If you've been watching The Four: Battle For Stardom, then you already know ... it really is a battle. In fact, one of the show's star panelists, Diddy, has described it as "vocal gladiator type of stuff."
The way this show works is there are four very talented contestants, each with a seat on stage These four will defend their spots as they are challenged individually by new singers determined to replace them each week. If the existing four outperform their challengers, they survive to the next week, until the end of the season, when the final four face off against each other. But in the end, only one will win.
And the stakes are very high. Hosted by Fergie, the the series’ panel of judges DJ Khaled, Diddy, Meghan Trainor, and Charlie Walk are committed to launching and guiding the winner’s music career. 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.
In a recent interview with iHeartRadio, Diddy described the nature of the show, and talked about what it means to be a part of the tough competition as a contestant. He explained:
"I think that they know that the stakes are high. My hat goes off to this whole next generation of entertainers that are really taking it seriously and really changing the world through their music. I'm at a point where I just want to be used as a platform, and this platform is gonna break a new star. I think they know that if they're coming to sing in front of me that they got to bring their A game, and I've seen a lot of great performances so far. I think everybody's gonna be really, really excited when they see the show, because this show is flipping everything on its head. This show is like, vocal gladiator type of stuff. This is vocal combat. And, it's more combative than somebody singing, then another singer, and the panel just critiquing them. This is about calling somebody out and saying that I want your spot, I want your chair. And that's what this record game is about. Just to be honest. It's about getting to that number one spot and really securing the bag, securing your position, and giving it your all. You're gonna see a vocal competition show like no other."
So, what does a music icon like Diddy look for on stage? He explains, "we need to make sure that the talent is at a superior level," adding, "I'm really, really excited about the show because we're not gonna settle for anything less than a superstar."
But to get into specifics (or maybe not so specific depending on how you look at it), Diddy wants that "je ne sais quois," which in French means "I don't know what." The hip hop mogul says:
"I'm really looking for something that I haven't seen before. I don't want to put anything out in the marketplace that anybody's ever seen or felt before. And I'm always looking for a feeling. If it's just something to listen to, I'm not interested in that. I'm interested in being a part of a feeling and being a part of something historic. So when you're looking for that in an artist, you look for the originality, you look for that drive, you look for the ambition. And most importantly on this show, we look for the talent. I have to be touched in a spiritual way for me to really rock with it. But that's with anything. And that's with any artist that I've ever worked with, that I felt that special feeling. That's really what I'm looking for. And we all know that feeling when we see somebody and we hear their voice, we see 'em perform, and we're just like, 'Wow.' We know that they entertained us and they touched our lives, and that's what we're looking for."
And as for his duties of being a judge, he says, "Our intention is to just uplift people, to make people greater. So, the truth is love, and sometimes that comes in a way of telling somebody that they need to do better, or that they could do better. But the truth is something that'll always help you get to the top. It'll set you free. And, that's one of the things that we represent on the show is, we could give you that tough love, but you know it's coming from a place to just be honest with you, and help you with your dream."
Something that sets The Four apart from the other singing shows, aside from its unique competition format, is the inclusion of more hip hop on the series -- there aren't just singers who are trying to become the next big star, there are also rappers. Diddy explains:
"We would be doing a disservice to go prime time [by] not taking hip hop with us. All the other shows were afraid to put hip hop on. We're not afraid. That's the thing that really pulled me in, is just the freedom to be able to do what we feel is right to do for the culture. And, we're gonna be truly representing the culture, truly disrupting prime time television."
He added of the show, "I think it truly represents the landscape of the music industry, finally. When we see some of these shows, some of the other shows that have been out there, it really doesn't reflect what's on the charts. It doesn't reflect what's going on in the culture. I'm not knocking those shows. I'm saying that this show is gonna be more of a reflection of what's really going on in real time. We have hip hop on the show. No show has ever had hip hop on the show. R&B, we have Latin music on the show. No show has ever had this. This is disrupting the whole entire game, and we still have pop music, because as Khaled would say, pop music is popular, and that's a good thing."
Photos: 21st Century Fox