Before we get into the polls, I want to say a few words about The Four: Battle for Stardom.
The Four 2018 Premiere Recap and Live Blog (VIDEOS)
One way for a brand new singing show to differentiate itself from American Idol and The Voice is by offering a showcase to hip hop and rap artists. For instance, The Voice coaches often harp on the fact that the show is all about the VOICE. Pop performers generally don’t stand a chance. Similarly on American Idol, average singers with charisma ended up middle packers at best. The Four serves as a showcase for artists we’ll never see on the other shows. Yay.
Additionally, The Four’s “panel of experts” is a complete contrast to the cheerleaders that make up The Voice’s coaches table. The show’s producers point to The Voice’s relentlessly positive vibe as a point of pride. WE TAKE CARE OF OUR ARTISTS. Honestly, I see that attitude as one more way The Voice has no interest in nurturing future superstars. When American Idol OG winner Kelly Clarkson was asked how she felt about “mean” Simon Cowell, she laughed. Simon was a pussycat compared to what she encountered out in the real world.
So, label executive Charlie Walk telling an artist that they aren’t good enough, or not right for the show? Kiddos better get accustomed to criticism and rejection now. The road to superstardom is littered with artists who couldn’t handle the inevitable pressure. Also, in addition to a record deal, the winner of The Four takes part in iHeartRadio’s On The Verge program, which pretty much guarantees radio play. To top it off, after the confetti flies, the “panel of experts” will stay involved, mentoring the artist as they navigate their post-show careers. Sounds pretty good on paper. The show at least has a plan to kick off a successful music career for the winner.
In short–I really dig the premise of the show. The execution? Hm. I have a few issues:
- I find it odd that the initial four contestants don’t sing until they are challenged. Technically, one of them could go through the entire season without a performance. Of course, that’s not going to happen. The producers will make sure of it. Guarantee that Ash Minor, who wasn’t challenged in the premiere, will sing next week.
- The “battles” feel contrived. At the end of the first episode, two of the original four were eliminated and two remained. That’s not random. The first of The Four eliminated, Elanese, was 100% cannon fodder. Rapper “Lex Lu” was challenged by a rapper–also obviously cannon fodder. The victors of those battles–Zhavia and Lex–were batting softballs.
- Is it really necessary for the challenging singer to perform twice? Once for the panel, and again for the challenge? It gives the original singer an unfair advantage.
- I do like that the panel is tough and realistic (well…not Meghan Trainor. She’s the Paula Abdul of the group). But I’m not really digging this Roman Coliseum vibe the show’s got going on. It’s as fake as a bout on the WWE.
- And man, could we dial it back a little? Diddy and DJ Khaled, in particular, are way over the top. I mean. Maybe it’s time for a Xanax.
I had a lot to say tonight! What say you? Vote in our polls. For favorite contestant, I didn’t include contestants that were eliminated without an opportunity to challenge. Eh. Maybe I’ll mix it up next week.
The Four – Grade the Show
The Four – Will You Come Back for more?
The Four – Favorite Contender
The Four – Favorite Panelist