Diddy, DJ Khaled, Fergie, And Meghan Trainor Headline 'The Four: Battle For Stardom'
FOX began a new chapter in the talent competition genre. Thursday night marked the start of The Four: Battle For Stardom.
Who Are The Four?
At the heart of the latest FOX television competition are four artists. These four performers have been chosen by the show's leading music experts, Sean "Diddy" Combs, DJ Khaled, Meghan Trainor, and record executive Charlie Walk.
The four artists that The Four: Battle For Stardom crew selected include Lex Lu, Blair Perkins, Elanese Lansen, and Ash Minor. To receive the show's coveted prize, access to all four music experts and to be named one of iHeartMedia's On the Verge Artists.
Enter The Challengers
For Lu, Perkins, Lansen, and Minor to make it to the end of the show, the four must duel against other aspiring artists who are looking for glory. Once the qualifying artists perform, it is up to The Four: Battle for Stardom panel to decide if the artist is worthy of dueling one of the chosen artists.
If the artists get the blessing of all four panelists, they will be able to face off against any performer of their choice.
Round One: Tyler Griffin
When the quartet performed Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop This Feeling," they impressed both the studio audience and the panelists. It was time to get down to business.
Up first was 24-year-old Tyler Griffin. He auditioned with Jason Derulo's "Talk Dirty." Griffin's vocals made the "All About That Bass" singer-songwriter smile.
However, Walk called him out and stated that he was only good and not great. Griffin did not move on to the next round because he could not persuade the record executive.
Round 2: Zhavia Versus Elanese Lansen
Los Angeles-based R&B singer Zhavia wanted to follow in her mother's footsteps. She used her rough childhood to chase her dreams for glory and repay her mother for all the sacrifices she endured.
The 16-year-old singer auditioned with Khalid's "Location" and proved that she had the fire that would make America fall in love with her. Zhavia received a standing ovation from Trainor and Walk.
Khaled, Weight Watchers' social media ambassador, called her a "young icon" in the making while Trainor forewarned the Four not to get too comfortable. All four panelists unanimously voted "yes" to Zhavia challenging the Four.
Zhavia decided to face off against Elanese Lansen. Lansen showcased her love for Latin pop when she tackled Luis Fonsi and Demi Lovato's "Echame La Culpa." She might remind viewers of watching a young Jennifer Lopez or Shakira. Zhavia countered with French Montana's "Unforgettable."
Zhavia displayed a lovely lower vocal tone and showcased that she possessed star power. The show's studio audience was given the ultimate power to decide who stays or who goes. Zhavia became the first artist to dethrone a member of The Four and Lansen was sent home.
Round 3: Anthony Hall
Zhavia's victory meant that no one could challenge her for the remainder of that episode. Singer-songwriter Anthony Hall decided to pursue music full-time and instead of going to college. Hall was signed to a Universal Music Group record deal, but the label dropped him.
Hall hoped that the show would help him make his dream come true. Before he performed for a spot, Diddy called Hall a "White Jesus," while DJ Khaled bonded with Hall.
The long-haired rocker brought soul into Portugal. The Man's "Feel It Still." Zhavia gave him a standing ovation, and Trainor loved his twist with the song. However, Hall was not successful in convincing Diddy and Walk to advance him to the next round.
Round 4: iLLaKriss Versus Lex Lu
Texas native iLLaKriss wanted to pursue his passion for years: a career in the music industry. The music producer-in-training gave his interpretation of Earth, Wind, and Fire's "Let's Groove."
iLLaKriss delivered rapid-fire verses and left the audience in a trance. Trainor loved his stage presence and artistry, Walk called him interesting but not for The Four.
Diddy disagreed with Walk and praised iLLaKriss's originality, but DJ Khaled was not feeling iLLaKriss' vibe. However, all four experts invited iLLaKriss to challenge its resident rapper: Lex Lu.
Before she became an emcee, Lu danced for Nicki Minaj and Snoop Dogg. Both Diddy and DJ Khaled believed that she is the future of hip-hop music. She delivered an impeccable performance of DJ Khaled's "Wild Thoughts" that blew the audience away.
Meanwhile, iLLaKriss countered with his version of G. Dep's "Special Delivery." However, the studio audience decided that Lu would keep her seat and eliminated iLLaKriss from the competition.
Round 5: Valentina Cytrynowicz
Valentina Cytrynowicz is a second-generation musician and wanted to steal one of the chairs of Perkins and Minor. She performed Lorde's "Green Light." If viewers closed their eyes and listened carefully, they could hear that Cytrynowicz has a little Sia and Shakira in her vocals.
Walk stated that she was a real artist and commended her for being herself, while Trainor was not a fan of her tone. Diddy was brutally honest with his commentary and stated that she could do better. The panel decided not to advance Valentina to the next round.
Round Six-Saeed Renaud Versus Blair Perkins
Vocal coach and producer Saeed Renaud was the youngest of 21 kids and hoped that his hard work earned him a chair. Renaud tugged at the audience's heartstrings with a soulful interpretation of Whitney Houston's "Run to You." Renaud showcased his velvet vocals and made Houston proud with that star-making cover.
Renaud made Trainor cry, while Khaled stated that he would leave the show if he was eliminated from the competition. Walk said that Renaud has a place in the music industry and Diddy wanted to see a challenge.
Renaud received the blessing of all four experts. After show host Fergie asked him who would he want to challenge, Renaud chose Blair Perkins.
In his pre-performance package, Perkins revealed that he had some success, thanks for opening up for Stevie Wonder and co-writing Demi Lovato's "Made in the U.S.A."
Perkins showcased a vocal range that had the "No" singer-songwriter call him "Baby Usher" when he tackled Sam Smith's "Stay with Me." Renaud countered John Newman's "Love Me Again" that had vocals reminiscent of Ruben Studdard.
The audience made the final decision of the evening and Fergie revealed that Renaud won Perkins' seat and eliminated the soul singer from the competition.
Next Thursday, more artists will challenge Renaud, Lu, Zhavia, and Minor for their seats.