After an emotional episode of The Four: Battle For Stardom last week, with newcomer Kendyle Paige sending home show favorite Zhavia, this week it was the last night of competition before the finale, and the last episode before the world gets to meet the next big superstar.
But everything was on the line for The Four returning from last week: Tim Johnson Jr., Jason Warrior, Nick Harrison, and Kendyle. Not only were they potentially going up against more newcomers this week, they were also going up against the four best performers who were making a comeback: Zhavia, Candice Boyd, Ash Minor, and Saeed Renaud.
To kick off the show, Tim, Jason, Nick, and Kendyle performed Black Eyed Peas "I Got a Feeling" ... and the show's hostess with the mostest, Fergie, joined them to sing her part of the song! And they were joined by some robot dancers.
Then, the show really began when the first challenger of the night appeared on stage, and it was Vincent Cannady from Philadelphia. Backstage, he revealed that he wanted to take on Jason Warrior if he got the chance. So, confidently walking out, Vincent sang Coldplay's "Magic."
Afterwards, Meghan Trainor revealed that she knew Vincent through one of her friends, but had never heard him sing before. She told Vincent, "I was actually so pleasantly surprised." Diddy said, "I liked your performance. We have reached a critical part in this show. We're gonna make the decision on who we can take the furthest." And with four blue rings from the panel, Vincent was ready to eat. After becoming the first challenge of the night, like he said backstage, he was coming for Jason and challenged the long-running Four member for his seat.
Jason went first and performed John Legend's "Ordinary People," which he explained was a risk to sing because people tend to compare him to John. Vincent followed with Brandy's 1995 song "Sittin' Up In My Room."
Meghan was a fan of Vincent, explaining that she "lost it" during his performance compared to Jason. She told Jason that she just "wasn't as pumped up" as having watched him in previous weeks. And the audience seemed to agree. Meanwhile, Diddy told Vincent he had a "beautiful voice," but that Jason has "fought for his seat." Ultimately, the audience chose Vincent, and he became the first person to secure a seat at the finale, sending Jason home.
Jason, although telling Meghan he loved her, said that the things she said had were hurtful, and then explained to the audience that this would not be the last they would see of him.
Next up, was 20-year-old Evvie McKinney from Memphis, Tennessee, who shared a touching story about her father, who had passed away. She explained she was on that stage for him, and sang a beautiful rendition of Andra Day's "Rise Up."
Afterwards, Meghan told her, "You just put me in such a good mood," while Diddy explained to her, "You gave me rage, you gave me color, you gave me complexity, and I'm gonna tell you something else you did; you gave your family and your father victory." And with four unanimous yes's from the panel, and an airhorn from DJ Khaled, Evvie became the second challenge of the night, and chose to go after Kendyle's seat.
Kendyle went first and performed Zedd and Alessia Cara's "Stay," followed by Evvie, who performed a stunning version of Aretha Franklin's "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You." Meghan told Evvie, "I'm honestly speechless," then telling Kendyle, "Uh oh." Diddy told Kendyle that he thinks her future "looks really really really bright," and then told Evvie, "What I saw up there tonight is inspiring, I love your singing voice." He added, talking about her Aretha Franklin song choice, "I know she would be proud of the way you represented her tonight."
After the audience voted, they chose Evvie as the winner, and so the 20-year-old from Memphis sent Kendyle home, and secured her seat for next week's finale.
During the last half the show, the four members (Zhavia, Saeed, Ash and Candice) who were chosen to come back to try and reclaim their seat on The Four faced off against each other, in two head to head battles to win the chance to take on the two remaining members of the The Four: Tim and Nick. And here were the pairings: Candice vs. Saeed and Zhavia vs. Ash.
First up: Candice vs. Saeed. Up first was Saeed singing K-Ci & JoJo's "All My Life," followed by Candice, who sang Keyshia Cole's "Love," which got a standing ovation from the panel. Afterwards, Meghan told Candice that she was proud of her for nailing the key changes in her song, while she told Saeed, "Every note was on for you too." Diddy told Saeed that he did an "excellent job," then telling Candice, "You're a very good vocalist, tonight you became a great vocalist." The panel chose Candice as the winner, and she got the chance to challenge one of the two remaining Four for their chair, and she chose to go after Nick's seat after a few comments he made to her about second chances.
Up first, was Nick. Nick performed Fat Joe's "All The Way Up," putting his own twist on the lyrics, changing them from "all the way up" to "about to blow up." Candice followed with a performance of Lauryn Hill's "Ex-Factor."
Afterwards, Diddy told Nick, "You have the incredible showmanship the way you talk to the crowd, it's about entertaining people, and I think that's gonna take you a long way." Meanwhile, he told Candice, "For you to come back and take on a Lauryn Hill song and smash it down, I'm very impressed." Ultimately, the audience chose Candice as the winner, and she reclaimed her seat on The Four, locking it in for next week's finale.
Next, it was Zhavia vs. Ash Minor. Ash went first, performing Bruno Mars's "When I Was Your Man" with his guitar, followed by Zhavia, who sang ... and rapped ... Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow," showing off a different side than we've seen from her all season. Afterwards, Diddy told Zhavia, "You stepped up," adding, "I think you did a great job." Then, he told Ash, "Vocally, I think you put a little to much stank on it," but adding, "I think that you really truly represent what The Four's about." Meanwhile, Meghan told Ash that she disagreed with Diddy. She told him, "I love your stank. I cannot get enough of your stank and your vibrato." Then she told Zhavia, "I'm so proud of you for picking such a difficult song" but that she wishes she had "picked something different."
But after the panel deliberated, they chose Zhavia as the winner, and so the 16-year-old won her chair back and the chance to take on Tim.
Tim went first, and sang The Weeknd's "Earned It," to show a different side of himself. Then, Zhavia followed with a ballad: A Great Big World's "Say Something." With emotions running high, the panel gave their feedback. Meghan told Zhavia, "Thank you for picking that song," adding, "I felt like you were telling us, 'please let me stay'" and "I saw it in your eyes." Diddy said, "I can see myself working with both you guys." He added, "You really, really put together a great, great battle."
It was all on the audience though, and the fans spoke (in the closest vote of the night, separated by just 2%), and they chose Zhavia as the winner, reclaiming her seat on The Four and the very last spot on the finale.
So, after five weeks of tremendous talent and intense challenges, here are your final Four, and the competitors who will face off against each other on next week's The Four: Battle for Stardom season finale: Zhavia, Candice Boyd, Evvie McKinney, and Vincent Cannady
The stakes as high as ever. This is it! Next week, 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?! Find out next week on the finale of The Four: Battle for Stardom, Thursday February 8th at 8/7c on FOX.
Photos: 21st Century Fox