The Four: Battle For Stardom is under way and before you know it, the world will get its next big rising star. The stakes are extremely high as the four current contestants try to defend their seats against challengers who could potentially steal them away -- or as host Fergie likes to say, "snatch" them away.
Each week, Fergie hosts the new singing competition series, which features a star-studded panel of judges including Sean "Diddy" Combs, DJ Khaled, Meghan Trainor, and Charlie Walk, and is opening up about what it's like to host the show, and why winning The Four: Battle For Stardom will help propel the winner's career.
If you've been watching The Four, then you know this isn't your average singing competition show, and the panel has been dishing out some tough love to everyone on stage. She told iHeartRadio, "It's Battle for Stardom and it's this music that comes on, and they give each other eyes, and it's competitive. Let me tell you, in that panel is tough love. It's not the touchy-feely like 'Oh my God.'"
"I'm the hostess with the mostess and I get to be like the gatekeeper, the ringleader. I'm in the middle of all the action. It's like Hunger Games," Fergie explains. "It's the arena, but I'm right there with these challengers, and every time, if they go forward, I'm there with all the hype and the excitement. If they don't, I'm there with them with the tears, with the nerves, and all those tough comments, because it's a tough panel. This isn't the like feel-good show, like let's feel all fluffy and fuzzy and warm and nice. It's tough love, and some of the things that are said are hard. They'd be really hard to take."
Fergie has refers to herself as the "mom" of the show, because she can feel the emotions that each contestant goes through when they're on the chopping block for the judges and the audience, who ultimately votes to decide who keeps their seat. She told iHeartRadio:
"I'm like the mother of the whole thing and I'm basically giving everybody hugs. I can see their tears. I'm sitting there tearing up. I'm hugging them. I want to be there for them during that moment sometimes because I'm there right there if they get the big praise and they win to go on and challenge the four. So I'm there for that excitement, but I'm also there for the heartbreak. So, woof."
The stakes are high, because there is a tremendous prize on the line. 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. Fergie says of what it would mean to win:
"You definitely have the dream team on your side. So this is a 'do or die,' this battle. And the iHeartRadio On The Verge artist, just no other show can offer this. It's a huge deal and who doesn't listen iHeartRadio? They have so many stations all across the country, and it's just such a push. You're just going to get those ears and those eyeballs, and it's such an amazing thing.
The Four is all-encompassing, and is putting the spotlight on hip hop more than most other shows, which Fergie is a fan of. "There's a little bit more hip-hop on this show, which I love. There [are] emcees able to come on there, and I think that's really important because of today's music and the popularity of the culture," she tells iHeartRadio. "But, sometimes it's difficult because you're putting two completely different style artists against each other. So it's like apples and oranges."
The difficulty of the show will increase as we get closer to the end, but Fergie says that just because it may be the end for some contestants, it's not over in terms of their music career. She explains, "Just because it's the end for you that week, it doesn't mean it's the end of your career. In fact it's a great platform even if you don't snatch one of the seats." Fergie adds, "Their path ends there, but they get to walk with pride to their next path in life."
In fact, Fergie's path to success as a recording artist wasn't easy either. She opened up about her own experiences, saying, "I think that I can prove through my career that just because you think this is the last shot that you have, it doesn't mean it is. I was in that group of Wild Orchid for 11 years touring all around, hustling, working so hard, and it just didn't really pan out. And then, next up comes the Black Eyed Peas, which I didn't even expect because I was ready to do my solo album, but what a blessing. So you never know how you're going to get there. Your pathway may look differently to you, but just keep your head up and you never know which way your path is going to lead."
So who will the next super star be?! Stay tuned to The Four: Battle for Stardom every Thursday at 8/7c on FOX.
Photos: 21st Century Fox