Heading into Week 6 of Fox’s “The Four,” the incumbent chair-holders were 29-year-old Ali Caldwell, 21-year-old James Graham, 34-year-old Sharaya J and 26-year-old Noah Barlass. Noah just joined the panel last week after eliminating fan favorite Jesse Kramer, who’d been with the show since Week 2. Did any of these four artists get taken out by new challengers? And what advice did judges/coaches Meghan Trainor, Sean Combs and DJ Khaled give to the artists this week on the reality TV show?
Below, check out our minute-by-minute “The Four: Battle for Stardom” recap of Season 2, Episode 6 to find out what happened Thursday, July 19 at 8/7c. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about which singers you’re rooting for and who you think will ultimately join “The Four” winners list. Keep refreshing/reloading this live blog for the most recent updates.
8:00 p.m. – “Previously on ‘The Four’!” As a reminder, in last week’s episode Ali sang “Somebody Loves You Baby (You Know Who It Is)” and eliminated challenger Kateri Bluford, James sang “On Bended Knee” and beat challenger Ronnie Smith Jr, Sharaya sang “She’s a Bitch” and defeated challenger Dylan Jacob, and Noah sang “Who You Are” and took out reigning chair-holder Jesse. Now it’s time to find out whether the current members of “The Four” can hold their chairs against fresh new artists.
8:05 p.m. – James, Sharaya J, Ali and Noah kicked off tonight’s episode performing the Bruno Mars hit “24K Magic.” All of the contestants sounded great on this anthem but I think James and Noah were the standouts.
8:12 p.m. – The first challenger is Jeronelle McGhee, a classically trained singer from Nebraska who studied music in college. He has meticulously prepared for this moment and believes Noah is the weakest of The Four and plans on challenging him. Jeronhelle is singing “Too Close” by Alex Clare. He has a unique voice that isn’t typical of something we hear on the radio, but you can hear his training. There is no feeling. I’m bored. Next!
8:15 p.m. – Meghan thinks Jeronhelle has an incredible voice. Diddy likes his hunger and relentlessness. Khaled thinks he is a great singer but isn’t sure he can challenge The Four. I would vote “No” for this guy, but what does the panel think?
8:20 p.m. – Yes! Jeronhelle has been granted the opportunity to challenge. As expected, he will face off against Noah. In defense of his chair, Noah is singing “Chains” by Nick Jonas. Noah’s runs are incredible and he shows off that skill-set to open his performance before belting out the chorus at the top of his range. Noah’s tone isn’t the most pleasing to my ear, but I have to respect his ability. I think he did about as well as he could.
8:23 p.m. – To challenge, Jeronelle is singing “This Woman’s Work” by Maxwelle. This song is epic and takes incredible skill to pull off. Vocally, Jeronelle is absolutely killing it! Meghan looks up at Noah with terror in her eyes anticipating his demise. I don’t like Jeronelle as a performer, but his voice was absolute fire on that song and he deserves to win.
8:27 p.m. – Khaled told Noah that when he is challenged he needs to be ready to fight. Diddy is annoyed with how much Khaled talks. I agree with Diddy! SHUT UP! Somebody get him a sedative. Diddy finally intervenes and echos Khaled in telling Noah he didn’t fight hard enough. Meghan is emotionally involved with Noah and gets teary-eyed as she says Jeronelle won this battle. But what does the audience think? Jeronelle has stolen a seat among The Four! Noah leaves in tears after a warm embrace from Meghan. But the audience got it right. Jeronelle’s seat is locked for the night!
8:35 p.m. – Tonight’s second challenger is Mackenzie Johnson. She grew up a shy teenager writing songs in her bedroom. After uploading some of her music on YouTube, her following has grown to over 500,000 subscribers. For her audition she is singing “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber. She has a unique delivery, but I think this is a terrible song for her. I can hear the nerves in her voice and she veers off key frequently. This is actually uncomfortable to watch. There’s no way she’s moving forward.
8:37 p.m. – Meghan respects Mackenzie’s artistry but felt the performance was shaky. Diddy loved the last four bars of her song, but thinks she needs to get out from behind the computer and get in front of some audiences to hone her craft. The panel was unanimous in sending Mackenzie home.
8:48 p.m. – The next challenger is Leah-Jenae, a bedazzled teenager with a ton of personality. The shaved head, the glasses, the quirky outfits…I love it all! I hope this girl can sing. She’s performing “Best Part” by Daniel Caesar. Within one phrase I’m absolutely in love with her voice! This girl is a star. Her range is incredible but her phrasing is absolutely impeccable. This girl is the real deal. Leah-Jenae is someone who looks and sounds like a legitimate force to be reckoned with.
8:50 p.m. – Diddy said “You did that!” Meghan loves her tone and said there is nobody like her. Khaled is impressed with her energy and the panel has decided to put her through! Leah-Jenae has chosen to challenge James. Oh damn! This is going to be epic! Meghan instantly screamed “I’m so stressed out!” Diddy is thrilled to see a death match.
8:57 p.m. – People are used to hearing James sing ballads, so he’s switching things up tonight with a cover of “Want to Want Me” by Jason Derulo. He is proving that he doesn’t need a ballad to show off that incredible voice. He has so much talent, I can’t believe he could go home tonight! He just killed this performance. Bravo! Meghan is floored.
9:02 p.m. – Leah-Jenae is not phased and steps up to sing “Call Out My Name” by The Weeknd. Ugh, her tone is so absurd (in a good way). This girl is a unicorn. She will be a R&B superstar. The poise she has for a 17-year old is mind-blowing. This battle should have been the final! I can’t believe one of these two is about to be sent home. Wow!
9:05 p.m. – Meghan said they’re both incredible. She adds that James has been there since day one and nobody can take that from him. But she said she was watching history when Leah-Jenae stepped on the stage. 30 minutes ago Meghan thought James was going to win the competition, but her mind has changed. Khaled feels like Leah-Jenae can be an icon and a superstar. Diddy said the only thing that could have beat James walked out on the stage. But who did the audience choose? Leah-Jenae has just unseated the season-long front-runner on “The Four.” Wow! She’s amazing.
9:15 p.m. – Hoping to continue the devastation on “The Four” is AJ Reynolds, a 25-year old rapper/garbage man. He looks up to Eminem and is hoping to follow in his footsteps. He is performing an original song called “Cheeks.” AJ has great energy but this song is all about a woman’s “lower cheeks.” Ali could be seen saying “what a joke” from her seat, but the audience is actually having a good time! Could this guy actually make it through?
9:18 p.m. – Diddy thinks it’s hilarious but can he seriously challenge for a seat? Khaled and Meghan actually liked his song and were impressed with how he entertained the audience. Diddy said he just dropped a hit record. Ooo, Ali and Sharaya J look salty! WOW! The panel put him through to challenge. He will be taking on Sharaya J. She’s ready to eat.
9:25 p.m. – Sharaya J will take the stage first with “I Don’t F*** With You” by Big Sean. There’s a reason Sharaya is the last original member of The Four. The girl can go! She gets right up in AJ’s face and infuses some of her original lyrics into the hit record. She works the entire stage and eventually works her way back up to her seat. She received a standing ovation from the panel.
9:28 p.m. – In his rebuttal, AJ is performing another original called “King.” He has the same energy, but this time he sounds and looks like an Eminem knock-off. The panel looks unimpressed and Sharaya is calmly fanning herself in her chair. LOL!
9:30 p.m. – Meghan said AJ’s first song was a smash, but he didn’t follow it up. Diddy complimented Sharaya by telling her she has what it takes. But what does the audience think? Sharaya J holds her seat once again, becoming the longest seat-holder in Four history! But don’t feel bad for AJ. Three panelists just proclaimed he has a hit record on his hands and he’s quitting the trash truck to pursue his dream.
9:38 p.m. – Up next is Anthony Gargiula. A video of him singing the National Anthem at age 7 went viral and he hit the talk show circuit for his 15 minutes of fame. He even filmed a few Vines with Meghan. No conflict of interest there! He’s singing “In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes. He’s got a rock/pop voice and a great stage presence. I love his passion! As he hits the chorus, his range is also more impressive than I was expecting. He could challenge!
9:40 p.m. – Khaled wants to see how good he really is. He wants to see Anthony battle Ali. Diddy has to give it some thought. The verdict is in. Will Anthony have the opportunity to challenge Ali? Yes! It’s time to eat!
9:48 p.m. – Ali is ready to defend her seat with “No More Drama” by Mary J. Blige. Yes! This is a perfect song choice for her. Ali’s voice is strong throughout the verses, not just the chorus. But when she hits that bridge look out! I’ve seen her hit bigger notes than she showed tonight, but Meghan is still bowing down to the powerhouse.
9:50 p.m. – Anthony is responding with “I’m Not the Only One” by Sam Smith. Anthony’s voice can be awkward when he’s not belting and it’s distracting. I don’t like this performance at all. He should stick with songs with more of a rock vibe. In my opinion Ali just slaughtered him.
9:54 p.m. – Khaled said the way Ali sounds and performs is as if she’s released 11 albums. She’s just “got it.” Khaled told Anthony should be on Broadway or sing at Universal Studios. The audience promptly boo’d Khaled before Khaled interrupted and said some Broadway singers are the best in the world. Diddy agreed with Khaled and doesn’t think Anthony is the artist they want to move forward with. Khaled then asked Anthony what he does for a living…and get this…he sings at Universal Studios! LOL. Meghan didn’t get theater vibes from Anthony, she said he’s a hungry, young artist. But Ali is a beast. But who did the audience choose?
9:59 p.m. – Ali has defended her seat once again. The Four now consists of: Ali Caldwell, Jeronelle McGhee, Leah Jenae and Sharaya J. But next week, some of the season’s best performers will return to try to take them out. That’s a wrap!