‘The Four’s Rebecca Black Shares Her Experience with Cyberbullying
YouTube personality Rebecca Black – most commonly known as the singer of the infamous viral hit “Friday” on – competed on the Season 2 premiere of The Four last night, and the stakes were high.
Black was not only on the show to win a seat, but to make a comeback and prove her talent to a world that had been cruel the last time she was in the spotlight.
Even though she wanted the audience and judges to assess her for her performances on the show and not her past internet notoriety, Black did not shy away from that time in her life and how it affected her confidence as an artist. Her introduction package tackled the elephant in the room head-on, displaying various nasty comments she received when the music video for “Friday” was released. Black described her reaction to going viral and facing that backlash as an adolescent.
“The hate comments were everywhere. No one can prep you for that kind of a thing. There is something so brutal when you’re 13 about people telling you that ‘you don’t belong here’.”
Black won over all three of The Four’s judges with her performance of “Bye Bye Bye”, but was eliminated in the Challenge round after singing “Torn”. Despite her time on the show being cut short, Black expressed gratitude to the judges and audience for being welcomed and assessed as the artist she was that night on stage instead of being viewed through a lens of preconceived notions.
“I felt like there was a 13-year-old little girl stuck, so trapped for so long, thinking that no one else would be able to look at her differently. And this means…thank you guys so much for giving me a chance.”
I’m glad Rebecca Black was able to have a positive experience on The Four, but the sad truth is many other reality contestants have been less fortunate, experiencing cyberbullying of their own. So many viewers of The Four rooted for Rebecca to overcome her demons during last night’s episode, but the show’s fanbase has been known to attack other contestants online. One prominent example of this was Season 1 contender Kendyle Paige, who squared off with fan-favorite Zhavia and ended up knocking her out of the competition, a result many fans were none-too-pleased with…and they made sure Kendyle knew it. This was a topic she touched on while guest-hosting our recap of The Four this week.
No matter your opinions on the performers on a reality show, it’s really disheartening to see people use social media to directly send hateful messages to these artists. These talent contests are supposed to be exposure for the participants and entertainment for the fans, and the competition is definitely stressful enough on the contestants without the extra fuel viewers bring to the fire.