I told you I had a fabulous Friday night planned and I did not lie. The Boy and I watched “Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of” Otherwise known as the Backstreet Boys documentary.
First though: a bit of a rant. What’s with all of these “Backstreet’s Back” headlines in all of these articles? Maybe it’s accurate to say *NSync was “back” for that lame and all too short 45 second performance that JT granted them at the VMA’s that one time– and maybe you could say NKOTB is back since they took a long hiatus to do whatever you do when you’re New Kids on The Block and you stopped making hits– but Backstreet Boys? They aren’t “back” because they didn’t go anywhere. Those swoon worthy singers have been serenading me (through cds, the radio, my iPod and Pandora) for the past 22 years. There was no break, so therefore there is no comeback.
However, it is safe to say that Kevin (Richardson) is back because he did leave the group… for six years.
(That time Kevin showed them the meaning of being lonely)
and I have to confess, I take FULL credit for his return.
Yes, you read that correctly. I, Jill Salama, take full credit for Kevin Richardson returning to the BSB. And here’s why:
It was the fall of 2010– otherwise known as Season 25 of TOWS (The Oprah Winfrey Show).
There was a show that was pitched about “Teenage Heartthrobs” from previous decades- a pre-cursor to #TBT, if you will and it was originally assigned to my team (there were various different teams at The Oprah Show and each team was responsible for producing a full episode)
Being that I was a huge fan of BSB, and had already pitched them multiple times in my previous three years at The Oprah Winfrey Show, I obviously pitched them for this particular show because um, hello captain obvious and this time it worked (!!!)
The Backstreet Boys were B-Double-O-K-E-D.
At this point in time however, BSB was still sans Kevin but being as this was the final season of Oprah and the Boys had been on the show a few times throughout their career, they reached out to Kevin to come back and perform for Oprah’s final season.
And Kevin said yes (because really, no one says no to Oprah)
(Kevin is BACK, Alright. Front and Center next to O Dubs!)
I was beside myself with excitement… That is until the show got reassigned to another team. womp womp womp. But the story does not end sadly. No, you see, dear readers, the show and the epic surprise they pulled off for a lucky fan not only went off without a hitch (there might not be any better moment than listening to the Boys sound check and sing “I Want It That Way” on the Oprah set), I still got to work with them on the show day, I got this GEM of a photo:
AND, the real reason this story is a happy, glorious and joyful one? After that show, Kevin joined the group again and they put out another album!
All is right with the world.
Okay, so I think it wasn’t like immediately after that show BUT I do think there is a VERY strong case that it was precisely because of the show and Kevin reuniting with them again just for that performance that the lightbulb moment (or as Oprah calls it- the a-ha moment) went off for our buddy ‘ol pal Kev and he before we knew it, he was Back. Like Backstreet’s Back. Alright!
Okay now on to the documentary…
Watch it. No seriously, even for non-fans, their doc “Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of” was fascinating. It spends a good amount of time going back to each of their roots while showing tons of videos from the early early early days and explaining the whole Lou Pearlman fiasco.
And while I would have liked to see and hear a bit more about how they felt once everything seemed to come to a screeching halt for them in 2003 and how it must feel to go from being on top of the world to well, not so much pretty quickly- overall it was cool to see just how hard these guys have worked and where they’ve come from.
It serves as a great reminder that no matter what you do (or dream to do) in life, there is no such thing as becoming an “overnight” success. While in the late ’90s it seemed like Backstreet Boys exploded from oblivion to super-stardom at the snap of a finger, this doc shows the endless hours, sweat and horrible outfit choices (and boy were there a lot of those) that went into making that success look sudden when really it was anything but.
(Examples of said horrible outfit choices– because they are too good not to include):
And okay, I know I am biased so I should probably stop my review now, but even The Boy said he enjoyed it! (yes he did in fact watch the entire thing with me!)
The Documentary by the numbers:
Number of times I cried while watching it: 3 (okay maybe 4)
Number of times I looked over at The Boy to make sure he was still into it: 6
Number of times I danced while bundled up on the couch: Easily 6, but really too many to count
Number of times I thought that a serenade from the Boys one day isn’t like totally 1,000% out of the question: 10
Soo the moral of the story here: if you’ve got two hours and you want to relive the glory days of the late 90s/Y2k while picking up some interesting facts along the way, I’d say rent this bad boy.
And, of course, you can send me a thank you for Kevin’s return to the group any time you please.