Are y’all ready for another singing competition? Boyband episode 5 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.
In this week’s live episode, the remaining 14 contestants open the show with the 1983 Billy Joel hit “Uptown Girl.” Then, three new groups will perform timeless hits “Livin’ on a Prayer,” made popular by Bon Jovi, Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” and “Can’t Take My Eyes off of You” by Frankie Valli.
Emma, Nick and Timbaland will critique their performances and select the bottom two who are up for elimination. Viewers will then vote, live, and decide who will be eliminated.
The Top 14 open the show with “Uptown Girl” featuring host Rita Ora playing the Christie Brinkley part. I have to admit–I”m enjoying these opening numbers. Total cheese fests. Pretty sure the performance is track heavy, though. It all ends in pointy poses, which is awesome.
Rita changed outfits in the time it took to air a recap of last week’s show. Timbaland wants to be called “Uncle Tim” tonight. OK then. Oh. Baby photos of the “architects” are next.
Timeless – Living on a Prayer – Marcus Pendleton, Andrew Bloom, Andrew Butcher, Chance Perez, Michael Conor – Music director Tim Davis dresses up the boys in silly 80’s hair band outfits to get the right vibe. If it were up to him, it’s what they’d wear. But luckily, the boys are dressed in black leather and denim instead. Ouchies. There are plenty of sour notes here. They run around the stage, putting on their best RAWK moves. I am not convinced. “We got to get these guys in a stadium tour right now,” says Nick. Uh. He compliments Andrew Butcher. He tells Chance, “You owned it.” Emma notes that the song was tough from a technical standpoint. Also, he felt that Andrew Bloom looked a little awkward on stage. Tim calls Marcus “a producer’s dream.” And he gives Michael a hand, calling him “unique” and “not a violinist anymore,” whatever that’s supposed to mean.
Next Up – True Colors – Mikey Jimenez, Jaden Gray, Brady Tutton, Dorian Tyler – We see choreographers Napoleon and Tabitha working with the boys. You know what that means. TEARS. Jaden describes his painful relationship with his dad, who has been in and out of jail. This group have it a little easier–sitting on stools singing harmony. It’s almost unfair, to be honest. There are some wonky harmonies, but it’s decent. Jaden is very good. The boys end with a big group hug. Nick gets all teary talking about his own “hard upbringing.” Jaden shouts out to his dad that he’s the best ever. Emma calls it an “honest performance.” She says, “I felt your truth tonight.” She compliments Brady on his angelic tone. Mikey was almost eliminated last week. “You are just going upwards,” says Emma. Timbaland advises Dorian to work on pronunciation.
Maxed – Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You – Cam Jackson, Devin Hayes, Drew Ramos, J-Hype, Sergio Calderon – Tim Davis works with the group. J-Hype is determined to sing this week (rather than just beat box.) Whoa. Dude cannot sing. At all. Bet he’s in the bottom 2 this week. This is pretty weak sauce. The choreography is decent. BUT THOSE VOCALS. The voices here don’t meld at all. So many pitch problems. Yikes. Nick calls them “smooth criminals” and the performance “classic.” Cam hit a major wonky note last week. “You redeemed yourself from last week,” he says. Nick says straight up that J-Hype may not have the “tools” to go deep in the competition. Emma felt Drew was confident this week, “You held this song together.” She also calls him a dark horse. Tim loves Devin’s stage presence.
Rita reveals there will be a double elimination next week.
Results! Emma says all 3 groups stepped up to the plate. But Timeless put on a show. They’re safe. One boy from each of the two remaining groups will be up for elimination.
On the chopping block it’s Dorian from Next Up and J-Hype from Maxed. Dorian is crying. Timbaland feels Dorian may not be mature enough for the competition. Nick says J-Hype is an incredible beatboxer, but falling behind vocally.
Time to vote! Go to abc.com/boyband for more.
Dorian Tyler – Eliminated
J-Hype – SAVED.
Wow. I would have sent J-Hype home. He can’t sing at all. With a few exceptions, most of these boys aren’t ready for the big time. Hence, watching a slew of under-ripe boys compete in a singing competition is not all that entertaining.