Reality TV

Fans are convinced this Aussie star is Grim Reaper on The Masked Singer

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From Osher Günsberg’s striking suits and presenting theatrics, to the overwhelming drama of the contestant’s costumes, The Masked Singer Australia is one glorious fever dream.

Undeniably, the greatest thing about watching The Masked Singer is taking part in the celebrity guessing game. While the judges are notorious for getting it wrong on purpose, with wild guesses like Shania Twain and John Mayer, the fans have been pretty spot-on in unmasking the celebs for the big reveal.

In the case of Grim Reaper, while the judges may be throwing around a whole load of names, viewers are already “100 per cent” certain they know who is behind the mask: Darren Hayes.

So, let’s dive into the clues and connections that tie Darren to this costume

Who is the Grim Reaper on The Masked Singer?

The Grim Reaper has performed when the party’s over by Billie Eilish and Unholy by Kim Petras and Sam Smith.

Unlike some of the contestants, Grim Reaper can REALLY sing – praised for delivering a beautiful performance in both episodes. And that helps to narrow down the man behind the microphone. 

Darren has a recognisable voice, which is a dead giveaway for most performers who join the show. Formerly, Anastasia, Kate Miller-Heidke and Kate Ceberano were all easily guessed by the audience. 

“I’ve got goosebumps,” Abbie Chatfield said of the Grim Reaper’s first appearance on TMS, going on to guess that Darren was the man behind the mask.

the masked singer contestant clues grim reaper
Could the Grim Reaper be Darren Hayes? All signs point to yes! (Credit: Channel 10)

It’s well known that Abbie is a major fan of Darren and Savage Garden. 

“There’s only one other time in my life that a voice has made me cry instantly, and it was for personal reasons. It was the first Mardi Gras that I was able to go to – the first time I was able to express my queerness in full and that was when Darren Hayes performed in 2022,” she said. 

“And the clue, ‘maybe I started out grim but know I actually enjoy life.’ I’ve read a lot about Darren’s struggles before coming out as queer and that’s why I got so emotional,” she continued, while shedding a tear. ‘And if it’s not you I’m going to seem really silly right now. But I think that was the main thing.”

There are a number of obvious connections between Darren, the grim reaper costume, and all the hints revealed so far. 

For starters, Darren released a song called A Little Death in 2022. 

This clue also hints at the life of an artist, especially one like Darren who has been working in the industry for 30 years: “My job never stops, no time off but millions of happy customers. It’s just about all I know!”

darren hayes masked singer
There are plenty of clues tying Darren Hayes to the Masked Singer, including several of his songs!

As Abbie mentioned, Darren has been very open about his life’s various ups and downs in his music – and this is reflected in the clues.

“Being the Grim Reaper has sudden highs and lows,” one clue revealed.

“You know, I know what it’s like to be on the edge, but I’m more mature now. I think I’ve got it together.”

Another clue says “I come to lead your soul so you step into the light.” This is a direct reference to Darren’s song, Step Into The Light, released in 2007.

Plus, there are all of the visual hints. In the first episode, Grim Reaper stood next to a mausoleum-looking door that had the word “Rice” on it.

Darren’s pop duo Savage Garden are reported to have taken inspiration for their name from The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice.

In the clue package in episode three, Grim Reaper wandered through a graveyard, before holding up a newspaper that had the headline: Life is full of precious moments. 

This one is a little more convoluted, but stick with us. If you search the phrase, you’ll find Darren’s first person piece for The Guardian in which he called Kate Bush’s song A Coral Room “the most perfect song of all time.”

He said the song “just speaks to me about how precious time is, and how precious the tiny moments are that we have with each other.”

Is this a bit of a reach? Maybe! But the connection to the clue is there…

darren hayes savage garden
Darren Hayes and Daniel Jones as the pop duo Savage Garden.

Who is Darren Hayes?

For those who might not know, Darren is an Australian singer and producer known for his solo work and his music released with Daniel Jones as the pop duo Savage Garden.

Some of their biggest hits include I Want You, Truly Madly Deeply, I Knew I Loved You and To The Moon and Back. While Darren’s own popular tunes include Insatiable, I Miss You, and his latest single Feels Like It’s Over.

With a career spanning decades, fans of Darren were excited to learn he will be releasing a memoir. In June 2022, he announced he was working with Penguin Books. 

“I’ve been secretly telling stories about my life, through my music, since the very first Savage Garden single,” Darren said.

“Back then my innermost thoughts were shrouded in lyrical metaphor and deeply embedded within the visuals and stage costumes of a fantastical pop career.”

“The reality of my life was much more complicated than the constraints of a 3-minute radio song would allow. Almost 30 years later I feel free for the first time in my life and so grateful to partner with Penguin to truly tell my authentic story.”

Is Darren the man behind the mask? Find out when The Masked Singer Australia continues Monday, 7:30pm, on Channel 10 and 10Play. 

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