Alter Ego Season 1 Release Date, Judges, And How To Watch

Fox is likely hoping to replicate the success of "The Masked Singer" with "Alter Ego." However, performers on the new reality competition will be hiding their physical appearances behind more than elaborate costumes.

"Alter Ego" will give the singing competition a modern makeover by allowing competitors to create animated avatars that portray them "how they've always wanted to be seen" (via Futon Critic). Motion capture technology will be used to bring them to life. In other words, it will be a little like watching talented video game characters perform karaoke. A teaser video gives viewers a taste of the limitless possibilities this unique format allows when one singer's avatar is shown rocking butterfly wings.

However, all of the avatars that appear in the video do have human bodies and faces, so it's unclear just how much creative control the competitors will have over their alter egos. For example, if one performer has always wanted to be seen as a centaur, will an animator make them half horse? If this is the case, maybe we'll get to see mermaids, aliens, and other non-human beings on the show.

Singers getting animated is nothing new — examples include the Gorillaz and Dua Lipa's Bratz doll-like character in her "Hallucinate" music video. However, according to Deadline, "Alter Ego" is a completely original concept, meaning that it's not based on an international series or other IP. Read on to learn more about the show, including its panel of judges and premiere date.

When is Alter Ego's release date?

As noted by TV Series Finale, "The Masked Singer" continues to dominate its competition in the ratings, even though they aren't quite as high as they once were. Most episodes of Season 5 managed to draw over five million viewers, so the time slot after the series is a coveted one. According to CarterMatt, the spot seemed to help the game show "Game of Talents" attract a larger audience than it would have otherwise. So everyone involved with "Alter Ego" should feel pretty good about the first episode of the series airing after the Season 6 premiere of "The Masked Singer."

Viewers will get their first chance to check "Alter Ego" out on Wednesday, September 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The premiere will be a two-night event, with the second episode airing at the same time on Thursday. This will allow Fox to quickly gauge the interest in the show. In a press release, Rob Wade, Fox Entertainment's President of Alternative Entertainment and Specials, did his best to convince viewers that it will be worthy of their time. "'Alter Ego' merges talent and technology to revolutionize the singing competition show in only a way FOX can do," he said, per Futon Critic.

Who are the series' famous judges?

There will be plenty of familiar faces on "Alter Ego." Its judging panel includes a few musicians with connections to Fox, including "You Outta Know" hitmaker Alanis Morissette. The Canadian singer voices a sky-bound, imaginary version of herself in the animated series "The Great North." Then there's Nick Lachey, who won Season 5 of "The Masked Singer" as Piglet. He complained that his costume was "really, really super uncomfortable" during an interview with People, so "Alter Ego" competitors have it easy in comparison to what the 98 Degrees singer went through.

Indie singer Grimes will also offer her expertise, and she knows a thing or two about creating a unique avatar. As noted by Dazed, the visual artist used one she named WarNymph to promote her album "Miss Anthropocene." During an interview with Billboard, she described "Alter Ego" as "very post-human." "No one has a body, and no one is bound by their age or gender or anything like that," she said. "I've been really enjoying that, because we've lived in a society for so long where you're stuck in the shell that you're in, and you just have to deal with it." 

The panel is rounded out by Black Eyed Peas founder The seven-time Grammy winner already has some experience judging singers whose real faces he can't see, thanks to his role as a coach on "The Voice UK." "Alter Ego" will be hosted by "106 & Park" co-host Rocsi Diaz.

How can you watch the series premiere of Alter Ego?

In addition to tuning in to Fox to check out "Alter Ego" on TV, viewers will be able to watch it using the Fox Now app and their cable provider login. Like "The Masked Singer," it will air live on a variety of streaming services: Hulu with live TV, YouTube TV, Sling TV, and Fubo TV (via What to Watch). Hulu and Tubi subscribers can also watch replays of the episodes.

There's still an air of mystery as far as the show's contestants are concerned. "Lost dreams and second chances are reignited when singers from all walks of life become the stars they've always wanted to be," the show's description reads. This makes it sound like "Alter Ego" could feature a mix of unknown singers and possibly some familiar faces, like performers whose dreams didn't come to fruition on other reality singing competitions. It also remains to be seen whether viewers and/or the judges will get to vote for their favorites and if the competitors' real faces won't be unveiled until they're voted off. It looks like we'll just have to tune in to see just how similar its format will be to that of "The Masked Singer."