Dionne Warwick Supports Granddaughter Cheyenne Elliott on 'The Four'
The star power on Fox's new singing competition show The Four is already pretty blinding. But the glittering panel, comprised of Sean "Diddy" Combs, DJ Khaled and Meghan Trainor (and host Fergie) got eclipsed just a few segments into Thursday night's episode (Jan. 11), when it was revealed that a living icon was in the house to support her fam.
Cheyenne Elliott brought along a serious ringer in her friends and family box, casually noting that her grandma, pop legend Dionne Warwick, was in the house. And, oh, by the way, her cousin was late pop legend Whitney Houston, NBD. The 23 year-old singer from New York came ready to take on the four seated champs, with fourth judge music exec Charlie Walk exclaiming, "Hello, you just walked on stage like a boss!"
Asked how she got started singing, Elliott humble-bragged that she grew up in a "very musical family," explaining that she had her mom, her dad and her grandmother on hand for support. The "Walk on By" singer stood up to take a bow and Diddy freaked out, jumping out of his seat and saying, "Dionne Warwick is here?" and blowing kisses to the singer while taking his own bow to the pop hero. The show then cut to a segment recorded in the backstage greenroom, where Warwick walked among the budding singers, who began to freak out once they realized the royalty in their midst.
"I know you're ready," Warwick told her beloved granddaughter, who revealed that the first time she got on stage as a child, her granny was right there next to her -- amid a montage of photos from their long-ago debut together. "My grandmother has said she's passing the baton down to me. She wants this for me as much as I want it," Elliott said. After a big hug and a promise that "she's going to kick butt, that's what she's going to do" from Warwick, Elliott dug into a rendition of "Wings" by Little Mix.
The performance was good enough to earn Elliott a chance to challenge one of The Four, even if Diddy felt some stress when giving his critique. "I am sitting here with the pressure of your grandmother being behind me over my left shoulder,” Diddy said. “I had to ask myself, ‘What would she want me to do?’ And number one, I know she would want me to tell you the truth.” Though Trainor loved it, Diddy didn't exactly jump out of his seat with praise.
He noted that once Elliott got to a certain line in the song, he could tell that was her favorite part, but counseled her that "as a performer, you need to make everything you say your favorite part... I need to believe you all the way," he said, as he looked over his shoulder and got a nod of approval from Warwick.
The judges all voted her her through to a challenge, where Elliott took on female MC Lex Lu, who did a freestyle take on Migos' "Bad and Boujee," in which she tried to incorporate the judge's names into her flow, but stumbled at times. Elliott came back with a strong cover of Sam Smith's "Too Good at Goodbyes," winning her a spot in The Four and a big smile from grandma.
Watch the performance below.