Last week for the first time in the show’s history, all members of The Four defended their seats. As new challengers attempted to defeat the unbeatable four, their efforts proved to be unsuccessful and coming into week four, the same can be said for most of the members.
The opening number featured a guest performance by super producer and artist Timbaland performing one of his hits records in The Way I Are which features Keri Hilson and D.O.E. Timbaland stood in for hip-hop artist Sharaya J because she decided to follow her doctor’s orders in allowing her voice to rest by not singing in the opening number.
However, she did come prepared to defend her seat and she did just that against talented singer and pianist, Brennan Villines from Memphis, Tennessee. The 30-year-old sang I’m gonna be (500 miles) by The Proclaimers in a moving performance that brought judge Meghan Trainor to tears. Granted with the last challenge of the night, Sharaya performed an original record of hers titled Go Raya which led her to receive a major compliment from hip-hop mogul Sean Diddy Combs, calling her “the definition of hip-hop.” In the end, the crowd chose Sharaya J as the winner, allowing her to successfully protect her seat once again.
The night was jam-packed with intense battles. Representing rock and roll, Jesse Kramer received the first challenge of the night against suave R&B vocalist Felix Thompson who performed Can We Talk by Tevin Campbell. From the magenta-colored jeans to the backflips and dance tricks, Thompson received mixed reviews from the judges but in the end, Kramer’s electrifying performance to Hold On, I’m Coming won the votes of the crowd. Although Kramer defended his seat, Diddy made sure to vocalize his concern about Kramer’s ability to be versatile in his performances. He noted the growling and yelling component being almost overdone and the need for more range and dimensions to the rock enthusiast’s overall artistry.
Soul Singer James Graham performed a beautiful rendition of the late pop icon Micheal Jackson’s hit record Human Nature, receiving a standing ovation from both Diddy and Trainor after being challenged by Latin American pop artist from Cuba, Diane Rene. The bilingual artist performed an upbeat and energy intensive performance of Hero by Enrique Iglesias but it was Graham who connected with the audience and earned the ability to reclaim his seat on The Four.
Perhaps the closest battle on the new season thus far happened last night between fan favorite and R&B singer Whitney Reign and challenger Ali Caldwell. Caldwell performed a soulful performance of Chaka Khan’s Tell Me Something Good. The touring singer completely demanded the stage and was awarded the first air-horn celebration of the night from DJ Khaled. Reign accepted the challenge and performed a Patti Labelle record, leaving Diddy to wish for the override vote option to keep both singers. Diddy voiced that he felt Reign allowed the fear to get the best of her while Caldwell came to eat, bringing her full artistry and talent to both of her performances. Caldwell became the newest member of The Four sending Reign on an emotional exit.
Tune in next Thursday on FOX to see what happens next on the newest episode of The Four: Battle for Stardom. Will everyone protect their seats or will new challengers make a name for themselves?