Summer is a time when the big shows of television go on break. The game shows and reality tv takes center stage from the beginning of June to the end of August. This summer, ABC introduced a new tv show, Boy Band. Premiering on June 22, Boy Band introduced the world to thirty musicians, of the male variety. Each of these young men were competing for a chance to be a part of America’s next top boy band. Guiding them through their journey were architects (a.k.a. judges) Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys), Emma Bunton (Baby Spice of the Spice Girls), and Timbaland (award winning producer, singer, songwriter, etc.). The show was hosted by Rita Ora and produced by Matador Content, also behind the hit Lip Sync Battle.
The show started with the architects choosing eighteen boys, who were put into three groups of 6 and tasked with performing a hit song as a boy band. With the help of vocal producer Tim Davis and award winning choreographers Nappytabs (Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo), the three bands put on their first week of performances. From there, eliminations took place and new bands were formed each week. At the end of each episode the architects would nominate 2-3 boys for elimination, and America was tasked with voting to save their favorite boy bander. Each episode had a theme, including heartbreak week, girl power, and throwbacks. On August 24, the final eight boys took the stage one last time, as it was revealed who had made it into the band, named In Real Life. The final five boys, who now make up In Real Life, include: Chance Perez, Drew Ramos, Michael Conor, Brady Tutton, and Sergio Calderon.
So, now what? It’s the question fans around the country are asking. The band has been made, and has released their first single, Eyes Closed. The song, written by hitmaker Justin Tranter, reached number nine on iTunes Top 100 just 15 hours after the show’s finale (buy it here!). The band has announced they will begin filming a music video for Eyes Closed next week. From there, they are also in talks to create their own Christmas jingle, just in time for the holiday season. But, will they survive? Well, as winners of the show, the boys do receive a record deal with Hollywood Records, so they aren’t exactly set up to fail. So, do they have what it takes?
Can they do it?
As someone has seen four of the final 5 bandmates perform together, I have to make a strong argument for yes, it seems they can make it. And yes, you read that right, I’m not entirely unbiased in this. I recently took a trip to California, and made the spontaneous decision to go to the first LIVE taping of Boy Band with two of my friends. I know, I’m 23 years old, and these guys are young, why do I care? But come on, if you are reading this and trying to act like you don’t love boy bands like the rest of us, then you are lying to yourself and the world.
Honestly, I had come across one of the first (pre-taped) episodes mistakenly, and was intrigued. And, as proof it is not just because I am female, my dad was captivated as well and admitted the young boys were definitely talented musicians. During that episode, it was announced you could attend the first live episode by getting tickets online. It just so happened I would be in California, for the first time ever, around that date, and the tickets were free. So, I figured, why not? My friends and I only had to stand in line for an hour and were able to be in the crowd when Chance, Michael Conor, Drew, and Sergio (four of the final 5) performed Despacito. The crowd was jamming, and the architects were even up and dancing. I didn’t even like the song before that night, and now listen to it on repeat. After I returned to Philly from California, I felt invested in the show, and was sure to watch week after week to see who made the band.
I 100% believe these five guys can make it as a boy band. They have everything it takes. Obviously, they are all talented. But, they also have chemistry and each play a part. The show has set them up with an already dedicated fan base, evidenced by the fact the five were voted into the band by America. They are also very active on social media, and are smart to take advantage of those platforms. As an experienced Social Media and Marketing Coordinator, I am well aware of the power of social platforms. That is the best way to connect with their fans, who they will need as they try to make a name for themselves as a band. In fact, the boys have already asked their fans to choose their fandom name (Lifelines vs. Realists, vote here on Twitter).
The boys all come from different backgrounds, and will each have their part to play. Tutton, is known as the baby of the group, being the youngest at only 15 years old. He hails from Shorewood, Wisconsin, and fans have described him as having a voice for opera. Perez was deemed the “heart throb” of the competition. Perez is one of the oldest in the group, at 19 years old, and has a 2 year old daughter, Brooklyn, who made a guest appearance during the series. Ramos grew up raised by a single mother in the Bronx. Prior to Boy Band, the 19 year old was singing in the New York subway for money for he and his mom. Michael Conor is making history in the boyband, as a violinist and rapper. The self proclaimed rule breaker is 18 years old and comes from Cleveland, Ohio. Finally, Calderon is one of the youngest at 16 years old. He impressed fans in the audition round by performing his song in Spanish.
The future of boy bands
The boys are setting themselves up for great success. They had amazing mentors during their time on the show, and are taking the advice Carter, Bunton, Timabaland, Davis, and others gave them and putting it to use. I myself am eager to see where this journey takes them and will be cheering them on.
And hey boys, if you happen to read this, give me a shout! I’m totally open to ditching my day job and working for you in marketing or media! Just kidding… maybe.