In July, Grimes announced that she’s set to judge an avatar-based singing competition, Alter Ego, alongside will.i.am, Alanis Morissette, and Nick Lachey. Now, we’ve received a first glimpse at the performances, inspiring reality show tales, and tears (both virtual and IRL) that will ensue.
With the show set to premiere in a two-night special on September 22, Fox has dropped the first trailer. In it, we see that the judging takes on a pretty standard format, with Grimes and co sat in a judging booth while the singers perform on stage in front of them.
The obvious difference is that the songs are actually being sung somewhere out-of-sight, by contestants rigged up in motion capture suits (à la ABBA). “This is unlike how we’ve seen people perform, ever, in the history of television,” says Lachey in one clip, while another shows a digital alter ego blasting the judges with laser beams.
Grimes is also shown looking tearful as one participant explains how they’ve been judged for the way they look, and how they found solace in taking on a digital avatar. In case you were wondering: yes, the avatars can cry virtual tears as well.
Earlier this year, Grimes also made a TV appearance on SNL, appearing in a bizarre, Mario-themed skit with her partner, Elon Musk. More recently, she’s been teasing her next full-length project, a “space opera” about a lesbian AI romance, and releasing snippets of the new song “Shinigami Eyes” on TikTok.
Watch the trailer for Alter Ego below.