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‘Alter Ego’ Redefines Singing Shows, Says Judge Nick Lachey

Nick Lachey in Alter Ego
Nick Lachey in ‘Alter Ego’ (Image credit: Fox )

Competition series Alter Ego starts on Fox on Wednesday, Sept. 22, enjoying a healthy lead-in from the sixth season premiere of The Masked Singer. The shows are somewhat similar in that both feature contestants singing at something of a remove from the audience, judges and viewer — Masked Singer contestants in masks and costumes, and Alter Ego hopefuls creating an avatar to perform, the singers’ moves depicted by motion capture technology. 

Nick Lachey won season five of The Masked Singer. He’s a judge on Alter Ego, along with Alanis Morissette, and Grimes. 

“I was already part of the Fox family,” he told B+C/Multichannel News. “When they were looking for panelists for Alter Ego, someone was nice enough to think of me.”

The quirky concept behind Alter Ego grabbed him immediately. “It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen before,” he said. “There’s a taste of it on The Masked Singer, where you perform behind the facade of a character. But the way Alter Ego combines the artistry of the music and the mind-blowing technology of avatars, I’ve never seen.”

Lachey is lead singer of 98 Degrees and has four solo albums. He co-hosts Love Is Blind on Netflix with wife Vanessa and previously hosted The Sing-Off on NBC. 

He described winning The Masked Singer as “incredibly satisfying.” Lachey mentioned the extreme amount of work that went into his performances. “I tell my kids, it’s not about winning or losing, it’s, did you do your best? I tried to tell that to myself, as a man in a Piglet costume.”

Watching the judges on The Masked Singer — Robin Thicke, Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy and Nicole Scherzinger — gave Lachey some pointers for his new role. He said each Alter Ego panelist brings a unique musical perspective. “I like to think it’s four of the most easygoing, laid back people,” he said. “The chemistry happened pretty early on.” 

Lachey acknowledges the challenge of a show launching in 2021, with so much competition. 

Alter Ego is so unique and so unlike anything that’s come before,” he noted. “When you do a truly memorable thing, I think people will find it.” 

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.