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'The Four: Battle for Stardom' loses Elanese Lansen and Blair Perkins, gains Zhavia and Saeed Renaud

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/05/2018 

The Four: Battle for Stardom premiered with two of "The Four" original artists, Elanese Lansen and Blair Perkins, getting dethroned by musically-talented challengers during Thursday night's broadcast on Fox.

The original four artists were handpicked by the show's panel of music industry experts because they best reflect the charts today. In addition to Elanese and Blair, "The Four" was also comprised of Lex Lu and Ash Minor at the start of the competition.

The panelists are music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs, Republic Records president Charlie Walk, music producer DJ Khaled, and Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Meghan Trainor.

The goal for artists on The Four: Battle for Stardom is to hold onto their seats over the next six weeks as incredible artists attempt to replace them. The winner of the show will have his or her career guided by the panel of hitmakers.

During the two-hour episode, Elanese, a 22-year-old proud Latina from Boca Raton, FL, lost her seat to a very talented and memorable challenger: Zhavia, a 16-year-old from Los Angeles, CA.

And Blair, a 25-year-old R&B and pop recording artist and songwriter -- who wrote Demi Lovato's "Made in the USA" -- lost a battle for his seat onstage to powerhouse vocalist Saeed Renaud, a 37-year-old from Brooklyn, NY.

As for Lex, a female rapper from Los Angeles, CA, and Ash, an R&B singer, writer and musician from Australia who currently resides in Los Angeles, they held onto their seats following a night of excellent performances.

Lex was able to keep her seat after being challenged by newcomer Illakriss, a 21-year-old from Dallas TX. Ash, on the other hand, was not picked to battle anybody, so he was declared safe this week by default.

Fergie, who serves as host of the new Fox reality singing competition, told the audience that The Four: Battle for Stardom is "the only show where every episode is like a finale."

But before a battle commences, challengers must first convince the panel they are worthy of the opportunity to potentially dethrone one of "The Four" through an initial performance. If Diddy, Charlie, DJ Khaled, and Meghan all vote "yes" for the challenger, that person will get to select one of "The Four" to battle for a seat onstage.

If just one panelist votes "no" following the initial performance; however, the challenger will be sent packing and "The Four" will remain untouched. The winner of each battle is determined by the audience, or live crowd.

The show kicked off with Tyler Griffin, a 24-year-old from North Bergen, NJ, singing "Talk Dirty" by Jason Derulo for the panelists. Charlie was the only expert who voted "no" to a battle, saying his vocals were good but not great, so Tyler was automatically eliminated.

"One thing you've got to know is that the bar is raised and the bar is high," Diddy noted. 

Zhavia was up next, and she sang "Location" by Khalid.

"This is why I'm here," DJ Khaled yelled, adding that Zhavia -- rocking long, blonde dreadlocks -- looked like a superstar. Charlie agreed he felt he was "looking at the future," and Meghan pointed out that "The Four" should be "terrified" of her.

Zhavia got to choose whom to battle, and she picked Elanese. 

Elanese sang "Echame La Culpa" by Luis Fonsi and Demi Lovato, and then Zhavia sang "Unforgettable" by French Montana.

The live crowd then voted for the winner and determined Zhavia was victorious. Once Elanese was eliminated, Zhavia claimed a seat onstage and her seat was locked in for the night, meaning no one else could challenge her for the rest of the episode.

Anthony Hall, a 28-year-old from Delray Beach, FL, sang "Feel It Still" by Portugal The Man. He received two "no" votes from Charlie and Diddy, so Anthony was sent home without being able to battle.

Illakriss stepped onstage next and performed "Let's Groove," a remix by Earth, Wind and Fire." Charlie and Diddy butted heads over whether Illakriss deserved to battle one of "The Four," and Diddy ended up getting his way. Illakriss therefore asked to battle Lex Lu.

Lex then performed "Wild Thoughts" by DJ Khaled, and Illakriss rapped "Special Delivery" by G Dep. Diddy didn't think Illakriss did enough to push Lex out of her seat, and the crowd agreed. Lex ended up winning the battle and got to keep her seat onstage.

The next challenger was Valentina Cytrynowicz, a 19-year-old from Los Angeles, CA, who belted out "Green Light" by Lorde.

Charlie saw real potential in the teenager, but Meghan and Diddy disagreed and voted "no" for a battle. Diddy told Valentina that she didn't take advantage of a huge opportunity and she didn't have a great performance, and a devastated Valentina ran off the stage crying.

The last challenger of the night was Saeed, who sang an amazing rendition of "Run to You" by Whitney Houston.

Meghan got lost in Saeed's performance and said she had never experienced anything in her life like that before. DJ Khaled joked that if anyone on the panel rejected Saeed's chance to battle, he'd leave the show and never come back.

Saeed decided to battle Blair, who was acting a little bit cocky. Blair sang "Stay With Me" by Sam Smith, and then Saeed belted out "Love Me Again" by John Newman.

Meghan thought Saeed won the battle, but Charlie hoped Blair would stick around because his vocals were "pitch perfect." In the end, the crowd voted for Saeed to win the battle, and Blair was ousted from the competition.

Ash was the only original "The Four" artist not called upon by any challengers for a battle. While some might think Ash is lucky, the artist insisted he wanted to sing because that's why he joined the show to begin with.

The Four on Fox/Instagram

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