The pressure couldn’t be any higher for the members of The Four as new challengers arrived to compete one final time to win a seat and a record contract with Republic Records. Not to mention, mentorship from the esteemed panel of judges.
For longtime seat holder James Graham and newcomer Noah Barlass (who defeated rock and roll artist Jesse Kramer last week), the pressure was too high in fact that it cost them their seats. In the opening battle, challenger and show super fan JeRonelle effortlessly commanded the stage with his strong voice and incredible falsetto in performing Maxwell’s This Woman’s Work.
It was an emotional exit for Barlass, even bringing All About That Bass’s Meghan Trainor up to the stage to embrace him before his walk of pride. For Graham, his fate was best explained by judge and hip-hop mogul, Sean “Diddy” Combs.
“The only thing that could have beat you walked out on that stage,” he said to the soul singer.
“James, about thirty minutes ago I really thought you were going to win this competition,” said Trainor after two impressive and ultimately seat-worthy performances from newcomer Leah Jenea from Newark, New Jersey.
The 17-year-old artist was given a standing ovation from all three judges, with Trainor stating she felt like she was witnessing history and judge DJ Khaled labeling her a superstar.
With two seats stolen by challengers, Sharaya J made sure to secure the bag once again now making her the longest running member in the show’s history. In battle, New Hampshire rapper AJ Reynolds performed an original track titled Cheeks, which had the entire crowd chanting the chorus and even had Diddy requesting a personal copy. But it was Sharaya J’s performance and lyrical skills to Big Sean’s popular hit I Don’t F*ck With You, that won the battle.
“So don’t be coming for my seat unless I’m sending for you,” said the female MC.
R&B powerhouse vocalist and four member Ali Caldwell performed in a similar fashion, completely shutting the house down in singing Mary J Blidge’s classic record No More Drama. It’s no coincidence challengers continue to stay away from battling Caldwell with her week to week show stopping performances.
Next week, some of the season’s best challengers will get one last opportunity to battle for a seat on the four. On top of that, next week will be a double-header with performances from last season’s winner Evvie McKinney and season favorite, Zhavia.
Tune in next Thursday on FOX.