Below are the correct answers for round one, as depicted by capitalized lettering.
BACKSTREET BOYS vs. WestlifeThere can be no doubt. Westlife was put here to lose. I mean, Backstreet is going to win the whole thing, because they are responsible for "I Want it That Way," which is the world's most perfect pop song and also the ultimate in boy band perfection.
(AND still creating music! And it's exactly what you would expect! AWESOME!)
O-Town vs. JACKSON 5I'm taking Jackson 5 and if I am taking Jackson 5, O-Town has absolutely no hope. You are talking to a woman who owns O2. What's O2, you ask? Totally legitimate question, because no one paid attention to O-Town post-"All or Nothing," which was a great song to which I still know every word. This is as confirmed by a listen the other day, then by the following tweet:
Listening to O-Town. I refuse to change. #90sMoodLifter CC: @AnnieBananie77
— Chris (@d_cd_c) April 18, 2012
What I'm saying is, sorry O-Town. I love you very much. Very much. O2 was...well, you know, it was O2. I purchased that album, which no one else purchased, after everyone forgot all about you. I didn't forget. I saved $15 from my terrible job at the old folks home and I went to the Best Buy and you know what? I don't regret it. Thanks for the memories.
98 DEGREES vs. The BeatlesI'm disqualifying The Beatles for overuse of legitimacy, which is a clear breach of Boy Band rules. You can't put The White Album up against "The Hardest Thing."
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK vs. Someone that is NOT New Kids on the BlockOk, it's Take Five. Happy?
N*SYNC vs. 5iveI'm awarding credit for creative spelling but it just isn't enough to best the beast.
LFO vs. 112I like girls that wear Abercrombie and Fitch/I'd take her if I had one wish/But she's been gone since that summer.
...Since that summer.
(Also, New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits! FULL CIRCLE, guys!)
(FYI Do you know what LFO stands for WITHOUT Wikipedia? Because I do. Sick.)
JOBRO vs. MenudoI think JoBro will win, but my vote went to Menudo, only because they gave us Ricky Martin, and for that we must display our eternal gratitude. Did I have a Ricky Martin binder for class in the 8th grade? Oh yes. Yes I did.
HANSON vs. BBMakHOW AM I TO CHOOSE? This is the hardest match up for me personally. I am also interested in the fact that MTV failed to pit JoBro vs. Hanson. I guess they're banking on a second round matchup. I'd say it's fairly likely, but I wouldn't rule out a BBMak upset. "Back Here" and "Still On Your Side" were excellent summer jams. Still, neither is "MMMBop."
THE WANTED vs. Color Me BaddHow can I argue with "Sex You Up"? Have you even HEARD "Glad You Came"? Because I have. On repeat. And I still love it. In a rare break from my 90's bias, I am taking The Wanted here. In their video promoting the competition, one of them says they love the Backstreet Boys because "they showed him the reason for being lonely." Which is incorrect lyrically, but still. <3
THE MONKEES vs. 2getherInteresting Matchup, but I think the Monkees are hard to beat here, even though I did watch and love 2gether and have all of THEIR albums as well. It's easy to forget that The Monkees were every bit as much of a fabrication as 5Gether because their music is something people sometimes listen to on purpose.
You know, people other than people who once owned O2. (Did you know a Backstreet Boy once wrote a song for them? Yeah! Howie D!)
BIG TIME RUSH vs. All-4-OneI do love "I Swear," and BTR, while cute, doesn't hit me in my soft tween center the way One Direction does. All of that said, I am taking BTR for the win because I will never underestimate the motivation of tweens to vote for these kinds of things, and MY OH MY do the tweens love them some BTR. Also, Disney Channel breeds future stars. Look for the members of BTR to come out with high grossing solo albums, a la Jesse McCartney via Dream Street (who, I'll say, are noticeably absent from this bracket but NOT from my iPod. Oops.)
BOYZ TO MEN vs. JodeciObviously.
ONE DIRECTION vs. Day 26I mean...I think I mentioned that I love 1D, and I think there can be no question as to who ought to win this. Even if you strip away the bands themselves, it comes down to Cowell vs. Diddy, and...
...Just get out of here, Day 26.
IM5 vs. B2K*
*UPPER CASE. I love thinking about how people came up with these names.If only because of ""Uh Huh," B2K wins this. But there's more! "Bump Bump Bump"! Anyway, never for a second forget that Lil' Fizz is it. Ever.
NKOTBSB vs. New EditionWhat do you get when you cross the Newkids with Backstreet? AN UNSTOPPABLE FORCE OF 9 MEN DESIGNED TO BLOW YOUR MIND IN CONCERT.
Another Bad Creation vs. MINDLESS BEHAVIOREh. Mindless Behavior, because they know how to pick gigs: opened for Bieber and the Beliebers are unlikely to forget that. I give them the edge. (Also, can we please talk about their individual names? Check out their Wikipedia entry, as they are just on another level.)
Notably Absent:Dream Street (HELLO, Jesse McCartney's musical home!), Dru Hill (Sisqo's musical home!), NLT (I also know what this stands for. Send me home.), LMNT (O-Town Castoffs!), B5 (another Diddy creation), and Soul IV Real (another brother act).
So anyway, I've now spent a good portion of my afternoon reliving all my Tweenage Glory Days and listening to all these songs. Which, yes, means that after the invention of the iPod I still saw fit to keep these CDs around, take the time to upload them, and then from time to time when they come up on shuffle (or, you know, manually), I still enjoy them. I hope you will see fit to agree or argue with me in my comment box.