Just in time for engagement season, I’ll witness a union perfect enough to make even a cynic’s heart flutter.
New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys will perform together at tonight’s American Music Awards.
If you groaned at the news, you’ve likely never owned an NKOTB pillowcase. Or experienced an excitement-induced seizure upon hearing the phrase “Backstreet’s back.”
Your loss. For the rest of us, the partnership marks a reminder of simpler times.
After moving to a new school in third grade, I feigned an obsession with New Kids on the Block to make friends. I’d never heard of the band. I was a new kid whose social life depended on New Kids. Ah, the symbolism.
The Backstreet Boys affected me less directly. In the name of full disclosure, I’ll admit I was initially more of an ’N Sync fan when boy bands became popular during my high school years.
I spent many afternoons wishing I could convince my friends that no, it’s really not “that easy” to marry Nick Carter.
Yet after a few bad decisions from ’N Sync members -- Lance Bass, I’m referring to your space mission -- my allegiance shifted. I grew to appreciate the complexities of Backstreet Boys tunes like “Shape of My Heart.”
Now, thanks to some miraculous “Step by Step” process, two squeal-igniting universes have collided.
Tonight’s AMA performance will draw attention to an upcoming NKOTB/Backstreet Boys tour, scheduled to begin in June 2011. Internet promotions for the tour bill it as “one night, one stage, once in a lifetime.”
That could be somewhat of an exaggeration. Most boy bands experience temporary resurgences in popularity, even after their radio success has peaked.
Of course, this resurgence is unique because it includes two boy bands with potential to collectively release new material.
My suggestion for their first collaboration: “Quit Playing Games With My Heart While Hangin’ Tough.”
What could possibly go wrong? Not much, assuming the musicians avoid inflated egos and an urge to revive the popularity of stonewashed jeans.
To clarify, I’ll note the NKOTB/Backstreet Boys performance is not the sole reason to watch tonight’s AMAs. Rapper Eminem and country act Lady Antebellum lead the pack of nominees. The show will also feature performances by artists like Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber.
But there’s no shame in using the show primarily as an excuse to cuddle with your NKOTB pillow.
Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-571-8516.