They say everything old is new again, and that is definitely the case when it comes to former boy band O-Town getting back together for a reunion. Boy bands from the 80’s and 90’s reuniting isn’t strange news, currently New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys are on a joint tour that’s selling out all over North America. But O-Town was never as popular as those bands, but in my teenage heart, they were.
O-Town was created in 2000 on the TV show Making the Band. I was fourteen, in grade nine, completely obsessed with pop music. I watched Making the Band from the very first episode and the show became my life. I still have about 80% of it on VHS tape somewhere in my basement. Every Friday night, I’d tune in to watch twelve guys be cut down to eight, to be cut down to the five, to make the band. Unhealthy crushes were formed on Trevor – the only black boy in the group and the so-called “best dancer” (watching him now though, he wasn’t that great) and Dan – the guy who was asked to join the group after Ikaika, one of the original members, left. I learned the dances from watching them in rehearsal (and could still bust them out to this day). When they signed their contracts with Lou Pearlman watching them with an evil smile on his face, I yelled at the TV, warning them not to do it. Turned out I was right. And when their album dropped, I bought it as soon as possible and rooted for their success.
My fourteen year old self analyzed everything about O-Town and the show. I wondered why, when Ikaika left, they had to find a brand new guy instead of putting in someone from the eight original guys from the house. The two guys who were left happened to be black and Asian. The reason why Ikaika left is still a mystery. When I’m bored and watch old tapes, I still wonder what the hell happened and why he quit so suddenly. And I did not get why they all trusted Lou Pearlman so blindly. Even I knew how he had screwed over Backstreet and Nsync and knew it would happen to them too.
Besides the controversy, I loved them. I remember being at my Grandma’s house with my little sister and cousin belting out “All For Love.” They were on top of the world when their first album was released and then the second album, released in 2002, crashed and burned. The boys disbanded shortly after that.
In the ten years since they were formed, none of them have really done anything. Ashley had a MTV reality show in 2006 (that I watched) and released an album. The other guys… well who knows, but now they’re coming back together (minus Ashley who doesn’t want to do it), in 2011 when the boy band has been dead for years. As a former fan, I’m not that excited. I’m not fourteen anymore. But I will follow the story, listen to the music and see what happens.
This trend of boy bands reuniting for nostalgia purposes hasn’t really interested me. I’m waiting for the day when Nsync goes on their reunion tour, because I will buy front row tickets no matter what the cost. They were, and still are, one of the greatest singing groups of all time. Unfortunately, that day will never come, and it’s all your fault, Justin. Damn you for being so successful.