It's hard to believe that we're only into the second episode of season two of The Four: Battle For Stardom, because the competition is SO INTENSE already!
Last week, we saw the four finalists, UK singer/songwriter James Graham, rapper Sharaya J, R&B singer Carvena Jones, and emerging Latin artist Stephanie Zelaya each try to defend their seats from potential challengers who were eager to replace them (one of them being Rebecca Black!) And all but one of the four contestants were able to keep their chairs, as Carvena lost hers to 21-year-old Tulsa native Majeste Pearson.
Kicking off week two (of season two) of The Four, James, Sharaya, Stephanie, and Majeste gave the crowd a group performance of Kendrick Lamar & SZA's "All The Stars." Then, the group revealed what it was like going backstage at this year's iHeartRadio Wango Tango, where they got to meet the Backstreet Boys, and see Meghan Trainor perform live. They revealed that watching each artist take the stage in front of thousands of fans was inspiring to them.
However, one person was missing from this experience — Sharaya, who was receiving her cancer treatment back at home. At the beginning of the show, she told Fergie, "I'm doing good today. It was intense, because I had to fly back to Atlanta and then turn right back around and come back here and be ready for rehearsal the next day. But, my boo's right here called me on FaceTime to show me some love while I was in the room recovering, so that was just all love. I really appreciate that."
Then, the competition began. The first challenger of the night was 25-year-old R&B singer Whitney Reign from Chicago, who has previously opened for artists like Rick Ross and Jazmine Sullivan. She revealed she was once signed to Dej Jam, but it never got to the next level. Whitney sang Julia Michaels's hit single "Issues," and afterwards Meghan told her she was a great entertainer. DJ Khaled said he "definitely wasn't mad at the performance," but told her that if she got the chance to take on one of the Four, she needed to go harder. Meanwhile, Diddy thought that, vocally, the performance was "average." And with three blue rings, Whitney won the first challenge of the night and chose to go after Stephanie's seat.
First up, was Stephanie who performed Jennifer Lopez's "On The Floor," followed by Whitney with James Brown's "It's Man's Man's Man's World." Meghan was ecstatic over Whitney's performance, and told Stephanie that even though she's great and did her thing, she had to give it to Whitney. DJ Khaled said that Reign "touched [his] soul" and Diddy said that he "felt it to [his] core on that second song." And after the audience voted, Whitney was in, and took Stephanie's seat as an official member of The Four.
Next up was De'Stani Bryant, a 16-year-old R&B/Pop singer from Odessa, Texas, and she sang (and rapped) Monica's "So Gone." Meghan told her that she made the performance look "effortless" and that she is "gifted." DJ Khaled told her that he liked the performance and the way she put the rap in there. Diddy called her a "new young talent that needs work," but told her that she had "potential." However, with one yes and two no's, De'Stani was sent home.
Then, it was time for Stelle Amor from Nashville to take the stage, who calls herself a "soulful siren." Stelle, who described her music to Diddy as "soulternative," performed Gary Jules's "Mad World." The judges were literally speechless, as Meghan and Diddy had trouble finding words to describe Stelle. Meanwhile, DJ Khaled said that "sometimes different is good." But with one yes and two no's, Stelle went on to walk her path with pride.
The next challenger to go after a seat on The Four was 25-year-old rapper James Farrow from Minneapolis, who has opened for Mobb Deep and G-Eazy. James made it clear he was coming for Sharaya, and put his own spin on The Terror Squad's "Lean Back." DJ Khaled said he liked the song selection and that he wanted to see more, and Diddy told James that he had potential. And with three yes's, James went on to challenge Sharaya.
Sharaya went first, and performed her own version of A$AP Ferg's "Plain Jane," followed by James with Desiigner's "Panda." The panel spoke afterwards, and they all agreed that Sharaya won that rap battle. DJ Khaled even said, "If she don't win, I'm out." And with that, after the audience voted, Sharaya was the winner and kept her seat on The Four
Next up, was 21-year-old Skylar Dayne from the Caribbean island of Curaçao. In pursuit of a music career, Skylar picked up and moved to Los Angeles, which brought her to the stage on The Four, where she sang Selena Gomez's "Wolves." The judges liked Skylar, but Diddy said that he wanted more out of the performance. However, with one yes and two no's, Skylar went on to walk her path with pride.
With two seats locked, and two open for a challenger to potentially take, 21-year-old Jesse Kramer from Nashville came out on stage to perform Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah." Before he took the stage, Jesse called himself a "wild card," and he was right because he impressed the judges enough to go for a seat on The Four with three yes's, guy-liner and all. So. Jesse went for Majeste's chair.
Majeste went first, singing Demi Lovato's "Stone Cold," followed by Jesse with Jimi Hendrix's "All Along the Watchtower." The panel was impressed with both performances as Diddy said it showed diversity in music. But ultimately, it was up to the audience, and they chose Jesse as the winner, sending Majeste home.
And with that, all four chairs were locked for the night. Here are your final Four of the who will take their talents to next week's episode: Jesse Kramer, James Graham, Whitney Reign and Sheraya J.
This competition is on fire. And the stakes are extremely high. Not only will the winner's career launch with the help of the judges, they will also become iHeartRadio's "On the Verge" artist; an artist development program supporting the winner with airplay across iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide. This program has helped launched the careers of artists like Sam Smith, Fifth Harmony and Nick Jonas, among others.
Who's the next super star?! Stay tuned to The Four: Battle for Stardom every Thursday at 8/7c on FOX.
Photos: 21st Century Fox