We are still in the first round of voting in MTV’s Battle of the Boy Bands, and already we are seeing some big surprises. Backstreet Boys are finding themselves behind Irish boy band Westlife, ‘NSYNC are trailing former boy band 5ive and New Kids on the Block are neck-and-neck with British boy band Take That.
It seems like fans are rallying behind their favorites and battling it out to make sure they move on to the next round.
“I don’t see how BSB and ‘NSYNC are losing?!?!” MTV News reader Britney commented. Another fan, nickestlife, wrote, “Please VOTE WESTLIFE!!!! Don’t let them LOSE!!!”
But the question on a lot of minds is: Why aren’t the boy bands that dominated the U.S. pop charts not easily moving on to the next round?
“Remember that in America, while Westlife and Take That and 5ive were all a blip on the radar in the U.S., in the U.K. Take That and Westlife are enormous,” Keith Caulfield, associate director of charts/retail at Billboard told MTV News. “Westlife, for example, has had 14 #1 singles on the U.K. singles chart, the second most only behind the Beatles, so they’re kind of big.”
According to Melissa Maerz, senior writer for Entertainment Weekly, the fact that these older boy bands are British may work in their favor, especially with the emergence of One Direction and the Wanted.
“I think probably what’s happening is a combination of things. I think the fact that One Direction is in the news for having the biggest debut of a British band of all time, including the Beatles, has really made everyone pay attention to them and everyone is talking about One Direction,” Maerz said. “And because they and the Wanted are coming at the same time, people are starting to pay attention to British boy bands, and the kids who are just discovering One Direction and the Wanted probably have parents who can say to them, ‘Oh, this is kind of the same thing that happened when Westlife and Take That came to our shores.”
But no matter what their chart performance may be, or where they come from, their advancement in the next round depends on only one thing: the fans.
“It frankly just comes down to: Are there passionate fans that are going to bother to spend the time on voting?” Caulfied said. “I think, generally speaking, when you have two acts going against one another, whoever has the most motivated, contemporary, engaged fanbase on the Web will win.”
Voting is under way in round one of MTV’s Battle of the Boy Bands and closes at noon ET on Thursday, April 26. Winners are determined by fan ballots, so if your favorite band made the cut, keep voting. Tune in to AMTV and MTV Hits daily for boy-band video takeovers. And don’t forget to spread the word on Twitter using the hashtag #BBB and like us on Facebook for updates!