The Four: The Battle for Stardom is as intense as ever ... and it's only week two!
Last week's premiere saw some extremely talented singers and rappers take the stage in an effort to win over each of the panelists' hearts, as well as everyone in the audience. The result? Two of the original Four contestants, Elanese Lansen and Blair Perkins gave up their seats to some amazing challengers, 16-year-old Zhavia and Brooklyn-based songwriter/producer/vocal coach Saeed Renaud.
Kicking off Week 2, the Four consisting of Ash Minor, Lex Lu, Zhavia, and Saeed performed a rockin' version of En Vogue's "Free Your Mind" together. Fergie then asked Diddy his thoughts on the competition thus far, to which he replied, "I've seen a lot of good performances ... I need to see some great performances."
Getting things going, the first challenger of the night was a soulful R&B recording artist by the name of Candice Boyd -- who, as she explained to the panel -- just got out of a recording contract. Candice performed Mary J. Blige's "I'm Going' Down," which left the crowd chanting her name repeatedly, and the judges agreed. Diddy recalled producing the track for Mary, and called it a "Rolls Royce record." He added, "You did your thing with that rendition of the song and I would love to see you go toe to toe with one of the four." Meghan Trainor told Candice, "My heart's exploding of joy right now," and Charlie echoed, "Your eyes don't lie, I feel like you were singing to me." And with that, Candice Boyd became the very first challenger of the night to take on one of the Four ... and she chose to go up against Ash, who was the only contestant with a seat on the four last week who wasn't challenged.
First, Ash took the stage and performed Miguel's "Adorn," which afterwards Meghan kept repeating "killed it." Then, Candice sang Ariana Grande's "Dangerous Woman," which even got an "OMG" from Lex Lu in her seat. Ash received great feedback from the panel, but that he also had some competition with Candice. In fact, Charlie talked about working with Ariana Grande, and said, "I think she would've been proud of your performance."
After the closest vote on The Four so far, Candice was named the winner, knocking Ash out of his seat. Meghan said tearing up, "Ash was one of my superstars up there, so I'm heartbroken right now," while DJ Khaled told the Australian-born singer/songwriter, "Don't stop."
The next challenger was 27-year-old Stevie Brock, who as a child, had a recording contract and went on multiple tours after meeting *NSYNC's manager. Stevie, in a red sequin jacket, performed Maroon 5's "Sugar," and while the judges seemed to like Stevie, they weren't crazy about his performance. Diddy told Stevie, "I just don't think that was a great performance." After a vote from the panel, Stevie did not get the opportunity to challenge one of the four, receiving four no's from Meghan, Charlie, Diddy, and Khaled. Better luck next time, Stevie!
Then, 23-year-old Cheyenne Elliott from New York, NY came out on stage. Cheyenne has some pretty famous musical roots; her grandmother is legendary music icon Dionne Warwick (who was there to cheer her granddaughter on), and her cousin? Whitney Houston. NBD, right? Cheyenne sang Little Mix's "Wings." While Meghan told her she loved the performance, Diddy -- feeling the pressure of Dionne sitting over his shoulder in the audience -- gave her some constructive criticism. The verdict? Cheyenne got four yes's from the judges and became the second challenge of the night. She chose to go for Lex's seat.
Up first, Lex Lu. The Femme-cee rapped her own version of Migos' "Bad and Boujee," even throwing Diddy, Khaled, and Meghan's names into the song. Cheyenne followed with Sam Smith's "Too Good At Goodbyes." Charlie told Cheyenne that he got emotional after her performance, while Diddy told Lex that even though she made her performance work after a fumble, it wasn't her best.
Ultimately, the audience voted, and they chose Cheyenne as the winner of the challenge, sending Lex Lu home. Grandma Dionne was proud.
Cocoa Sarai from Bed-Stuy Brooklyn was the next potential challenger of the night, and sang a beautiful rendition of Labrinth's "Jealous." Meghan called the performance "beautiful," while Diddy said that she had potential. Charlie told Cocoa that while he got emotional during her performance, he didn't think that she was better than the Four. Khaled wanted a challenge. Unfortunately, Cocoa got three yes's and one no, and she went home.
Next was 18-year-old Kayla Ember from St. Petersburg, Florida, who sang Halsey's "Bad at Love." Diddy told her that she had that "je ne sais quois" that he's looking for. However, Kayla received one yes and three no's from the judges, and so she also went home.
Chicago-born Jason Warrior took the stage next for the chance to challenge one of the four, and he powerfully performed John Legend's "Love Me Now." The crowd certainly loved him, but what about the panel? Khaled said that if John Legend heard him sing that, he'd be proud, while Charlie told him, "This is the show that I signed up for -- you." Without surprise, Jason's incredible talent earned him four yes's from the panel and Jason chose Saeed to challenge as a result -- despite Khaled telling him "Don't play with Saeed."
Saeed went first, performing Stevie Wonder's "Superstition." Then, Jason switched up from R&B to rock, performing Imagine Dragons's "Radioactive," showing off his versatility. Afterwards, Khaled said, "Saeed is nothing to mess with," while Charlie called Jason "special." Meghan was also a fan of Jason over Saeed. But it wasn't up to the panel; it's the audience's vote that mattered, and they chose Jason as the winner, taking Saeed's seat. So, with a tearful goodbye from Fergie, Saeed went home.
Here are your final Four of the night who will take their talents to next week's episode: Candice Boyd, Cheyenne Elliott, Zhavia, and Jason Warrior.
The competition is heating up, and the stakes are extremely high. Not only will the winner's career launch with the help of the judges, they will also become iHeartRadio's "On the Verge" artist; an artist development program supporting the winner with airplay across iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide. This program has helped launched the careers of artists like Sam Smith, Fifth Harmony and Nick Jonas, among others.
Who's the next super star?! Stay tuned to The Four: Battle for Stardom every Thursday at 8/7c on FOX.
Photos: 21st Century Fox