Fergie to Host Fox’s New Singing Competition “The Four: Battle for Stardom”

It’s a case of Connect Four for Fergie

The 42-year-old part-Mexican American singer and Black Eyed Peas member will host Fox’s new primetime singing competition show The Four: Battle for Stardom, the six-episode series that will air at 8:00 pm Thursdays beginning January 4.

Fergie

“This is a unique and modern show format that I believe will set the standard for the next generation of singing competition series on TV,” said Fergie, who has hosted the Los Angeles segments of ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve for the past few years. “I am looking forward to being by the contestants’ sides during what could be the most important performances of their lives. Along with these amazing panelists whom I know and love, I hope my experiences as a solo artist and as a member of the Black Eyed Peas can help guide them in their quest to make it in the music industry.”

Created by Armoza Formats and produced by ITV Entertainment in association with Armoza, The Four also features expert panelists Sean “Diddy” Combs, DJ Khaled, singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor and record label exec Charlie Walk.

The format works backwards from typical competition shows: Four finalists, chosen from their auditions, will try to defend their coveted spots on the stage, as they are challenged by new singers determined to replace them. Each week, if any of the four are outperformed as determined by a panel of judges, they’ll go home and their challengers will take their place.

The singer who is the last standing at the end of the competition will see the panel of industry experts become key players on their team. The elite group will then guide the winner’s career to help make him or her a breakout star.

“Fergie is a genuine superstar,” said Rob Wade, President of Alternative Programming and Specials at Fox Broadcasting Company. “She’s fierce, she’s a force in her own right, and she knows exactly what these singers are going through. So who better than her to help guide them as they fight their way to the finish?”

The Four will beat to air ABC’s reboot of former Fox mega hit American Idol, which will launch in March and air on Sundays. Fox’s response to Idol 2.0 also will air while NBC’s rival singing competition The Voice is on hiatus, on one of the nights the original aired on Fox toward the end of its run.

Lopez’s NuvoTV Reportedly Outbids Sean “Puffy” Combs for Fuse TV

Sean “Puffy” Combs has blown a fuse with his ex Jennifer Lopez.

The 44-year-old Puerto Rican singer/actress and American Idol judge has beat out her ex-boyfriend Sean “Puffy” Combs in the quest to acquire cable music channel Fuse TV, according to sources close to the situation.

Jennifer Lopez

NuvoTV, the English-language cable channel where Lopez serves as a minority owner and the network’s chief creative offer, has reached an agreement with Fuse owner, the Madison Square Garden Company.

“Things are in that 99.9 percentile,” says a source familiar with the negotiations, which began when NuvoTV reportedly offered cash and equity valued at more than $200 million.

“It’s getting done,” says another source familiar with the situation.

The first source declined to discuss where NuvoTV and Lopez are getting their financing, or whether they sweetened their deal since Combs, backed by billionaire supermarket magnate Ron Burkle, had reportedly made a similar $200 million offer.

A spokeswoman for Combs referred Billboard to Madison Square Garden Company spokeswoman Kimberly Kerns, who responds: “As we have stated, we are exploring strategic alternatives for Fuse and will have no further comment.”

The assumption in the industry that Lopez and Combs, who owns the fledgling Revolt TV cable channel in partnership with Comcast, were interested in acquiring Fuse to convert the struggling network to their respective programming formats and gain access to Fuse’s 74 million cable households. (NuvoTV and Revolt reportedly reach in the neighborhood of 34 million households.)

But in an interview that took place on Wednesday, before the deal was reached, Lopez’s manager Benny Medina, in a conversation about JLo’s entrepreneurial branding strategy, said that if NuvoTV emerged the victor, there were no immediate plans to change Fuse’s format. “We do look at these channels as two different companies with two different identities, audiences and goals,” Medina said. “And these shall remain intact.”

The plan to maintain Fuse’s format for the time being may have to do with something called a “definition of service” clause that cable operators can include in their contracts with the services they carry.

According to one cable television-industry source, the clause enables operators to drop a network or decrease the fees paid for carriage if the network’s ownership or programming format changes. This could prove to be a synergistic stumbling block given that Fuse’s music-video heavy programming does not bear much resemblance to NuvoTV’s largely non-musical slate of programs, which include reruns of Dexter and the new boxing reality show Knockout.

Asked if Lopez and Combs’ competing bids for Fuse was a coincidence or a residual effect of their two-year affair that began in 1999 — Combs once likened his tumultuous relationship with Lopez to Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner’s romance — Medina replied, “I don’t think it’s a coincidence,” but added that it had nothing to do with their past history.

 

“In many ways, Jennifer and Sean are cut from the same cloth,” Medina said. They’re both passionate artists of the same generation who think on a grand and global scale. They were two superstars seeking to build their brand, who happened to be Jennifer and Puffy.” (They’re also both 44 years old.)

He says that Lopez’s transition from the recording studio to the boardroom of NuvoTV “is a conscious move” and part of a larger strategy to build businesses around her that can sustain a lot of what she does as an entertainer and actor.” In addition to her music and acting career, Lopez sells her Jennifer Lopez fashion line through the Kohl’s department store chain and collaborates with Coty on a number of fragrances.

“We’re in an age and time now where artists have to be a lot more involved, invested and creative in marketing and promoting themselves, whether its fashion brands and fragrances that speak to who they are — or a cable TV network. It’s about building a business around the art.”

Despite Lopez’s evolution as an entrepreneur, Medina says her recording career has not taken a backseat. “She is working on her 10th album,” he says. “Her first love is music.”

Fimbres and Her Danity Kane Members Reuniting at the MTV VMAs…

Aundrea Fimbres is planning to make a return to the music scene with a band

The 30-year-old Mexican American singer will reunite with her former Danity Kane members to make an appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday.

Danity Kane

“DANITY KANE is officially BACK! @danitykane #vmas2013 #Rage,” fellow member Aubrey O’Day tweeted along with the group’s new promo photo.

There’s no official word on whether Fimbres and her fellow all-girl group mates Shannon Bex, O’Day and Dawn Richard will perform at the awards show. Fifth member D. Woods will not be joining them.

Danity Kane officially announced their return with a new promo picture posted to their website at midnight on Sunday, August 25. The girls also confirmed their appearance at the 2013 MTV VMAs as well.

Fimbres, Bex, O’Day and Richard were hand-selected to form Danity Kane by Sean Combs during the third season of MTV’s Making the Band back in 2005.

The group released their self-titled debut album in 2006 and notched two hits, “Show Stopper” and “Ride for You.”

The girls’ second album, Welcome to the Dollhouse, was released in 2008 and gave them another hit single, “Damaged.”

Danity Kane would go on to become the first female group in Billboard history to have their first two albums open at the top of the charts.

The group’s break up was confirmed in January 2009.