'The Four: Battle for Stardom' recap: "The Four" artists defeat all challengers and keep seats onstage
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/22/2018
The Four: Battle for Stardom's second season continued with the current "Four" artists keeping their seats -- or "securing the bag," as DJ Khaled would say -- during Thursday night's broadcast on Fox.
The show kicked off with the following artists representing "The Four": Whitney Reign, a 25-year-old from Chicago, IL; Jesse Kramer, a 21-year-old from Nashville, TN; James Graham from Chelmsford, Essex, England; and Sharaya J. from Atlanta, GA.
Each of "The Four" was challenged my a musically-talented artist in the latest episode, but in a first for the franchise, no one was dethroned.
The goal for artists on The Four: Battle for Stardom, which is hosted by Fergie, is to hold onto their seats on the stage week to week as new artists attempt to battle and ultimately replace them.
The winner of the show will have his or her career guided by the panel of hitmakers comprised of music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs, music producer DJ Khaled, and Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Meghan Trainor.
The challengers who failed to win seats onstage last night were Ebon Lurks, a 22-year-old from Tulsa, OK; Matt Bloyd, a 25-year-old from Modesto, CA; Lil Bri, a 17-year-old from Houston, TX; and Christian Gonzalez, a 16-year-old from Miami, FL.
The Four: Battle for Stardom's format features an artist trying to prove to the panelists he or she deserves and is worthy to challenge one of "The Four" through an initial performance.
If the panelists all vote "yes" for the challenger to advance, that person gets to select one of "The Four" members to battle for a seat onstage.
But even if one panelist votes "no" following the initial song, the challenger is sent packing. he winner of each battle is determined by the live, cheering crowd.
The episode kicked off with Ebon singing "Photograph" by Ed Sheeran for the panelists, and he made Meghan want to cry.
Diddy, however, said Ebon was holding back during the performance but has a very nice tone to his voice. Ebon then challenged Jesse, who sang "You Are So Beautiful" by Joe Cocker.
Afterwards, Ebon performed "Mine" by Bazzi. Diddy said Ebon's performance had a lot of feeling but Jesse also delivered great soul and passion, not to mention he offered a fresh approach to the song. In the end, the audience voted for Jesse to win, sending Ebon home.
Elijah Connor, a 28-year-old from Detroit, MI, was up next, but he failed to impress the panelists with his performance of "Mi Love" by Musiq Soulchild.
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"Straight up, I didn't like it at all... you came out too swagged out to not have blown me away," Diddy admitted, before all three of the music-industry experts voted no for him to challenge.
Meghan loved him and DJ Khaled noted he immediately wanted to see a battle. Matt therefore received three yeses from the panelists and chose to challenge Whitney, who in turn sang "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" by Aretha Franklin.
Matt then performed "Tennessee Whiskey" by Chris Stapleton. Meghan preferred Whitney's song choice, and DJ Khaled insisted Whitney had secured the bag. With that being said, the crowd voted for Whitney to keep her seat, eliminating Matt in the process.
Next up was Lil Bri, who rapped "Hate It Or Love It" by The Game. Meghan gushed about how Lil Bri was born to perform and she's "a young legend." Diddy also added that Lil Bri represents hip-hop well.
Lil Bri was afforded the chance to challenge, and she decided to go up against Sharaya J., who then rapped "Stir Fry" by Migos. Lil Bri followed that up with a performance of "Crush On You" by :Lil' Kim.
Fergie noted this was the first female rap battle on reality television.
Meghan then told the girls she liked Sharaya J.'s lyrics better but Lil Bri had the better song choice. Sharaya J.'s voice was also hoarse, but she still managed to push through. Sharaya J. was ultimately named the winner.
And the last artist of the night to sing for the panel was Christian, who belted out "Bailando" by Enrique Iglesias.
The panelists appreciated his dance moves, but DJ Khaled wondered if he really has what it takes to beat one of "The Four." Regardless, the panelists agreed Christian deserved a chance to battle.
As a result, Christian challenged James, his only option given the other three people onstage had their seats "locked." James belted out an impressive rendition of "Lately" by Stevie Wonder, and then Christian sang "Hold On We're Going Home" by Drake.
Meghan called James "unbelievable" and Diddy noted that Christian did not give his second performance his all. James therefore secured his seat as a member of "The Four."