It’s episode four of The Four, and the only four still around from the beginning are the
judges panelists (plus Fergie, but she’s in a class by herself). So now that we’re at the midpoint of the show’s run, we sat down for a Cocktail Conversation with judge panelist Charlie Walk. He’s the record exec of the group, who’s helped guide careers from Destiny’s Child to Ariana Grande and has 50 number one Billboard hits on his resume’. Charlie told us this new chapter of his career started with a phone call. “It’s funny when Diddy called me months ago and said do you want to join me on this new show called The Four.” Given that he’s made a living off developing talent, he says this seemed like a perfect fit, “I’m taking what I do during the day and bringing it to the stage at night.” Maybe the economy isn’t so strong when a guy like this needs a night job, but good for him for hustlin’.
Four Gone Conclusions
The first quartet of contestants is long gone. Zhavia is the only one to be on every episode (she successfully challenged in the premiere). So we got right to the heart of the matter with Charles: how are fans supposed to develop superstar passion for a contestant when they’re gone in the blink of an eye? Charlie told The Cocktail that they’re not gone in the blink of an eye.. we’re just not looking in the right spots. “It’s happening seven days a week. If you’re following The Four show between all the social media components of The Four, Diddy, Khaled, me, Meghan and the actual artists, it’s sort of like a living breathing, real time culture situation happening. It’s not just what happens on Thursday nights at 8pm on FOX, it’s deeper.”
He says Zhavia is the perfect example of what they want the show to be. “She started off with under 2,000 followers before the show started on Instagram, now she’s over 300,000.” Charlie believes The Four is on the cusp of a cultural phenomenon. “So you’re seeing that kind of thing happen if you follow social media, look at all the threads, the show is becoming embedded in the culture above and beyond it being on for two hours on Thursday nights. But people are living and breathing with it and that’s the difference and the interesting thing of what’s happening.”
And to illustrate the point, he told us how Zhavia has impacted the culture in his own home. “My daughter said to me this morning Daddy, if Zaviah is off the show you can’t come home.” He wouldn’t say if he’s gonna be allowed home after tonight’s episode.. but we’ll send a bottle of Macallan to his office just in case he has to crash there for a couple nights.
Throwing Serious Shade
Of course, Walk is only responsible for part of a challenger bumping off a fan favorite. The judges panelists use the Rings of Death to decide if a wannabee is worthy of a head-to-head singoff with one of The Four. After that it’s up to the audience. Charlie threw some serious shade at some of the audience’s choices. “They get caught up in the moment sometimes. I’m sitting back as a judge as a record executive thinking about the long term here. I’m in the long ball game. But they’re just ready to shoot somebody. They’re ready to remove somebody if the performance isn’t great. It can be frustrating and annoying sometimes as well.”
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
The Zubrowka Vodka Martini.
What is it? 4 parts vodka, one part dry vermouth, one part freshly squeezed apple juice.
Why? Because it starts with Z, like Zhavia, and if you have it week after week you’ll learn to like it.