Nicole Scherzinger: Both Riley and Scherzinger worked on the Straight Outta Oz album with fellow Masked Singer alum Todrick Hall
- Purple mashed potatoes: This clue confused a lot of fans, but one viewer thinks it references the Glee Season 3 premiere, “The Purple Piano Project,” where the glee club sang mash-ups.
Amber Riley’s ‘Glee’ co-stars seem to recognize Harp
If the clues still aren’t convincing enough, perhaps the reactions of Riley’s co-stars will be. Kevin McHale, who played Artie Abrams on Glee, recently duetted a Masked Singer Universe TikTok video of Harp singing Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” His cheeky caption read, “Check out this brand new singer.” Jacob Artist, who played Jake Puckerman, commented, “Tehe.” If anyone will recognize Riley’s voice, it’s them.
Thanks to The Masked Singer Season 8’s new format, Harp has been crowned the “Queen of The Masked Singer” three weeks in a row. She’s now heading to the semifinals while another group of contestants fights for the crown, so fans may not see her for a few episodes. That gives us plenty of time to compile even more evidence that Harp is Amber Riley.
New episodes of The Masked Singer air every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.