Grammy® Award-winning musician, record producer and songwriter Sean “Diddy” Combs, record-producing hitmaker DJ Khaled, Grammy-winning recording artist and songwriter Meghan Trainor and record label executive Charlie Walk have joined the panel of experts on FOX’s new singing competition series, THE FOUR: BATTLE FOR STARDOM. The six-episode event premieres Thursday, Jan. 4 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
“This show is going to disrupt the world of competition television and will revolutionize the format,” said Combs. “It took the right show and network to bring me back in the game. We plan on being the best talent show out there, taking it to that next level and making history again. This series is about pure competition, fighting for your survival. Do you want to win? Do you want to be great? We’re giving fans a genuine look at what it takes to make it to the top and stay there – surrounding these up-and-coming artists with the best, turning them into the next generation of stars.”
“I’m proud to announce that I will be participating in one of the most important, if not the most important events on television and pop culture,” said DJ Khaled. “It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that will showcase the best of the new generation of musical geniuses. When you come from where I come from, you know just how hard it is to turn your dreams into a reality. It’s a long road to the journey of success. I’ve spent my career discovering amazing talent and working with the biggest icons from every corner of the globe and now I’m bringing my one-of-a-kind approach to FOX. I immediately jumped at the opportunity when I realized FOX shared the same vision as me, and that’s to be the best!!! If you think you have what it takes to become the next icon, trust me, DJ Khaled is the one that will let you know. So be prepared for a new era of television. All I know is how to win…more!!! FOX x DJ Khaled…be ready!!!”
“When FOX asked me to be a part of this new series, without hesitation, my answer was…YES!,” said Trainor. “I know firsthand what it’s like to be thrown into the music industry head first, as an artist and a songwriter. I also know what it takes to hang on for the ride. I’m so humbled to help discover new talent with this amazing panel of experts.”
“What lies at the heart of the music business is ‘talent,’” said Walk. “Discovering and developing talent remains the most important, consistent driver of my home, Republic Records, and now FOX’s THE FOUR: BATTLE FOR STARDOM. I’m thrilled to be joining this incredible panel of my longtime friends, Sean, Khaled and Meghan, to help make the difference on a platform that’s truly committed to identifying and breaking the next generation of superstars. We will guide them, advise them, and be with them every step of the way on their journey, starting on the most transparent stage in television.”
Diddy, DJ Khaled, Meghan and Charlie are giants in the music space,” said Rob Wade, President, Alternative Entertainment and Specials, Fox Broadcasting Company. “They understand what an artist needs to break through – from killer music and style to innovative marketing and social media. This is a show like no other and we can’t wait to get started.”
THE FOUR: BATTLE FOR STARDOM begins where the other shows end: With the best. These four top-notch artists, spanning all music genres, will fight each week to defend their coveted seats on the show, as determined newcomers challenge them and try to knock them out of the competition. The singer who is the last standing at the end of the competition will earn the ultimate prize: the panel of industry experts becomes key players on the winner’s team. This elite group of starmakers will guide the winner’s career to help make him or her a breakout star. To audition for THE FOUR: BATTLE FOR STARDOM, please visit thefourmusic.com.
As part of the grand prize, the winner will be named an iHeartRadio “On The Verge” artist. iHeartRadio’s On The Verge program provides artists with unparalleled national reach through on-air radio exposure, as well as digital and social support across iHeartMedia’s powerful range of music and entertainment platforms. FOX also has teamed up with iHeartMedia to support auditions, assist in the search for talent and boost the careers of artists throughout the run of the competition.
Sean “Diddy” Combs, AKA Puff Daddy, started his career as the director of A&R at Uptown Records, where he was integral in launching the careers of Mary J. Blige and Jodeci. He later started his own label, Bad Boy Records, which has fostered talent that includes Mariah Carey, Method Man, Boyz II Men, Lil’ Kim and more. Combs’ solo music career began in 1997 with his first single, “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down,” which shot to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, quickly followed by a No. 1 debut album that has gone Platinum seven times. Over the course of his career, he has earned three Grammy Awards and ASCAP’s Songwriter of the Year honor. Combs also has become an established actor and executive producer in both film and television. He starred in the 2008 telefilm “A Raisin in the Sun,” for which he won an NAACP Award for Best Actor; he was an executive producer and featured personality on the 2002 unscripted music series “Making the Band 2”; and he executive-produced the Academy Award-winning documentary “Undefeated” and the Academy Award-nominated “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” Combs continues to apply the same drive and entrepreneurial spirit to his philanthropic work and political activism, most recently leading the response to the water crisis in Flint, MI, by pledging one million bottles of his AQUAhydrate water, along with long-term assistance to the area. He has supported organizations including the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), the Boys & Girls Club and others that create opportunities for young people. He also has served on the board of the Hip Hop Action Network and rallied millions of young people to register to vote during the 2008 election, through his Vote or Die project.
DJ Khaled is a major force in the music industry. He is a music producer, a 2017 Grammy Award-nominated recording artist and New York Times best-selling author. Known as the “Anthem King” and commonly referred to as the “Quincy Jones of Hip Hop & R&B,” Khaled has made dozens of chart-topping hit records, featuring JAY Z, Kanye West, Drake, Chris Brown, Ludacris, T.I., French Montana, Future, Big Sean, Rick Ross, John Legend, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne, among others. In the past 12 months, he has captivated millions of fans globally by the use of social media and has been coined the “King of Snapchat.” In 2006, he launched innovative label deals and started We The Best Music Group. His 2010 hit song, “All I Do is Win,” went 3x Platinum, sold more than
three million singles and crossed over all music genres to become a mainstream hit, solidifying him as a force to be reckoned with. That same year he also released “I’m On One,” feat. Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne. Khaled went on to release the hit single “No New Friends,” featuring Drake, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross, which reached gold status and has sold more than 500,000 singles worldwide. He has sold more than 15 million singles in his career. Khaled also is committed to pro-social initiatives and is the first social media ambassador of Bono’s Project Red, as well as the national spokesperson for Get Schooled.
Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Meghan Trainor is one of pop’s most reliable hit-makers, known for her powerhouse voice, indelible melodies and relatable lyrics that encourage self-acceptance and empowerment. Since her 9x-Platinum breakthrough single, “All About That Bass,” in 2014, the 23-year-old Massachusetts native has charted seven multi-Platinum singles, released two critically acclaimed studio albums – 2015’s “Title” and 2016’s “Thank You” – sold out three headline tours, written multi-Platinum hits for top pop and country artists, including Jennifer Lopez, Fifth Harmony and Rascal Flatts, and received countless industry awards and nominations worldwide. Trainor is currently in the studio finishing up her highly anticipated third studio album.
Charlie Walk, President of The Republic Group, continues to redefine the role of a record executive in a rapidly changing business. In addition to overseeing and integrating the company’s marketing, promotion and media departments, Walk also actively seeks, signs and develops new talent. He’s driven over 50 Billboard No. 1 hits. His vision and hands-on guidance have been crucial to the rise of new, generation-defining superstars The Weeknd, Lorde and Ariana Grande. He also spearheads promotion partnerships for Big Machine Label Group (Taylor Swift), Cash Money Records (Drake, Nicki Minaj) and Island Records (Shawn Mendes, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas). He personally signed Hailee Steinfeld and co-created Joe Jonas’ new band, DNCE, to multi-Platinum status. Walk also encouraged powerhouse songwriter Julia Michaels to make the leap to becoming an artist and – after signing her to Republic – has helped her to become the biggest breakout star of 2017, with over six million singles sold to date. Before joining Republic Records as Executive Vice President in 2013, Walk spent more than 15 years at Columbia Records, fostering the careers of Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé, John Mayer, New Kids on the Block, The Fugees and John Legend, to name a few. At the end of 2005, he transitioned to President of Epic Records, where he steered the release of Shakira’s triple-Platinum-selling “Hips Don’t Lie,” which remains the ninth-most-downloaded song in music history. During his time at the label, Walk also helped break Sean Kingston, The Fray and Sara Bareilles. A longtime philanthropist and cultural leader, Walk serves on the board of Phoenix House, a nonprofit drug and alcohol rehabilitation organization; City of Hope, a cancer research and treatment center; and the Board of Councilors of the University of Southern California’s Iovine and Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation.
THE FOUR: BATTLE FOR STARDOM was created by Armoza Formats and is produced by ITV Entertainment in association with Armoza Formats. David George, Adam Sher, David Eilenberg, Becca Walker, David Friedman, Avi Armoza, Moshiko Cohen and Elwin Viztelly de Groot are executive producers. Additionally, Sean “Diddy” Combs will serve as a producer on the series. “Like” THE FOUR: BATTLE FOR STARDOM on Facebook at facebook.com/TheFourOnFox. Follow the series on Twitter @TheFourOnFox and join the conversation using #TheFour. Check out photos and videos on Instagram @TheFourOnFox.
Joy Ride Is An Extremely Raunchy And Hilarious Comedy
Joy Ride is an extremely raunchy and hilarious comedy that takes the mantle of ensemble risky
comedies that at times, leave your mouth on the floor. Joy Ride focuses on two best friends
Audrey and Lolo (Ashley Sullivan and Sherry Cola) end up getting roped up into a trip to Asia,
they end up on gals pal cross-continent trek to find Audrey’s long lost birth mother so she
doesn’t lose a huge business deal.
The chemistry in this movie is superb. Every character has their moment to shine and there’s
rarely a scene where you don’t get a belly laugh. I was shocked at how crazy and bold this
movie got, continually pushing the line to get a laugh. The movie does a good job of getting to
the point and getting to the scenes that really make you chuckle. There are some editing choices where the story flies by some stuff, and it feels a little incomplete, but never at the expense of really enjoying being around for the journey.
I thought that this was a sleeper for this year and certainly a movie worth watching with your
friends some weekend. It’s great to throw on if you want a laugh and really just enjoy some
great actors riffing off each other. The focus on culture was a nice touch and really elevated the movie to another level. While I would say if you’re easily offended, this movie is not for you – if you’re looking for a no holds barred comedy, Joy Ride is a trip worth taking.
Who Doesn’t Want To Wear The Ninja Suit Of Snake-Eyes Or Dress Like The Mandalorian?
Hasbro has had their pulse app out for a while now. It allows for access to items to buy, preorder, and a look into future projects and releases. It also allows for a very cool thing most nerds (a group of which I am a proud card-carrying member) have always wanted, the ability to make yourself into an action figure. I’ve contemplated making one for a time but, I finally got my chance to get my hands on one at Comic-Con this year. Now, of course, I had to wait in line as it was a pretty sought-after item. Who doesn’t want to have themselves wear the ninja suit of Snake-Eyes or dressed like a Mandalorian? I was approached by one of the booth staff as I was showing my nephew all the cool ways we could get him his own MIles Morales action figure with his face (as he’s a massive fan) and invited to take a seat and scan our faces into the Hasbro Pulse app with the help of their awesome team and make this dream a reality. My wife was with us, so of course she got in on the fun too. We scanned our faces in and it was very simple and quick. Then we all selected our figures to add our heads to. We all chose Power Rangers(Me as the Black Ranger, my wife chose the pink ranger and the nephew got the red ranger). Then we were told that we needed to wait about 4-6 weeks and we’d have our custom action figure team in our hands. This was a major part of our Comic-Con adventure and definitely, a memory my wife and nephew won’t forget (as it was both of their first Con ever). Thank you to Hasbro for being so generous(also getting me brownie points that home) and I highly suggest checking out Hasbro Pulse and all the cool stuff it has to offer.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter: Double-knock on wood!
Adapted and written largely from the Captain’s Log chapter of Bram Stoker’s magnum opus Dracula, The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells the story of Dracula’s journey by ship from Carpathia to London, and what happened to her crew in the interim.
So here we are in Bulgaria, middle of 1897, and Captain Eliot (Liam Cunningham) of the Russian schooner Demeter is here to take on some strange cargo from some unknown client and transport it to Carfax Abbey in London. In need of some extra hands, the Captain sends out his capable Second Wojchek (David Dastmalchian) to scout for some, and initially the roving black doctor and aspiring philosopher Clemens (Corey Hawkins) is passed over in favor of more work-roughened men. The adorable cabin boy of the Demeter, Toby (Woody Norman), narrowly misses being crushed by the mysterious dragon-marked crates being loaded onto the ship, saved by Clemens himself and switched out with the superstitious sailors running from the Demeter like they had been poisoned by the sign of Dracul. And now, armed with some nine or so crewmen, Doc Clemens, and Captain Eliot himself, the twenty-four strange what looks like coffins adorned with dragon signs brought mostly safely aboard, the Demeter can make for open water and the Hell that awaits them there.
The duty of showing Clemens around the ship falls to a cheerful Toby, who proudly shows him the living areas, the Captain’s quarters, the very-large cargo hold, the galley and kitchen where the overly-devout Joseph (Jon Jon Briones) cooks the crews meals, the various above decks, even the sails, and the rigging are all at least touched on, and the livestock pens that Toby himself is in charge of, including the handsome good-boy doggy Huckleberry, or just Huck. We the audience get a very clear feeling of what it’s like to actually be aboard the Demeter, just how large she really is, and what living on a ship for months at sea is really like, the reality and practicality and the dangers of it.
Everyone more or less settles in for a hopefully uneventful voyage, taking mess around the common table and exchanging ideas or aspirations for when they arrive in London early thanks to the fair winds, and receive a handsome bonus for their troubles. But that involves being alive and making it to London to spend said bonus and pay, and the coffin crates spilling dark soil from the motherland and disgorging all sorts of other nasty secrets, have some serious plans to the contrary.
First, it’s the livestock, innocent and shrieking in their locked pens as a monster takes great furious bites out of their necks, and of course, the creature just straight up ruins poor doggy Huck. Then there’s the fully grown girl that gets dislodged from an open coffin-crate, covered in bite scars and as pale as death, she eventually starts interacting and talking after several blood transfusions from Doc Clemens, Toby learns her name is Anna (Aisling Franciosi). And then, as the weather turns foul and the winds begin to be a serious problem, the attacks turn toward the remaining humans onboard the Demeter.
Most people these days are familiar with Dracula, that gorgeous cunning vampire Elder who can supposedly transform into a bat or a wolf, seducing women to voluntarily offer up their veins like an unholy sacrament, a being at once beautiful and powerful, but also horrific and murderous if given half a heartbeat to smell your blood. This is not Dracula.
Instead, the creature that hunts the humans occupying the Demeter is an absolute monster, not a single human feature left to it, barely even recognizable as humanoid-shaped, instead boasting not just full-length bat wings but an entire exo-skin of bat membranes that can be used for feeding, a mouth full of needle-like teeth akin to a predator of the deepest darkest parts of the ocean, those yellowed Nosferatu eyes that will not tolerate light in any way, and of course giant pointy bat-ears. This is a thing, a grotesque straight from the depths of Hell, and no amount of glamor magic can make this Dracula (Javier Botet) seem like anything other than what he, is – a parasitic demon who only wants your blood. There is no reasoning with it, no trapping it, not even really any talking to it (kinda hard to talk when your throat has been ripped out), and, like the much more frightening Dracula stories of old, no amount of pure faith behind a symbol does anything other than give false hope.
Coming face to face with an actual abomination does different things to different people. The formerly delightfully foul-mouthed Abrams (Chris Walley) dissolves into a blubbering mess; poor Larsen (Martin Furulund) didn’t even get to see his own death coming; and it turns out Olgaren (Stefan Kapicic) wants to live so badly, he’ll suffer becoming a blank-eyed Renfield if that’s what it takes. All of Cook Joseph’s purported pure faith didn’t stop him from trying to take the coward’s way out and didn’t save him anyway when the sound of unnatural bat wings descended on him. I find that kind of irony delicious. Dear Anna, resigned to her fate to be eternal food for the horror that terrorized her village, nevertheless wants to try and save whoever is left of the Demeter with her own sacrifice, and there aren’t many. Wojchek of course wants to kill Dracula, but for all his logic and solid practical nature, has no experience whatsoever with this sort of thing, and sure doesn’t want to sacrifice the Demeter, the beloved ship he called home that was promised to him by Captain Eliot himself, in order to destroy that demon. Even poor sweet Toby isn’t safe from the creature’s clutches, and what happens to the cabin boy of the Demeter is what finally sends Captain Eliot over the blooming edge. And who could blame him? For this sort of thing to happen during the last voyage of such a proud, solid ship as the Demeter, is some serious bullsh*t.
To leave such a film open for a potential sequel, especially when called the last voyage of something, was a pretty hefty ask, and somehow the filmmakers managed it. I personally think a different version of Van Helsing, the infamous vampire hunter, teaming up with a certain black doctor who nurses a serious grudge against Dracula, could be a kickass sequel. Until then, experience the doomed final journey of the Demeter and her poor crew in all it’s bloodstained glory, in theaters now!