The visual-effects-heavy series gives 20 contestants the opportunity to be stars, but they're not singing as themselves. Instead, they create, perform, and compete as their dream avatar alter ego in front of judges Lachey, Alanis Morissette, will.i.am, and Grimes. "It's incredible technology meets incredible talent, and to watch it unfold on stage in front of me was pretty radical," says Lachey of the avatars, one of which shoots lasers from its eyes, while others can fly.
FOX Lover Boy (left) and Fern on Fox's 'Alter Ego.'
While viewers will get to see both the avatars and the humans behind them, the judges only had a screen showing the alter ego performing, meaning they have no idea who the person doing the actual singing is or what they look like. As the self-proclaimed "least tech savvy" of the judges, Lachey says he was blown away by the technology and what it was able to capture.
"It's just a trip," Lachey says. "The amount of detail and the amount of thought and what they were able to do — they can change in real time! Through the motion capture technology, [the avatars] are mimicking the movement and the expression of the performer. It's freaky, how real it is."
For instance, if the performer plays the cello, the avatar plays the cello as well. If the performer gets emotional, the avatar will actually cry with them. And even though the performances were all completely computer-generated, Lachey says it didn't take him out of the performances at all.
Drew Herrmann/FOX Nick Lachey on 'Alter Ego.'
"It was that combination of the humanity and the artistry and the tech, and all those things coming together in a really beautiful way that made the show so fun to be part of. And I think that's what's really gonna resonate with people when they watch it. It's undeniable," he says. "It's really bizarre, but you're totally invested in the performances. I'm excited for everyone to see it and have their minds blown like mine was."
Alter Ego, which is hosted by Rocsi Diaz, premieres after The Masked Singer on Wednesday, Sept. 22 and Thursday, Sept. 23 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
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