Tonight we were finally treated to the highly-anticipated Comeback episode of The Four!
We started out with a fun opening number featuring the current members of the Four: Jeronelle McGee, Leah Jenea, Ali Caldwall, and Sharaya J, as well as Zhavia and champion Evvie McKinney from Season 1! From there, we got right into the battles, and we certainly had a LOT of them tonight!
Whitney Reign vs. Stephanie Zelaya
Whitney started things off with a fierce rendition of “Mama Knows Best”. Original Four member Stephanie followed with “Bailamos”, a performance which had equal feist and ferocity, complete with a mic slam on the judges’ table! This was a pretty even battle, but the audience chose Whitney as the winner, who then selected Ali as her opponent in a rematch of the challenge from earlier in the season in which Whitney lost her seat.
Ali Caldwell vs. Whitney Reign
Ali started with “My All” and, as always, she certainly gave it her all! She exercised the power of her voice without using any “gimmicks” of intimidation, dancing, or jumping around the stage. (Not that those things are always bad, but I don’t think they would have suited this particular performance.) Whitney countered with “Don’t Let Go (Love)” by En Vogue. Her voice wasn’t quite as on point as Ali’s, but her use of just the right gestures and facial expressions made up for it. This was another battle that was pretty well-matched.
The judges had a tough decision between these two, and it got pretty heated at that table. After some…choice words, the first member of the Final Four became…Whitney Reign! This was a well-matched battle, and I think looking at the entire season Ali probably gave slightly stronger performances on the whole, but I think it might have been the way Whitney carried herself by visibly feeling the music onstage that tipped the scale in her favor.
Lil Bri vs. Dylan Jacobs
Both of these up-and-coming rap artists challenged Sharaya J earlier in the season, but neither managed to snag her seat. Lil Bri spit out some fast and furious rhymes with her own spin of “All I Do Is Win” and she kept up the trend of fiery performances tonight. Dylan went with “A Milli” and while it wasn’t quite fast and furious as what Lil Bri delivered, he did show more range and variety in his skills. The audience voted for Dylan to move forward, and he chose to challenge Sharaya J in the second rematch of the evening.
Sharaya J vs. Dylan Jacobs
Sharaya kicked off the duel with “Mama Said Knock You Out”. This was possibly her most intense performance yet, complete with a hooded cape and some air punches that came pretty close to Dylan’s face. (Don’t worry, it was all part of Sharaya’s signature theatricality – they hugged it out right afterwards!) Dylan’s beat was “Quiet Storm” and while it was definitely smooth and had great flow, it had nowhere near the same level of power as Sharaya’s big number. The judges’ choice was clear, and the second finalist of The Four Season 2 became…Sharaya J!
Carvena Jones vs. Ebon Lurks
After the wild excitement of those heated rap battles, it was a nice change of pace to slow things down for a bit with some songs on the soulful side. Carvena was up first with “I Will Always Love You”. She sang the song in a way that made it her own; playying up the sweetness of her voice and emotion of the song rather than trying to make it sound big and “epic”. “Congratulations” was Ebon’s pick, and while the performance didn’t have any particular special “moments, I found his performance to be very solid and just a little bit more even all the way around. In a narrow vote, the audience selected Carvena to challenge one of the remaining member of the Four, and she went with Leah.
Leah Jenea vs. Carvena Jones
Leah performed “Focus” and the song was a good one to showcase her unique voice. Carvena countered with “Feeling Good” and in contrast to her first battle, this number was all about power and pushing the limits of her voice. It was disappointing one of these two had to go, because I think both easily bested Ali and Whitney’s performances from earlier in the episode. But a decision had to be made, and the judges selected Leah Jenea as the season’s third finalist!
Jesse Kramer vs. James Graham
This last Comeback challenge of the night was far and away the best. Jesse rocked out with the classic “Come Together”, in what was easily his most exciting and memorable performance of the season. James went with “Writing’s On The Wall” which proved to be a nice contrast to his more upbeat performances of the past, filled with real passion and emotion. The judges praised both guys, but the audience chose James to battle Jeronelle.
Jeronelle McGee vs. James Graham
Jeronelle chose “All Of Me” for his performance this week, which ended up being the perfect song to suit his rich voice. James countered with “Without You” which was also an excellent vehicle for him. Before the judges revealed their final verdict, DJ Kahled announced he’s dropping a new record tomorrow! Diddy then delivered the news: the last contestant going into the grand finale would be…James Graham!
So, there we have it: the Final Four are James Graham, Leah Jenea, Whitney Reign, and Sharaya J. Next week we’ll see them battle each other and find out who comes on top as the champion of The Four Season 2!