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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ugly Boybanders of Yesteryear

I went to the Backstreet Boys concert this past weekend. Needless to say, it was one of the best nights of my year, if not my entire life, and my best friend and I couldn’t say anything but, “Oh my God! That was amazing!” for the majority of the ride home.

At the beginning of the concert, the boys’ faces flashed up on the big screen one by one, causing pandemonium that, in hindsight, was probably a little embarrassing for a crowd of 23-30 year old women. Nick pops up? Vocal cords exploded. AJ? Everyone realized that the bad-boy phase they went through when they were 18 wasn’t totally over. Kevin? The girls who go for bar dads and/or appreciate thick eyebrows had a field day. My best friend and I personally lost our shit when Brian appeared, because we were wise beyond our years back in elementary school and inherently knew that he would forever and always be the hottest person in the band alive.

And then came Howie’s face, and we were all reminded of something that just seemed to be a fact of life when we were young: no one likes Howie. Like, there was barely a woo. It’s nothing against him personally, and it’s not like he’s a completely unfortunate-looking guy, but every boy band of the 90’s needed their token boring ugly dude, and for BSB, Howie was/is it. I think he accepts it now and uses the lack of attention to do whatever he wants on stage aka drinking a random fan’s Bud Light and throwing in inexplicable cha-cha moves. I chopped off my cholo ponytail and still no one loves me?! Fuck it, my only solo is a verse in “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely;” give me a beer.

Not helping your case, bro
I felt bad for the crowd’s lack of enthusiasm for Howie, but I realized that he simply got the short end of the boy band stick, and was a part of an elite crowd of once-famous male performers from the late 90s/early 00s that everyone knew existed but that no one cared to remember the names of. Quite frankly, Howie should feel pretty great about himself, because I think he might be one of the most popular ones on the list of Ugly Boy Banders of Yesteryear. It’s the little things in life, everybody.

Chris Kirkpatrick (*NSYNC) was also ugly. Historically, regardless of if you’re a guy or a girl, you have to be pretty mind-blowingly hot to be white and rock dreads; instead, Chris looked like the creepy human version of a Muppet. Think about it: Lance was obviously not totally “into” all the girl attention from the get-go (but was a terrible dancer? One of life’s many mysteries…) yet I knew plenty of ladies that preferred his likeness to Ellen Degeneres over Chris’s goatee’d doublechin and obtrusive oversize ball chain necklaces. Not even his sweet falsetto could save him then. I drive myself crazy thinking of you, too, Chris, but only because your terrifying face is haunting my dreams and I haven’t slept in weeks.

Justin Jeffre of 98 Degrees really just didn’t even stand a chance. The Lachey brothers were buff and gorgeous, and Jeff Timmons was destined to become a Chippendale, so what role did that leave Justin to lead? You guessed it: the role of the chubby Danny McBride look-a-like with a white trash, bleach blonde Caesar haircut and a convincing air of pedophilia. Singing all of those songs about Jessica Simpson was probably the closest he got to a woman in the band’s entire five-year run. 98 Degrees was supposed to be the band that could beat up all the other bands, which I guess meant that Justin was the lazy friend/hype man in the back who just yelled, “YOU DON’T WANT THIS! YOU DON’T WANT THIS!” while nudging Nick forward and hoping everyone would just call a truce so he could go back home and finish playing PS2 all by himself.

In theory, I suppose Dan Miller from O-Town isn't a complete dud. However, when you compare him to the beauty that was Ashley Parker Angel or Erik-Michael Estrada, you realize that his misfortune lay in two key factors: his boring, white-bread, three-syllable name, and the fact that his chin strap made him look like a rapist. In fact his whole oral region really bothers me. He's got thick lips that appear to perpetually have lipstick on them, and it's almost like he's got lock-jaw and can only open his mouth wide enough to creep me out as he explains his liquid dreams.

Devin Lima from LFO looks like a fucking vampire, straight up. I have a moral opposition against any male who obviously gets his eyebrows waxed, and between his perfectly-sculpted arches and presumably collagen-filled lips, he's completely crossed the line from metrosexual to potential drag queen. You know in "Heavyweights" where Tony Perkis goes crazy at the end of the movie and somersaults off the chandelier? Devin looks like that on an everyday basis. Apparently he has a new band now called The Cadbury Diesel, which just sounds like a really unfortunate thing to find in your Easter basket.

There is a reason you probably haven't heard of the majority of the guys on this list, and that is because they were outshined by their sexy frontmen, therefore garnering themselves very little (if any) real estate on your locker door. These guys were the DUFFs of their bands--it's unfortunate that they had to suffer the trauma of being no one's favorite, but it had to be done, and for that, the guys who went on to have successful solo careers thank them.

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