by Jake Fontaine
The Four: Battle to Stardom, Fox’s newest singing competition, ended its search for the world’s next superstar, revealing the winner on last Thursday’s two hour finale.
Drum roll please…congratulations to Evvie McKinney on winning the title of IHeartRadio’s “On The Verge Artist,” a record deal with Republic Records, and the opportunity to produce a song with icons, such as Sean “Diddy” Combs, DJ Khaled, and Meghan Trainor.
However, if the ultimate goal of the show was to truly find “the next superstar,” then Zhavia (pronounced Jhuh-VI-uh) should’ve been crowned the victor.
Plain and Simple.
I’m definitely one to give credit where credit is due, so I’ll begin with that before my emotions get the best me.
McKinney, a 20-year-old vocal powerhouse from Memphis, is exactly how I put it: a vocal powerhouse. She has a charismatic stage presence, an insane vocal range and pours her heart out during every performance. I love the fire in her eyes and I’m a genuine fan.
As the hardcore fanatic I am, I’ve watched my fair share of talent competitions, with the extensive list including shows like The Voice, American Idol, etc. You name it, I’ve probably watched it.
Now, I’m usually one to root for singers like McKinney: the ones who can belt the highest, loudest note and add some oomph–the vocal powerhouses. Yet, the point of The Four wasn’t to find the best singer, but rather discover a star in the making.
Sean “Diddy” Combs, a judge on the show, stressed since the The Four first aired that it “isn’t like other talent shows” and that he’s “here to find a superstar.”
I hate to break it to you, but there’s already a Jennifer Hudson.
Already a Kelly Clarkson.
Already a freaking Beyonce.
There’s no need in the music industry for another belting, female powerhouse. Moreover, there’s no room for one.
Which brings me to the one that got away: Zhavia, a 16-year-old artist from Orange County.
Like I said: an artist.
A potential superstar.
With her original tone and style, which she describes as a mix of R&B, reggae, hip-hop, and jazz, Zhavia brings to the table a uniqueness the music industry has yet to see–and fans love.
Since her first appearance on the show, Zhavia has gone from 2K followers to a staggering 1.3 million.
To put this into perspective, the Voice’s most beloved contestant and season 9 winner, Jordan Smith, currently has 153K followers on Instagram; therefore, Zhavia has nearly 10x the amount of followers.
Major key alert (as DJ Khaled would put it): Zhavia connects with the audience.
Sure, her range isn’t out this world and her vocals need some fine-tuning; but, a superstar doesn’t need to be the best singer, or the singer who can belt the highest note.
Selena Gomez isn’t. (Sorry, not sorry.)
Taylor Swift’s range is mediocre. (Sue me).
What is needed, however, is an immense fanbase–something Zhavia has obtained since she’s stepped into the spotlight.
So congrats to not only McKinney, but also the show itself.
You found the superstar you were longing to find, but you let her slip right through your hands.