Are y’all ready for another singing competition? Boyband episode 3 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.
The LIVE shows begin tonight. The 15 remaining contestants form brand new groups and perform for your votes.
GROUP NUMBER! It’s a medley of Boy Band hits, “Candy Girl” by New Edition, “Right Stuff” by New Kids on the Block. Nick Carter and A.J. McLean kick off “I Want it That Way” by ‘NSync. Next it’s the group’s “Bye Bye Bye.” Everybody takes the stage for One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.” N’Sync’s Chris Kirkpatrick New Kids on the Block’s Bobby Brown and Backstreet Boys AJ McLean drop by to help.
Next, host Rita Ora narrates a in-case-you-missed-it review of the competition so far. Topline, Tr5ble and Element are the three new groups.
The theme this week is “Number Ones.” Rita conducts an awkward dialog with the “veterans” including asking Bobby Brown “‘NySync or Backstreet Boys.” Oy. Also: Rita needs to CALM DOWN.
Topline – “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee – Sergio Calderon, Mikey Jimenez, Drew Ramos, Michael Conor, Chance Perez – The moms sit in on rehearsal just to be embarrassed by Despacito’s sexy lyrics. Hm. Not much time spent on rehearsal footage. The performance is…boring. But maybe it’s the song? Nobody is really standing out here. “I love the moves!” says Emma. Timbaland tells Drew to be “sure of himself.” Nick compares them to Menudo. Nick and Timbaland disagree over Chance, with Nick telling him to work on his confidence and Timbaland insisting that he’s “got it.”
Tr5ble – Rolling in the Deep by Adele – Andrew Butcher, Brady Tutton, Cam Jackson, Marcus Pendleton, Dorian Tyler – This song? Really? Oh boy. Cam hits a real clunker right out of the gate. But the singing is better and more dynamic here. The vocal arrangement is so cheesy, though. Yikes. Things get pitchy toward the end. Nick calls it “powerful and commanding.” Emma likes Brady’s sweet demeanor, but he should try to naughty it up, she says. Nick thinks Andrew is missing some elements. Yes–the really spell their name with a 5.
Element – Don’t Let Me Down by Chainsmokers – Jaden Gray, J-Hype, Andrew Bloom, Miles Wesley, Devin Hayes – This is pretty sloppy. The harmonies are offkey and none of the leads are really popping. That was embarrassing. “You guys were in your element, for sure,” says Nick. GROAN. He gives props to Devin for increased confidence. Emma can’t read Miles. He needs more grit if he wants to be a bad boy she says. Timbaland gives Jaden some confusing advice, first telling the singer he let him down, then basically adding “JUST KIDDING.” OK then.
It’s time for the architects to reveal the results! Tr3ble is totally safe from elimination! Mikey from Topline and Miles from Element are IN DANGER. Nick felt Mikey had a lack of confidence. Timbaland says Miles behaves too much like a solo act. “I didn’t see the chemistry on stage.” OK. So this voting will be done on the spot via ABC.com and text. Too bad West Coast. You don’t really get a vote.
Results: America saved Mikey Jimenez, Miles Wesley is Eliminated.
The hour long format feels really rushed, making it difficult to bond with contestants. The live shows feel awkward and I actually miss the extended mentoring packages. The BTS crew–Nappy Tabs, Tim Davis and Andrew Blackstone would make hella better “architects” than the current panel. Having said that–I appreciate that Timbaland, Emma and Nick are willing to criticize the singers.
Based on tonight’s performances, however, I might be tuning out if I weren’t recapping. Mediocre vocals all around. I agree with the panel’s decision to save Tr5ble. They had the most charisma of the three groups.