The new FOX singing competition, Alter Ego, is back for its night two premiere. Last night five avatars performed, and one was eliminated (Read last night’s Recap for more on the format)
Tonight, five more singers perform behind self-styled avatars, one more will go home. The singers include a 60 year old opera singing truck driver, a Nashville hopeful, a wannabe boybander, an R&B singer who dreams of rock and a soulful diva in the making.
Singer-songwriter Alanis Morrissette, producer and Black Eyed Pea will.i.am, The Masked Singer winner, and former 98 degree singer Nick Lachey, and Canadian indie artist Grimes sit on the panel. Rocsi Diaz serves as host.
After each performance, the judges decide if the singer and their avatar is worthy of standing on the diamond. The singer who stands on the diamond at the end of the show automatically advances to the next round. The studio audience saves two singers from the remaining four. The judges save another singer. The remaining artist is sent home.
The last avatar standing wins $100,000 and the opportunity to be mentored by the judges panel.
Tonight’s show had one standout, Kaylee Franzen from Nashville. A 60 year old truck driver from Dallas sang opera competently. But his humor is what probably propelled him to the next round. The artists continue to share how their avatars will somehow give them the confidence to compete in the music business. The problem, I think, is that hiding behind an avatar does not allow the audience to really know a singer. Maybe in subsequent rounds, the personalities will be highlighted more. But now for now, all the singers are cyphers that I don’t care about.
Loverboy – Anthony Flammia – 34 – Yonkers NY
Livin on a Prayer by John Bon Jovi – Anthony has struggled in the music industry. He’s sung R&B music, but his alter ego allows him to tap into the rock star that he’s always wanted to be. When he had a record deal from 2018 to 2019, the label forced him to sing R&B. The song choice is predictable, but Anthony brings a solid soulfulness to his performance. He navigates the key change nicely, showing off some range. Will shouts out to the engineers putting the alter egos together. Nick loves Loverboy’s tone. Loverboy calls himself an “agent of love.” Anthony gave his avatar MAJOR ABS. Alanis may have little crush. Grimes shouts out the band, and mumbles something about the machines not taking over the world.
The first performer takes their place on the diamond
Safara – Mariah Rosario – 26 – Tucson AZ
Good as Hell by Lizzo – In real life, Mariah is a loan specialist. She wants to sing without being judged on her appearance. She wants to show her soul without any baggage. Mariah is tearful as she speaks about her desire to be heard. Safara giggles a lot. She wants to be empowered to be the person she is on the inside. She describes her struggle with confidence. “No more to that!” Grimes can feel her nerves. She sings like an experienced performer, allowing her voice to soar on the chorus. Nick calls it a confident vocal. Safara now feels all the confidence in the world.
Will calls her spectacular and believes the marriage between the singer and her alter ego. Alanis agrees with Will. Grimes was emotionally invested. Will, Alanis and Grimes put Safara on the diamond. Loverboy is in danger.
Wolfgang Champaign – Matthew Lord – 60 – Dallas TX
My Heart Will Go On by Il Divo – “You can call me Woflie.” He claims to be a werewolf who was bitten by a chihuahua 400 years ago. He speaks in a yee haw accent that sounds very put on. He fancies himself a comedian. In real life, he’s a beefy looking truck driver from Dallas. That “60” is NOT A TYPO. He used to have a professional singing career. After 9-11 his singing jobs dried up. As a result, he got a job driving a truck to feed his family. He’s hoping to get back into music, in a relevant way. Grimes says “he sounds 35.” And no HE’S NOT A HONKY TONK SINGER. He sings light opera. He should audition for America’s Got Talent. The audience is chanting for him. Grimes called it “one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen.
Nick has mixed feelings, but he sticks with Safara. Alanis is also sticking with Safara. Grimes calls Wolfgang the best art. She goes with him. Will is sticking with Safara. Safara stays on the diamond Wolfgang is in danger.
Kai – Kobe Vang – 23 – Schofield WI
Larger than Life by Backstreet Boys – Kobe explains that he wants to be in a boyband. But being short, chubby and baby-faced he doesn’t possess that boy band LOOK. He works in a factory assembly line to help take care of his huge family. His hair is FLAMING. I don’t like it. “Your head is smoking,” says Nick. “It might be 98 degrees!” quips Kai. Badabump! His favorite boy band is Backstreet Boys. Way to get Nick to vote you on the diamond, dude. He does have a boybandy sounding voice. It’s soulful, yet unthreatening. The flame coming out of his head is hella distracting. Too bad, because he’s pretty good at working the stage.
Grimes called his energy “fortnight” but she’s sticking with Safara. Will calls his riffing terrific. He votes Kai onto the diamond. Alanis is sticking with Safara. Oh no. It’s up to Nick. He’s sticking with Safara. Safara stays on the diamond. Kai is in danger.
Aster – Kaylee Franzen – 20 – Nashville TN
Rainbow by Kacey Musgraves – Kaylee hopes her alter ego will help get rid of her insecurities and fears. She believes that Aster will give her an opportunity to stand out in Nashville, where the competition is cutthroat. How is that going to work, exactly? She feels it will push her to really be the star she’s always wanted to be. “Aster” is her birth flower, and also means “star.” Kaylee has a lovely country-tinged voice. She has a really beautiful tone and phrasing, too. Nick notes her “pretty voice.” Yes. I’m actually connecting to this performance. Her avatar isn’t that creepy, which helps.
Grimes loves them both. She’s voting for Aster. Will is sticking with Safara. Alanis is going for Aster. Nick calls Aster’s performance “raw” he sends her to the diamond. Aster in now on the diamond. Safara is in danger.
Aster automatically advances to the next round. The in studio audience will vote for the top two. The two alter egos advancing to the next round are Wolfgang Champagne and Safara. Kai and Loverboy are in the bottom two. The judges save Loverboy.
Kai is eliminated. He performs N’Sync’s “Bye Bye Bye” as his exit performance. Kobe joins his avatar. And it’s back to the factory for Kobe.