The Four: Battle for Stardom debuted on FOX and people are already talking about how intense the competition is to the point of dubbing it as the Game of Thrones and Hunger Games of singing contests.
After selling American Idol to ABC, FOX decided to create a new singing competition that might be a worthy opponent for AI and NBC’s The Voice in terms of searching and developing raw talent. Providing a fresh take on talent scouting, the new series hosted by former Black Eyed Peas member Fergie aired its first episode on January 4 and has already made quite a splash in the industry.
Speaking to Billboard, Sean “Diddy” Combs, who joins DJ Khaled, Meghan Trainor, and Republic Records President Charlie Walk as judges for The Four, explained what the show is all about.
“We start where all the other shows end and, when you’re in this music industry, everybody is fighting for that number one spot,” said Diddy.
“You control your own destiny. The new generation is taking control of their new destiny.”
The Four: Battle for Stardom is, as the title states, a ring for talented artists to battle it out to become or remain one of the four contestants. But unlike the traditional format The Voice and American Idol follow where contestants have to beat each other to become champion, FOX’s new singing competition will determine what it takes to stay on top.
During its debut, the show featured the first group of four pre-selected singers from auditions who will later defend their spot against upcoming challengers.
The four “finalists” return each week to be challenged and, if lucky and talented enough to be chosen by the panel of experts, would return in the coming weeks until they are defeated by a better performer. The last man or woman standing will become an iHeartRadio “On The Verge” artist and will receive on-air radio exposure as well as digital and social support in all iHeartMedia’s entertainment platforms.
“Other shows don’t have that combative nature,” Combs told journalists hours prior to the show’s debut after likening the competition to HBO’s bloodbath-filled epic series, Game of Thrones, based on a report from Deadline.
“You get to challenge, and if you want to chop somebody’s head off…You have that power. Not literally, you know, figuratively.”
In a Tweet, he even dubbed the show as a “vocal warfare.”
Meanwhile, Fergie described The Four to the popular dystopian book and movie franchise The Hunger Games as judges decide whether or not the four finalists are outperformed and sent home to be replaced by a challenger.
Speaking to Deadline, The Four: Battle for Stardom executive producer David Friedman noted how aspiring singing superstars are challenged more by their format, particularly because “[they don’t know who’s coming around” to knock them out of the competition.
“It’s one thing to get to the top; it’s another thing to stay there.”
Interestingly, FOX picked The Four’s debut at a particularly prime period while NBC’s The Voice is in hiatus and ABC’s reboot of American Idol has yet to premiere in March.