And the winner is… HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with ‘The Four’ season 2 winner about what’s next after the show, including major album plans. Plus, why did the winner think the runner-up was going to win?
James Graham, 21, is the winner of The Four season 2! It was down to James and Sharaya J, but the Brit ultimately prevailed in the finale. He stole the show with his rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You,” Adele’s “Hello,” and Coldplay’s “Fix You.”
HollywoodLife sat down EXCLUSIVELY with James to talk about the finale and his feelings after being crowned the winner. He actually believed Sharaya J, 34, was going to take home the win! He revealed he’s getting right in the studio to start working on material and teased possible duets with both judge Meghan Trainor, 24, and Sharaya J!
Going into the finale, how did you feel?
James Graham: You know what? Weirdly, I felt very calm because I felt like I was going there to do something. I wanted to win, and I felt like nerves were going to get in the way of that. So I really tried to push any nerves out, which is difficult. Obviously, there was going to be some nerves that creep in, but I wasn’t that nervous in the end. I felt pretty relaxed. I didn’t think I was going to win. So I think that relaxed me as well. That really took the pressure off, and then I ended up winning.
Why did you think Sharaya was going to win?
James Graham: I just thought Sharaya was going to win because she had never been beaten. I’d gone out and come back in. I just thought she’d had the clean run through, and she was going to take it all the way.
You were kicked off the show once. Did that help you re-focus when you got back in?
James Graham: That massively helped me. I’m always very focused, but I sometimes think I’m too focused. I get too into it and then I overthink. But for me, I think that worked in my favor because I got kicked out, realized my mistake, and then I was angry and upset with myself. Those feelings I managed to channel into good energy, and I came back harder and tougher to get my seat back, and then I carried it over to the finale as well. I think it really, really helped me.
What were you feeling in those first moments after you won?
James Graham: I talk a lot. I’m a big talker. But I was speechless. Absolutely speechless. I haven’t been able to get my head together since. I keep stumbling over my words in normal sentences. I was just so shocked. You know how sometimes you have a gut feeling of I might win or I think I did this. I thought I did great. I was really proud of my performances, and the reaction was great. I thought “Hello” and “Fix You” were my two best of the whole season, but I just didn’t have that gut feeling that I was going to win. When I was standing there waiting for them to make the announcement, I literally already had my hands ready to turn and clap for Sharaya and then they were like, “James.” I literally didn’t speak for an hour. It still hasn’t sunk in.
What’s next for you?
James Graham: I’m now signed to Universal Republic, and I’m now one of iHeartRadio’s new On The Verge artists. I go straight into getting my team together, like, who is going to be my producers and management and just the sorting out of my whole team. I go straight into working on the album. I get to work with Diddy and go into the studio with DJ Khaled and do something with Meghan, maybe, possibly a little duet. That might be something that could happen. I’m not going to say too much, but that could happen. So much amazing stuff is happening right now. I’m going to get in to work on the album, which is a dream come true as well. Hopefully I can come out with something really soon, and it can climb to the top!
So the judges have been really helpful since the show ended?
James Graham: Yes, they’ve been amazing. Each one of them has been FaceTiming and talking to me. I’m actually seeing Diddy later. Even that sentence is so cool. The whole thing is crazy. They’ve been really helpful and have my back. Diddy’s even been helping me with the negotiations with contracts.
Are you and Sharaya close? You guys have been on the show since the very beginning.
James Graham: Me and Sharaya are so close. We’re really close. She’s definitely a friend for life. And, another spoiler, we’re going to be in the studio together next month. We’re going to get to work with some very cool people next month. You might be getting a James Graham and Sharaya J collab.