Fox music competition 'The Four' comes out flat

Fergie hosts 'The Four: Battle for Stardom'

(CNN)Fox decided to retire "American Idol," then experienced remorse when ABC stepped in to acquire the franchise. Yet the network's attempt to fill the void, "The Four: Battle for Stardom," is an uninspired addition to the singing-competition genre, with as much "American Gladiators" in its DNA as "Idol."

Featuring Fergie as host, and a panel of judges headlined by Sean "Diddy" Combs and Meghan Trainor, the show labors to create tension points throughout. Aspiring contenders perform, seeking an opportunity to challenge four pre-screened and selected artists and knock them off their perches, counting down to an eventual winner.
That framework, alas, encourages bravado, bragging a