Are y’all ready for another singing competition? Boyband episode 2 airs tonight on ABC at 8 pm ET. With Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys), Emma Bunton (Spice Girls’ Baby Spice) and Timbaland producer, songwriter, rapper), as “architects” (NOT JUDGES!) hopeful 14 to 24-year-old singers will compete to become a member of what producers hope to be the next great boyband. Rita Ora is set to host.
Thirty boys auditioned last week. The architects chose their Top 18 and split them into 3 groups. Uplift was the first group to perform. After, Cameron was sent home. Tonight, Reverb performs. Another singer heads home. Six Track performs next week. The show GOES LIVE in two weeks.
Before rehearsals, the boys have a little fun in the hotel pool. Emma joins them. NOT IN HER BATHING SUIT. She gives them a few tips poolside. She stressed the importance of the members looking after each other. That care will spill over onto the stage, she insists . She also stresses the importance of playing their “characters” on stage. Chance is feeling homesick. He misses his daughter. He’s the only contestant who has a child, actually.
The boys perform a little preview right next to the pool, of Jon Bellion’s “All Time Low.” Emma gushes over how great they are.
Fun Fact: Jon Klaasen was a Top 51 contestant on American Idol 15. Don’t feel bad if you don’t remember him: He barely had any screen time.
In rehearsal, musical director Tim Davis cracks the whip. “This isn’t your high school…not your church worship group,” lectures Tim. He informs them: You aren’t an individual–you are a prop. He continues his tough guy routine as he interrogates the boys. Is gospel singer Jaden Gray a one trick pony? He asks Andrew when he started singing. Since he was 10. But he also boxes to keep in shape. And he plays clubs. He wants to “sell out stadiums.” Good luck with that, bud. When Andrew says he’s the only one in his family with blue eyes and vocal talent. Tim says, “That makes you wonder…” (!!!)
Their song this week is “Stay” by Rihanna. Tim explains that the parts and rhythms will be difficult. Andrew is super off key. Oops. And so are the harmonies. Hm. Jon is having issues too. Tim is a ball buster, but he’s obviously really good at what he does.
Next, Adam Blackstone takes over to mentor the singers. Jon explains that he plays piano, and the song’s arrangement is the hardest he’s ever done. Currently, he’s putting songs up on You Tube. He came close to two record deals as a member of two bands. Oh. He’ll be playing piano on stage. The jazzy, dissonant chords render every bad note excruciating. Adam says “If you mess up don’t make a face!” Andrew says he’s used to being a lead singer. The harmonies are intimidating. Adam also warns them not to go for the riffs and runs–use vocal power and tone instead.
Napoleon and Tabitha are up next to work on some moves. “If we were doing this with a group it would take us six days,” says Napoleon. “We only have 4 hours.” He lectures them about connecting to the song. He asks each of the singers about what the song means to him. Cam was in a wheelchair for 4 months after a basketball injury. He learned not to take things for granted. Brady shared his struggle with a childhood stutter. He tears up as he talks. Discovering that he didn’t stutter when he sang was a big moment. Each of them read part of the words before singing them. The exercise makes a big difference.
There are tears! Especially Chance, who has issues with his child’s mom. Their split was really difficult. His dad passed away when he was eight. Tabitha comforts him. SO MANY FEELS.
Finally, it’s time for Reverb’s performance of Rihanna’s “Stay.” Jon plays piano while each of the boys take the stage with a short solo. The screaming. Plz stop. Brady has a beautiful, sweet tenor. The harmonies are tentative though. They still aren’t secure with the difficult parts. Gospel boy, Jaden, is also very good. Yep. Brady and Jaden are my favorites in this group.
The “architects” are on their feet. Emma is screaming. “The competition has started!” She compliments Brady’s angelic tone. Nick compares him to a Greek statue. Emily also felt Chance “smashed” his parts. Timbaland thanked Jaden for holding back the runs. He also complimented Cam. “Natural buddy, natural.” Nick says old school starts with the vocal harmonies, and he felt the harmonies cut through, like a Grammy performance. He didn’t feel Jon took control of his part. Andrew needs to look at the audience more. “We need your stars to shine and come through.” So I guess either Jon or Andrew is heading home.
Results! The first boy saved is…Brady. Timbaland announces Cam is also safe. Nick reveals Jaden is safe. Back to Emma. Chance is safe. Timbaland announces: The fifth boy is Andrew. Jon Klaasen is ELIMINATED. Timbaland thinks Jon has to figure out what he wants to do from this day forward because he “has it.” Both Timbaland and Emma compliment his producer and songwriting abilities. I would have eliminated Andrew. He’s not really boy band material and has difficulty being a team player.
Brady Tutton (15)
Cam Jackson (19)
Jaden Gray (16)
Chance Perez (19)
Andrew Bloom (19)
Jon Klaasen (19) – ELIMINATED