2:23pm PT by Kate Stanhope
ABC's 'Boy Band' Enlists Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls Alums
While questions continue to swirl about the judging panel for ABC's other singing competition show, the network on Tuesday revealed several key pieces of talent for its upcoming reality series Boy Band.
Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter, Spice Girls vocalist Emma Bunton and singer-actress Rita Ora have signed on for the summer entry.
Carter and Bunton will serve as "architects," i.e. experts who will guide contestants throughout their journey to stardom. Meanwhile, Ora will serve as host.
Shortly after the announcement was made Tuesday at ABC's upfront presentation, Carter and his Backstreet Boys bandmates took the stage to perform their hit "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)."
Ordered to series in March, Boy Band will feature undiscovered young talent from across the country competing to become a member of the next big music group. The 10-episode first season begins with thousands of talented male vocalists auditioning to land one of 18 spots in three bands. Those bands must impress the architects to avoid being sent home.
On each episode, architects will shuffle contestants to find the best combination of voices to perform, live, for America. Architects also will critique each band's performance and collectively decide which two contestants should be put up for elimination. After the two perform solo "survival" songs, it will be up to viewers to decide which to save. On the finale, America's five favorite bandmembers will be announced and perform a brand-new single together for the first time.
For Carter, the move to Boy Band comes nearly two decades after he found success as one-fifth of Backstreet Boys. The group was formed by manager Lou Pearlman, who went on to also create NSYNC. Pearlman later formed the group O-Town on the ABC reality show Making the Band before it moved to MTV with Sean "Puffy" Combs.
The Spice Girls were formed in a similar fashion in the early 1990s by managers Bob and Chris Herbert, who put out on an ad in a trade magazine to invite young female singers to try out for a new all-girl group.
The Spice Girls went onto sell 85 million records, while the Backstreet Boys have sold 130 million records, making them the best-selling boy band in history. The latter just kicked off their Las Vegas residency, Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life, this year.
In addition to hosting the most recent season of America's Top Next Model (Tyra Banks will reprise her hosting duties for the next season), Ora has appeared as a coach on the fourth season of The Voice UK and as a judge on season 12 of The X Factor UK. Her hits include "R.I.P.," "I Will Never Let You Down" and "Black Widow."
Boy Band is set to premiere Thursday, June 22, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.