Boy Band Recap: Hugs and Mics

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Photo: Eric McCandless/ABC
Boy Band

Boy Band

Who's Got the Right Stuff Season 1 Episode 2
Editor's Rating 3 stars

It’s another week, so it’s time for another embryonic boy band to take the stage and another preposterous outfit from Rita Ora. As Rita Ora tells us, yet again, the show goes live in two weeks and the power will be in our hands. To do what exactly? How does any of this work? Rita Ora, what do you want from me? What do you want me to do? Will one of the boys die by my hand? I don’t want that kind of power. Let’s get to it.

Before Reverb takes the stage, Timbaland says he’s looking for “some echoing and a lot of loud singing.” I don’t think boy bands do that, Timba. Nick Carter says that Reverb has some of the strongest vocalists and he really wants to see how they work together.

Hold up, can I just pause and ask … what do they win? Do they get a recording contract? Do they move in with Timbaland? Does one person win or a whole band? What is your endgame, Rita Ora? Also, I know that Rita Ora isn’t responsible for any of this but, in a way, she is. When you think about it, she is.

The boys are at the Red Roof Inn Express pool and Emma Bunton stops by to admire the boys in their trunks. She gives them a little advice about taking care of each other and blending together while also looking out for yourself and standing out. It’s hard to be one of the boys in the band. Emma Bunton also talks a little bit about being in the Spice Girls and I wish they just scrapped this whole thing and recorded an oral history of Spiceworld. She asks if any of the boys are homesick because the producers demand a certain number of fluid ounces of boys’ tears. Chance talks about how much he misses his daughter and the longest he’s been away from her is a week and a half. Emma has them perform for her by the pool and they have a guitar but they don’t use it. She flits out of there with some mental images of the boys in their trunks.

They go into the rehearsal room with TIM DAVIS, who is wearing basically the same suit. They really want him to be a character. Boy Band wants him to be the breakout star and for all of us to quote him. His classic quotes are, like, “Don’t you guys look fresh,” and “This is not high school,” and “We shall see.” CLASSIC. Reverb is working on “Stay” by Rihanna and it’s an odd choice. Did they just buy the rights to a bunch of songs and then tell Tim and Adam Blackstone (legit coolest name I’ve ever heard) to just figure it out? As they work on the song, Andrew drifts into a dream state and remember that he’s an MMA fighter. Guys, Andrew is blowing it and John can’t sing diphthongs. Tim Davis asks John to turn around so he can learn to sing with shame.

It’s time for them to be given over to Adam Blackstone to rehearse the song with the band, and John is going to play the piano for the performance. I’m a big fan of boy bands. I’m into boy bands. I know a bit about them and I don’t think playing piano is a requisite. They keep acting like he’s gotta get it right, but that’s not part of it. WHAT IS PART OF THIS?

Adam Blackstone also says to Andrew, “I’ve never heard you do that before. It’s uncharacteristic of your abilities,” which I’m stealing to say to my improv students.

Then it’s time for Napoleon and Tabitha, or Nabby-Tabby, to build the visuals. Reverb isn’t going to dance, exactly, but they’re going to move around the piano in circles. In order to get the emotion right, they have all the boys close their eyes and imagine what is helping them connect to the song. Cam used to be in a wheelchair; Brady used to stutter; Chance thinks about the mother of his daughter. Then, Chance can’t stop crying. He has one of those cries where it starts with one thing and, next thing you know, you’re crying about something that happened to you in third grade. Like that time Christina was rude to me on the way to Old Navy to buy outfits for our variety-show act. I’M STILL NOT OVER THAT, CHRISTINA.

It’s time for the performance. Here are my snap judgments:

(1) Andrew sucks.

(2) John is wearing a skirt around his torso under his blazer.

(3) Jaden is a star.

(4) Brady hasn’t hit puberty yet. His voice is too angelic and pure.

The song also has an edgy remix in the middle that no one asked for. THANKS, RITA. The final harmony is really quite nice and I felt like my grandma saying that. “It was quite nice.” The architects (remember, they call them that?) are shocked at the talent. Brady, Cam, Chance, and Jaden are the first saves. Either John or Andrew is going home. Well, Andrew didn’t have to play the piano so …

But no, John is sent home and the architects tell him that he could be a great producer or writer but he needs to grow and develop. You realize that’s what he was there to do, right? You’re telling him he should change careers, but also not do it anywhere near you or the other people who could help him. What is your endgame, Boy Band?

Boy Band Recap: Hugs and Mics