Backstreet Boys and NKOTB Raggedly Unite at the American Music Awards


Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift were just some of the acts that performed at last night's Justin Bieber–crowning American Music Awards , but, obviously, the evening's most of-the-moment performance was the Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block, who had the honor of closing out the show as the new supergroup NKOTBSB. As with the Backstreet Boys' recent performance on Oprah, the fellas are to be commended for their bravery in singing live: It really is brave to sound this ragged on national television, especially when the miracle of modern voice-aiding technology is so near at hand (like probably ten feet away, just offstage). It's not the backup harmonies, dancing, or arrangements that need work so much as the soloists, who sound all right for a few seconds, before wavering, often heart-stoppingly, in and out. (Duly noted: The 40-year-olds of NKOTB are in better vocal shape than the younger Backstreeters, to be sure.) We hope the guys get their voices right before the group goes on tour, because, as last night reminded, "I Want It That Way" is still a pretty great song, and it deserves the dudes at their best, as do we.