The Four: Battle for a Superstar Season 2 continues 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.
Four artists, spanning all music genres, will fight each week to defend their coveted seats on the show, as determined newcomers challenge them and try to knock them out of the competition. The singer who is the last standing at the end of the competition will earn the ultimate prize: the panel of industry experts becomes key players on the winner’s team, along with a record contract and a lucrative spot as one of iHeartRadio’s On the Verge artists.
Tonight, it’s the Comeback Episode. Eight eliminated contestants will attempt to claim a seat from the current Four. Check out all the details HERE. Keep ALL YOUR SPOILER TALK AT THAT LINK. DO NOT SPOIL RESULTS IN COMMENTS HERE.
Defending their seats tonight: Hip Hop artist Sharaya J, R&B artist and The Voice alum Ali Caldwell, 17 year old R&B singer Leah-Jeneah and former music student Jeronelle McGhee.
The show opens with season 1 fan favorite Zhavia and winner Evvie McKinney joining the Four for a group number of “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5. After, Fergie chats with the “queens of season 1.” Zhavia has a contract with Columbia records. Her single “Candlelight” is out tonight. Evvie advises the contestants to “never get too comfortable.” Oh. Evvie will be debuting her new single at next week’s FINALE.
The eight comeback contestants will be paired up into duos. The winners of the matchups will have the opportunity to challenge one of the Four. Audience determines the Comeback battles. The judges determine The Four battles.
Whitney Reign – Mama Knows Best by Jessie J – Whitney has a solid R&B voice, even if her presentation is kind of corny. She’s coming off as a try-hard here.
Diddy says unlike her last outing, he didn’t “smell any fear” from Whitney tonight. Meghan compliments Stephanie’s supposed “stank face.” Khaled “You did an amazing job.” TIME TO VOTE. Whitney Wins the Challenge Stephanie is Eliminated. Whitney Challenges Ali
Ali Caldwell – My All by Mariah Carey – Ugh on this old fashioned song choice. I suppose it gives Ali the opportunity to show off her incredible pipes. But does it show the panel that she has what it takes to be a viable artist in today’s pop landscape?
Whitney Reign – Don’t Let Go by En Vogue – Welp. Whitney chooses an equally old fashioned song. Hands down, Ali is the better singer and she doesn’t need the over the top stage moves. Whitney is pouring everything she’s go into her performance, however. I’ll give her that.
Meghan says Ali gave her chills. She sees a touring star in Whitney. Diddy says it’s a tough decision. “I saw your swag tonight,” he says to Whitney. He compliments Ali’s voice. “I’m here to decide who will Diddy sign.” The panels go into a confab where they argue back and forth. Whitney Wins the Challenge. Ali is Eliminated. SERIOUSLY I OBJECT ALI WAS ROBBED. Ali is crying her eyes out. Says they aren’t sad tears. She’s grateful. Diddy says, “My heart was with Whitney.” Hm.
Dylan Jacob vs Lil Bri – Both of these young rappers were easily defeated by Sharaya J in earlier battles. Both are talented, but geen. Bringing them back is akin to young lambs to slaughter. Can you say cannon fodder? I knew you could.
Lil Bri – All I Do is Win by DJ Khaled (The Four Version) – I was impressed with this young talent when she battled the first time. Give her a few years, and Bri will be unstoppable. Smart to suck up to Khaled with that song choice!
Dylan Jacob – “A Milli” by Lil Wayne (The Four Version) – Dylan is talented too. But my money is on Bri. But does it matter in the end? Neither’s gonna beat Sharaya.
Diddy thinks Bri used too many words for her breath control. Dylan was more skillful. Khaled liked Bri’s performance. “You will continue growing….I think you have a great ear!” Dylan wins the Challenge Lil Bri is Eliminated. Dylan Challenges Sharaya J. SNACK TIME IS COMING DYLAN.
Sharaya J – Mama Said Knock You Out by LL Cool J (The Four Version) – Sharaya is the only original left. She has felled challenger after challenger. That little boy will not take her down! Her grandmother fought breast cancer. And now Sharaya is battling the same disease. Yup. She’s dragging Dylan all over the Four stage. “Vanilla Ice Junior.” HEE HEE HEE.
Dylan Jacob – Quiet Storm by Mobb Deep (The Four Version) – NICE TRY DYLAN. Have a good trip home.
Meghan felt both gave 100 percent. Diddy likes Dylan’s humble vibe. “I think you did a good job tonight.” But he says there’s a reason why Sharaya has kept her seat “You have improved every single performance” he tells here. Khaled felt both left everything on the stage. After more confabbing between the judges… Sharaya J. Wins The Challenge. Dylan is Eliminated. Diddy reveals that he got two phone calls from major record labels after Dylan performed “inquiring about you.” (!!!) REALLY now.
Carvena Jones vs
Carvena Jones – I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston – EEP this song choice. She doesn’t have the chops to do this song justice, delivering an emotionally flat performance. Zzzz. That performanced revealed her vocal weaknesses.
Ebon Lurks – Congratulations by Post Malone – At least he chooses a contemporary song. A much better song choice, suited to his vocal style. He’s not about to hit any big notes either. But he does a credible job delivering the songs chilly vibe.
Meghan calls Carvena “confident.” Diddy says to Ebon, “I was able to hear you as an artist.” He’d sign both of them. Fergie says it was the closest battle of the night. Carvena wins the Challenge. Ebon is Eliminated. WELL I DO NOT AGREE. Ebon won that battle easily. Carvena challenges
Carvena Jones – Feeling Good by Nina Simone – This is a better song choice for Carvena, whose vocals really aren’t suited for the big diva numbers. “Feeling Good” allows Carvena to emphasize her soulfulness and ability to phrase a song. She is putting up a good fight here. I prefer Leah, but wouldn’t be too mad if the judges chose Carvena.
Khaled says he was waiting for what Carvena did. “It’s gonna be a tough one,” he says. Diddy once again wonders who he would sign. He tells Carvena she did everything perfect. However, while Leah did not do everything perfect, “Sometimes a performance can have something so raw and vulnerable, that’s what music is about.” He continues, “Your vibe is really really special.” Pretty much where I’m at here. CONFAB CONFAB CONFAB. Leah Wins the Challenge Carvena is Eliminated.
Jesse Kramer vs James Graham – Oh, I think these two became pretty friendly on the show. Both lasted several weeks before losing their seats. Now they have to compete! James is a much better singer. No contest. “I love Jesse,” says James, “But you don’t get many chances in this industry.”
Jesse Kramer – Come Together by the Beatles – Good song choice. His gravelly as rocks vocal is a good match for this Beatles’ classic. Jesse’s stage presence and guitar skills are his strenghths. There’s still too much growling and yelling though.
James Graham – Writing’s On The Wall by Sam Smith – James has to be careful not to oversing. He is a little–but for the most part his rangy voice is on full display. Good job. He won that match easily.
Meghan said it was one of Jesse’s best. “Damn” she says to James, “My heart was pounding.” Khaled says, “You came to battle…you showed you’re hungry.” Diddy says, “Jesse you finally got it…I saw your dream coming true.” James Wins the Challenge Jesse is Eliminated. I AGREE. James will challenge
Jeronelle McGhee – All of Me by John Legend – He’s been in LA since graduating from music school and it’s been a struggle. Last week, Jeronelle’s performance was paint by numbers. He’s better this week. A better song for him maybe. But that falsetto is NOT as good as he thinks it is.
James Graham – Without You by Badfinger (Harry Nilsson) – GOOD SONG CHOICE. OK. James is killing it. Jeronelle is looking a little sick over there cause he’s about to lose his seat.
Khaled says Jeronelle has been doing better than expected. But James has been here every show. He’s amazing too, he says. Meghan is sure John Legend will love what Jeronelle did with his song. Meghan says she saw REAL emotion in James’ performance. But then Khaled stops everything to pimp his new record with Justin Bieber. Gah. CONFAB. James Wins the Challenge, Jeronelle is Eliminated. Jeronelle delivers a tearful goodbye. And then he asks Diddy to come up on stage and “diddy bop” with him. Uh.
And here is your Four going to next week’s FINALE: Sharaya J has defended her seat from day one.
The big upset of the night was the middling talent Whitney Reign unseating the undeniably gifted vocalist Ali Caldwell. I suspect if it had been left to the audience, Ali would be competing in the finale. Maybe the judges wanted to nip her momentum in the bud. Sharaya J. has defended her seat week in and week out. But to be frank–she’s faced mostly cannon fodder in her undefeated march to the finale. I am pretty happy James Graham is still in it. His performances have been consistently good during his weeks on the show.
See you next week at the finale!