the four
the four

Fox’s ‘The Four’ Aims to Give Vocal Contests a Facelift

Rebecca Black is back, amongst other developments.
June 8, 2018
5 mins read

The second season of “The Four” premiered last night on Fox, showcasing the powerhouse belts and smooth, sultry vocals of a talented group of performers. “The Four,” Fox’s take on a vocal talent competition, is structured slightly differently from the traditional format of singing shows.

It starts out with a group of four performing artists, selected to be the initial members of The Four. A potential challenger arrives on stage, with the intention of replacing one of the current Four. The challenger performs a song for the judges, and if all three judges vote “yes,” the challenger is given the opportunity to compete with one of the Four, in an attempt to try and take his or her place.

After the challenger selects a competitor from the Four, the two artists partake in a sing-off, each one performing a song. Is the challenger good enough to replace the defender? Or will the defender remain a member of the Four?

The studio audience decides, with a live vote, the outcome. At the end of the season, the final Four compete in a battle to be crowned the winner. The incentive to win? A record deal with Republic Records and the title of iHeart Radio’s “On the Verge” artist.

Last season, the winner was powerful R&B/soul vocalist Evvie McKinney, who shocked the judges with her emotional delivery.

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Evvie McKinney won the first season of the show with her cover of “Glory” by Common and John Legend. (Image via Gold Derby)

A notable finalist was Zhavia Ward, a favorite due to her unique voice and undeniable swagger. Zhavia scored a record deal with Columbia records shortly after the end of season one, and has recently been featured on the soundtrack for “Deadpool 2.”

Season 2 kicked off with a celebrity-packed judging panel, featuring recording artist Meghan Trainor, musician and entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs and producer and radio personality DJ Khaled. Solo artist and former member of the Black Eyed Peas, Fergie, was the host.

Performances of the Night

Majeste Pearson, a challenger, blew the audience away with her high energy vocals. She showcased her beautiful tone in her first song, “Someone Like You” by Adele. It started off a soothing melody but quickly grew into a passionate ballad. Her vocal skill was apparent in the intricate runs she wove into the song.

Pearson chose the Sia hit “Chandelier” for her challenge round song and did it justice. She took the first chorus an octave down, reeling the spectators in with a heartfelt vocal. Soaring into a high belt, she poured her heart out in the second chorus, showing off her insane range. Pearson was victorious in claiming a seat in The Four.

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James Graham, former X Factor contestant and boyband member, left the ladies swooning with his emotional rendition of Donny Hathaway’s “A Song for You.”

He successfully defended his seat in The Four, showing off his extremely strong grasp over his falsetto range and ability to perform complex vocal riffs without flaw. His soulful performance had the audience and judging panel on their feet. It was definitely the performance-to-remember of the night.

Moment of Triumph

Rebecca Black, known for her viral song “Friday,” surprised the audience by arriving as a challenger on the show.

After handling a massive amount of cyberbullying due to her song “Friday,” Black emerged on “The Four” a transformed woman, ready to show the world the true power of her voice — and that is exactly what she did.

She wowed the judges with her version of “Bye Bye Bye” by NSYNC, and proved her talent in the challenge round with Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn.” Even though she did not land a chair in the Four, her sweet tone and impressive, sustained high notes showed everyone that she is a musical force to be reckoned with.

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Saddest Goodbye

Quinton Ellis, a 17-year-old R&B vocalist, shocked everyone with his smooth, soul-filled voice.

He sang “U Got it Bad” by Usher, nailing all the intricate vocal runs he attempted, and filling the stage with his natural swagger.

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The judges were extremely impressed by his current skill and future potential. He made it to the challenge round, but, unfortunately, his rendition of “So Sick” by Ne-Yo was not strong enough to land him a seat.

“The Four” delivered an entertaining premiere, full of talent and some stellar performances. Fans will be eagerly anticipating what’s in store for next week.

Maya Ramani, University of Virginia

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Maya Ramani

University of Virginia

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