Alter Ego’: will.i.am’s Mom and Niece Had the Sweetest Reaction to His New Show

Viewers tuned into Fox’s new singing competition show Alter Ego on Sept. 22. The mother and niece of Alter Ego judge will.i.am were also among the viewers. The Black Eyed Peas founder was on a Television Critics Association panel for the show on Sept. 8. He said his mother and niece were already eagerly anticipating the show, but he had to answer some questions for them. 

“My mom called me the other day,” will.i.am said. “She saw the advertisement. She was, like, ‘Will, I mean, I love The Masked Singer and I love The Voice and American Idol, but you didn’t tell me it was going to be like this.’”

will.i.am judges Alter Ego contestants
will.i.am | Greg Gayne/FOX

Alter Ego has a unique hook that sets it apart from the other singing shows. The contestants sing as computer generated avatars. That also captivated will.i.am’s niece.

“I have this little niece named Lily,” will.i.am said. “She’s like, ‘Uncle Willie is on a TV show, Grandma. Oh, I like the characters. Oh, look it.’ I know what it’s going to mean for families. Families are going to be blown away because we know what animated films are for families. They watch them on repeat. I’m, like, ‘Ma, you’re watching that again?’ She was, like, ‘Boy, the kids like that.’”

Kids also like shows like The Voice, American Idol and The Masked Singer, will.i.am said. He knows Alter Ego is going to satisfy Lily, as well as his mother.

Alter Ego: Kobe Vang sings as avatar Kai
Alter Ego Kai (Contestant Kobe Vang) | FOX

RELATED: ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Host Tyra Banks Still Takes Responsibility for Control Room Glitch ‘For the Team’

“I’m watching my mom watch American Idol and The Voice and Masked Singer,” will.i.am said. “She loves these shows. I’m, like, ‘Ma, why do you love them so much?’ ‘Oh, because they got the backstories, and then they come out singing. And I want them to have a real career. Why can’t they have a real career?’ My mom just loves it.”

The contestants of Alter Ego will share not just the story of why they want to become singers. They’ll also describe their avatars, and how they use them to represent who they really are.

“Right when we need love,” will.i.am said. “Right when we need optimism in a different way, here comes Alter Ego. It is freaking fantastic, and I can’t wait for my niece to see this. She’ll be, like, ‘Uncle Willy, what the what?’ She’s going to say all that.  Se’s going to love some [Alter Ego judge] Grimes. They’re going to learn so much from [judge] Alanis Morissette’s vocabulary. I wouldn’t be surprised if Alanis Morissette said, ‘My middle name is Britannica.’ Like, because she’s an encyclopedia of words.  I’m like, ‘Girl, what did you say right there?’”

Alter Ego judges walk on stage waving
L-R: will.i.am, Alanis Morissette, Grimes and Nick Lachey | Greg Gayne/FOX

RELATED: ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Season 30 Contestant JoJo Siwa Wonders ‘Who Leads?’ With a Female ‘DWTS’ Celebrity Partner

will.i.am sees other families, besides his own, watching Alter Ego together, too.

“Fathers going to enjoy this with their daughter,” will.i.am said. “The daughters are going to feel like, ‘Oh, Dad, I don’t want you to like this song.’ Like, if you could make the bridge between father and daughter and son and mother, I know what this is going to mean to pop culture and families .”