'The Four: Battle for Stardom' crowns Evvie McKinney winner over runner-up Candice Boyd after fan-favorite Zhavia ousted
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/09/2018
The Four: Battle for Stardom crowned Evvie McKinney its winner, with Candice Boyd finishing as the runner-up, during Thursday night's two-hour finale broadcast on Fox.
Just before music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs handed out The Four trophy to this season's champion, he made a speech about how he and his fellow panelists determined the winner.
"The vulnerability, the rawness, the feeling -- but it really came down to this unexplainable desire and willingness to do whatever it took to entertain people," Diddy said, as Evvie was shown recognizing he was talking about her and breaking down into tears.
"They both did a great job, but I really feel we found something special that we haven't seen in a long time."
Evvie celebrated with the panelists onstage after her victory was announced, and she cried tears of joy.
"I just thank God for this moment, because I've wanted it for so long. Thank you so much," gushed Evvie, a 20-year-old from Memphis, TN.
The Four finale began with the Final 4 artists preparing to battle it out amongst themselves for a recording contract with Republic Records, the opportunity to become iHeartRadio's "On the Verge" artist this year, and a career backed by Diddy as well as the rest of the panelists: Music producer DJ Khaled, Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Meghan Trainor, and Republic Records president Charlie Walk.
Charlie, however, did not attend the finale and was suspended from his record label, as previously announced, due to recent allegations of sexual misconduct. Fergie briefly addressed Charlie's absence, just pointing out that he would not be joining the panel for the show.
The Final 4 artists were Evvie; Candice, a 28-year-old from San Bernardino, CA; Zhavia, a 16-year-old from Los Angeles, CA; and Vincint Cannady, a 26-year-old from Philadelphia, PA.
There were three rounds of competition during the finale.
In Round 1, each of the four finalists performed one song each, and then the audience got to vote for its favorite of the bunch. The fan favorite would then choose whom he or she would like to challenge in Round 2, leaving the other two competitors to duke it out in a battle of their own.
The two winners of those battles would then face-off in a final battle and perform for their lives.
The format kicked off with Candice singing "Don't Speak" by No Doubt, and she was called "a seasoned vocalist."
Evvie performed "Proud Mary" by Tina Turner, and her dancing onstage and overall performance was called "fearless." Evvie had Meghan's favorite performance of the season.
Vincent sang "Creep" by Radiohead, and he was the first artist to give Diddy "goosebumps."
Zhavia then belted out "One Dance" by Drake, but the panelists agreed it was not her best performance and she needed to let loose and be herself.
Diddy flat out ranked Zhavia in fourth place after Round 1, and the winner of the round was Evvie.
Evvie then chose to battle Zhavia in Round 2, probably because the young artist was already struggling. Evvie said her decision came down to the fact she wanted to win, and that's it.
Zhavia sang "Man Down" by Rihanna, and then Evvie performed "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers.
The panelists were completely torn over whom to advance, especially DJ Khaled, who had a little temper tantrum and nearly refused to make a decision. But they ultimately declared Evvie the winner because Zhavia just "wasn't ready all the way yet."
That left Vincint to perform against Candice. Vincint impressed with "Locked Out of Heaven" by Bruno Mars, and then Candice belted out a risky choice, "I Have Nothing" by Whitney Houston.
Diddy said Candice knocked it out of the park but there's a need for a male vocalist in the music industry with poise and grace like Vincint. Meghan also admitted that Vincint was her pick.
After deliberating and a split decision, the panelists sent Candice through to Round 3, which featured Evvie singing "Glory" by John Legend & Common. And Candice wowed with a rendition of "Stay" by Rihanna.
The panelists called both ladies "queens" and said they were "flawless" as well as "the definition of great." Although Evvie came out on top in the end, Diddy, Meghan and DJ Khaled agreed they both "deserved to win" and "represented great, quality music" on the show.