The Four: Battle for a Superstar Season 2 FINALE airs tonight on FOX. Musician, record producer and songwriter Sean “Diddy” Combs, record-producing hitmaker DJ Khaled, and recording artist and songwriter Meghan Trainor return to the show’s “panel of experts.” Pop star Fergie is back as host.
In tonight’s FINAL episode, the Final Four face off against each other for the opportunity to win the ultimate prize: the panel of industry experts will become key players on the winner’s team, a record contract and a lucrative spot as one of iHeartRadio’s On the Verge artists.
NOTE: The Finale was taped last week. Keep ALL YOUR SPOILER TALK AT THIS LINK. DO NOT SPOIL RESULTS IN COMMENTS HERE.
And here is your Final Four: Rapper Sharaya J, 17 year old jazz and R&B artist Leah Jeneah, pop R&B artist Whitney Reign and former X Factor alum James Graham.
In addition, Season 1 winner Evvie McKinney will premiere her debut single.
The show opens as it usually does with a The Four Group number. Oh check Whitney out. Still not proving why she deserved a chair over Ali Caldwell! Grrr. Sharaya is sporting a crazy red patent leather jacket.
Notable: Last week’s Comeback episode and tonight’s Finale were ALL taped on THE SAME DAY!
Diddy thinks there are “a couple of superstars on that stage tonight.” But he does not say who! hm. Then Diddy dishes out some “good vibrations” for the room. He is so weird. Khaled insists he can make hit records with ANYBODY.
Tonight’s first video package features Diddy and Khaled mentoring The Four behind the scenes. When did they have time to film this? There was literally like 3 hours between the two tapings. Khaled gifts candles to the singers.
First round! All Four singers will perform. The audience votes. And the winner gets to choose who to challenge in the second round.
Whitney Reign – Lady Marmalade by Patti Labelle – STILL BITTER THAT SHE KNOCKED ALI OUT OF THE RUNNING LAST WEEK. She had to learn THREE songs she never performed before. Also, she’s having vocal issues. Oh. Sis. Taking on a pretty big song there. The Lady Marmalade does compliment her performance style, which involves strutting all over the stage with a squat thrown in here and there for good measure. Meghan loved her sassy style. Diddy says, “You’ve really really grown.” He admires the way she came back last week. “You found your bag,” he says.
Leah Jeneah – True Colors by Cyndi Lauper – Leah is a newbie. The 17 year old secured her seat only two weeks ago. This song is a little mellow at first, but then on the second verse she did kick it up a notch. Still, not sure if that was enough to garner votes. Her tone is gorgeous, the rendition lovely. But it wasn’t WOW. Diddy isn’t sure she chose the right song until the end of her performance, “You got that feeling girl.” Khaled says “That was beautiful.” But he warns her to kick it up a notch next time.
Sharaya J – Juicy by The Notorious B.I.G. (The Four Version) – Ohhh. She’s taking on Biggy! Mostly, Sharaya has battled against (inferior) rappers. Now she’s got to compete against singers. We’ll see what happens. That performance was pretty low key compared to past outings. Maybe she’s saving it up for the next round. After bitching at the sound guy to fix his mic, Khaled says, “That’s one of my favorite songs ever! You did an amazing job.” Diddy says, “You did a great job.” Sharaya gets teary. “Biggy is my favorite lyricist of all time.” Diddy calls her “the one to beat.”
James Graham – Rock With You by Michael Jackson – The singer reclaimed his seat last week after being eliminated the week before. He’s a The Four original. Were these singers advised to choose mellow tunes for this first round? James seems a little nervous tonight. Finally on the last verse, he finds his footing. Not his very best performance, but lucky for him, the rest of the group are also under par in this first round. Khaled says “I like what you did…with the high notes. But it didn’t do nothing for me.” He didn’t like the song choice. Meghan disagrees 100 percent. She loves his “Michael” songs. “I thought it was your best one yet.” Diddy says, “I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it at all.” Wow. I agree with Khaled and Diddy. It’s like the pressure is getting to him.
Results! The winner of Round One is….Sharaya J Sharaya challenges Whitney Reign. Smart. She’ll be super easy to pick off. The next battle will be a re-match between James Graham and Leah Jeneah.
Diddy asks Whitney if he smells fear. “Not at all!” she insists. Diddy declares a fear-free zone. Oh boy.
Whitney Reign – Million Reasons by Lady Gaga – After losing her record deal, she was relegated to cleaning rooms for 10 dollars an hour. She’s hungry! “I fought so hard to get here,” she says tearfully, “This is the biggest moment of my life.” This performance highlights all of her vocal weaknesses. Really, she’s better singing upbeat songs that allow her to work the stage. This rendition is a yelly, pitchy mess.
Sharaya J – She sheds her red jacket. She means business! Sharaya has been battling cancer all the way through this competition. But she’s hung in there. Unfortunately, Sharaya continues to underwhelm. This is the disadvantage of taping the semi-final and final ALL IN ONE DAY.
Khaled felt like Whitney’s song choice did not represent her. Meghan agrees with Khaled. “I still you think you’re really talented.” Meghan was distracted by the way Sharaya handled the mic. Diddy tells Meghan “wasn’t one of your best performances.” Apparently, she has a sinus infection. “You did your thing with that song,” he tells Sharaya.
Results. The judges decide this round. And the winner is Sharaya J. Whitney Reign is ELIMINATED. Well. That was inevitable. With the judges choosing the winner now, it’s pretty easy to predict the results.
Leah Jenea – Golden by Jill Scott – Leah tearfully admits that she has struggled with her confidence. “To me Leah is perfectly imperfect,” observes Diddy. Leah unseated James once…can she do it again? Probably. Not only is she super talented, but the judges REALLY like her. Good song choice for her. And I don’t think all of her choices have been the best. Her stage presence could use some work, but she’s a singer with a ton of potential. A couple of pitchy spots, still her phrasing is beautiful.
James Graham – Hello by Adele – His lowest point in the competition was losing his seat due to a poor song choice. He’s hoping to be redeemed tonight. He’s picked a pretty big song, but he’s nailing it. It’s as if somebody lit a fire underneath him . James shines on soulful ballads that allow him to emote and show off his rangy vocals. He is totally singing his face off right here. If the audience were choosing, he’d 100% have this.
Meghan calls Leah “amazing.” and to James, “You sang that song like you were coming for revenge.” Khaled tells both Leah and James that their performances were incredible. “Your journey has just begun,” says Diddy. “I’m so proud of you.” Diddy says to James, “You finally did it kid…you broke through that wall.”
The winner of this challenge is…James Graham. Leah Jenea is Eliminated. She’s so tearful. Poor kid. Both were good, but James definitely won the round. Meghan says it was a difficult decision.
Sharaya J and James Graham will battle for the crown! The two are besties. Battle of the besties!
Now, the Season 1 winner of The Four, Evvie McKinney, is here to premiere her debut single, “How Do You Feel.” In a video package, Evvie talks about how much her life has changed since winning the competition in January.
This song, a huge power ballad, sounds really familiar. What the heck. There’s a male dancer dressed as a wolf on stage. And she’s singing to him? WTH. Distracting! But her vocal is beautiful. Let’s see if iHeartradio actually delivers significant airplay across their stations of this song. Diddy calls Evvie No. 1 and a hard worker. The song is available now on all platforms, to stream and download.
Sharaya J – Say Less by Sharaya J – Diddy calls Sharaya a “self contained artist.” He feels she has what it takes. Sharaya has been here from day one, winning challenge after challenge. She’s the only one to never be unseated. She performs what amounts to a diss track directed straight at James, at one point sitting right next to him. He takes it in stride. She’s just doing her thing. Nothing personal!
James Graham – Fix You by Coldplay – Meghan notes that James has “gnarly fans.” I have no doubt. James is going for the BIG GUNS. “Fix You” has been overdone on competition. But this performance is so emotional, his delivery so urgent and sincere, it doesn’t matter. He’s going for it. If he loses, it won’t be because he fell short. His phrasing is particularly beautiful here.
“This is going to be the hardest decision ever,” says Meghan. Khaled agrees. He brought some popcorn out, which he’s been tossing around. “It’s like me battling Diddy,” Khaled comments on the artist’s friendship. “Your journey has been incredible,” says Diddy, noting that she performed and wrote songs week after week while undergoing chemo. And Sharaya has fantastic news. The tumor in her breast is gone, according to her doctor. “Every week you hit us with pure entertainment,” Diddy says. And as far as James is concerned, “You just broke through another wall.” He compliments his vulnerability.
And now it’s time to choose the winner. The judges huddle. Sharaya has been in it since day one. But James really brought it, and he has a rabid fan base. Who to choose? We gotta wait until after the break.
And the winner of The Four is…James Graham!!! Ok I’m a little surprised to be honest. Sharaya appeared to be marching toward the win since day 1. HOORAY FOR OCTOBOY! Ha. I wonder if Sharaya’s age (34) figured into the decision, and that she’s been kicking around the music business for years with only marginal success. James is a young artist still growing into his potential. And let’s face it, he’ll likely be more malleable as well.