Boy Band Recap: The Boy That America Saved

Boy Band

Episode 4
Season 1 Episode 4
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Eric McCandless/ABC

I think all of my problems with Boy Band can be summed up by one little detail. This week, they mix up the remaining boys, put them into new bands, and give the bands names. Two of the names are Top Line and Element but one … one of the names is TR5BLE. That is everything wrong with this show. Let’s just examine that. T-R-5-B-L-E. TR5BLE. What combination of drugs and self-delusion were the Architects on to create a word like TR5BLE? A “5” is not an “E.” A “3” is an “E.” They fact that they expect us to pronounce it like “Treble” and not “Trfiveble” is an insult. That word is Trfiveble and you can’t trick me. Let’s get to the boys.

The episode opens with a Steadicam shot to “prove” that it’s a live performance of all the boys doing a medley of other famous boy-band songs. Why isn’t the show always this? Why aren’t we watching these boys perform famous boy-band songs? Bobby Brown was chillin’ backstage with the boys. When the camera makes its first cut, NICK CARTER is singing. Why is he singing? Is this part of it? Is he gonna jump into one of the bands at some point? Then a chair swivels around and it’s A. J. “Bad Boy” McLean! Chris Kirkpatrick is there and he looks like Chumlee from Pawn Stars now. J-Hype starts beatboxing during “Bye Bye Bye” and it’s already a perfect song and I don’t know why we’re doing this.

Then Rita Ora shows up lookin’ like the Tin Man’s schoolmarm and just wanders around the stage looking stunned. Rita Ora tells me now it’s in our hands and, now, this is our Boy Band. Is it, Rita? Because it sure as hell doesn’t feel like it. Rita Ora interviews the boy-band legends that are in our midst. She asks Chris Kirkpatrick for advice for the boys and he says, “Know your place.” She asks A.J. for a story about Nick Carter and he tells one about a fun prank they all played on Nick. Also, A.J. now looks like if someone sent all three judges on Ink Master into the teleporter from The Fly. Then Rita Ora asks Bobby “My Prerogative” Brown if he likes NSYNC or the Backstreet Boys better. This is the most offensive thing I’ve ever seen on television. This is rude. Rita Ora is rude.

Up first is Top Line. It’s a band with … all the Latino guys … and one white one … and they’re singing “Despacito.” Guys, are we fine with this? Were they like:

“Well, we want to have them sing ‘Despacito’ and we have four guys who already sing or speak Spanish.”

“Oh, Jeff, we’re doing five boys in a band.”

“Add a white guy.”

When they’re rehearsing the song, Napoleon and Tabitha bring in their moms to make sure they don’t get too sexy and read the lyrics. One boy’s mom says, “That’s spicy!” Seriously, are we fine with this? During the song, they cut to the audience and there’s a guy in a Wesleyan soccer T-shirt jamming out. This is a weird show. Then the white guy raps. He does a verse that I think they wrote for the show. Did he write it? They dance like your uncle at the Puerto Rican Day parade — yes, I am only speaking to my Puerto Rican readers here. The only feedback they get is that Mikey needs to look up, Drew needs to be more sure of himself, and Chance needs to work on his voice. Also, Nick Carter goes out of his way to compliment Michael, the white guy, for singing in Spanish.

Up next, Trfiveble are singing Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” What are we doing here? I understand there’s a limited number of boy-band songs to choose from, but picking ADELE for these LITERAL BOYS to sing isn’t doing anyone any favors. Right off the bat, Cam screws it up. His voice breaks on a high note. This is … not great. They’re all wearing pinstriped suits and standing on boxes with lights on them, doing stupid swag-surfin’ moves. Because they have to lower the key to even try to accommodate their voices, it really takes away the power of the song. ALSO, IT’S NOT A BOY-BAND SONG. Adele never performs with flashing lights, dancing around. She’s just a bitch who stands there and sings. Nick says that Brady reminds him of himself and to never let the business change him; he tells Andrew that there are key elements missing in his voice, but doesn’t tell him what they are.

Now, it’s time for Element. They’re singing “Don’t Let Me Down” by the Chainsmokers and they somehow find a way to make the Chainsmokers even worse. There’s a laser-light show and they keep performing to the camera with their back to the audience. They’re all wearing windbreakers and suspenders with red glitter. Emma asks Miles to have more of a “bad-boy energy” rather than a “bad-boy cool” and words have lost all meaning.

The next phase is to reveal the group that’s safe — they won’t lose any members this week. I think that’s how this works, right? It’s TRFIVEBLE! Mikey from Top Line is up for elimination and Miles from Element is up for elimination. Then here comes the crazy part: The audience can vote, but only for the duration of the commercial break. Miles and Mikey don’t get to sing or lip-synch for their lives. Just text “1” to “Our Republic Is Crumbling But We’re All Here Watching Boy Band.” Well, after three minutes and 30 seconds, America decided that Miles is going home. Bye, I guess?

Boy Band Recap: The Boy That America Saved