Someone must’ve told James Graham to go big or go home prior to the finale of The Four: Battle for Stardom on Thursday (Aug. 2). The 21-year-old went home victorious after a series of ambitious song choices that proved how a risk can pay off.
He kicked off the night with his take on the Michael Jackson classic “Rock With You” and even mimicked the King of Pop’s wardrobe from head to toe. He admitted later that he got off to a shaky start (“Diddy ripped me to pieces, really,” he said in a post-show interview) and Sharaya J took the crown in this face-off. It seems the negative feedback did more to inspire than to deter, as Graham dug his heels in for the rest of the episode.
He may have been a fan-favorite, but he did not win without a fight. Earlier in the season, he was dethroned by the teenage phenom Leah Jenea. When the time came for their long-anticipated rematch, Graham showed off his chops with a rendition of Adele’s smash-hit “Hello” that blew the rest of the competition out of the water and earned him his redemption.
The final battle was neck-and-neck as Sharaya J performed her original track “Say Less” against Graham’s version of Coldplay’s “Fix You.” The cover was an instant-hit among the audience members — especially judge Meghan Trainor, who was enthusiastically supporting the British pop star all night.
Graham was speechless about his own victory, explaining, “I’m in complete shock. I don’t even remember on stage what happened.” He’s excited, to say the least, and ready “to become the biggest male superstar in the industry.”
Watch the highlights from the episode below.