Mama Yaya Compares ‘Alter Ego’ Experience to Time on ‘American Idol’

Corey Cesare
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Mama YaYa Alter EgoFox

Mama Yaya is known as Siren in FOX’s newest show Alter Ego. She was first seen on the stage on October 7 and will return tonight for the knockout rounds. This singer has a beautiful voice, but this show isn’t even the beginning of her career.


Mama Yaya on American Idol

Before Alter Ego, Mama Yaya was on American Idol in 2019. Although her audition wasn’t aired on live television, she still noted that the experiences were insanely different. She made it to Hollywood week on the show before elimination. This round of the competition has the contestants battling it out to be in the top 64.

Mama Yaya did not make it past Hollywood week, but she did learn a lot from the experience. Big shows like that might not be for her. She felt overwhelmed because the competition was almost 24/7 and there were just too many people for her comfort level. After her rejection, she took the time to realize she was fully devoted to creating a music career and went on from there.


“Not to throw any digs, Idol is forever going to be Idol,” said Mama Yaya. “But I think for me and me personally I think it’s tricker for me to navigate such a format.”


Mama Yaya preferred the formatting of Alter Ego much more, especially because there were only 20 contestants in total. Even though the smaller cast size did help her comfort level, she’s not a huge fan of competitions. She’s great at pushing others to do their best, but bad at remembering she’s in it to win it.

I was a bit shocked to hear her say this, especially after she told me that it was her idea to join another show. She told me that a month before FOX producers reached out to her, she mentioned wanting to join a competition show. If this isn’t impeccable timing, I don’t know what is.

The MoCap Suit Breakdown…

Mama Yaya also mentioned that this show takes multiple levels of confidence. Confidence in your singing, and the fact that you will be on national television in a really tight body suit. She shared that even though she maintains a body positive mindset, there were still a lot of different angles shown and she often felt revealed.


“At first it was a standard suit that we all had our sizes and tried them on,” said Mama Yaya. “Then as the competition continued, we got suits made specifically for our bodies.”

On top of that, she shared that it takes a lot of people to get those suits up and running. She explained there are a lot of people all around your body constantly.

The inspiration for her Alter Ego, Siren, design came directly from her zodiac sign, Cancer. Considering Cancer is a water sign, she based the avatar off the deep sea. She considers herself an artist so she knew she needed an avatar that would encompass that on the show.

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