The Masked Singer Season 10 featured an emotional journey with Donut getting to the final and nearly winning the Golden Mask trophy.
During his clue packages and character interviews throughout the season, he revealed how much performing meant for him as it was helping him heal after the loss of his wife.
At the show’s season finale, things became more emotional as Donut officially unmasked to talk about his journey and experience on the show.
The unmasking revealed actor John Schneider, best known for his role as Bo Duke in the hit series The Dukes of Hazzard.
His reveal featured him and the panelists getting choked up, and Ken Jeong delivered a heartfelt message to Schneider.
Donut finished as the runner-up in The Masked Singer 10
During The Masked Singer 10 finale, Donut, Gazelle, Sea Queen, and Cow were left standing in the competition.
Each contestant performed at least one song in the first half of the two-hour finale. For Donut, it was You Are So Beautiful by Joe Cocker.
Ahead of his performance, Donut spoke about coming into the competition at “the lowest point in [his] life.” He said seeing the Donut mask made him happier than he’d felt in a long time, as he needed this to heal from his wife’s passing.
Donut also revealed he still missed his wife “more than ever,” but he knew she was “getting a big kick out of” seeing him on the show.
With Sea Queen and Gazelle revealed earlier in the show because of receiving fewer votes, it came down to Donut versus Cow for the trophy. However, more audience and panelist votes went to Cow as The Masked Singer 10 winner.
Donut is revealed as actor John Schneider
With Donut as runner-up, he was unmasked ahead of the winner’s reveal. Throughout the season, the panelists’ guesses for Donut included Sylvester Stallone, Inglebert Humpledink, Tom Jones, Stanley Tucci, Liam Neeson, and Jeff Bridges.
However, Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg was spot on with her guess of John Schneider. She said she connected the cowboy and bow and arrow clues she saw, making her think it could be Bo Duke.
Schneider appeared in Dukes of Hazzard alongside Tom Wopat, Catherine Bach, and James Best. The series initially aired with 147 episodes on CBS from 1979 to 1985.
In addition, Schneider portrayed Clark Kent’s adoptive dad, Jonathan Kent, on the popular series Smallville, which aired for 10 seasons.
When asked by host Nick Cannon where his singing came from, Schneider said his singing abilities came as he was a “theater brat” earlier in life. He joked he always “considered [himself] a singer who will act for food.”
He revealed he’s sold millions of records, but nobody knew it “until now.” Those included country hits I’ve Been Around Enough to Know, Country Girls, and What’s a Memory Like You.
Ken told Schneider he was “starstruck” as he spoke about growing up watching Dukes of Hazzard, a big part of his childhood. He got choked up as he shared what Schneider’s appearances and story on Masked Singer meant for him and others.
“Thank you for being so vulnerable, and I tell you, I feel ya, brother,” Ken said, adding, “I love you, brother, and thank you for enriching our lives, man.”
Schneider lost his wife Alicia Allain in February 2023
“I’m honored to be here. I know that my bride would be delighted. She would’ve been back there, having a great time,” Schneider shared.
“My wife passed in February,” he said as he became teary-eyed, adding, “So that’s why it’s still so fresh, but I think it’s always gonna be fresh.”
Schneider married producer and actress Alicia Allain in 2019. Allain was involved in the production of several movies Schneider appeared in, including Inadmissible, Anderson Bench, 4: GO, Hate Crime, and 2022’s To Die For. His nickname for her was his “Smile.”
He called his wife’s passing “a time of unimaginable sorrow” and called her “the fuel that ran my biggest dreams. The inspiration behind every creative thought. The very fabric of my soul. The glue that held me together.”
Before leaving The Masked Singer stage, Schneider delivered a special message for everyone watching and listening.
“Make sure that if you love somebody desperately, make sure before they go to sleep tonight that they know it. Make sure that they know that you love them,” he said.
Schneider said his wife inspired his Masked Singer appearance
Donut’s second performance during the finale was Dobie Gray’s recognizable song Drift Away. Additional songs he performed during the season included Blue Swede’s Hooked On a Feeling and Ray Charles’ Georgia On My Mind.
Schneider revealed as Donut that his wife, Alicia, initially encouraged him to perform on The Masked Singer, even though he said nobody knew he sang.
“I know that she enjoyed it. I know there’s a lot of people out there who are grieving, and I like to think that story that TMS chose to underline for me is helping other people get through, not only get through their grief, but get through their grief during the holidays,” Schneider told EW.
“This is my first Christmas, my first New Year’s without Alicia right here by my side. So this is a hard time. But now, I mean now that if people know that it was me, I think I’m going to usher into a whole new area of healing because people have said that they feel better for having heard what I was talking about on the show. So I’m excited about it,” he said.
The Masked Singer Season 10 episodes are available on Hulu. The Masked Singer Season 11 premieres in March 2024 on FOX.