There’s nothing better than a good singing competition TV show. It’s got everything you need: cringe-worthy auditions juxtaposed with symphonic masterpieces, judges with the power to lift someone to fame or grind their dreams into dust, heartbreaking back stories… Alter Ego is the newest singing competition show to hit your screen, courtesy of Fox, and it’s got a rather unusual twist: competitors perform through virtual avatars.
Singing from the computer-generated heart
Singers will take to the stage via motion-capture dolled-up as funky virtual avatars when they perform. These avatars are more Fortnite than Sims too. In the teaser we see them sporting wings, razor teeth, and flaming mohawks. They’ll perform for a panel of celebrity judges including: 2000s synth-rap star Will.i.am, alt-pop-rock sensation Alanis Morissette, and electro-orchestral composer Grimes (aka Claire Elise Boucher).
Grimes’ inclusion in the panel is particularly unsurprising considering her future-tech aesthetic. For further reference, her upcoming album will, according to AV Club, be a concept album telling a space-opera story about an AI courtesan looking for romance in a simulation. So hosting a virtual talent show is very much in-line with Grimes’ interests.
Outlandish as it may seem at first glance, it’s still a very interesting concept that may allow talented singers who’ve previously been knee-capped by stage fright the opportunity to pursue their star-studded dreams. That is, if the judges think they have what it takes. That’s the hook of the show after all.
There’s no premiere date just yet, but according to Alter Ego’s Instagram page it will begin airing in American Autumn (or Fall), which is Q4 of the fiscal year for the rest of the world.