7:03pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Four': Week Four Delivers Biggest Upset Yet
The Four: Battle For Stardom returned for week four tonight, with just two more episodes left before its finale. The sitting four artists heading into the night were Zhavia, Jason Warrior, Rell Jerv and Tim Johnson Jr. Fergie was back to host, and Sean “Diddy” Combs, DJ Khaled, Meghan Trainor and Charlie Walk were back as the panel of experts.
Here’s how the show works: Potential challengers sing solos, and the four panelists have to unanimously vote in favor of the newcomer directly challenging a member of the four. If voted through by the panel, the newcomer chooses which member of the sitting four they get to sing against, and after both sing, the live studio audience votes on who gets a seat. If a newcomer unseats a member of the four, they are then safe for the rest of the evening. The winning artist after six weeks gets a record contract and the title of iHeartRadio’s On the Verge artists.
After the group performance of “Finesse” by Bruno Mars, the first challenger up was Nicolina, who sang “Don’t Let Me Down” by The Chainsmokers. The YouTube musician had experience, but she didn’t deliver enough of an impressive vocal to wow the panelists. “You’re not better than the four,” Khaled said. She was not voted through to the next stage.
Things were looking up for the next challenger, Ravaughn, who sang “Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato. Ravaughn was a background singer on Glee and also has been a background singer for many professional artists. After a two-year hiatus from music, she came to The Four and her performance earned her a chance to challenge the four. All four panelists were impressed enough to give her a shot. She chose to challenge Warrior.
Warrior expressed some regret about the way he got heated last week before his performance of “Titanium,” which reiterated how he made it into the four in the first place. It was a technically tight performance, and Warrior worked the crowd well.
For her challenge song, Ravaughn sang “Have You Ever” by Brandy, and it was a strong performance, but the panelists didn’t seem to think it was good enough to beat Warrior. Ultimately, it was up to the live studio audience.
In the closest vote of the season so far, Warrior won by less than 1%. He kept his spot in the four and was safe for the rest of the night.
The next challenger was Edi Callier, singing “Jealous” by Nick Jonas. Callier explained that he struggled with confidence on stage but after experiencing coming close to a diabetic coma, he decided he needed to pursue his dreams of becoming an artist. He had a powerful story and gave a solid performance, but he failed to make the song his own, so it wasn’t what the panelists were looking for. He got four no votes from the panel.
Next up was hip-hop artist Nick Harrison rapping Diddy’s own “Bad Boy For Life.” Trainor praised his confidence. Khaled said that he wanted to see him go head-to-head with Jerv. Diddy asked Jerv if he thought he could beat him, and the sitting member of the four said he felt like Harrison had already performed his best song. The panel voted for Harrison to challenge, and he indeed chose Jerv.
Jerv kicked things off with an air-tight rap performance that reiterated his very natural flow and comfort on stage. While Harrison exhibited confidence in his first performance, Jerv made it clear that he wasn’t fazed.
For his second performance, Harrison performed “Survival Of The Fittest.” It was good, but unremarkable. Trainor said she couldn’t tell where the chorus was. Walk said that Harrison was more of a poet than a competitor, adding that Jerv had a story to tell. The audience voted for Harrison to unseat Jerv in the first surprise of the evening.
The next potential challenger was Josh Wyper, lead singer of the band the Pompadoors. Wyper sang “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton. There hasn’t been a huge country presence on the show, and Wyper brought something a little different to The Four, but his vocals weren’t impressive enough to suggest that he could unseat any of the sitting four. He got four no votes.
The last potential challenger of the evening was Kendyle Paige, who works in a music store to support her music career. She came to The Four with gig experience, but this represented her chance to take her career to the next level. She sang “Me, Myself & I” by G-Eazy and Bebe Rexha and went into the competition intending to challenge Zhavia, who she called the one to beat. She had a distinct tone and rasp that piqued the panel’s interests immediately. Trainor respected her hustle but said she didn’t want to see Zhavia or Johnson challenged. The panelists had a pretty serious discussion before their vote but ultimately gave Paige the chance to challenge. Paige challenged Zhavia just like she promised.
Zhavia, the longest sitting member of the four at this point in the competition, sang “Diamonds” by Rihanna. She showed off her rich tone and impressive range, but she has yet to give a performance that’s significantly different from the original recording, so it’s surprising that the panel is standing behind her in the way that they are.
Paige followed up with a performance of Zayn’s “Pillowtalk,” and she truly made the song her own. Walk said that Paige’s second performance was stronger than her first, and he admitted that it wasn’t Zhavia’s best performance.
The audience voted for Paige to unseat panel favorite Zhavia. it was the first real upset of the season, and Trainor was left in tears, upset with her fellow panelists for convincing her to let Paige through.